An Unforgettable Day on Cabrera

I had never been to Cabrera, the smallest of the five Balearic Islands, despite having lived on Mallorca for over ten years, so when our Winter Activities group got the chance to go on a trip with Mar Cabrera earlier this spring, I jumped at it.

Unforgettable day in Cabrera

Cabrera’s beautiful horse-shoe shaped natural harbour

I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed. In fact my expectations were exceeded, both with the boat trip and with the island itself.

Mar Cabrera

Mar Cabrera is one of the two boat companies operating out of Colonia de Sant Jordi, making trips over to Cabrera Island.

We were there in low season and our 15-strong group had the 50-seater speedboat all to itself, plus the three crew members: David, Carlos and Antonio.

Excursion to Cabrera Island

Goofy group selfie with The Mar Cabrera boat at Cabrera Harbour

I was especially surprised that the boat trip with Mar Cabrera was such good fun. I was expecting nothing more than transport, which I guess it was on the way there, taking us 45 minutes from the Port of Colonia de Sant Jordi to the pier at Cabrera Island.

But on the way back we were treated to a really enjoyable cruise, skirting around Cabrera Island and getting close to the caves, including the famous Blue Cave, where normally the passengers get free time to swim and explore, but no one was jumping into the cold March Mediterranean.

Excursion to Cabrera Island

Approaching the Blue Cave

(I was the guest of Mar Cabrera on this boat trip, but as you know, getting things for free will NEVER influence my opinions or what I share on the blog, as you can see here.)

Cabrera Island

Cabrera Island is a national park and for the most part is uninhabited. If you want to spend the night there you have to get special permission. So most people settle for a day trip from Colonia de Sant Jordi.

Excursion to Cabrera Island

One of the gorgeous beaches on Cabrera

Cabrera Island is the fifth of the five Balearic Islands and is certainly the most natural and untouched, it being completely protected as a natural area.

It was much bigger than I had expected and there was loads to explore. We were extremely lucky with the March weather and got a scorching clear day, allowing us to relax in the sunshine with a fresh beer without getting cold.

That’s not all we did though, of course. We also went off exploring the lush island, once home to French prisoners in the Napoleonic wars. With no fresh water or resources, few managed to survive and of the 12,000 soldiers sent to Cabrera, only 2,500 returned home five years later.

Exploring Cabrera

Excursion to Cabrera Island

Exploring the half-ruined fortress

When our boat arrived at Cabrera, we were met by one of the wardens who gave us a quick run-down of the rules (no fires, no litter, no barbecuing of the wild goats etc. The usual stuff). And then we were free to explore.

There is a visitors’ centre and restaurant/bar right there by the small harbour, both worth a visit. From here you can choose to border the coast, hiking on the reasonably flat terrain heading around to the picnic area and some small coves or you can walk up the hill to the old fortress. With both choices the views are spectacular.

Of course, if you are staying at Cabrera all day as we were, you have time to do a combination of things. What we did was:  

      • Climb up the hill to explore the fortress.
      • Walk back down the hill and enjoy a few well-deserved beers at the bar in the harbour.
      • Follow the wide paths around the coast to the small beaches and to the picnic area.

We took our own food and ate at the huge picnic area. It was very pleasant. From the picnic area you can head up the few paths around that area as there are points of interest to see, such as the French POW memorial.

Excursion to Cabrera Island

Following the trails around the island

It being my first visit to Cabrera, I was happy just to go with the flow and take it all in. I didn’t feel the need to charge around the whole island and do everything. Most of the others were in the same frame of mind as me and that’s why we took it slow.

But you can walk right round to a further away viewpoint on the other side of the islands. And there are optional routes organised by the visitors’ centre as well, which are free. Plus you can also visit the Cabrera Museum.

If you are visiting Mallorca, I highly recommend a day trip to Cabrera Island, which you can book here.

Filed Under: Boat Trips in MallorcacruisesfeaturedmallorcaspainWinter Activities

About the Author: Based in Mallorca, obsessed with the world and have a lot to say about both... Step into my shoes and join me on a journey...

