Mallorca is an amazing island with countless day trip opportunities. For those who are interested in seeing a bit more of Mallorca than the typical tourist destinations, and for those who like some physical activity, this day trip to Sa Dragonera might be something for you!
Sa Dragonera is an island located in the South West of Mallorca, and geographically seen it is like an extension of the Sierra de Tramuntana, the mountain complex of Mallorca. Since 1995 it is declared as a Natural Park by the Balearic government.
I recently went on a day trip with my German friend, Stephanie, who lives on the island since a few years. I met her back in 2015 when I stayed at her beautiful AirBnB and ever since we stayed in touch. Now that I’m back, Stephanie invited me to go out and explore some more of the island.
How to get to Sa Dragonera
Stephanie picked me up around 10.30AM in Palma de Mallorca with the car, and from the city we drove in the direction of Andratx and further westwards until we reached the village of Sant Elm. There we parked the car (4 euros for a day) and continued to walk to the peer.
From Sant Elm, you need to take a ferry to Sa Dragonera. This boat service runs from February until the end of October and has various departures per day. You can check the official website of the Margarita boat for actual timetables, or to make a reservation (which is highly recommendable). In 2019, the price is 14 euros per person for a return ticket.
Tip: you can also take the watertaxi from Andratx to Sant Elm for 10 euros (operated by the same company), and then take the ferry to Dragonera.
When we arrived there was already a line so we had to wait for the next boat ride at 13.15h. Too bad, but this gave us some time to explore the village. If you do not want to wait or miss out on the ferry boat, make sure you do make a reservation in advance: you can call 0034 639 61 75 45 or 0034 629 60 66 14.
Hiking at Parque Natural Sa Dragonera
Once you are in the boat, it takes only like 20 minutes before you reach the inhabited island of Dragonera. The complete island is an isolated landscape and natural park with excellent hiking opportunities. The trails are clearly indicated on a map at the entrance. You cannot really get lost here.
There are various options to hike around Sa Dragonera. We wanted to do one of the longer hikes but due to time limits (the last boat for us was returning to Sant Elm at 15.00), we had to go for a shorter route of one hour. We ended up doing this is 2 hours because we all the time stopped for taking photos and Instagram shooting. Haha!
There are 4 itineraries that you can do on the island:
- Na Miranda: 1,1 km (30 minutes) – easy (50m altitude)
- Far de Tramuntana: 1,75 km (1 hour) – easy (65m altitude)
- Far de Llebeig: 4,15 km (2 hours 40 minutes) – easy (112m altitude)
- Far Vell: 4,55 km (3 hours) – medium (350m altitude)
You need to make sure to wear comfortable shoes (don’t wear sandals, like me! LOL) and bring enough water and snacks. There are no shops or restaurants on the island. Take away your own waste. There are toilets but you need to make sure to bring your own toilet paper. Wear sunscreen and a hat in the Summer season.
What can you see at Sa Dragonera Parque Natural?
The island is known for its lighthouses and lizards. There are incredibly many wall lizards on the island. Apparently, it is an endemic subspecies unique to the Balearic Islands. Funny note: when we dropped our bags for a while to take photos, the lizards were already sitting on them when we wanted to pick them back up!
The island is also separated from the mainland by a small 800 meter wide not-so-deep channel. This causes that there is a unique wildlife and marine life on this side of Mallorca. I have mostly spotted seagulls, however. I am curious if anyone has seen dolphins here, but I think they are very rare!
Without a doubt this is a paradise for people who love nature, hiking and photography... and I think this place has the potential to become a famous Instagrammable spot in Mallorca too!
I would definitely recommend it to everyone who is on Mallorca and who wants to get a break from the busy tourism. It is so peaceful and relaxing here. I am even thinking to go back for the larger trail. Let me know if you would like to join!
Lunch in Sant Elm Town
Once we got back on the boat to Sant Elm, you can imagine how hungry we were from all the hiking and exploring. So now we were looking for a good place to eat. I did not really prepare this part of the trip very well, so we ended up strolling around for a while.
A lot of restaurants in Sant Elm are oriented towards tourists and are located on the seafront. This is why they are quite expensive. We hesitated for a while to go to Andratx for lunch, but figured out we had to pay parking again there too, so we decided to stay in Sant Elm.
Apart from some very nice local tourist shops who are Ibiza-styled and bohemian now (woop woop, good bye to the kitschy tourist stores from back in the days!), there are actually quite good places to eat.
We ended up eating Pa Amb Oli, a local specialty here in Mallorca, which is addictive. Basically, it is a traditional type of bread slice with oil and tomato, but you have many variations in it: with local cheese, fish, meats or veggie!
Restaurante Tigy’s is a local restaurant that is specialized in it. It’s located on Avenida Jaume 10 (the main road, you can’t really miss it). They also have a very delicious white sangria that you should have when you get there.
Time to Head Back
Tummies full, SD card full, time to head back home for a new week of work, and to start dreaming of some more day trips in Mallorca. That’s the good thing about living and working in Mallorca: every free day feels like an instant holiday because there are so many little things that warm your heart and make you feel like vacation!
PS: Do you have any tip for a new Mallorca Day Trip? Drop your suggestions in a comment bellow. I’m also happy to promote excursions on the island. Contact me for collaborations.