Tag Archives: Balearics Natural Parks

Península del Llevant Natural Park

  • Region: Islas Baleares.
  • Island / Towns : Mallorca / Artá, Capdepera, Son Cervera
  • Declared a Natural Park: 2001
  • Park surface area:1671 hectares.

Points of interest

The Península del Llevant Natural Park includes almost the entire Artá ​​peninsula, in the municipalities of Artá, Capdepera and Son Servera including smaller areas of San Lorenzo del Cardezar, Manacor and Santa Margarita.

The area forms part of the European Union’s Natura 2000 Network as both an Area of Special Protection for Birds and a Site of Community Interest.

The current appearance of this land is the result of centuries of human interaction. Scrubland was repeatedly burned thus favoring the species resistent to forest fire such as Mauritanian grass (Ampelodesmos mauritanica) and the European fan palm (Chamaerops humilis). As a result, today Mauritanian grass covers a greater part of the park in areas that were once covered with trees and other plantlife. (The abundance of the fan palm gave rise to the widespread development of palm-based craftwork in the late 19th century. There are still a few craftsfolk in the area).

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The park’s fauna include populations of Hermann’s tortoise (Testudo hermanni), Algerian hedgehog (Atelerix algirus), genet (Geneta geneta), pine marten (Martes martes) and the Balearic green toad (Bufo balearicus).

Look out for booted eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus), peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii), European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) and the Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus). Red kite (Milvus milvus) have been successfully reintroduced to the area

Information/Visitors Centers

Centre d’Informació de s’Alqueria Vella de Baix

Information centre and Natural Park office: S’Alqueria Vella de Baix.

Take the road from Artà towards the hermitage “Ermita de Betlem” (Ma-3333) and turn right at kilometre 4,7.
Opening times: (Monday to Sunday) from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Web: https://en.balearsnatura.com/parque_natural/parque-natural-de-la-peninsula-de-llevant/

If you want to stay in one of the shelters (Alzina, Oguers and Arenalet), then you need to reserve in advance on the website below or you can try calling 971177652 (Monday to Friday from 10am to 14 pm). The website is in Spanish and Catalan http://www.caib.es/sites/espaisnaturalsprotegits/es/informacion_general_y_reservas-22820/


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/

Cala Mondragón Natural Park

  • Region: Islas Baleares.
  • Island / Town: Mallorca / Santanyí.
  • Declared a Natural Park: 1992.
  • Park surface area: 750 hectares.

Points of interest

With its formations of cliffs and vegetation of pine, scrub and traditional cultivation the Mondragón Natural Park (in Mallorcan, Parc Natural de Mondragó) is one of the most visited Natural Parks on the island of Mallorca. (Perhaps due to the easily accseible beach which does bring into question the level of protection for the area). It is also a Natural Area of Special Interest (ISNA) and is part of the Natura 2000 network as a Special Protection Area (SPA). Most of the park is located on privately owned farmland apart from around 90 hectares owned by the state.

Birdlife is well represented in the area, with more than seventy species documented, many of them migratory. The park is a refuge for stone curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus), wood pigeon (Columba palumbus), turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur), kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), hoopoe (Upupa epops) and many other smaller birds including great tit (Parus major) and warblers (Sylvia sp).

With the exception of its beaches, the rocky cliff-lined coast is an ideal nesting ground for peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). Also found here is the European shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) and the Audouin’s gull (Larus audouinii).

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Mammals present include hedgehog , weasel, stone marten, genet, field mouse, common dormouse, rabbit and hare.

Both the rocky landscapes and the many dry stone walls are favourite resting spots for certain reptile species, including the Moorish gecko (Tarentola mauritanica) and false smooth snake (Macroprotodon mauritanicus). In the “garrigue” The Hermann’s tortoise (Testudo hermanni) is present and some hundreds of specimens have been reintroduced in recent decades.

The park can be seperated into distinct areas

Garrigue

This is the dominant vegetation in the park. It is characterized by the presence of a variety of shrubs such as rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus), lavender (Lavandula dentata ), rock and sun roses (Cistus albidus, Cistus monspeliensis ) and heather (Erica multiflora ). Among the trees wild olive (Olea europaea var.sylvestris ) and juniper (Juniperus phoenicea ) are present.

Wetlands

Two brackish ponds are formed at the end of the S’Amarador streams and the fountain, Font de n’Alis. Inhabiting these pools are the common reed (Phragmites australis), the spiny rush (Juncus acutus) and the statice (Limonium sp.).

Occasionally found here are mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), common moorhens (Gallinula chloropus), common coots (Fulica atra), and herons (Egretta garzetta and Ardea cinerea). The ponds are also the home of the viperine snake (Natrix maura) and the Iberian marsh frog (Rana perezi).

The fish commonly seen here include the mullet (Mugil cephalus), the mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) and eel (Anguilla anguilla).

Dune vegetation

On the beach of s’Amarador plantlife is made up of sea thistle (Eryngium maritimun), sea lily (Pancratium maritimum) and sand grass (Elymus farctus).

Rocky coast vegetation

On the rocky coast, vegetation is specific to its environment of extreme conditions such salt, strong winds, and the lack of soil. Look for sea fennel (Crithnum maritimum ), limonium (Limonium minutum), and the endemic Launaea cervicornis.

The orchid family is also well represented in the area. In the autumn look out for Spirantes spiralis and during winter sombre bee-orchid (Ophys fusca) and the giant orchid (Himantoglossum robertianum). During the spring see if you can find orchids such as the sawfly orchid(Ophrys tenthredinifera ), pyramidal orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) and the Balearic bee orchid (Ophrys balearica) which is endemic to the Balearic Islands.

