10 km to the south of Cabo Salines is the Cabrera archipelago, designated a Maritime-Land National Park. The first attraction of a visit to it begins with the crossing, sailing between a variety of different shaped islets and in the company of dolphins and seagulls.
The Cabrera archipelago separated from Majorca some 15,000 years ago. It is formed by a main island, Cabrera, and 18 islets; the first one to come into sight is Na Foradada, a flat mass with vertical walls. The island of Cabrera, with a small harbour where the golondrinas or pleasure boats moor, has a surface area of 1,569 hectares and is a succession of cliffs, coves, headlands, sandy beaches and beautiful caves along the coastline. The most spectacular is Sa Cova Blava, with an enigmatic natural composition of light and colour.
Cabrera is also an important ecosystem for the fauna and flora. There are more than 450 plant species and it is a strategic point for many birds during their migration. The most diverse colonies of the Western Mediterranean are found here, with the special presence of Eleonora’s falcons, which are easy to localise around these islets. The land fauna is dominated by the 10 sub-species of lizards which inhabit it.
Concentration camp for French prisoners
Its history is not without some curious episodes. During the 1st to 6th Centuries, there was a colony of Romans here who produced garum, a substance made with fish gut which they added as a condiment to certain dishes and which, it seems, was an aphrodisiac. In the park’s Museum, installed in a building dating from the late 19th Century, you can see the remains of the ceramics which have been found.
Its castle, built in the 14th Century, was used as a concentration camp for 9,000 French prisoners after the battle of Bailén. Between 1809 and 1811 they began to arrive on the island in groups; the most numerous was formed by 4,000 men, who were held prisoner for five years; only 3,600 of them survived. According to legend, there was also a monastery inhabited by rebel monks who danced naked on the beach.