Typical school-trip fodder, the public finca of Son Real is probably quite familiar to the children in your life. But a beauty of ‘Balears Natura’, Son Real should not be kept exclusively for begrudging school children with clipboards. A day out in Son Real will reward you with animals, woodland, picnic areas, beach, rock pools, a refuge, a seemingly natural swimming pool and if that wasn’t enough, a pre-talayotic town, megalithic sepulchres, and a talayotic necropolis are there for exploration.
As you arrive at the finca, which is located halfway between Can Picafort and Son Serra de Marina, the estate—with its Manor House, workers’ cottages, a courtyard and more—dates back to the middle ages. The museum inside the Manor House is the display case for archaeological remains that were found on the estate, while new houses built in the last century are used for the information centre.
On the farm, there are native breeds of animals including sheep, black pigs, chickens, turkeys, donkeys, etc, which are raised and cared for. The agriculture is totally ecological, with crops of almonds, carob and figs the most prominent.
The wealth and variety of the landscape is magnificent and pine tree groves, holm oaks, sand dunes, cultivated lands and low hills as well as the diverse flora and fauna add to the finca’s beauty. The population of Mediterranean turtles is of particular interest. In the reserved hunting areas, only traditional “filats” (hunting nets) can be placed in the narrow passage between trees.
That said, Son Real still preserves some elements of human intervention on the landscape. Sandstone and sand quarries, old paths and a bunker are among the sights as well as the towers along the bay of Alcúdia, which were used in submarine exercises to help find the position lines, during the post-war period.
It is the access to the beach, that is the jewel in the crown. A 2km walk along a well-trodden path takes you through the dunes and woodland to reach the refuge and a beach that has enough rockpools to keep the children entertained all afternoon, before the walk back again. Remember to take hats, suncream and enough water.