Mondragó Natural ParkThe Mondragó Natural Park is located in one of the areas with the richest bird life in Mallorca. It has a great variety of landscapes, such as winding river torrents which flow out into beautiful beaches and oak woods with an abundance of orchids.
This Natural Area of Special Interest is in the south-east of Mallorca, in the municipal district of Santanyí. It was designated a Natural Park in 1992 and since 1995 it has been regarded as an 'Area of Special Protection for Birds' by the European governing body; not in vain, since more than seventy species have been recorded in the park, most of them migratory birds and those typical of marshland areas.
The zone is made up of horizontal strata of calcareous sands which formed part of the reefs during the Miocene Period. The park has a surface area of 785 hectares and is 57 metres at its highest point.
It has a great variety of landscapes. Along the coastline are ravines carved out by winding river torrents which culminate in beautiful beaches with small dune systems; there are also cliffs; and marshlands with a vegetation of reed beds and rushes, such as those at the coves of S'Amarador and ses Fonts de n'Alis. Inland, however, there are oak woods with numerous orchids. © www.illesbalears.es
Great diversity of birdsThe park is home to a great variety of birds. At any point along the coast it is easy to sight shags or Audouin's gulls, and from time to time, ospreys land near the lagoons.
Apart from its ecological value, Mondragó is interesting from the ethnological point of view. In the past, part of the park was used for agriculture and livestock farming, and bearing witness to this are the barraques de roter, small buildings of dry stone which were used as dwellings and rest places for animals; the barraques de curucull, used for keeping cattle; or the sínies, which served to extract the underground water with which they used to water the crops.
Visitors can follow different itineraries in the park, on foot or by bicycle, and enjoy the different ecosystems. © www.illesbalears.es
The Drach Caves in Porto CristoThe Drach caves are some of the largest of the island, thanks to their nearly 2,400 metres of length and a maximum depth of 25 metres under the sea.
The Drach Caves are actually four caves connected to each other called the French caves, Louis Salvador, the White Cave and the Black Cave. They are formed by the entrance of seawater and it is believed they date from the Miocene period.
Inside them is one of the world?s largest underground bodies of water, Martel Lake, which measures 117 metres long by 30 metres wide. The lake has a temperature of 17°C and is slightly salty: proof of its connection with the Mediterranean Sea. Classical music concerts featuring works by Caballero, Chopin and Offenbach, among others, are offered on a daily basis.
After the concert, visitors can enjoy a brief boat ride on the lake to conclude the approximately one-hour visit, if they wish. Wondrous, illuminated stalactites and stalagmites can be admired during the tour of the cave thanks to the work of engineer Carlos Buigás in 1935. © www.illesbalears.es
Inaguration of Cabrera Interpretation CentreThe National Maritime-Terrestrial Park of Cabrera is interpretation centre is located in the Colònia de Sant Jordi in the municipality of Ses Salines
Although the sub-archipelago of Cabrera belongs to the city of Palma administratively speaking, its geographic proximity to Colònia de Sant Jordi makes the latter the logical place for the park?s interpretation centre, since boats to the park also leave from Mallorca?s southern zone (Portopetro and Colònia de Sant Jordi). The interpretation centre allows visitors to garner first-hand knowledge of the wealth of nature that makes this island deserve the maximum protection. Because of the park?s fragile environment and so as not to disturb the peace and quiet of its different species, visits are only allowed in the environs of the port of Cabrera, which is why the interpretation centre is an excellent opportunity to understand its values better. Aquariums display the different species that can be found in the surrounding waters and another section introduces its terrestrial medium. These contents are framed by Mediterranean history and culture on display in facilities whose main building is inspired by the megalithic talayotic constructions of the islands of Mallorca and Menorca. © www.illesbalears.es