Day 3: Illa Grossa / Columbrete Grande

17/08/2010 0:40:25

Hi there!!

BOAT AND WALKING TOURS: Illa Grossa /Columbrete Grande

When arriving by sea to Columbrete Grande we see in the first place the lighthouse. Then the entry of the creek with the shape of a horseshoe and, finally, the Mascarat.

The most abrupt part can be found in the north side of the island.

Just after we arrive to the RossíEscale, which was not documented when the Archduke visited the island.

Along the whole exterior of the island, west, we find many pylons where fishermen used to place their boats when anchoring was still permitted.

It is interesting to get a little away from the island in order to appreciate also the horseshoe shape from this other side.

We arrive then to Spain Escale, which is used when the NE wind blows.

The south side of the island has also some abrupt rocky formations.

Then we can see the Mascarat with its impressive black top.

And finally la Señoreta.

Once on the land we arrive to the “caserna” (barracks) where we seat for a while with the team of the Natural Reserve.

Then we walk along the top of the crater direction south.

The views during the sunset are beautiful.

Along the path we observe all types os insects. Xavi and Eva explain to us the different types of studies that they continuously pursue concerning the insects.

Then we find the little cemetery where lie some of the lighthouse keepers’ families and even one of the members of the Natural Reserve, Capi, who inspired the ants placed on the barracks.

Just at the south edge we can see a beacon, attention to sailors ¡it is placed in the wrong inverse position!, and the statue of a virgin.

The lighthouse, just at the opposite side, is a very solid construction and relatively large in relation to the size of the island. One of the floors is devoted to research.

The view from the lighthouse is spectacular.


The new moon night that we spent in the creek of Columbrete Grande we were surprised by the spectacular singing of the “Baldritjas”. One could think, that such a night is actually spent in some place in the Arctic. Those birds live always on the sea except during the reproduction time when they go to the shore.

We have to stress also the Eleanora Flacons who nest from August, later than usual, and who migrate to Madagascar as Patricia González and Vicent Castanyer explained to us. Over there they encounter other falcons who fly from the Balearic islands or from the Eoilan Islands. We remember to see also some of those falcons in the island of Panarea!

There are some endemic beetles, lizards and scorpions. In some occasions the scorpions eat the lizards, some times the lizards eat the scorpions and, those even eat each other. The scorpions are out during the night and they become a real danger.

In relation to some of the comments of the Archduke, there are not anymore chiken neither rabbits on the islands. The snakes, as it was also reported at the time, are disappeared.

In the zone of Foradada we could see Eleanora Falcons and Seagulls.

We could also swim together with the natural reserve team over there. We observed a large amount of fish.

In the south side of Foradada it is beautiful to swim besides the cave, and also it is possible to see a very large submarine arch just besides a little rock.

We were also able to swim in the creek of Columbrete Grande and there it is also possible to see a great variety of marine species.


Concerning the plants, Eva Mestre pointed out first Elycium Intricatum. The Columbretes are the point more at north where this plant can be found.

Then Medicago Citrina is a plant / air which almost disappeared due to human exploitation. The Archduke was just able to count three of those, and now the population is recovered.

The Lobularias when they flourish they cover the island in white. The fishermen say “it has already snowed” or “the island smells” because they have a fine smell.

Finally she tells us that in Columbretes the plants in august “hibernate” because just after this period they flourish again!

Best wishes!

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