Mallorca: dream beaches, passion and tampons.
Very often, I read headlines like “Secret Coves in Mallorca” or “Majorca’s Lonely Dream Beaches“. Many times, the photo under these headlines show the Calo des Moro, with deep turquoise waters, which is located on the south side of the island, about 60 km from Palma. Whether travel guides, illustrated books, travel magazines or blogs, the small sandy beach near Cala Llombards is on the front pages all the time.
Framed by high and overgrown cliffs, the beach is protected from waves. Looking at the pictures, one might almost think it was a lagoon. In any case, the feeling of the Caribbean comes immediately.
A targeted search on the Internet reveals that places like this, as well as most other insider tips, are actually quite well-known and often overcrowded. There are maybe a few days during the off-season when Calo des Moro, sometimes also called Cala de Moro, is deserted. However, in summer, be prepared for unwanted body contact with beach neighbors.
But what’s behind such alleged insider tips?
Today I tell you the story of two small bays, a German family and a nature conservation foundation.
One way: Cala s Almunia & Calo des Moro
On narrow roads, we drive through a small housing estate with beautiful fincas. There are no signs to the bay but the directions to the Calo des Moro are on the Internet. Finding a parking space is difficult, but we have permission to park on private property. We have an appointment with Maren Oehm and are allowed to visit her at home. This German family has been living on the island for many years and has established themselves as an architect and designer couple. In addition to their construction contracts, the two renovate old townhouses in Santanyi with passion and taste and rent them out as holiday homes. Click here to read my post about the Living Houses.
I like the style and decor of the house, it is bright and the colors radiate a pleasant warmth. But the highlight is the view. The view from the terrace is stunning. I am impressed by this panorama’s beauty, and so Mallorca conquers a firm place in my heart.
I have to make an effort to keep up with Maren Oehm. She knows every rock and every plant on the 40,000 square meter property. Full of energy, she leads us over hill and dale to Cala s`Almunia, which is sometimes called Cala s’Almonia. A picturesque place, the sunset light falls on the small fisherman abodes. All of the homes are pretty and in good condition, and Maren Oehm says she and her husband restored one of the houses on behalf of a client. We climb the cliffs; here and there people sit on the rocks and enjoy the view. I can understand why the s’Almunia is printed on many postcards.
We continue our way to the other side, to the Calo des Moro. While pine trees, shrubs and rock formations alternate, Maren Oehm tells me about the background to this wonderful patch of earth, her garden…
Passion for a natural paradise.
In 1998, the Oehm family had the unique opportunity to prevent the construction of a huge holiday resort. At the same time, they found the perfect place to build their own home. After long and tough negotiations, Maren & Hans Peter Oehm bought the property. There was a lot to do: illegal barbecue sites and garbage bins had to be removed and the family seeded numerous plants in the rocky ground. In order to restore the property to a paradise for native plants and animals, an irrigation system was installed. It was a laborious work that could only be completed with a lot of passion and perseverance.
When we finally arrive at the bay, I ask her if this narrow and extremely steep trail down the cliff is really the only way to the Calo des Moro. It is! Whole families packed with umbrellas, air mattresses, cooling boxes and children scramble down this path?! I think for a moment about whether descending is worth the risk of injury. The storms of the last few weeks had obviously left their mark the bay and there was almost no beach. I decide against going down to the water and to instead live a long life with mobility. If you speak German, you should read a great post on the two neighboring coves on Natalie’s blog, Mallorca-Momente. She has taken the climb when the weather was great and you can see her amazing photos here.
About tampons and a foundation.
As you may have noticed, there are no private beaches in Spain. It is required by law that a beach must be publicly accessible. So, of course the Cala s’Almunia and the Caló des Moro are public. There are numerous posts and reviews of the beaches, but almost nobody writes about the surrounding terrain, which is private property. The Oehms built various paths to the bay and try to protect the newly sown plants from careless tourists with barriers and signs. Every day the family collected rubbish, mourning any seedlings that had been ripped out or carelessly trampled, and were annoyed by cigarette butts and other human waste on their property. They tolerated this until the moment when one of the two daughters collected 135 tampons in one day. Enough was enough!
They founded the Fundació Amics d’Es Caló des Moro – S’Almonia. With the help of membership fees and donations, a gardener has been hired, who now takes care of the property and shows careless tourists the right way to the public space. Numerous German Mallorca lovers promote the foundation, including a prominent supporter: Uwe Ochsenknecht.
You can donate or become a member too! Check out the foundation’s. With an annual fee of 333 euros, you can become a member of the foundation. As a thank you, you will receive a medal created especially for the foundation and you will be invited to events. On site, there is a collection box, which will also happily receive a small donation.
Calo des Moro – no insider tip anymore!
Those who think that the Oehms are angry about the many visitors coming to the bay are wrong. Maren Oehm is a very positive and open person who is happy for all the people who enjoy this beautiful place. Click here to get to the foundation’s Instagram account to see the latest shots of Calo des Moro & Cala s’Almunia.
The beach is popular with tourists and locals alike and is no longer an insider tip. Now, the municipality supports the Oehms by enforcing stricter controls on illegal campers and parking offenders. In May 2017, a major change was brought by not allowing access to the beach via car. Only residents may use the already quite narrow paths. This is a positive and important change as parked cars regularly block the access for fire engines and ambulances. In 2009, a carelessly discarded cigarette caused a fire, which luckily was extinguished in time. In addition, the bays are unguarded and in case of an emergency you would have to wait a long time for medical help to come. The nearest hospital is over 30 km away!
If you are wondering what the tourist tax introduced in 2016 is used for, this is a good example. Just as in the case of the famous beach Es Trenc, which since 2016 can no longer be reached directly by car since, a shuttle bus now connects the Calo des Moro and Cala s’Almunia with the town of Santanyi.
I was impressed by the history of the bay and the Oehm family. With a lot of passion, they are committed to the preservation of nature and do not build walls, but instead count on education.
Hand on heart, would you do that too?
Have you ever visited Calo des Moro or Cala s` Almunia?
Which beaches or bays in Mallorca do you like best?
(Translates by Barbara Riedel)
More Mallorca: Mallorca in Spring