The island of Cabrera in Majorca
Located around twenty-eight nautical miles from Palma de Mallorca (51,86 km), the island of Cabrera has become a must visit for sailors who come year after year to rent recreational crafts. Since it is a protected National Park and a pilgrimage site for lots of vessels, all activities carried out in the island have been regulated and a permit is required for almost anything.
The most attractive activity on the island for those who will enjoy renting a sailing boat in Majorca is anchoring at night. Currently, this is not allowed on the island. It is only possible with a permit that has to be requested online with a maximum of 20 days before the estimated date.
The number of daily anchorages goes up to a maximum of fifty (divided as well by length) with a total allowance of two nights in July and August and seven nights the rest of the year which can be taken up from 18h to 17h of the following day.
For beginners, the best option would be to consult the rental company, as it usually takes charge of the permits and facilitate the process. Information about the boat’s owner and skipper are previously required, as well as the boat’s information, name, number registration plate and brand. The cost of the permit varies depending on the low and high season, going from 7€-12€ in the winter and 15€-25€ in the summer…it is a bargain taking into account all the possibilities it offers, especially if we compare the port charges at the height of the season.
In spite of just being sixteen square kilometers, Cabrera has become since 1991 a Maritime-Terrestrial National Park. For this reason, it is a privileged and protected area for wide native terrestrial and marine fauna and flora that share their space with lots of tourists, disembarking to discover a paradise that had also been hell in the past. In the early 19th century Cabrera was an open air prison for more than seven thousand French soldiers who were condemned to live in the island after the Battle of Bailen. There is only a monolith in memory of such a brutality.
Its crystal water, its caves (Cova Blava is a must), its Posidonia meadows and the great number of sunken classic period boats (wreckage) are also worth an underwater visit (permits are also required for diving).
One of them departs from the landing pier, where there is a path that takes us to a small beach. From there, there is a turning on the left that takes us directly to the castle. In the 13th and 14th centuries the island was used as a base for Berber pirates to attack Majorca. The castle, built in the late 14th century, facilitated the surveillance of the waters of Majorca nearby Cabrera.
The Ensiola lighthouse dates from 1870. The itinerary is long and complicated. It is around eleven kilometers and it is quite uneven, but the reward of getting lost and staring at the horizon for some minutes is more than worth it.
It is also possible to go for a 1.5 km excursion to the archaeological area “el Pla de ses Figueres”, where we will find evidence of the French soldiers’ camps, a Byzantine necropolis and salt deposits for the salting of fish. This visits help us have an idea of the different uses of the island throughout its history. A 3 km visit to the museum, passing by the soldiers monument, the botanical garden, an ethnographic museum (where there is an exhibition named “Mand and Nature in Cabrera”), the houses and the Can Feliu orchard are other options for those who want to know more about this wonderful island, which is no doubt another incredible place that make of Majorca one of the best destinations in the world to sail on a sailboat.