Category Archives: National and National Parks in the Balearics

Ses Salines d’Eivissa i Formentera Natural Park

  • Region: Islas Baleares.
  • Islands: Eivissa and Formentera. (Ibiza)
  • Declared a Natural Park: 2001.
  • Park surface land area: 2752.5 hectares.
  • Park aquatic area: 14,028 hectares.
  • Special Bird Protection Area ( ZEPA ).
  • Nature reserve since 1995.
  • Natural Area of ​​Special Interest ( ANEI ) of the Law of Natural Spaces of the Balearic Government.
  • Humid area within the RAMSAR agreement .
  • Heritage of Unesco (since 1999).
  • Natura 2000 Network of the European Union.
  • Towns and Villages: Sant Josep de sa Talaia and Formentera.

Points of interest

Located between islands of Eivissa and Formentera, the Ses Salines d’Eivissa i Formentera Natural Park covers the channel that separates the two islands and also part of the land masses and old salt flats. This Natural Park is a prime example of the Mediterranean’s rich biodiversity. It is an important rest area for countless birds along their migratory paths and a nesting ground. The area includes a diverse range of land and marine habitats of great ecological, historical and cultural value.

The territory comprises areas of the old salt flats of Ibiza, in the municipality of Sant Josep de sa Talaia and the salt flats of Formentera. Within the fauna the birdlife stands out, especially the flamingos , which are resident all year.

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Flora

On land, the natural park boasts a magnificent representation of most of the existing plant formations in the Balearic Islands totalling almost 200 different species. These include Mediterranean pine groves, coastal savin groves, glasswort beds and the halophilic plants that surround the ponds, the dune systems and the coastal plants found along the cliffs.

The sea accounts for approximately 85% of the park’s area and is characterised by the ecological importance of its underwater Posidonia oceanica beds. This marine plant ensures the continued survival of the fish populations and other sea life. Moreover, it oxygenates the waters, keeping them clean and clear, while sheltering the beaches from the erosive effects of the waves and maintaining the natural dynamics of the dune systems.

Fauna:

Some 210 bird species have been catalogued in the natural park. Particularly worthy of note are the aquatic bird populations, including the flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus), the black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus), the shelduck (Tadorna tadorna), the Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus), and seafaring birds such as the Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii) and the Balearic shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus). The lagoon, Estany Pudent de Formentera, boasts one of the largest communities of the black-necked grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) in Europe.

Other animal species worthy of note in the park’s land areas include the Eivissa wall lizard (Podarcis pityusensis), which is endemic to these islands and appears on the other islets in different subspecies; the large garden dormouse (Elyomis quercinus ophiusae) on Formentera and many different endemic beetle and snail species.

Salt extraction

Ses Salines (the salt flats) are characterised by their pink and violet colouration, especially in the summer. For Formentera’s inhabitants they are a major landmark and very important in the recent history of the island because of the salt industry. They may have been in operation since ancient times, but it is not until the 13th century that the first written references are to be found. In 1873 they were first acquired by the Majorcan Antoni Marroig and later by Salinera Española SA, a company that operated them until 1984. Ses Salines is a complex system that made use of S’Estany Pudent to create a seawater channel around it in order to achieve a higher salt concentration. This water was then pumped, using different mechanisms, to the system of ponds where the salt crystallised and was then extracted. They were declared of historical cultural interest in 2004, being the island’s only industry before the advent of tourism.

Information/Visitors Centers

Centre d’Interpretació de Sant Francesc (Eivissa)

The Sant Francesc Interpretation Center is the ideal place to get to know the values of the Ses Salines d’Eivissa i Formentera Natural Park. Immersed within the Natural Park itself, it is part of the outbuildings of the church of Sant Francesc de s’Estany in the municipality of Sant Josep de sa Talaia.

The Interpretation Center offers visitors all the information they need about the Natural Park: environmental values, itineraries, permits, restrictions, agenda of activities, routes and guided tours of the center, educational possibilities…

Centre d’Interpretació de Can Marroig (Formentera)

Can Marroig Interpretation Center is the ideal place to learn about the Ses Salines d’Eivissa i Formentra Natural Park. There is an excellent exhibition showing the attractions of a natural park where the oldest Posidonia oceanica meadows, two salt mines and unique endemic species of these islands are found.

Web: https://en.balearsnatura.com/parque_natural/parc-natural-de-ses-salines-deivissa-i-formentera/#descripcion


The Grazalema Guide

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The Cabrera Archipelago Maritime Terrestrial National Park

  • Parc Nacional Maritimoterrestre de l’Arxipèlag de Cabrera (Catalan).
  • Parque Nacional Marítimo-Terrestre del Archipiélago de Cabrera (Spanish).
  • Region: Islas Baleares (Palma de Mallorca).
  • Declared a National Park: 1991.
  • Park surface area: 90,800 hectares.
  • Islands that make up the park: Estells de Fora, S’Imperial, Cabrera, Ses Bledes, Na Redona, Conillera, S’Esponja, Na Plana, Illot Pla, Na Pobra, Na Foradada.

