This island was on our “must do” list when researching the area, and it was great to be able to share it with our guests, Debs and Martin. Declared a national park in 1991 it is highly protected and sensitive area with many rare plants and animals, and a long and diverse history. Here are a few photos of this special place.
This island lies off the south east tip of Mallorca and requires a permit to visit. Mooring buoys must also be booked in advance. With the Mistral blowing we had a very fast crossing from Mallorca with the Parasailor up, although the swell made it a little bumpy. Cabrera is a rugged and hilly island with a couple of sheltered anchorages, only one of which is available overnight. As we approached, the 14th Century Castel on Punta de sa Creveta was visible rising out of the rough hewn rock around it, just asking for a starring role in “Game of Thrones”. The wide harbour was relatively sheltered, although still getting a little bit of a rolly swell. There is very little on the island itself, although it is well groomed and maintained. We walked up to the Castel which has great views of the bay and then around to the other side of the anchorage, over a saddle to see the spectacular lighthouse with a switchback road leading up to it. We saw plenty of the “rare” black lizards basking in the sun and as a bonus, salvaged a nice, blue fender to add to our growing collection!
The Island has a long history as a strategic outpost for traders going back to Greek and Phonecian times, and of course the Romans have also been here. It was the Romans who apparently left the goats on the island as food for shipwrecked sailors, giving the island its name; the bay still holds at least 3 shipwrecks from ancient times which are ongoing achaelogical sites. The museum on Cabrera, housed in a former winery, is well worth a visit. It holds some of the relics recoved from the wrecks, including large ceramic vessels and lead bricks which were used as a trading currency. At one time the island was a reluctant home to 9,000 (!) French prisoners of the Napoleonic wars, who were abandoned here by their Spanish captors as no one else wanted to house and feed them. Many did not survive, although a few escaped and there is a small memorial here as well.
There is a Cueva Azul (or blue cave) on the island but sadly the conditions were too rough for us to visit it. Will need to put that on the list for the return trip.