When you visit Cabrera, which is located face to face with Mallorca's Southern coast, and its lonely beaches, you really will feel like Robinson Crusoe. Cabrera, also known as the 'Goat Island' was once a haven for pirates and also served as a prisoner of war camp during the Napoleonic Wars . Approximately 9,000 prisoners were sent to Cabrera yet only around 3,600 survived.
This tiny island, which measures just 6.5 x 5 km in size, is the largest of a small archipelago of 19 islands lying off the eastern coast of Mallorca and was declared a natural reserve in 1991. Islands in the archipelago include:
- Estells de Fora
- Illa de ses Bledes
- Na Redona
- Conills - the second largest
- Na Plana
- Illot Pla
- Na Pobra
- Na Foradada - which contains one of the archipelago's 3 lighthouses
The entire island is a designated national park (Parque Nacional del Archipiélago de Cabrera) and access is stricly controlled by the Spanish National Institute for the Conservation of Nature due to the fact that there are more than 450 species of plants and 130 species of birds present. Some of the most important breeds of birds that reside here include the Balearic shearwater, the Audouin's gull, the Cory's shearwater and the Shag and also birds of prey including the Osprey, the Eleonora's Falcon and the The Peregrine Falcon.
Only a small area around Puerto de Cabrera, is open for tourism and there is a daily excursion by boat that can be taken from the coastal town of Colonia de Sant Jordi (See below). The number of people who can visit in one day is limited to just 200 people, 300 in August. Visiting with your own boat is only possible with a special permit and an additional permit is required to anchor there for the night. Access to the island by boat is also limited to just 50 per day. Cabrera is also a divers haven with 2 designated spots, Cala Galiota and Es Dimoni but again is only possible with a special permit. Sports fishing is prohibited as is hunting or the collection of natural resources such as minerals.
Cabrera Visitor Centre
The visitor centre educates about the main aspects of the natural environment of the archipelago through videos and interactive displays, allowing visitors to learn more about geology, flora and fauna of the island. There are also different aquariums that simulate an immersion in its waters to demonstrate the great diversity of its marine environment. Admission is free and visiting hours are 10 am to 2.30 pm and 3.30 to 6 p.m. Visitors can choose between a guided tour or a self-guided visit.
For more information:
Centre d'Interpretació Ses Salines
C/ Gabriel Roca, s/n
07638 Colònia de Sant Jordi
Tel: 971 656 282