Our neighbor, Sa Dragonera

April 13, 2016
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Mallorca is lucky enough to be surrounded by small virgin islands that are fortunately protected to preserve their true essence of the wild. One of these islands is Sa Dragonera, a small island located west of Mallorca that also hold the title of Parque Natural (Natural Park). The etymology of its name is not too clear, but it is believed to come from the Latin term Traconaria, meaning ¨cleft in the earth¨, referring to the breakdown of freshwater that exists in a cave on the island. This theory ignores the popular belief or knowledge that the name comes from the massive presence of dragons and lizards native to the Balearic islands. It is true, these curious animals live on the island, visitors sensitive to the presence of reptiles will have a hard time walking around their lands.

Sa Dragonera is about 3km long and half a kilometer wide. The highest point of the island is known as peak Na Pòpia, which is about 360 meters high and stands on a very steep terrain. The closest Majorcan towns to this small island are Santelm and port d´Andratx, both belong to the municipality of Calvia. Both also form part of the towns of the Serra de Tramuntana, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. These towns are located about 800 meters away and form a channel in which there is an underwater forest, a Posidonia Oceanica, which is a refuge for marine species of the Mallorcan coast. It is from these two locations where by excursions, the island of Sa Dragonera can be reached by boat.

The Natural Park consists of two small islets called Pantaleu and La Mitjana, apart from island Dragonera itself of course. The set of islands was bought by the Consell of Mallorca in 1987. The Natural Park breathes beauty and freedom.

In the year 1580, the tower of Na Pòpia was built. There is currently no evidence of that left however because in its place construction took place and a lighthouse was built. This lighthouse is called the Far de Llebeig, it served as a watchtower against the many pirate attacks that Balearic Islands suffered over the centuries.

We can also admire the Far de Cap de Tramuntana, from which there is the most superb view of Es Freu, La Trappe, and Punta Fabioler.

It is worth the excursion, true, but you should compare prices very thoroughly considering that they vary inordinately. When you contract the tour, the trip from Mallorca is usually included (there are even some excursions that start in Santa Ponça and last about 5 hours), but the common thing to do is to start the excursion from Santelm. In addition, if you make the excursion with a tourist guide (which is the best thing to do) you will have the opportunity of selecting the route you want to take once you get to the Draconian land.

What: Boat trips to the island Sa Dragonera.

When: from Tuesday to Saturday from 10h to 20h; Sundays from 10h to 15h. Mondays; closed.

How much: starting from 25 Euros per adult and about 13 Euros per child (prices vary according to the company you choose).

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