Travel Report Mallorca: 2×5 Days Phototrip in Jan and Mar 2019
2 x 5 Days on Tour in Mallorca, our itinerary:
What you should think about prior departure to Mallorca
Local currency: Euro. For payments or cash withdrawals, you can use your credit card anywhere in the country
Vaccinations: Coming from Germany, no vaccinations are required. However, it recommends the standard vaccinations, see suggestions Foreign Office.
Luggage: If you arrive by plane, you should only pay attention to the weight limit of the airline. Otherwise unproblematic, also with regard to the photo luggage.
Clothing: In winter / spring it can be quite fresh. That’s why we packed warm clothes according to the well-known “onion principle”. Additionally the hiking boots.
Traveldetails Mallorca, recommended places for great wildlife- and nature photography
Most will ask: “Wildlife and Nature photography on Mallorca? What’s there really to photograph?” Everyone knows the island as a sunny island, with beautiful beaches and the “Ballermann”. But very few have ever looked at the parks or know that the Parc Natural de S’Albufeira de Mallorca is a bird sanctuary, where there are free-living cattle, Mustangs and a whole range of rare birds. All this in the middle of one of the largest holiday homes (Bay of Alcudia and Cala Ratjada) in the east of the island.
We went twice in spring for a short trip on the island, once in January and once in March, to see some of the most beautiful places during these less touristic months. Of course, the island offers much more, so this report covers the northern part of the island from Puerto d’Andratx to Cap Formentor. A route that can easily be explored by car in 2-3 days. In the summer we advise against this tour, as routes are partially overloaded (traffic jam) or completely blocked (Cap Formentor). In the following report we give you a brief description of each destination we visit. How you approach the places – in which order – is best determined by yourself.
Natural Park of s’Albufeira de Mallorca: s’Albufera, whose name is derived from the Arabic word for lagoon “al-buhayra”, refers to the wetland of a silted-up lake dotted by dunes from the sea at the Badia d ‘ Alcúdia (“Bay of Alcúdia”) was separated. The remaining wetland of about 1650 hectares was declared a nature reserve in 1988. It is almost entirely in the municipality of Muro, only a small part in the northwest belongs to Sa Pobla. You drive to Alcudia and then follow the signs. At a small roundabout is the parking (attention, here are a maximum of 10 parking lots!) And from the parking lot you have to walk about 1km to the entrance.
The path is very nice, as it leads along a river (be careful, there might be mosquitoes!). The entrance to the park is free, but you have to register. The paths are all not very far (a maximum of 5km round trip) and there are a number of shelters from which you can watch the birds and other animals hidden. A little tip: take time, food and drink and go there in the cooler hours of the day. You also need patience. All in all, we were more than amazed to find this little paradise so close to a holidaymakers stronghold. From the hustle and bustle outside the park nothing is felt. During the walk you will also see free-living cattle and horses, who enjoy an undisturbed existence here.
Definitely take a strong telephoto lens. Although it is quite close to the birds, but for the really good shots at least 300mm are required. A tripod is not necessary, as you can lie down the camera in the shelters. A “bean bag” or other pad to rest on, however, are definitely helpful. I had enough range with the Nikon D500 and the Tamron 150-600mm and I can recommend this combo to anyone who does not necessarily want to take the large equipment with them for a Majorcan vacation. Since most of the shots take place with enough light, the low aperture of the lens is also easy to handle.
Estellencs: Cyclists know Estellencs, because in spring many of them meet on this beautiful mountain tour. The eponymous village Estellencs, has 226 inhabitants. The town is located northwest of the capital Palma on the coastal road Ma-10 from Andratx to Sóller. Shortly before the village you come to a restaurant with one of the most beautiful viewing terraces of the island (but only during the day really worth the look).
Son Marroig: On the way to Estellencs you just have to follow the road and then inevitably come to Son Marroig, or past it (watch out for the exit to the car park). This old mansion is worth a visit. For years we went there, but literally ignored the museum and now visited it for the first time. Originally owned by the Austrian Archduke Ludwig Salvator, since 1928 a museum has been housed there with pieces belonging to Ludwig Salvator, including historic furniture, ceramics and Mallorcan paintings from the 17th to the 19th century. You can plan a good hour here.
If possible, drive there in the morning or in the late afternoon. During the day the light is just too strong in good weather and the beautiful blue of the sky is not really good even with filters. In addition, there are then fewer visitors and you have the opportunity to photograph “without people” in the pictures.
Torrent de Parais: To get there is a decent “driving hazzle with many turns” and you should not try a big car if you want to spare your nerves. The Torrent de Pareis is a not constantly water-bearing torrent (Torrent) through a gorge. It is located on the northwest coast of the island in the mountains of the Serra de Tramuntana and flows into the Mediterranean on the bay of Sa Calobra (Cala de Sa Calobra). It is a popular hiking destination (you can hike from the top to the sea), but most people drive to the estuary and then run into the gorge (do not forget the cell phone torch, you have to go through a tunnel that is sometimes less lit). In the gorge itself, you should look up from time to time. Not only because of the steep walls, but also because otherwise you could miss one of the free-living goats climbing in the trees.
Cap Formentor: is the eastern end of Mallorca and at the same time the northernmost point. The Mallorcans call the peninsula meeting place of the winds. The northernmost tip of the Mallorcan world has bizarrely shaped by wind and water. The staircases, walls, paths and the lighthouse at Cap de Formentor were built on the rocks in 1892 in a step-by-step and stumbling way. You can do very nice some short hikes or just enjoy the ride on the mountain road. Not in the summer though. Here, the street is recently closed because of “overcrowding” and set up a bus service. So better to visit in spring or fall.
Camp de Mar: From here there are some beautiful trails to Paguera or Cala Fornells, where you can also visit the Torre and have a beautiful panoramic view of the bays. Or you walk in the other direction to Puerto d’Andratx (6km), where you can relax in the harbor. For those who want a photographic challenge, I can only recommend the pond on the golf course. Here – of course, completely undisturbed, except for a few golfers – some rare bird species (such as the black redstart or the little grebe) have settled in and every now and then you see a wild rabbit or an eagle.
But you should ask for permission before you make your way to the pond, unless you live in the adjacent Hotel Steigenberger. Here you have direct access, although not “official” 🙂
Puerto d’Andratx: The harbor attracts with many good, but sometimes very expensive restaurants. At the same time it is one of the classics to watch the sunset on the island and drink a wine or cocktail. Here you can experience fantastic sunsets directly from the Quay road, or from one of the restaurants. Ideal at the end of the day to watch the fishing boats entering the harbor just before sunset.
Palma de Mallorca: Palma is always worth a visit! The city attracts with the great cathedral, many shops and the very large harbor with really good cafes. If you want to enjoy a great view over Palma, we recommend – during the day – the hotel Castillo son Vida for lunch or coffee. From the terrace of the hotel you have a great view.