Information/Visitors Centers in the Cala Mondragón Natural Park

The Cala Mondragón Natural Park information centre and the shop are located near the Ses Fonts de n’Alis parking area.

At the time of writing parking in the area is not free and is managed by a local organisation.

Website: https://en.balearsnatura.com/parque_natural/parque-natural-de-mondrago/


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/

S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park

  • Region: Islas Baleares.
  • Island / Town: Menorca / Es Grau
  • Declared a Natural Park: 1995 and expanded in 2003.
  • Park surface area: 5000 hectares.

Points of interest

S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park is located in the northeastern part of the island of Menorca close to the town of Es Grau and the beach of the same name (Playa del Grau). Access is via the PMV-7102 road from Es Grau and the PM-715 main road from Cabo de Favàritx.

In 2003 the Park’s limits were expanded to cover a total surface area of over 5000 hectares which also offers protection to the five islets of Addaia, s’Estany, Bassa de Morella, es Prat and the Illa d’en Colom. The Park forms part of the Natura 2000 Network and the lagoon is the nucleus of the Biosphere Reserve.

This protected natural environment includes some very diverse habitats with varying degrees of human intervention such as wetlands, agricultural and livestock areas, forests, a coastline of cliffs and beaches, islets and a marine environment. The lagoon is separated from the Mediterranean sea by sand dunes and is fed by three streams.

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Flora and fauna in the S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park

Except for the wetlands and the coastal strip, wild olive (Olea europaea var. sylvestris) is predominant and is accompanied by mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus), privet (Phillyrea media) and tree spurge (Euphorbia dendroides). There are also a few small stands of holms oak.

The beaches hold well-developed dune vegetation, and the rocky coastline features the locally known socarrells, thorny pincushion-like shrubs that are shaped by the splashing sea and the wind.

In the summer months the three streams feeding the lagoon stop flowing and seawater enters. This results in different salt contents in the soil which has an influence on the some 200 odd plant species present.

The wetlands of s’Albufera des Grau, which are less influenced by salt water, are populated by various grasses such as rushes, reeds, grasses and cattails .

There are many bird species found in the area include mallard, coot, little grebe, bittern, stilt and reed warbler. Migratory birds such as cormorants, grey heron and teal pass through. Shoveler duck and pochards also winter in the area.

Among the reptiles and amphibians that live in the Park, mention must be made of the Balearic wall lizard (Podarcis lilfordi), which is endemic to both Majorca and Minorca and found exclusively on the islets, where it has diversified, gradually evolving into different subspecies. There are also other interesting species such as the Balearic green toad, the European tree frog, the land and sea tortoises, the Italian wall lizard, the false smooth snake and the ladder snake.

Information/Visitors Centers

The Rodríguez Femenías Interpretation Center

Address: Ctra. de Maó a es Grau, km 3.5

The wealth of the natural park is summarized in the Rodríguez Femenías Interpretation Center. Here you will find a permanent exhibition reflecting all the different areas of the park: wetlands, cultivated fields, forests, cliffs, beaches, rocky islands and the wildlife in the area.

From here you will be able to access the two bird observatories and also the three self-guided routes of La Gola, Santa Madrona and LLimpa. (You can also book the very popular guided tours which last for around two hours (maximum of 20 people).

Web: https://en.balearsnatura.com/parque_natural/parque-natural-de-salbufera-des-grau/


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/

Sa Dragonera Natural Park

  • Region: Islas Baleares.
  • Island / Town: Mallorca (Andratx).
  • Declared a Natural Park: 1995.
  • Park surface area: hectares: 274 hectares.

Points of interest

Sa Dragonera Natural Park is made up of three islets, Illot des Pantaleu, Sa Mitjana and Sa Dragonera. With a land surface of 274 hectares, the entire Park, along with a considerable marine area, has been declared a Site of Community Importance (SCI) and an Area of Special Protection for Birds and is also part of the Natura 2000 Network. The island is located just off the south-western coast of Mallorca. The island is separated from Mallorca by a narrow channel of 800 m .

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This uninhabited island off Mallorca’s western tip was the focus for a turning point in environmental protection. In 1977 it was occupied by environmentalists protesting against a planned tourist development. The campaigners won and the island has been protected ever since along with the nearby islets of Pantaleu and Isla Mediana.

“Made up of three islets, Illot des Pantaleu, Sa Mitjana and Sa Dragonera, it is home to 361 different plant species, 18 of which are endemic to the Balearics. The park’s fauna is another of its most interesting aspects. Particularly worthy of note is the wall lizard population, an endemic subspecies that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, as well as the particular snail species, which is also endemic to the Balearic Islands.

The Park’s list of catalogued seafaring birds is extensive and includes the Audouin’s gull and the Balearic shearwater, one of the few birds that are endemic to the Balearic Islands. Sa Dragonera also boasts the largest Eleonora’s falcon population in the archipelago.

As to the mammals, the bats are the park’s only naturally existing group and include at least 5 species, some of which are migrant. The waters and marine floor are included in the park’s area of marine influence, which contains a well-conserved array of underwater ecosystems representative of the western Mediterranean. Particularly worthy of note for their diversity are the Posidonia oceanica prairies, a refuge for countless marine species and coral communities.”

For more information including trips and excursions to the protected islands of mallorca have a look at the the excellent website of See Mallorca.
https://www.seemallorca.com/sights/reserves/sa-dragonera-natural-park-mallorca

Above image wikipedia and by Ingo Mehling – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7645810


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/