Points of interest

The Cabrera Archipelago Maritime Terrestrial National Park includes the whole of the Cabrera Archipelago in the Balearic Islands. It is located in the south of Mallorca, ten nautical miles from the port of Colonia de Sant Jordi (ses Salines).The park is one of the largest in Spain but due to its remoteness it attracts relatively few visitors. Endangered animals such as turtles and whales come under the parks protection and rare species of fish and corals can be found in the underwater caves.

The islands are unpopulated but there are always park staff, biologists and other scientists on site. The archipelago has great natural value and the coastal landscape of Cabrera is considered to be one of the best preserved on the Spanish coast. The islands are inhabited by important colonies of seabirds and other endemic species and due to the abundance and variety of birds, the park has also been declared a Special Protection Area (SPA) for birds.

Within the limits of the National Park, sport fishing is prohibited including underwater fishing. It is also forbidden to disembark, except at the main dock in the port of Cabrera.

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Flora

Woody shrubs with leathery and small leaves predominate, forming the garrigue, a scrubland perfectly adapted to the rigors of the Mediterranean climate. There are several endemic species: Balearic Astragalus (Astragalus balearicus), Rubia angustifolia ssp. Cespitosa, Dracunculus muscivorum, Balearic hypericon (Hypericum balearicum) etc.

A full botanical list of flora present can be found here. (In Spanish)
https://www.miteco.gob.es/es/red-parques-nacionales/nuestros-parques/cabrera/visita-virtual/flora/default.aspx

Fauna

This is an important stopover point on the migratory route of more than 150 species of birds both in the spring and in the autumn. Audouin’s gull (Larus audouini) and Eleonora’s falcon (Falco eleonorae) are also present.

A full list of species can be found here. (In Spanish)
https://www.miteco.gob.es/es/red-parques-nacionales/nuestros-parques/cabrera/visita-virtual/fauna/default.aspx

The seabed also represents a very important part of the Park, with more than 200 species of fish and numerous endemic invertebrates.

What to visit on the islands?

The following self-guided itineraries are possible:

  • The castle. This is the most frequented by visitors who come to Cabrera. From the top, on clear days, you can see the entire mountain range of Tramuntana from sa Dragonera to Tomir and the mountains
    from Artà on the neighboring island of Mallorca.
  • The fons marí in the port of Cabrera. This excursion can be done with or without a guide (summer only) but you need to be able to swim and use a snorkel. Find out more in the information centre in the port of Cabra
  • The museum, botanic garden and the monument to the French. Its advisable to visit the information office in Cabra first as the opening times of each area vary quite a lot depending on the time of year.
  • Archaeological trail. In sa Platgeta there is a general panel explaining the history of the area and continuing along the route each place has its own explanatory panel. The archaeological area has three main points of interest, the Byzantine necropolis, deposits of salted fish and the structures of the French soldiers’ camp (Pla de ses Figueres).

You can also take a series of guided tours. For these itineraries you should request information at the information office on the island of Cabrera. (The lighthouse of l’Enciola, Na Picamosques and the Serra des Canal de ses Figueres).

Information/Visitors Centers

Ses Salines visitor center

The Cabrera National Park interpretation center is located in Colònia de Sant Jordi. here you can get the necessary documentation for your visit to the national park and learn about the history of Cabrera.

Colònia de Sant Jordi has a marina from where daily excursions are organized to visit the Maritime-Terrestrial National Park of the Cabrera Archipelago.

  • Guided excursions around Cabrera.
  • Underwater interpretation activity (limited places).
  • Marine itinerary (limited places).
  • Itinerary in canoe (limited places).

Website: https://en.balearsnatura.com/parque_natural/parque-nacional-maritimo-terrestre-del-archipielago-de-cabrera/

Address: C / Gabriel Roca s / n, corner of Plaza Es Dolç, 07638 Colónia de Sant Jordi – Illes Balears (Mallorca)
Tel. 971 656 282

Remember! If you are travelling here in your own boat you will need to get the relevent permits beforehand. Find out what you need with the port authorities. and the administration office for reservations

Information in the Port of Cabrera
Tel. 630 982 363

Tel. Reservations and permits 971 177 641
Hours: from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. from Monday to Friday

Online reservations for private boats

Website: https://en.balearsnatura.com/parque_natural/parque-nacional-maritimo-terrestre-del-archipielago-de-cabrera/#permisos


The Grazalema Guide

The best way to see all our web projects in one place is over at the Grazalema Guide.

The Grazalema Guide – Tourist Information Portal for the Sierra de Grazalema, Wildside Holidays, The town of Ronda and the Caminito del Rey.

http://grazalemaguide.com/