Flowers and Wildlife of the Balearics - Mallorca and Menorca tour

7 nights starting from
£1695

  • The serene natural world of Mallorca and Menorca

  • Diverse, beautiful and unspoilt scenery; pine woods, sand dunes, lagoons, gorges and beautiful coastlines

  • Birds and botany

  • Attractive hotels in seaside positions

  • The very knowledgeable ornithologist and naturalist Javier Méndez, a local to Menorca and co-founder of the Menorca Ornithologist Society

Well known for its sun, sea and sand, Mallorca is also home to some wonderful nature and a great variety of flora and fauna. With easy access between Mallorca and Menorca by boat, we decided Mallorca would be a great addition to our already established Flowers and Wildlife of Menorca tour, hence our itinerary for 2024 combines both islands. 

Arriving in Mallorca, we spend three nights in the pretty seaside resort of Puerto Pollensa, which gives us two full days to explore a variety of the natural wonders of the island. We then take the boat from Alcudia in Mallorca to Ciutadella in Menorca (90 minutes), where our second hotel is located. Here we will have three full days exploring the flora and fauna of Menorca and at the same time learn about the local culture and enjoy a range of diverse and attractive scenery this lovely island offers.

Mallorca and Menorca

Separated from each other and the rest of the continent for centuries, the nature on these islands has taken its own path and provides an immeasurable wealth with ecosystems and habitats of salt meadows and wetlands, mountains and gorges, where many animal and plant species can be found including many endemics.

Although much of Mallorca’s land has been developed for tourism, you may be surprised at how much of the island's natural beauty has been preserved. It is rich with nature reserves: Mondrago, Sa Dragonera, Cabrera, S’Albufereta, Llevant Peninsula. S'Albufera, which we will visit, is the largest wetland in the Balearics formed out of an ancient lagoon separated from the sea by sand dunes. The park is key for many migrating birds; Peregrines, hoopoes, herons, avocets, Eleanora's falcons, black vultures, egrets, osprey, and kingfisher. But you don't have to be an expert in birds to appreciate the scenery and sense of peace here.

Mediterranean flora dominates Mallorca. Scrub forests of pine, buckthorn, rosemary, wild olive, lentiscus and dwarf fan palms have been the island's main vegetation over the centuries. Holm oaks thrive in the mountains. Around 1500 flowering plants have been recorded here. The high Sierra de Tramuntana mountains provide a picturesque ‘backbone’ to the island.

The lovely island of Menorca, rich in culture, history and nature, very much maintains a sense of authenticity, evident in many of its small towns and villages and certainly in Ciutadella, where the tour is based.  Picturesque Ciutadella with its pretty port enjoys a very beautiful and evocative historic old quarter, its narrow pedestrianised streets, lined with honey-coloured houses and grand historic buildings, a joy for wandering undisturbed.

The Menorcan habitat is unique with the island rich in wildflowers, over 1400 species of plants have been recorded. Like Mallorca, many bird species can be seen here too, with a good number of passage migrants resting on the island as they travel on their way to more temperate climes.

For more information on Menorca the following article is recommended:

https://www.cntraveller.com/article/menorca-the-unsung-spanish-island-waiting-to-be-discovered


Our Guide - Javier Méndez
Your guide for this tour is a professional ornithologist and naturalist. Javier is a co-founder of Menorca Ornithologist Society and a member of Menorca Research Institute. He was born and bred in Menorca and knows the island intimately. He has been a keen birdwatcher and nature lover all his life and he has done many studies about Menorcan birds population and wildlife. Javier speaks good English and has a natural and infectious enthusiasm for birds and the unique wildlife of Menorca. He has been guiding groups of birdwatchers, walkers and nature enthusiasts on the island since 2001. Javier also has an excellent knowledge of the Menorcan wild flowers having also led many botanical tours.

Available Departures

From

08 - April - 2025 £ 1695.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

London Gatwick

Departing: 08th April 2025 at 09:10

Returning: 15th April 2025 at 16:40

ITINERARY

Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Palma de Mallorca. Transfer to Hoposa Uyal Hotel, Puerto Pollensa. If time permits today, we will have a short visit to the Boquer Valley, situated a short distance north of Pollensa and lovely for both birds and plants. Dinner this evening at a local restaurant.

