ONE OF THE LAST PARADISES IN THE MEDITERRANEAN
Formentera is an oasis of peace and tranquillity. Many musicians and artists have gotten and still get their inspiration on this island. Which is not surprising because with a size of 83,2 km², 69 km of coastline, magnificent beaches, turquoise waters and a perfect arrangement between tourism and nature one can safely call Formentera the last paradise in the Mediterranean. While the people on Ibiza meet to share a party, most people on Formentera want to share and enjoy the solitude. Let yourself too be seduced by the unique beauty of this island.
For a daytrip I recommend setting out early. If you missed catching a private yacht or do not have your own one you can still take one of the ferries that leave hourly from the Estación Marítima, Ibiza harbour. On the passage you’ll already notice how the wind and salt water clean all the stress from your soul. When you’ve arrived in the harbour of La Savina, you should first get yourself some sort of vehicle. Various rent-a-cars offer cars, motorbikes or the new electric bikes (we highly recommend using one of these…), and, for the athletic ones amongst you, also bicycles. There are perfect circuits to explore the island called ‘Green Circuits’. The rental prices differ greatly, so it’s worth checking out various companies. Don’t forget taking a map, the island is bigger than one might think. Fancy a good breakfast? Then you should go to San Francesc, the capital of Formentera. There’s a wide range of cafés and bars. For the granola fans among you I recommend the Café Matinal; also very good are the Ginovale and the Café Platé.
Behind the historical town hall square with its 17th century church is the restaurant Cana Pepa, where you get delicious fresh juices in the patio. You’ll immediately notice that Formentera and its inhabitants are very relaxed. After breakfast you should take a stroll through the colourful shopping street. An important suggestion: Don’t forget to buy a good sunscreen and a hat. The sun is even stronger than in Ibiza, and if you don’t watch out, you’ll get roasted!!! Your stomach is full and you’re equipped with everything you need? Then it’s time to decide, sightseeing or beach! If you like sightseeing, you should do it in the early morning hours, before the midday heat, or afterwards, in the late afternoon, when it’s getting a little cooler. So let’s get on the westward road. Go first to Cap de Barbaria, the long, straight road leads directly to the wind-rugged plateau and lighthouse. The almost untouched landscape is unique, and it feels as if time had stopped. Enjoy the wonderful quiet and the murmur of the ocean along the cliffs, and if you’re lucky and catch a day with clear weather, you might even see Africa.
Those who’ve seen the film “Lucia y el sexo” will surely remember the spectacular cave next to the sea. The entrance to this cave is right next to the lighthouse. The big hole in the rocky ground leads directly to the ocean. A must for climbers!!!
If you’d rather go for a swim, right next to it is the bay of Cala Saona with its marvellous, inviting turquoise water. While you are lying on the white sandy beach, you begin to understand Formentera’s true charm.
For those amongst you who’d rather have a lonely bay to themselves, we recommend going to Sa Pedrera. Between the rough rocks you find magnificent little spots where you’ll be undisturbed. Here you can forget all stress and feel like Robinson Crusoe, while watching Formentera’s blue salamanders bathing in the sun.
You’ve had enough solitude and your heart asks for some action? Then it’s time to set out to Ses Illetes and Platja Levant, Formentera’s most popular and frequented beaches. On the white sandy beaches everyone who wants to see and be seen gets together. A piece of advice: On most of the beaches there are special walkways. This has a particular reason: Formentera’s sand dunes have a very delicate ecosystem that can easily be destroyed. So, unfortunately, we have to mention this over and over again: “RESPECT NATURE AND KEEP YOUR ENVIRONMENT CLEAN”.
You’ve got an empty stomach? Ses Illetes offers a wide variety of chiringuitos and restaurants. Our recommendation is Moli de Sal (upper price range), Tanga and the legendary Big Sur. When the midday heat is over, it’s time to get on the road again because Formentera has much more to offer. Your next destination should be La Mola in the east. Pass the salt flats of s’Estany Pudent and s’Estany des Peix (one of the oldest salt extracting plants in the Mediterranean) and head in the direction of Es Pujols, San Ferran. From there, the road leads up to the La Mola plateau, the lighthouse at the end of the world. There’s a book called “Every man is an island”, and it describes perfectly why so many people choose islands as their place for self-discovery. Well, though you’ll surely find many people in La Mola with the same idea, there will still be a little spot where you can be alone to enjoy the peace of those fantastic cliffs. On the way back you should stop in Es Pilar to visit its historical windmill. On Wednesdays and Sundays there’s an art market there. Some kilometres down the road you’ll find the lookout Es Mirador, offering a breathtaking view of Formentera.
For those wanting to catch some more sun there’s a difficult choice to be made. On the northern side there’s Cala Traumata, with lonely, rocky bays. On the south side there are the sandy beaches of Mitjorn and Arenal. There you’ll find a wide range of chiringuitos, restaurants and accommodation. We recommend the Pirata Bus at km 11, a seventies hippy bus converted into a beach bar, or the Sol y Mar at km 10.7, a real insiders’ tip! Around km 8 there are the beach bars Blanco and Lucky, and let’s not forget the legendary Blue Bar, with a unique ambience, nice service and good food. A great place to chill in a friendly atmosphere. You should also visit the Café Hemingway in Es Pujols, C/ Punta Prima 1. The day’s coming to an end and you should decide if you’ll take the last boat or stay overnight. Difficult decision! In case you stay you should start looking for a place to sleep. Formentera offers a wide variety of hostels and private accommodation. A good suggestion is the Hostal Bon Sol in San Ferran or the Hostal Bahia in La Savina. The Hotel Restaurant Las Banderas at Playa Mitjorn is a must as well! If you want to go out you should start soon because the best parties happen at sunset! For the House lovers amongst you we recommend the Big Sur. If you fancy more uptempo sounds you’ll enjoy the Blue Bar. Every evening for sunset (and sometimes a little longer) DJ Massivan and guests turn the Wheels of Steel.
So much fun you forgot to have dinner? In the legendary Fonda Pepe Bar in San Ferran you’ll get delicious Tapas until late. Right around the corner is the Sa Garrafa, where you get exotic food and, on some days of the week, good music.
Still haven’t had enough fun? Then head for the tourist stronghold Es Pujols. There are loads of things to do. We recommend a visit to the local clubs Pachanqua or the ex-Xueño, since last year called by its original name from the 70’s again, Tipic. There you find the parties of Cocoon or Cadenza, amongst others, a real jewel! Those who like it more traditional should try the stylish Casa Paco in La Savina.
Whatever you do, we hope that Formentera will inspire you in its own way and that you take home the good memories and energies. Apart from that you will see no cranes, no tunnels, no road works, no cigarettes on the beaches, and, last but NOT least, no billboards polluting the environment. If you are owner of a private yate please bear in mind to not anchor where the posidonia resides, there is few left and it has great benefits for the sea, not just cleaning it. Just as we said: one of the last paradises in the Mediterranean! Next time you’re stuck in a traffic jam or some other kind of stressful situation just think about Formentera, it will relax you instantly. No joke…
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