Did you ever wonder where Isla Dragonera, the small island just off the southwest coast of Mallorca, got its name? Because it is inhabited by hundreds of lizards, will usually be the answer. But if you hike from Sant Elm to La Trapa and see Sa Dragonera from above, you’ll realize: it actually looks like a sleeping dragon.
For the first part, the path to La Trapa leads upwards through scented pine forest, stone men are guiding the way. But soon the wood opens up, revealing the first great views of the rugged coastline and the dragon island nearby. For a while the trail runs further along the coast, now, the shimmering turquoise sea deep below.
Finally, you reach a rocky ridge. Climbing across is a bit of a challenge and you have to use your hands. But from up there you can already see the extensive grounds of La Trapa. The former monastery was built by Trappist monks some 200 years ago. They lived in complete asceticism and self-sufficiency.
Today, the homestead belongs to GOB, a local NGO of ornithologists who prevent the gem from deterioration. Where the monks used to pray and work the environmentalists created a sanctuary for the rare black vultures. And step by step, they restore the dry stone terraces and buildings.
A large round platform 250 meters above sea level offers a spectacular vista. Like Finca Ternelles in the North, La Trapa is also a great place to watch the black vultures circling in the coastal thermals or keeping watch from the safe distance on the rocky cliff.
If you return to Sant Elm, take some time to stroll around the sleepy little town. The westernmost point of Mallorca has long been a fishing village. And to this day, Sant Elm remains true to its roots. So if you fancy seafood, there are a couple of restaurants right on the waterfront serving the catch of the day.