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Making the journey west into Sant Elm from the Palma International Airport is for the most part usually very straightforward,
however, please be aware that the final few miles into the resort from Andratx onwards, are along a series of narrow, twisting,
Realistically there are only two options available for the journey. The first, and possibly the most convenient option, would certainly be the door to door service offered by any of the numerous taxis waiting outside of the arrivals hall, who would typically charge around 60€ for the journey.
However, a standard taxi on the island is only licenced to carry a maximum of 4 passengers plus a "reasonable" amount of luggage, so for larger groups of travellers, or those with special needs, it is our recommendation to make provision for a pre-booked taxi to be waiting for you at the airport, and clearly specify at the time of booking that a larger, or specially adapted, vehicle is needed for the journey.
A more detailed version of this route, complete with links to maps where appropriate, is available from the Route Map link on the left hand frame of this page. All things considered the transfer should usually take between 45 to 50 minutes, but can and often does vary, depending upon the time of day and the volume of traffic on the Palma motorways.
Set on a beautiful stretch of rugged coastline, opposite the uninhabited island of Dragonera, Sant Elm with a population of just 500 residents, is a sleepy resort which despite its reliance on tourism still retains an authentic, traditional charm.
The village enjoys a picturesque setting with two beaches, a sheltered bay protected by a small island, Es Pantaleu, together with a yacht and fishing harbour. The beaches though sandy are modestly sized and are mobbed during the summer months so best to be avoided.
However, a far more inspiring option is to take the regular ferry across to the nature reserve of Dragonera, lying one kilometre offshore. In the tourist season, the boat visits the island several times each day and costs approximately 8€ per person.
Dragonera received its name because of its dragon like appearance and from the air, it does indeed resemble the back of a dozing dragon or giant lizard. It was here in the 15th Century that the notorious pirate, Redbeard, was supposed to have kept his base.
Now it is an undisturbed paradise for a wonderful selection of birds which include Eleanora’s falcon, Andouin’s gull, the petrel and cormorant. It is also home to Mallorca’s many lizards. Once on the island, an itinerary must be followed, and for the more fit and able a hike up Puig de Na Popia, 312 m, 1,024 ft is well worth the effort because the views from the top are spectacular. The lighthouse of Cap de Lleibeitx at the southernmost point of the island makes a pleasant excursion especially with the added incentive of balmy sea breezes.
Sant Elm first featured in Mallorca’s early history when in 1229 King James I anchored his fleet there before commencing his conquest of the island. This event is still celebrated with a pageant, processions and dancing during the Moors and Christians festival, staged on the beach in early August every year.
The resort is popular with families, as well as young couples and older visitors, and for those seeking a peaceful holiday away from the hubbub. It is also a walker’s paradise, scored with many good tracks running inland along the southern edge of the Tramuntana mountains.
The nature reserve at La Trapa, on the site of the ruined La Trapa monastery, can be reached on foot in approximately one and a half hours. Back in 1994, a fire destroyed at least 800 hectares of forestland around the trail, but the reforesting programme was completed in 2000.
An enjoyable coastal route leads to the Torre de Cala Basset, an old tower built as a lookout for marauding pirates and high on a hill above the village itself is the Torre de Sant Elm, an old chapel and naval hospital dating from the 13th Century. The tower is also the setting for the Pancaritat celebration held by the villagers on Easter Monday each year.
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