son caios
and illot
de sa galera

foto antiga

History and heritageThe Illot de sa Galera is listed an asset of cultural interest (BIC) thanks to the significant archaeological finds made there

It is located facing the cove of Son Caios, separated from the coast by a shallow strait of some 150 metres. It is around 50 metres long with a maximum height of 7.3 metres. Although the origin of its name is not known for certain, it is thought that it is because of the sinking or accidental running aground of a galley (or galera).

The findings made here make it one of the most important sites from the Punic period in the western Mediterranean, confirming a 4,000-year history of human activity and the presence of huts and materials dating from the Pretalayotic, Talayotic and Punic periods.

At the eastern end, there is a small burial cave with a circular plan and a hemispherical structure, which archaeologists date to the Bronze Age (3,500 to 1,000 BC). In the central area are the remains of the foundations of a supposedly post-Talayotic structure, with a possibly quadrangular floor-plan. In the south-western part, there are remains of an old quarry, excavated a short distance from the shore.3

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Marine ecosystem

The Illot de sa Galera is surrounded by Neptune grass meadows. Fish species found in this habitat include saddled seabream (Oblada melanura), white seabream (Diplodus sargus), annular seabream (Diplodus annularis), Couch’s seabream (Pagrus pagrus), salema porgy (Sarpa salpa), comber (Serranus cabrilla) and Mediterranean rainbow wrasse (Coris julis).

Furthermore, echinoderm species can also be found, such as purple sea urchin (Paracentrotus lividus) and starfish (Asterina pancerii), and epiphytes that grow on the Neptune grass leaves, like Electra posidoniae, a bryozoan that forms whitish ribbons, and crustacea and gastropods like Idotea hectica and Diaphorodoris papillata, respectively.

Finally, the jellyfish that can be found near this beach are the mauve stinger (Pelagia noctiluca), with a strong sting like that of a nettle, the common jellyfish (Aurelia aurita), which has a painful sting, the fried-egg jellyfish (Cotylorhiza tuberculata), with a very weak sting, and the sea raft hydrozoa (Velella velella), which does not sting.

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Birds of interest

As this is a small islet, typical seabirds can be seen in this area, in particular the shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis), which can be seen all year-round swimming and fishing close to the coast or on the rocks in the area. Gulls can also be seen all year round, such as the yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) and Audoin’s gull (Larus audouinii), an endemic species in the Mediterranean.

In addition, in autumn and winter, other species of sea bird can be seen such as the cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) and the black-headed gull (Croicocephalus ridibundus).