Day 2: S’Albufera wetlands and Son Real. Our day starts at the S’Albufera wetlands, a protected nature reserve since 1985.  This lovely place is known for its birdlife, in fact birders come here from all over Europe seeking some of the rarer migrants such as Montagu's harriers or beautiful summer visitors like Eleanora's falcons. Species known to breed here include, amongst others, Marbled Duck, Night Heron, Red-knobbed Coot and moustached warblers. Ospreys leave their breeding sites on the cliffs to come here to fish; peregrines and hoopoes live here all year round.  The name derives from the Arabic for 'lagoon', but the site has been exploited since Roman times. Pliny writes of night herons, probably from S'Albufera, being sent to Rome as a gastronomic delicacy! The wetlands were drained for agriculture in the 19th century, the network of canals dates from this time. It’s a great place to enjoy birds as well as other fauna and flora.  In the afternoon we visit Son Real, a traditional manor house estate with nearly 1000 acres of land; rural Majorca at its finest.  A fantastic flora and fauna can be spotted along its paths, which combine arable land, pine forests and the lovely Mediterranean coastline. Birds such as Hoopoe, Balearic Warbler and Cirl Bunting and several species of orchids, leguminous plants, rockroses, coastal flora… and others will delight us. 

Day 3: Mortitx Reserve and Cap de Formentor. We drive into the Sierra de Tramuntana mountains and explore the Mortitx Reserve, well known for its excellent vineyards through which there is a wide and relatively easy-going public footpath. We will enjoy spectacular views of the Tramuntana mountains from here and will be looking for plants as well as sightings of Black and Griffon Vultures, Booted Eagles and Blue Rock Thrush. We head to Lluc for lunch, another great opportunity to enjoy the typical flora and fauna of the Sierra de Tramuntana, which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the afternoon we visit Cap de Formentor a 20km long peninsula known as the Majorcan Finisterre, 'the Lands End’ of Majorca, where nature always plays the leading role. Its wild spectacular beauty has inspired numerous poets and artists. Here we will enjoy both flora and fauna. 

Day 4: From Mallorca to Menorca. We take a ferry from Alcudia (8kms from our hotel) to Ciutadella, Menorca. The ferry journey is approximately 90 minutes and a great opportunity to enjoy sea birds up close, such as the Balearic Shearwater. On arrival it's a very short transfer to the Port Ciutadella Hotel. After checking in, our guide will lead a short walk into the heart of Ciutadella to familiarise you with the town and introduce some of its cultural highlights. The rest of the day will be free for exploring or relaxing at the hotel.

Day 5: Cap de Cavalleria and Favaritx. Today we visit the most northerly point of the island, Cap de Cavalleria where we will botanise, discovering  plants that reflect the xerophytic conditions of the very exposed north coast. After a break for lunch at the capital of the island, Mahon, we drive to the spectacular lighthouse of Favaritx and explore again the very specialised xerophytic habitat. Both are great spots to enjoy endemic flora and birds.

Day 6: Son Bou to Santo Tomas, a Menorcan picnic, Monte Toro and a Talayotic site. Son Bou has the longest sandy beach in Menorca backed by a large marshy area and the remains of rice paddies. We will walk along part of the Cami des Cavalls, the ‘Horse Road’ that circumnavigates the whole island, to Santo Tomas, skirting the marshes and wetlands to botanise and look for birds and other wildlife that inhabit this very interesting area. We will enjoy a typical Menorcan picnic, prepared by Javier, before driving to the highest point of the island, Monte Toro, to enjoy spectacular views across the whole island. Before returning to the hotel, we shall visit the largest talayotic settlement on the island “Torre den Galmés".

Day 7: Son Saura and Barranco de Algendar. We start our walk at Son Saura, which takes us along another part of the Cami de Cavalls. We hope to enjoy a great variety of flowers, listen to nightingales, and perhaps spot Egyptian vultures flying over our heads. In the afternoon, after lunch in the picturesque town of Ferreries, we will botanise at the Barranco de Algendar and look out for the many interesting birds that inhabit this small gorge.

Day 8: Transfer to Mahón Airport for the return flight to London Gatwick.


NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 18 passengers.

