The Mondrago Natural Park (Catalan: Parc Natural de Mondragó) is an extensive nature reserve in the southeast of the Balearic island of Mallorca. The rugged coastal landscape between the Bay of Palma and Colònia de Sant Jordi is one of the least developed regions of Mallorca. Authentic natural beauty hides behind the cliffs, small bays and long, fine sandy beaches. Here you will find some of the most beautiful beaches in Mallorca, which are either closely surrounded by rocks and thus form a bay, or are hidden behind rough pine and juniper scrub. This inaccessible part of the island, dedicated to agriculture and nature conservation, has been spared the most serious consequences of mass tourism. This is where you can get an idea of what the entire coast of the island must have looked like in its pristine state in the past.
Mondrago was declared a Natural Park in 1992. It has an area of about 750 hectares, of which only 95 hectares are public property, while the rest is privately owned. With its cliffs, pines, bushes and typical plants, the Mondrago Natural Park is one of the most visited parks in Mallorca. A large part of the coast is surrounded by high, impenetrable cliffs, washed by the waves of the Mediterranean Sea. Many coastal areas are difficult to access, but their untamed, rugged beauty is fascinating.
Apart from its ecological value, the Mondrago Natural Park is also of great ethnological interest. The area was long dedicated to the typical Mallorcan rainfed agriculture. The Barraques de roter still bear witness to this today. These are buildings constructed using a dry-stone technique, which were used as living quarters, warehouses and shelters for livestock. Other ethnological elements found here are water wheels and irrigation ditches.
The Mondrago Natural Park is an important refuge for birds, as evidenced by its status as a special bird sanctuary. The nature park is home to more than 70 species of birds. It plays an important role as a resting place for many migratory bird species. Numerous indigenous bird species can be found here throughout the year. Many rare species of reptiles, amphibians, insects and mammals find their perfect habitat in the Mondrago Natural Park.
Thanks to the semi-dry climate, the park is a mosaic of different habitats, each with its own vegetation. The vegetation continually changes from torrents to beaches, cliffs and rocks on the coast, to cultivated areas. The predominant vegetation in the nature reserve is characterised by a wide variety of shrubs, including rosemary, lavender, cistus or heather. Sea fennel and beach lilies thrive in bays and beaches. Among the trees we find wild olive trees, pines and junipers. One plant group worth mentioning is the family of wild orchids. Depending on the season, you can find different orchid species.
Several excellent hiking and cycling trails cross the Mondrago Natural Park. You can reach it via the road from Santanyí to s'Alqueria Blanca and via the road between Santanyí and Cala Figuera. Both roads lead to parking lots at the entrances of the park. The Information Centre, which offers guided tours of the park, is located near the northern car park of ses Fonts de n'Alís. The path to the beach and the cycle routes are well marked. A hiking trip here is also highly recommended for families with children. After hiking you can refresh yourself at one of the beaches.
In addition to the public access paths, there are smaller paths leading to the protected area and the beach. There are also few hotels, fincas and private houses within the nature reserve, as well as bars and a restaurant. Because these were built before the park was established, they are tolerated under certain conditions. New authorisations have not been granted since 1992. Walks and bike rides through the park offer fantastic views over the coast, the bay and the sea.
Many place names in Mallorca contain the Spanish word "Cala", which translates to inlet or cove. The coast of Mallorca is characterised by many of these calas and they make up a large part of the island’s charm. In the Mondrago Natural Park there is a particularly beautiful cala bearing the same name, the Cala Mondragó. It has a width of about 200 metres and is about the same length. There are two beautiful beaches with fine sand and crystal clear water, which are ideal for swimming. The southern beach is called ses Fonts de n’Alís, and the northern beach is called Cala s'Amarador.