Parc Natural de S’Albufera

Top choice in Northern Mallorca

Water field natural park of Albufera

Getty Images/Flickr Open

The 688-hectare Parc Natural de S’Albufera, west of the Ma12 between Port d’Alcúdia and Ca’n Picafort, is prime birdwatching territory, with 303 recorded species (more than 80% of recorded Balearic species), 64 of which breed within the park’s boundaries. More than 10,000 birds overwinter here, among them both residents and migrants. Entrance to the park is free, but permits must be obtained from the visitor centre, which is a 1km walk from the entrance gates on the main road.

The so-called Gran Canal at the heart of the park was designed to channel the water out to sea. The five-arched Pont de Sa Roca bridge was built over it in the late 19th century to ease travel between Santa Margalida and Alcúdia. The park is considered a Ramsar Wetland of National Importance and, in addition to the bird species, around 400 plant species have been catalogued here. In spring, wildflowers bloom, bringing vibrant splashes of colour.

The visitor centre can provide information on the park and its birdlife, and is the trailhead for several walks through the protected wetlands. From here, 14km of signposted trails fan out across the park. There are four marked itineraries, from short 725m (30 minutes) routes to 11.5km (3½ hours) trails, two of which can be covered by bike. Of the six timber birdwatching observatories, or aguaits – come inside and watch in silence – some are better than others. You’ll see lots of wading birds in action from the Bishop I and II aguaits on the north side of the Gran Canal.

Buses between Ca’n Picafort and Alcúdia stop by a small car park near the park entrance.