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Mallorca – spring in the western Mediterranean

From the peaceful bay of Cala Sant Vincenç on the north coast, we will explore the spectacular limestone mountains of the Serra de Tramuntana, visit internationally important wetlands and enjoy walks near Mallorca’s beautiful north-east coast.

Known as a popular holiday destination, Mallorca has some stunning scenery including many miles of ‘wild’, unspoilt coastline, extensive areas of woodland and Mediterranean ‘maquis’ shrublands and a dramatic mountain range that provides a background to the olive groves and small farms that cover most of the central plains. A scattering of internationally important wetlands and offshore islands add to the richness of an island that has a high biodiversity and a good number of endemic species.

We will explore a variety of habitats to enjoy the birds, other wildlife, plants and landscapes and also learn something of the island’s fascinating culture, described as a mix of ’west and east’ due to its strategic position in the Mediterranean.

Particular species that we will look for include black (cinereous) vulture and Balearic warbler, and the rare and beautiful ‘Mallorcan marsh orchid’, Orchis palustris ssp. robusta, a plant once thought to be endemic to the island and still only found in localised populations. We should see a good number of other animals including Hermann’s tortoise, Algerian hedgehog, geckos, frogs, and many butterflies and dragonflies.

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Bird migration will be underway whilst species that breed on the island will be in full breeding plumage. This is an ideal holiday for those who want an introduction to Mediterranean wildlife, or for those who wish to see the species for which Mallorca is famous.

Dates

19 – 26 April 2018

Leader

Charlie Rugeroni with local guides

Price

£1,595

Single Room Supplement – £95

Included

Return flights from London Gatwick to Palma. Local transport on excursions as specified in the itinerary. Seven nights’ accommodation, full board basis.

Not included

Refreshments. Entrance fees for optional sightseeing. Gratuities. Travel insurance.

This is a rare opportunity to explore the less well known parts of the island, well off the beaten track.

Day 1 – We fly to Palma and transfer to our hotel in Cala Sant Vincenç on the north coast.

Day 2 – We visit Albufereta wetland near Port de Pollença to see a good range of birds including waders, herons and egrets, as well as terns and possibly osprey, and some interesting marsh and coastal plants. Later, we head for the Ternelles Valley in the Serra de Tramuntana for a walk to look for black vulture; this is a little visited, private area for which we will have an access permit.

Day 3 – We head further into the Serra passing through dramatic limestone formations. Our morning walk be in one of the most beautiful and remote parts of the island, the Mortitx Valley. After lunch in the grounds of Lluc Monastery, we move further west to Cuber Reservoir, for a walk around the lake.
Day 4 – We explore S’Albufera Natural Park on the Bay of Alcudia, with its many lagoons, marshes, reedbeds, grasslands and woodlands, each home to a great variety of plants and animals, including one of the largest populations in the world of the rare moustached warbler. After lunch, we transfer to Son Bosc, a pinewood area on the southern edge of the park for a different range of
plants.

Day 5 – We spend our morning on the spectacular Formentor Peninsula, which forms the north east point of the island. We will gradually drive towards the Formentor lighthouse at the far end, with stops along the way for birding, endemic plants and coastal landscape. Dramatic cliffs can be seen from the viewpoints and among the rocks several endemic plants including the rare peony, Paeonia cambessedesii grow. After lunch we visit the sand dunes, garrigue and pinewoods of Son Real, on the southern side of Alcudia Bay.
Day 6 – We head for the Arta Peninsula, where our walk towards Cala de Mesquida should be particularly good for plants. From the foothills of the Muntanyes d’Arta, there are superb views of Alcudia Bay and we will walk down from the hermitage to the coast at Betlem.
Day 7 – We visit Son Real, a good area to find Hermann’s Tortoise as well as orchids. After lunch we will stop at Son Bosc, a pinewood area south of S’Albufera.

Day 8 – We transfer back to Palma airport for our flight home.

Please note that the itinerary may be changed to suit the weather or other practicalities at the discretion of the leaders. 

We stay at a pleasant, family-run hotel in the small, quiet bay of Cala Sant Vincenç on the rocky north-east coast. Hostal Oriola has 23 rooms, all en-suite and each with a balcony. The hotel has views over the bay, with the unspoilt beach being only a short walk away, and is well located for our excursions to the nearby mountains, coastal wetlands and the old town of Pollença.

We will have picnic lunches on most days, with one lunch taken in a typical Mallorcan restaurant. Evening meals will mostly be at the hotel, with some at a nearby restaurant.

 

The group flights are with Easyjet from London Gatwick – the schedule has not yet been issued but times are likely to be similar to 2017 (below).

19 April depart London Gatwick 14.05, arrive Palma 17.25
26 April depart Palma 12.05, arrive London Gatwick 13.55

Direct flights from other airports are possible (with Easyjet) on the same day (e.g. Bristol, Manchester, Stansted, Belfast) – please ask us for details. There may be an additional cost for the flight and possibly for an individual airport transfer in Mallorca. Some other airports, including Edinburgh, are possible on other days if you wish to extend your holiday.

Mallorca is one hour ahead of UK time.

If you hold a British passport, you do not currently need a visa to travel to Mallorca. If you do not have a UK passport, please check with your local consulate.

At this time of year the weather is usually sunny but not too hot. There may be some cooler weather and some rain.

On most days we will be walking for much of the morning or afternoon, albeit slowly, and sometimes gently up and downhill. Most walks are on paths but in places we may walk on rougher ground (walking boots – can be lightweight – needed). None of the walking is strenuous. All excursions are optional; you can enjoy time around the hotel if you prefer.