Sa Dragonera island was proclaimed Natural Park on January 26, 1995. It became a model of the defence of nature in Mallorca, after 20 years of popular claims and fight against its development carried out by ecologist groups leaded by GOB. A boat called “Margarita” does regular connections along the day between Sa Dragonera and Mallorca, from Sant Elm. It takes 20 minutes to cross the 780 m of Es Freu channel. Bookings can be made calling at the number +34 639 617 545 or +34 696 423 933. From Port d´Andratx leave boats as well to Sa Dragonera Island.
It is 2,88 hectares big and it is 3700 metres long. Its highest hill is Far Vell hill (353 m). On the west coast there are spectacular cliffs that can be up to 300 m high. The eastern part goes down smoothly towards coves and Cala Lledó natural port, where information on Sa Dragonera is displayed in the visitor´s centre. Other islets are also part of the Natural Park. These are Es Pantaleu, 170 metres away from the Sant Elm beach; and Els Calafats, 60 metres away from Sa dragonera.
The vegetation is adapted to the shortage of water and soil, the effect of the marine salt and human intervention up to the 70´s. Seabirds, birds of prey and migratory birds are the most characteristic wildlife in Sa Dragonera. Small reptiles like an endemic lizard subspecies and the common lizard. The auchtocthonous mammals are represented by four different species of bats and the “mular” dolphin, a 2-3 metres long species that usually approaches the coast.
Throughout history there has been human activity in Sa Dragonera, basically due to its resources, and quite conditioned by saracen pirate raids, who used the island as a platform to attack the mallorcan coasts. Llebeig tower, built in 1585 to avoid boats entry in Llebeig beach, is a vestige of that time. In the Middle Ages the peregrine falcon was much valued in the North-East Mediterranean for its excellent hunting skills. Its exploitation depended on Barcelona Bishops´ barony. The “orxella” (Rocella phycopsis) is a lichen that grows on the rocks over the cliffs, and has healing properties, but it was formerly mainly appreciated for the elaboration of a purple dye. Human presence meant the exploitation of wood and garballó´s (small palm tree) leaves, used to make baskets. Rainwater collection involved the construction of several devices in a semiarid island where the only reserve of water is in Cova del Moro or Sa Font, near Cala Lledó.
With Cala Lledó as a starting point, there are three different walking tracks, well signposted:
Track 1: Cala Lledó – Llebeig lighthouse
Distance: 4532 m
Max. height 121 m
Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
This trail runs along a well preserved path, easy to follow up to the tip south of Sa Dragonera, where stands Llebeig lighthouse, built in 1910.
Track 2: Cala Lledó – Vell (old) or Na Pòpia lighthouse
Distance: 3840 m
Max. height 352 m
Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
To get to the trail that leads to Vell lighthouse -built in 1850-, we must walk about 400 m to Llebeig lighthouse and then take a narrow and rocky path which goes up a remarkable slope. Walking shoes are recommended.
Track 3: Cala Lledó – Tramuntana lighthouse
Distance: 4532 m
Max. height 65 m
Time: 30 minutes
This trail runs along a well preserved path, easy to follow up to the tip north of Sa Dragonera, where stands Tramuntana lighthouse, built in 1910.