Snorkeling in S’Escala (Favàritx cape)
At S’Escala you have calm, shallow and transparent waters with a variety of seabed habitats. All what you need to enjoy snorkel.
S’Escala, in S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park, is the name given to a small sandy beach that you will find on the left of the road just before you reach Favàritx lighthouse. The dark-coloured slates of the headland of Favàritx – or Capifont – make this one of the most singular and spectacular landscapes on the island and one that has often been described as a lunar landscape. The beach of S’Escala lies in the heart of this landscape and is almost perfectly circular and, despite being north facing, is well sheltered by a rocky islet at its entrance. Nevertheless, on days when the tramuntana blows strongest snorkeling here is not to be recommended.
S’Escala is an attractive place for diving since its waters are calm and transparent. Furthermore, its waters are shallow and cover a variety of seabed habitats, from sandy and rocky bottoms to posidonia meadows.
In this part of S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park there is a great variety of fish, some of the commonest of which are the ornate wrasse and another wrasse Symphodus ocellatus. This is also an excellent place for seeing shoals of the young of various different species of seabream. It is worth looking out too for high density of sea urchins on the rocks of the bay’s seabed (above all the eastern part) and the effects that these herbivores have on the algae communities.
On the sandy bottoms it is easy to see sea cucumbers, an animal of the starfish family, and, hidden amongst the posidonia, the odd clam. This bivalve is the largest in the Mediterranean and can measure up to a metre across and live for 20 years. This cove is also home to a population of the invasive alga Caulerpa racemosa, grape-like in appearance, which in recent years has begun to form green carpets on the seabed.
If you swim out to the islet at the entrance to the bay, the underwaterscape changes totally as the waters deepen and are characterised by a chaos of large rocks.
How to get there
S’Escala lies next to the road to Cap de Favàritx, on the left just before the lighthouse, 17 km from Maó. To get there, take the road to Fornells from the quay in the Port of Maó. After 8.5 km you will find the road that heads for Favàritx lighthouse. The lighthouse is about 26 km from both Es Mercadal and Fornells. From the road between these two towns, take the road to Maó for 12.5 km until you come to the road to Favàritx off to the left.
If you want to go by bike from Maó, you can take the Camí de Tordonell. This quiet road connects to the road to Favàritx via the Plans de Tordonell in S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park. Coming from Maó, the Camí de Tordonell is off to the right, 3 km before the junction with the road to the lighthouse.
Nearby sites of interest
• Favàritx lighthouse: El This lighthouse is just 500 from the beach of S’Escala and was the first built from concrete in the Balearic Islands. It is 28-m high, and its black spiral painted on a white background makes it unmistakeable. More information.
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