Formentera has been and still is the symbol of idyllic relaxation, water sports, paradise beaches in the Mediterranean region and snobbery. The island is full of contrasts. On the one hand, it’s the most famous island in the Balearic Islands archipelago inhabited by hippies, where life has a slightly slower pace. On the other hand, however, it’s the most popular location among people bored with loud resorts (especially in July and August) who are ready to pay three times as much for this idyllic peace. It is worth it to visit. What to see in one day?
Formentera and weather
Formentera is part of the Balearic Islands archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies in the immediate neighborhood of Ibiza. Therefore, it has a milder Mediterranean climate than on the rest of the islands of this archipelago. The moderate nature of the climate makes summer long and sunny, and the other seasons rainy. Spring starts in February and runs until April (heat about 20 degrees). Summer comes in May and lasts until the end of September. This is the warmest and the most sunny period. Also fall and winter is nice, but then we have to accept the rain.
How to get to Formentera?
The easiest and, at the same time, the most popular way to get to the island is by ferry from Ibiza. There used to be only two companies one could choose from, nowadays there are private carriers as well, so instead of travelling for 40 minutes, like in my case, you can shorten your journey up to 28 minutes. For me the most important thing was the possibility to use the discount for the Balearic Islands residents that I had as a hotel employee. You can buy tickets online, but not always does it come cheaper. However, it’s worth checking prices of individual tickets on site as they can differ considerably. Ferries go very often so don’t worry if you don’t get on the first one.
Travel offices advertise Formentera as an oasis of piece and escape from crowds of tourists. This is not entirely true considering the fact that each ferry was fully packed with people and there are a few of them during a day. The worst period is July – August. The closest to October, the smaller the traffic. Right after we leave the harbour we can already start savouring the emerald sea which here and there sparkles with turquoise. We leave crowded Ibiza far behind us. Delicate breeze forecasts a few-hour relax.
Transport at island
Right after you get to a small seaport in the north of the island, get to a bicycle rental point. In my opinion, it is the best means of getting around the island. Some people rent cars. I think that a bicycle trip is more interesting. Some picturesque bays are very small and there’s no possibility of getting there by car. There’s also a possibility of using a public bus but they run very seldom.
What to visit and where to go?
After leaving the harbour you should go to a national park Ses Salines where there are miniature oceanic forests creating salt lakes – lagoons with salinas where salt used to be gained from sea water. First of them is Estany de Peix. The bigger one’s name is Estany Pudente and it is ideal for a bicycle round trip or long walk. The view is breath-taking.
These aren’t my first Salinas but I never saw such beautiful variety of colours. Looking at pink-white lagoon, dunes and piles of salt you get the impression as if you were in some milky land. It’s hard to believe that salt was obtained in such beautiful scenery. As an reminder of it, there is a railway line which used to transport salt to La Savina harbour.
Later you should stop for a small picnic on Iletes beach. It’s the most frequently visited beach, so if you’re looking for some peace, then you should rather go somewhere else. However it is worth it to see beautiful view of the azure coast.
Formentera is a mecca for naturists as all beaches there have a status of “clothing optional”. So it may sometimes happen that a beautiful view over the lagoon and neighbouring islands will be blocked by somebody’s hanging penis. Then you can, if you swim well, move to a little island of Espalmador and there take natural mud baths. When you finally feast your eyes with beautiful views, it’s worth going further along the coast to a beautiful beach of Es Pujois with dunes.
Stonehenge fans are recommended to see Ca na Costa– a stone circle consisting of 2-metre-high standing stones that dates back to 2000 – 1600 B.C. It’s allegedly the most important megalith in the archipelago and the oldest trace of human presence unless you believe in aliens of course. According to a legend, magical power is attributed to these stones.
Later i recommend you to have a small trip round a picturesque capital of the island San Francesc Xavier, better known as San Francisco. Besides stands with local products, you can also visit a 18th century defence church and Ethnographic Museum as long as you’re interested in history of the island and the region.
The day is coming to an end so you should be heading towards the port. Before you leave, however, you should enjoy again those heavenly views over Majorca. To do it, you can ride to limestone plateau El Pilar de la Mola. You can find here the monument of Julius Verne whose name should ring the bell to every self-respecting traveller
On your way back you can turn to a famous beach of Platja Mitjorn, which is the longest beach in Formentera and runs for 8 km. The last glance at the sunset and you can come back to the port.