Tag Archives: Baleares

Cala d’Hort, Cap Llentrisca and Sa Talaia Natural Park

Cala d’Hort, Cap Llentrisca and Sa Talaia Natural Park was a protected natural area located in the municipality of Sant Josep on the island of Ibiza. It remains a coastal area with a wide variety of landscapes covering 2773.31 hectares (2208.81 land and 564.50 marine hectares). The closed bay of Cala d’Hort, the Cap Llentrisca cape and the Sa Talaia de Sant Josep peak constitute the highest area of ​​the island.

Among the main values ​​of the park are a large number of plant endemisms such as ginesta as well as important plantations of pines, garrigues, blackberries and oleanders. In the area there are also numerous colonies of nesting birds, among which the Eleonor’s falcon stands out. there are also endemic subspecies of lizards present on the islets.

Since its declaration as a protected natural area in February 2002 , the park has undergone several modifications in terms of its extension and protection. Both the Sa Talaia area, in 2003 , and the public estate of Ses Païses de Cala d’Hort, in 2005 have been removed and the park is currently reduced to just the islets and the marine environment. As a result of these changes the area is now called Es Vedrá, Es Vedranell and Islotes de Poniente Nature Reserve.

Es Vedrá, Es Vedranell and Islotes de Poniente Nature Reserve
Es Vedrá, Es Vedranell and Islotes de Poniente Nature Reserve

Es Vedrá, Es Vedranell and Islotes de Poniente Nature Reserve

The islets are clustered into two groups. The first is the group consisting of Es Vedrà and Es Vedranell, and the other takes in the Illots de Ponent, which include Sa Conillera, l’Illa des Bosc, S’Espartar and Ses Bledes: Na Gorra, Es Vaixell, Na Bosc, Na Plana and S’Escull d’en Ramon (reef).

The protected habitat accommodates aquatic birds, lizards and endemic invertebrates, as well as a very rich flora.

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Fauna

The islets are one of the main breeding grounds for aquatic birds and birds of prey including the Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii), the Cory’s shearwater (Calonectris diomedea), the Balearic shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus), the Eleonora’s falcon (Falco eleonorae), the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) and the European storm petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus). As regards this last species, S’Espartar is home to one of the most important colonies in the western Mediterranean.

Invertebrates are also well represented here, and particularly molluscs, such as the snails of the Trochoidea genera, and coleoptera, or beetles.

The Eivissa wall lizard (Podarcis pityusensis), which is protected by different laws, boasts a number of endemic subspecies that vary in size and colour from one islet to the next.

The sea bottoms are well conserved and house a rich and diverse fauna represented by species such as the sea fans (Gorgonia sp.), bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and fish species including the grouper (Epinephelus sp.).

Flora

The most common endemic plant species are Silene hifacensis, Diplotaxis ibicensis, Teucrium cossonii subsp. punicum, Asperula paui, Limonium pseudoebusitanum. Other species less common in the Pitiüses Islands can also be seen here, such as the European fan palm (Chamaerops humilis) and the tree spurge (Euphorbia dendroides). The esparto grass communities on S’Espartar are particularly important, as they are the most extensive communities in the Pitiüses Islands.

Also diverse are the underwater plants, which are primarily represented by the marine phanerogam beds, among which the endemic Mediterranean species Posidonia oceanica is particularly worthy of note.

Access is of course by boat and permits are required…. For visiting the area its best to ask at one of tourist information offices on the island of Ibiza

La Cúria is the main tourist information office

Plaça de la Catedral, s/n
Tel: +34 971 399 232
informacioturistica@eivissa.es

Opening hours

October to March:
Monday to Friday from 10am until 3 pm
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 10am until 2 pm

April, May, June and September:
Morning: Every day from 10am until 2 pm
Evening: Monday to Friday from 5 pm until 8 pm

July and August:
Morning: Every day from 10 am until 2 pm
Evening: Monday to Saturday from 6 pm until 9 pm


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S’Albufera de Mallorca Natural Park

  • Region: Islas Baleares.
  • Island: Mallorca
  • Declared a Natural Park: 1988.
  • Park surface area: 1,646 hectares.
  • Villages: Muro and Sa Pobla.

Points of interest

S’Albufera de Mallorca Natural Park is a Wetland Area of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention, and is included in the EU Natura 2000 Network both as a Special Protection Area (SPA) under the Birds Directive and a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) under the Habitats Directive. It is the largest and most important wetland area in the Balearic Islands. Made up mainly of wet grassland and marsh.

