This may come as a surprise but the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands isn’t only about sun, sea and sand. There is of course ample opportunity to enjoy a pure unadulterated fly and flop getaway with a few nights out if you’re so inclined however, for those times when you want to re-connect with nature and experience the Mallorca of times gone by, before the introduction of man-made resorts, you’ll be in for a pleasant surprise. Here are several Mallorca nature parks where you can enjoy unspoilt flora and beautiful scenery.
Mallorca nature parks to visit
Cap der Formentor
The Formentor peninsula (map) lies in the north of Mallorca. This wild and rugged area has 300m high cliffs that plunge into the sea. Various trails lead to viewpoints (miradors) for incredible views of the cliffs and the sea below. The peninsula is easily reachable by car – a road leads to a lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula. There are numerous places to stop along the way for a hike along the trails.
Sa Dragonera Nature Reserve
Located off the mainland’s south west tip, the uninhabited island of Sa Dragonera (map) is one of the most picturesque parts of Mallorca. Dragonera Island is home to many species of plant life and an ancient subspecies of lizard. There are also many types of bird who call this island home from ospreys and kestrels to herring gulls and the Balearics biggest Eleanor falcon colony. At 6 kilometres long and in the shape of a dragon (hence the name!) you can get there yourself during the summer months by boat from Sant Elm.
Albufera National Park
Covering a huge 1,688 hectares of wetland in the north of the island (between Alcúdia and Can Picafort) the Parc Natural de S’Albufera (map) has been a protected area since 1988. The park is home to an array of birdlife (200 species in total) as well as plants, fish, reptiles and insects. No vehicles are allowed inside the park so nature is left undisturbed but visitors are able to wander or cycle through the parkland (just remember to bring a hat and insect repellent). Local buses stop at the park entrance and during peak season you can stay until 6pm soaking up the peace, tranquillity and natural beauty of this protected National Park.
Llevant Peninsula Nature Reserve
Back up in the northeast of Mallorca, the Llevant Peninsula Nature Reserve (map) was declared a national park in 2002 and proudly boasts an array of bird life, untouched beaches and perhaps most interestingly; numerous Mediterranean tortoise colonies. Some areas of the Nature Reserve are privately owned but the public areas offer a number of walking trails with various accommodation options, including a camp site. This is an ideal option for those on a budget since the weather in Mallorca is known for being warm and dry (although do check out the weather forecast in Mallorca before you book!).
Of course, holidays are a time to relax, but given that these areas are protected from as much human interference as possible, where better to come and unwind for a few hours with the sun on your face and some of the region’s most picturesque natural beauty at your feet?
Read other Velvet Escape posts on Mallorca:
- A Stroll Through Palma de Mallorca
- The splendid architecture of Palma de Mallorca
- Plane Views: The Fields of Mallorca