Travel to Formentera and you will see.....
The island of Formentera is part of the Balearic island group, being the smallest one in size. Formentera along with Ibiza make up the Pitiusan Islands. They are separated by a small strait known as ‘Es Freus’. The extension of this heavenly island is only 82 km2, it is long in shape going from east to west, the points are prolonged by Cape Barbaria and by Sa Pedrera in the south and Borronar to the North.
Morphologically speaking there are two very different rock formations, La Mola (192 m. In height) which produces a cliff ridged coastline and a flat western plain where the Puig Guillem mountain (106 m.) rises. These two points are joined by a small 3 km long stretch of land which makes up the Mitjorn beach. The land on the island of Formentera is generally considered not to be very good farmland which increases the difficulty for agriculture.
Formentera still maintains its character intact. The tourists who come to the island choose it for its beauty but above all for its tranquillity which in turn helps to maintain its charm. The word 'time' is just a way the day is spent. Taking it easy is the trademark of the lifestyle.
Among the most important traditions are the patron saints' days which if they coincide with your visit will introduce you to the sea faring and tranquil Formentera with its party atmosphere, Saint James (patron saint), celebrated on 25th July. The following festivities are also important: Santa Maria, on 5th August, which lately is becoming very popular, followed by the 'Verge del Carme', patron saint of sea farers, celebrated in La Savina and in Es Pujols, on 16th July.
Each village's patron saint day is also worth seeing: Saint Ferran's day, 30th May; Our lady of the Pillar, in La Mola on 12th October and Saint Francesc Xavier's day on 3rd December. Inherited traditions are proudly maintained at many of these festivities. Popular dances are organised where the participants dress up in ancient costumes where music, played on local instruments such as the flute, drum and large fire-etched castanets, is always present. All this comes together top produce the ‘ball pagès’, a typical Pitiusan dance which is very enjoyable to watch. If you can, you should not miss the chance to see it.
When it comes to the weather conditions, Formentera is characterised by high temperatures and a very dry summer season. Due to the island being extremely flat and rather small, the climate is very similar all over the island. The windy character of Formentera is noteworthy, again due to the island being rather flat.
What to see in Formentera?
The defense towers: There are a total of five towers spread all over the island. The first one to be built was on the islet of Espalmador. This was later followed by the one at Punta Prima, the one at La Gavina, the one at Cape Barbaria and finally by the one at Es Pi d’es Català, They were used in the defence of the island from raids from the sea which the island suffered.
Espalmador: is a small islet located to the north of the Formentera, 2,925 m long and 800 m wide. It's coastline is bordered by cliffs, except for a small magnificent cove on the southern coast and another, smaller one on the north eastern coast protected by a small islet called ‘Illa de Sa Torreta’ an ideal refuge for boats. It also has a small muddy lagoon where tourists who turn up there in their yachts commonly swim about and plaster themselves with the mud because of its therapeutic effects. Espalmador is surrounded by other smaller islets: Illa Castavi and Illa des Porcs, It's beaches are visited because of the transparent waters and white sand.
La Savina: or Formentera port will obviously be the first thing we see when we arrive on the island. Nowadays, movement in the port is continuous. Modern ships from Ibiza as well as other more traditional ones dedicated to excursions around the island and island fishing boats are a common sight. The oldest boats are the most enchanting, such as the Joven Dolores or the Illa de Formentera, both of which are still in service and are an ideal choice when going on a slow but attractive sea trip.
Ses Salines(Saltworks):These interesting installations are dedicated to extracting sea salt. In Formentera the salt industry which has had a notable effect on the economy for the inhabitants of Formentera, has been operating for years. Nowadays it has been semi-abandoned and the main interest in the saltworks is because of the beautiful landscape and because it is a nature reserve.
Es Pujols: This place offers an all round services to tourists, comfortable hotels, restaurants and various shops without ruining the balance between a modern lifestyle and construction and a respect for nature, something which Formentera is proud of and tries to maintain.
Sant Ferran: One of the most authentic and picturesque legendary hippy bars can be found in this small town, Fonda Pepe. The complete name of the village is 'Sant Ferran de Ses Roques', which obviously refers to the adjacent land, a mixture of farm land and rocky plains.
Sant Francesc Xavier: is the capital of Formentera. It is located about three kilometres from the port of La Savina, along the main highway. The local parish church stands out in the town's main square. It was an old fortress built at the beginning of the 13th century to protect the island from the numerous pirate raids which the island suffered. In Sant Francesc the town hall can be found as well as numerous shops, small restaurants, savings banks, banks, travel agencies, etc. That means, all the basic services which the main town on the island should offer. It even has a handicraft market where you can get costume jewellery, wool from Formentera and clothes; The market is open in the main street every morning during the summer months.
Cape Barbaria: is located on the southernmost point of Formentera. To go a little deeper, its name is said to come from the relative proximity of the cape to the coast of Africa well known for its barbarians. It is a very characteristic part of the island with woods, farmland and coastline rich in caves, nooks and crannies, and storm rivers which flow into the sea.
Es Caló: has a very interesting landscape. It is a very attractive place with small beaches, rocky areas and a mainly seafaring atmosphere with the enormous blue sea as a backdrop, all in the lee of the cliff known as La Mola. For sailors it is an ideal resting point, protected from the wind and high seas with the chance for fans to fish because of the rich marine ecosystem which Formentera has.
La Mola is the most 'distant' part of the island. This does not mean that it is not worth a visit. It is also the highest point, 192 metres above sea level. Its lighthouse stands out for its majesty. It is a point of reference for sailors and adventurers, as well as for some writers who have mentioned it in their books, such as the French writer Jules Verne. The parish church of 'Our lady of the Pillar' can be found here. This white church along with the above mentioned lighthouse has become a distinctive symbol of the area.
Migjorn beach: It is one of the biggest beaches on Formentera, more than 5 km of white sandy coastline. It is an ideal place to practice nautical sports and to enjoy the quietness which this peaceful spot offers. We can enjoy the landscape surrounded by sand dunes.
Formentera - The Lighthouse of Barbária
Formentera - Wines from Formentera
Ibiza and Formentera - Functional beauty
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