Aerial view of the island Pantaleu near Sant Elm, Mallorca, Spain
© Dimitri Weber/Amazing Aerial Agenc
A Balearic islet. Pantaleu
There isn’t much to the tiny island of El Pantaleu (or Es Pantaleu in Catalan), off the westernmost shore of Mallorca (also known as Majorca), itself a relatively small island only 30 - 40 miles across. Both are part of the Balearic Islands, off the east coast of Spain, whose main islands, Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera are popular tourist destinations.
Pantaleu is more precisely an islet, a mere rock of about six acres in size. Its highest point is 80ft (24m). Not much grows here and no one lives on it. Mallorca is only about 1,000ft (304m) away, making it a vigorous but doable swim from the beach at the village of Sant Elm. Technically, no-one is allowed to step foot onto Pantaleu, because it is designated a nature reserve along with the much larger Dragonera Island a few miles further to the west. Pantaleu is most useful as a wind break for boats, as you can see from this aerial photo, and is a popular spot to drop anchor.
In 1229, young James I the Conqueror, King of Aragon, and his fleet sought refuge from a storm behind Pantaleu before he embarked on his campaign to invade the Balearic Islands. These days, most of the turf battles around here have been settled, although you might have to duel with a tourist for a spot on the sand or a table at happy hour.