The nature park and nature reserve S’Albufera is one of the most important wetlands on Majorca, which formed itself 100’000 years ago between two glacial periods. Since the 17th century it was attempted to drain the area in order to reduce Malaria and to reclaim land. The fields (called ‘marjals’) at the border of the nature reserve originate from this attempt. The area encompasses 1646.48 hectares and is under protection since 1988. Especially for tourism it is an interesting place, as S’Albufera is furthermore an important bird sanctuary.
Nowadays S’Albufera counts over 400 different plant species, which have their natural habitat either in coastal dunes or flooded land. The main part of the area is swamp land, fed by the two torrents Torrent de Muro and Torrent de Sant Miquel. During summer season, the freshwater stream runs dry and saltwater from the bay ingresses partly at S’Albufera, having an impact on affected plant species. Being also a bird sanctuary, 271 different birds have been identified at S’Albufera, which is 80% of the total bird species known on the Balearic Islands. You will see endemic birds nesting and living at S’Albufera, migratory birds resting at the area or birds that approach the park in search for food.
S’Albufera is green and quiet, which makes it a nice place for a pleasant stroll during a hot day. Five different routes lead through the area and four observation wards will help you to spot the birds. You will walk through the shades of poplar and elm trees which grow next to the canals. In their shade you will find hawthorn, blackberries and periwinkle. You hear only silence and sometimes a squawk, a rustling or a ripple comes to your ears. Reed and cane grow high into the air to your right and to your left, which swishes in the wind. At some point you will reach one of the bird lookouts and then it is time to wait.
You will come across bird lovers which only came to spot this one special birds, and they are waiting for it, even though it may never show up. But with some patience everybody will be able to spot some birds around the lakes and in the trees and bushes and have a moment of sheer happiness. At the lake region you will spot the rare black red-knobbed coot with its white frontal shield. Blue tits are landing on the trees or taking off to their next destination. You will observe little bittern wading through the reeds. You will immerse yourself in the bird world, surrounded by silence peacefulness, far away from the tourist hustle and bustle.
That you are at the right spot at the right time, you will feel when a huge egret lands right in your view at the bank of the lake. Maybe you are even lucky enough to spot some birds of pray, like a peregrine falcon or an osprey. Flamingos and storks may pass the area in spring or autumn. There are enough birds to spot, even though you are not a patient birdie which likes to wait for hours to spot one certain species, only to note it down in the outworn notepad. S’Albufera is not only a nice spot for bird watchers but also offers nice hiking trails, tranquility and a wonderful day surrounded by lush green nature and a lot of wildlife.
The entrance to the park is 6 kilometers from Alcudia on the road to Can Picafort at the bridge Pont dels Anglesos (opposite the Grupotel Parc Natural and Spa). You get here either by car or by bus L352 from Alcudia or Can Picafort. From the bridge you follow 1 kilometer on the mud road to the arrival center Sa Roca.