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  1. Vasudha Seksaria says:

    Hi Lisa, I love your posts and have been a fan for a very long time 🙂 Since I couldnt find your email, I thought well If I want to tell her something , a comment section is the best place to leave a note. My intention is not to challenge you or argue with you but give you a few facts. Since I follow you on twitter I got to read your conversation with Paramveer re: Malaysian food having more variety than Indian Food. Everybody has their own preference, you clearly feel very strongly towards Malaysian Food, but Id like to provide you with links, that if you simply count, Indian Food has more variety.
    And that is not all. There was also a cultural influence of India in modern day (post independance) countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan,Bangladesh,Nepal,Bhutan,Burma,Thailand,Cambodia,Laos, Vietnam,Brunei,Afghanistan,Philippines,Seychelles and Maldives because they were a part of Greater India (you can wikipedia it)before independance, as they shared common values, cultural commanalities, traditions, architecture and monuments,language and food. Even today, if you travel to any of these countries you will hear many people speaking in Hindi or any of the languages of the countries mentioned above and having a fusion of food mostly influenced by one another. You’ll find an abundance of Buddhist temples , hindu temples and architecture,because of the large indian population that stayed behind or migrated before independance and helped shape the culture. Much like the United States, South East Asian Countries like Malaysia etc had people from all over the world and each culture left its own impact. Everything you get to eat in America, is termed American but simply a fusion of different cultures,because lets be honest, America has the least exciting and absolutely no variety in their food. And since you have traveled so much, you know how Europe and Asia or Australia blend in the flavours beautifully, be it with or without spices. But the same cant be said about America. Except for the high end restuarants, the average junk food, is swimming in excess unnecessary cheese, oil, grease, syrup, with no balance of taste. I love Mexican food but than is a different culture altogether. It will also interest you, that when Europeans used to trade with India, also known as their “spice route” they would heap their ships with Indian spices, as the indian spices would add flavour to their own food and Spices as you know them today, available in abundance globally, origanally came from India,and it still exports a majority of spices even today. it is also the largest exporter of Frog legs, tea, cotton,jute,peanuts,onions, mango pulp among other things. And the middle east single handedly imports a majority of their spices, fresh fruits and vegetables from India. Im no expert obviously, but we did have world history in school and India was always highlighted in terms of contribution in every aspect including to the treasuries of Great Britain(mostly),Scotland,France,South Africa etc(every country that traded in spices, commodities,etc).
    And even if you see the independent docuseries of Gordan Ramsay, and all the food critics, they themselves claim that India has the most variety food wise. Some local Indian historians also claim that the dialect of language and fusion of local food even, changes every 100kms in India.
    Sorry about the length of my post, but the foodie in me couldnt resist. Thanks for reading 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Vasudha,
      Thanks a lot for your compliment about my blog and thanks for reading.
      You have clearly gone to a lot of trouble to compile all this information and I appreciate it. It is true that Indian food is all over the world. And one of the things I liked most about Malaysia’s food was the Indian influences. The street food was best in Penang, a Hindu-majority island. But there are so many cultures in Malaysia living side by side, that you can walk just a street away from the best samosas you’ve ever tasted and find the most amazing Chinese or Malay food which has also taken root in the country and been developed over time. And that’s what I mean by variety. Anyway, post coming soon about Malay streetfood…
      Incidentally, there is not a country in the world that I have been to where I didn’t enjoy the streetfood on offer: Pad Thai in Thailand, German sausages at the Cologne markets, crazy-spicy samosas in Mapusa Market Goa and sweet rice balls on a stick in Japan…
      Thanks again for the thoughts, Lisa x

      PS: I don’t really understand all your references to American food. I am not a fan of American food either – or at least I wasn’t during the nine weeks I spent there many years ago.

  2. Hello Lisa,

    I am writing to you about showcasing your blog/website at my website

    I have been on the island for just over a year now, having moved to the island from Italy where my wife and I lived for six years. We came to be closer to our family, as both our daughters live here and we now have four grand-daughters!

    In Italy I blogged, wrote travel articles for a number of online publications, created a website called Italian Reflections and a Facebook Group of over 1500 expat members bearing the same name. That website and idea has now morphed into Mallorca Reflections.

    As a strong supporter of bloggers and writers, I have taken the liberty of producing a ‘live’ version of the pages where I would like to showcase your blog. You can find them using these links:

    Please let me know what you think!

    With kind regards,


    • Lisa says:

      Hi Adrian,
      So sorry for the late reply. Thanks a lot for your interest in my blog. You have clearly worked hard on the Mallorca Reflections and it is looking great. I appreciate your including me.
      I hope you are enjoying the island and are not missing Italy too much.
      Thanks again and nice to meet you 🙂
      Best regards,

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