Some of the Most Scenic Cliffs in Spain


Cap de Formentor, in Mallorca

This wild peninsula on Mallorca’s northeast tip has stunning views, sandy beaches and the island’s original luxury hotel. The 20-km drive from Port de Pollenca to Mallorca’s most northerly point has scenery as dramatic as anyone could wish for. Cliffs 400 metres tall jut into the sea, their weird rock formations attracting nesting seabirds, while pine trees seem to grow out of the rocks.

The drive is also famously scary. A local legend has it that the parish priest and the local bus driver arrived at the Pearly Gates and only the driver was admitted to heaven. The reason? He had led far more people to pray. Six kilometres from Port de Pollenca you reach the view point of Mirador des Colomer – scramble up the steps for views over a rocky islet. A path opposite the steps leads to an old watchtower from which you can see the whole of the peninsula, as well as the bays of Pollenca and Alcudia.

The road continues through pine woods and past more view points (each one helpfully indicated with a picture of an old-fashioned camera) before tunnelling through En Fumat mountain, where you look down over Mallorca’s most inaccessible beach. Eventually you reach a lighthouse with the inevitable bar and shop and more stunning views, all the way to Menorca on a good day.

On the way back, stop at Formentor beach and the newly reburbished Hotel Formentor. It opened in 1929 and has been pampering the rich and famous ever since. The fine sandy beach used to be reserved for the hotel’s guests, but is now open to the masses.


Vixía Herbeira, in Galicia

It is very rare for the highest mountain in a range to also form part of a system of coastal cliffs. Vixía de Herbeira, at 615 metres the highest peak of the A Capelada range, is one of the highest cliff faces in continental Europe. Some of the most spectacular views of Galicia’s northern coast are therefore found at Herbeira, on a stretch of coast facing the Atlantic, running from Cape Ortegal to the tiny cove of Santo André de Teixido. Feel the strength of the wind, inhale the scent of the sea and watch powerful waves batter the emerald green coast from this vantage point, historically important for coastal surveillance, as witnessed by a structure dating back to 1805, known as the Garita de Herbeira.

Cape Peñas Protected Landscape is at the northernmost point of Asturias. It is without doubt one of the wildest spots in the Principality and one with the most “personality”. The waters of the Bay of Biscay crash against its steep cliffs, which in places rise up a hundred metres in height, giving shape to a setting of unparalleled beauty. This area can be accessed by a wooden walkway which helps conserve this area of enormous natural value. Inland, the terrain is very rugged, with short, shallow river valleys. The beaches are usually made up of pebbles or sand and are really beautiful. Noteworthy among these are Xagó Beach and Verdicio Beach. From the cape, you can see small islands and rocky islets, including La Erbosa, the second largest island in the Principality.


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