Cabrera (island)

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Cabrera   (Illa de Cabrera)
The port of Cabrera
The port of Cabrera
Waters Mediterranean Sea
Archipelago Balearic Islands
Geographical location 39 ° 8 '31 "  N , 2 ° 56' 45"  E Coordinates: 39 ° 8 '31 "  N , 2 ° 56' 45"  E
Location of Cabrera (Illa de Cabrera)
length 5.53 km
width 5.29 km
surface 15.69 km²
Highest elevation Na Picamosques
172  m
Residents 20th
1.3 inhabitants / km²
main place It port

Cabrera ("goat island") is one of the smaller of the Balearic Islands belonging to Spain . It is located south of Mallorca in the Mediterranean Sea and is the largest island in a rocky island archipelago off Mallorca . Administratively, the Cabrera archipelago belongs to the Mallorcan capital Palma , specifically to the Center district and the Ciutat Antiga zone .


Position and extent

The island of Cabrera has a maximum north-south extension of 5.53 kilometers and an east-west extension of 5.29 kilometers. Its area is 15.69 km², the length of the coastline 38 kilometers.

Administratively, the island is part of Palma . It is 13.6 kilometers off the coast of Mallorca.

The only settlement on Cabrera is Es Port .

Cabrera archipelago

The Cabrera archipelago consists of 18 islands with a total area of ​​18.36 km² and a coastline of 54 kilometers. In addition to Illa de Cabrera itself, the following islands belong to the Cabrera archipelago :

Estel de Fora , Estel des Coll , Estel de s'Esclata Sang , Estels Xapats (two islands), Illa de l'Imperial , Illa des Conills , Illa de ses Bledes , Illa de ses Rates , Illa des Fonoll , L'Esponja , Na Foradada , Na Plana , Na Pobra , Na Redona , s'Illot de na Foradada and s'Illot Pla .

The entire archipelago belongs to the Archipiélago de Cabrera National Park and is practically uninhabited, apart from a garrison of the Spanish armed forces and a few civilians. Geologically, the island belongs to Mallorca, around 15,000 years ago Cabrera was separated from Mallorca.



The landscape is quite rocky and karstified, for which the wild goats were responsible, which nipped every tree growth in the bud with their appetite for fresh green. They were brought from the island a few years ago because there was a danger that they would graze off all the green.

Overall, the island is relatively flat with many rocky coves, including a very large, sheltered natural harbor. The highest point is 172 meters high.

There are several caves, including the famous Cova Blava ("Blue Grotto").

In 1991 the archipelago including the surrounding marine area was declared a national park. Since July 1, 2008 , a visitor center of the Cabrera National Park has existed in Colonia de Sant Jordi , on Plaça Es Dolç.


clockwise from the port:

  • Cala Gandulf
  • Cala Santa Maria
  • Cala Ambuxa
  • Cala des Governador
  • Cala des calamars
  • Cala Anciola
  • Cala Coll Roig
  • Cala Mal Entredor
  • Cala Galiota


also clockwise from the port:

  • Xurigué cap
  • Cap des Moro Botí
  • Cap Ventos
  • Cap de sa Carabassa
  • Cap Falcó
  • Punta de Anciola (with lighthouse)
  • Cap Vermell
  • Cap de Llebeig


  • Cova Blava
  • Cova des Mastral
  • Cova des Amich



After the Phoenicians and Carthaginians , the Romans also knew the island and Pliny (whether the younger or the elder is unclear) suspected that Hannibal was born here . For some time it belonged to the Byzantine Empire with the Balearic Islands . In the 14th century, under the rule of the Crown of Aragon , a castle was built over the main bay of Cabrera, a deep and sheltered natural harbor, to protect against pirate attacks.

During the so-called Spanish War of Independence from 1807 to 1814, a kind of internment camp was set up on the uninhabited island from 1809 for some of those French prisoners who had fallen into Spanish hands after the battle of Bailén the previous year. Of the total of around 18,000 prisoners in the Grande Armée , around 12,000 (including Swiss mercenaries ) were brought to the island. Without enough water, food and medical supplies, between 3,500 and 5,000 of them died there. A monument in the middle of the island now commemorates this tragic and almost forgotten episode in the island's history.

In the 19th century the island's lighthouses were built and another attempt at settlement took place. A wine cellar built at that time by the Feliu family now serves as a room for the ethnographic museum. Due to its strategic location, the possessions on Cabrera were expropriated during the First World War in 1916 and a garrison was established. This still exists today. The island is a restricted military area, so there are restrictions on visiting it.


  • Cova Blava ( Castilian Cueva Azul , "Blue Grotto"), a 160 meter long and 50 meter wide cave on the north side of Cala Gandulf , which shimmers blue due to reflections on the sandy bottom. The grotto, which is only accessible from the sea, is headed for by excursion boats on the return trip to Mallorca.
  • Remains of a 14th century fortress tower to protect against pirate raids in Es Port.
  • Memorial from 1847 in memory of the French prisoners of war who perished from 1809 to 1814
  • Sailors' cemetery
  • Lighthouse on the Punta de Anciola
  • Museo Etnográfico e Histórico Es Celler , museum about the history of the island


From Mallorca excursion boats (Golondrinas) go to Cabrera. From Colonia de Sant Jordi, the year-round crossing takes about 30 minutes. From Porto Petro , the daily trip from May 1st to September 30th takes around 75 minutes. A free state permit is required for private visits by private boat and the number of permits is limited to 50 per day. It is only allowed to anchor in the tiny harbor. Private boats are not allowed to anchor to avoid damaging the seabed in this nature reserve. It is moored at the 50 firmly anchored moorings (tons). The stay is limited: one night in July and August; two nights in June and September and up to seven nights the rest of the time.

The main meeting point on the island is a small bar in Es Port . There are snacks to eat and drink here, as well as probably the only telephone on the island. A replenishment of the sailor's supplies is hardly or not possible at all. Tourists can stay two nights in the Albergue de Cabrera, which was built in 2014 and rents out twelve rooms.

Visitor numbers 1995–2013
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
36.173 39,265 43,215 52,796 47,302 44,983 64,068 66,302 66,535 73,540 71,987 74,532 76,541 60,804 60,662 64,688 75,544 108.188 67,809
* Visitor numbers Ministerio de Medio Ambiente


  • Denis Smith: The prisoners of Cabrera. Napoleon's forgotten Soldiers 1809–1814 . New York 2001.

Web links

Commons : Cabrera  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Ajuntament de Palma: Dades per a un diagnòstic dels barris de Palma, May 2012 ( Memento from November 1, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 2.2 MB)
  2. ^ Karl J. Mayer: Napoleon's soldiers. Everyday life in the Grande Armée (= story told, vol. 12), Primus Verlag, Darmstadt 2008, p. 133, ISBN 978-3-89678-366-0 . In Die Balearen , supplement to the “Mallorca Zeitung”, June 2008, Hora Nova SA, page 3, 6,000 to 9,000 French deported to Cabrera are named and the number of survivors is given as around 3,600.
  3. ^ War travelers: Cabrera
  4. The Balearic Islands , supplement to the “Mallorca Zeitung”, June 2008, Hora Nova SA, page 3
  5. ^ Paul Richardson: Far from the Magaluf crowd , in: Financial Times , August 13, 2016, p. 5
  6. Datos de visitantes a los Parques Nacionales. (PDF; 124 kB) (No longer available online.) May 23, 2013, archived from the original on June 10, 2015 ; Retrieved November 18, 2013 (Spanish).