© Ilona Antina Photography
© Jose Rains
© Amfibis i reptils
Sa Dragonera Natural Park, Mallorca
This uninhabited island off Mallorca's western tip was the focus for a turning point in Mallorcan history in 1977, when it was occupied by environmentalists protesting against a planned tourist development. The campaigners won, the island became a nature reserve instead, the seabirds survived, and for the first time the authorities realised that mass tourism had reached its limit.
Located just off the south-western coast of Mallorca, Sa Dragonera is separated from the main island by a small channel. Six kilometres long and crowned by an ancient watchtower, Sa Dragonera takes its name from its shape, said to resemble a dragon.
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.
The closest place to stay is Sant Elm or Port d'Andratx.
The Park is open to visitors all year round, from 10:00 to 17:00 between 1st April and 30th September, and from 10:00 to 14:30 during the rest of the year.
Read about a Family Trip to Sa Dragonera.
- "Sa Dragonera is not to be missed. An insignificant looking island out from St Elm, it's an absolute gem. Ferry across and opt to spend between an hour and half a day walking around the island. There are four well marked walks of varying times, but the major attraction is the hundreds of lizards on the island and the crystal clear waters in the bays. Make sure you take where and any good you might require because there's nothing on offer, but particularly pack your swimming togs. The water is clear, warm and safe.." - Trip Advisor
- "Unique stop off by boat. Highly recommended for an alternative day out, rich in history, lots of reference points and information + an abundance of lizards!" - Trip Advisor
- "We had an amazing day! We've never experienced something like that. Hundreds of tiny lizard running from under our feet with every step we took :) So much fun! The whole island is an amazing experience. Beautiful views and a bit of a Jurassic Park atmosphere. There is a few tracks that you can follow. To get there you have to take a short boat trip from St Elm. We've booked our next holidays in Majorca already and definitely will go back to see some more of the little dragons! If you're starting your trip from Palma I would recommend an earliest bus to Port d'Andratx, breakfast there in Cappuccino and a walk along the water and then a short bus journey to St Elm. Makes a lovely day trip full of adventures!" - Trip Advisor
You can visit in summer by boat from Sant Elm (at least every hour) or there are daily boat trips from Santa Ponsa and Peguera and Port Andratx (take a look at our Boat Trips Page).
Sant Elm, Mallorca