INCLUDED

  • Flights from London Gatwick to Mallorca and Menorca to Gatwick
  • Three nights' accommodation at the four-star Hoposa Uyal in Mallorca and four nights at four-star Port Ciutadella Hotel, Menorca on bed and breakfast basis
  • Welcome dinner and one picnic lunch
  • All transfers
  • Full touring itinerary as detailed
  • Tour Manager and local guide throughout

NOT INCLUDED

  • Single room supplement
  • Sea view supplement
  • Holiday insurance
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls
  • Porterage and gratuities

HOTELS

Hoposa Uyal Hotel, Puerto Pollensa, Mallorca
Centrally located on Puerto Pollensa’s seafront promenade, the elegantly-styled four-star Hoposa Uyal occupies an attractive traditional Mallorcan style building and offers comfortable rooms and first-class facilities. A freshwater swimming pool, a garden with Balinese beds, a snack bar with sea views, a spa and a welcoming restaurant complete the beautiful setting of Hoposa Uyal.

Hoposa Uyal Hotel website

Puerto Pollensa
Puerto Pollensa is found on Mallorca’s north coast at the foot of the Sierra de Tramuntana, which provide a magnificent backdrop.  This pretty seaside resort, which inspired an Agatha Christie novel, has long swathes of sandy beach, lined by pine and palm trees, and a splendid array of cafes and restaurants.

Port Ciutadella Hotel, Menorca
The Port Ciutadella Hotel occupies a lovely location, close to the sea and only a 10-minute walk from Ciutadella’s historic quarter, where plenty of shops, tapas restaurants and bars await.  This stylish hotel features an outdoor pool, spa with indoor pool, steam bath and sauna; a buffet restaurant and lobby bar.  Rooms at the hotel are bright and spacious and include en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, TV, mini bar, safety deposit box and Wi-Fi. All rooms have balconies and it is possible to upgrade rooms to sea view - prices on request.

Hotel Port Ciutadella Website

Ciutadella
Cuitadella, a lovely town which was once the capital of the island, is known for its attractive historic quarter and medieval streets.  The main square, Plaça des Born, is home to the Gothic-style Town Hall and the 19th century palaces of Salort and Torre-Saura.  It is a place best explored on foot, many of the atmospheric streets are pedestrianised offering shady squares and a good choice of outdoor cafes and restaurants.

Administation
Brochure Description
Flight/Train/Ferry
Accommodation
Tour Manager

The administration went smoothly, with no problems. The brochure description was well balanced and accurate. The flights were on time and our suitcases arrived safely (not a given nowadays!) The accommodation was excellent, although it was clear that the bathrooms in the hotel in Mallorca were not completely ready, but they were perfectly serviceable, so that wasn't a problem. The rooms in both hotels were very comfortable, and they both offered excellent breakfasts, with friendly helpful staff throughout. The position of both hotels was ideal. It was particularly good in Ciutadella because we could wander into the beautiful old town very easily, which added to the pleasure of being in Menorca. The tour manager, Jane Freeman, was as usual (this was our third holiday with her in charge) friendly, caring, helpful and efficient. I would like to thank her for everything she did to make the holiday go smoothly and happily for everyone.. She does her job as well as anyone could. Javier, who led the tours, was another perfect person to lead us. He is an extremely knowledgeable naturalist, and his recognition of birdsong was remarkable! He is also such a lovely man in every way - funny, patient, friendly, and very enthusiastic about everything. As well as birds and flowers, I enjoyed talking to him about the complicated history of Menorca, and I particularly liked our visits to the ancient sites there.. They were a real bonus, and gave us a real insight into the life of the Menorcans throughout its history. He is another person I would like to thank for making the tour so enjoyable and illuminating. Overall it was a wonderful holiday, but actually I think it could have been at least 2 days longer. There was so much to see on both islands that I wished we had had another day on each. But that makes me want to go back!

Review by Ford who travelled 11-April-2024



The holiday was very well organised and Jane the Rep and Javier were excellent. Also all the walks and information about the flowers and birds also excellent. The hotel in Majorca wasn’t perfect but i was lucky and had a large room. The Menorcan hotel was excellent with very helpful staff. I enjoyed the holiday very much but would have liked more evening meals in the hotels as when you have spent a day out walking it is an effort to walk to the nearest town to find restaurants.

Review by Fordyce who travelled 11-April-2024


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