The origins of the wetland date back to ancient times, and its surface area and features have fluctuated with changing sea levels. While part of the grassland area developed during the Tertiary Era, the current wetlands were formed less than 100,000 years ago. The coastal dunes are considerably more recent, forming over the last 10,000 years or so.

Water is the basis of S’Albufera’s great biodiversity. Water and soil moisture allow vegetation to grow continuously, which varies depending on depth, proximity to the sea and the nature of the soil. The nature park gets most of its fresh water from streams. The influx of seawater in summer is not significant, but it has a significant effect on flora and fauna.

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Reed (Phragmites australis), rush edge (Cladium mariscus) and cob reed (Thypa spp.) dominate the vegetation. In the canals you can find aquatic plants such as the crested pondweed (Potamogeton pectinatus) and the rough horn leaf (Ceratophyllum demersum). Rushes (Juncus sp.) And samphire (Salicornia sp.) Grow in the salt water marsh. Among the tree species represented are the white poplar (Populus alba), the elm (Ulmus spp.) And the tamarisk (Tamarix sp.) are present.

The vegetation of the dunes is adapted to the harsh conditions of the environment, including the dune funnel-shaped daffodil (Pancratium maritimum), Peu de Milà, a Mediterranean species of the sparrow-tongue family (Thymelaea velutina), and the coastal juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus macrocarpa).

With a total of over 200 species there is also an enormous variety of mushrooms and funghi. One of them, Psathyrella halofila, was only discovered in S’Albufera in 1992.

As for the fauna, the river eel (Anguilla anguilla) and the mullet are particularly noteworthy among the fish. The Iberian water frog (Pelophylax perezi) and reptiles such as the viper (Natrix maura) and the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) are found in large numbers.

The total of 22 mammal species include rats, mice and several species of bats.

Invertebrates are also very diverse with many species of dragonflies, beetles and over 450 species of moths.

Over 300 different bird species have been observed in the area and around 60 are resident or species represented in summer that reproduce in the nature park. More than 10,000 birds overwinter in S’Albufera: ducks, herons and also large flocks of starlings. The nature park is an important stopover for many migratory birds, many of which are only guests for a few days, such as teal ducks, swallows … and even, sometimes, cranes.

Information/Visitors Centers

Can Bateman Interpretation Centre is open to the public from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm all the year, except for Christmas and New Year’s Day.

The visitor centre is close to the park entrance (6 KM southeast of Alcudia) but can only be reached by foot. The centre provides permits to visit the park and general information for the area and its Wildlife. there is an exhibition housed in the Can Bateman.

Can Bateman was built in 1870 which used to belong to Mr Bateman, one of the Englishmen with a license to reclaim land from the wetlands. Restored in 1991. The building once contained the pumps and machinery and was also used as a paper mill making paper from reeds.


The Grazalema Guide

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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


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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 over 90,000 hectares containing the whole of the Cabrera Archipelago and open water habitats, mainly over the Emile Baudot Escarpment which is prime habitat for many creatures, including whales, dolphins and turtles. It is located to 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.

Mediterranean expeditions with the Research Institute Alnitak

For a more immersive and hands-on experience, our friends Alnitak
invite volunteers on board their 9-day open water expeditions on
board the 110-year old ship Toftevaag
. On these voyages, they
regularly drop anchor in Cabrera, and spend many hours on the
water monitoring top pelagics such as turtles, cetaceans and tunas,
offering members of the public a unique experience showing how
marine conservation is conducted.


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.

The steep escarpment and deep sea corals are key habitats for
many species, and creatures such as sperm whales are regularly
sighted feeding in these waters.

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.

The deeper waters off the Emile Baudot escarpment, included in the
extended park, are key habitat for tunas, sharks, cetaceans and sea
turtles. Frequently sighted species are Risso’s dolphins and sperm
whales, marine mammals that dive to feed on deep sea squid.

Thisopen water ecosystem is an ideal “natural laboratory” to study these
top pelagic predators, and our friends at Alnitak have
been doing so for a few decades. (Their data was crucial in the
extension of the National Park).

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.

In terms of wildlife, there are strict rules and navigators aren’t allowed to approach protected species such as whales, dolphins and turtles. Please do not actively seek to interact with these as this can inadvertently alter the pristine natural behaviour that is key to preserving this special ecosystem.

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/