Formentera is much more than the last Mediterranean Paradise where classic summer holidays can be enjoyed. It is an island oasis surrounded by peace and tranquillity, enhanced by a surprisingly well-conserved natural environment.
Formentera offers visitors an assortment of simple pleasures which ensure a pleasurable stay on the island at any time of the year. Its mild climate (with an average temperature of 16ºC between November and April) allows for swimming in the sea year round, while our renowned autumns and springs paint the island in magnificent shades of light and incredible colours.
The hues of the landscape are rendered more harmonious and limpid when the island is relieved of the dazzling light that invades it in the summer season. Watching the sunset or simply gazing at the sky and the sea become unique experiences which, in and of themselves, justify a trip to Formentera.
Towns and Villages:
– La Savina: The harbour of La Savina is the first town to come under our consideration since it is the sole point of entry the tourist has to the island and therefore of vital importance. If anything characterizes La Savina it is the continual coming and going of sea vessels: ferries that travel to and fro bearing tourists and islanders; fishing boats of every imaginably size; and in summer an incredible number of leisure boats captained by people who have decided to spend their summer holidays exploring the Mediterranean coast.
– San Francisco Javier: Situated three kilometres from the harbour we find Formentera’s most important town, San Francisco, considered the capital of the island due to the fact that the Town Hall is located in its main square. Directly opposite the Town Hall stands the church which, in the 18th century was used as a fortress against pirate raids from the nearby Barbary Coast, eventually becoming a refuge and shelter for the parishioners. The most important festivals and events are celebrated in the main square, where equal numbers of residents and tourists converge in a cheerful, peaceful and above all welcoming atmosphere. San Francisco is at its busiest during the day owing to the large number of shops and bars that line its streets. The town’s special highlight is its charming boulevard where numerous hippie stalls can be found, enticing tourists with a multitude of typical island wares. As the main commercial and administrative centre, San Francisco is a sightseeing must in the daylight hours.
– San Fernando: Following along the same road that heads out from the harbour and passes through San Francisco, the next stop is San Fernando, or Sant Ferran in Catalan. In addition to the fact that it is necessary to pass through this junction in order to reach La Mola and Es Pujols, the village offers a wide variety of bars and restaurants where one can have a meal, or perhaps just some cold refreshment, and watch the world go by. It is here that we find one of the island’s most legendary venues: La Fonda Pepe, which, in the 60s opened its doors to the public and since then has been serving a steady stream of customers who come to enjoy the island’s authentically laid-back hippy atmosphere. Despite the passing of years, this is one of the few places that has remained unchanged.
La Mola: Without getting off the main road, the next stop after Sant Ferran is La Mola. This is the most distant village, located at the highest geographical spot on the island, some 15 kilometres from Sant Ferran. It can easily be said that this is one of the quietest villages because, as it is the farthest from the centre, it is not visited as often as the others and so has few shops and restaurants. Its main attraction is the hippie market that sets up twice a week and draws a great throng of people. Another of its attractions is the lighthouse perched on the solitary cliffs, the perfect lookout point for soulful sunsets in the calm of twilight.
– Es Pujols: This is the last town and no doubt the one that caters most energetically to tourism. It can be reached by two roads, either directly from La Savina harbour or via Sant Ferran. Immediately upon arrival one notes that the atmosphere is very different from the rest of the island, especially at night. The wide variety of shops, restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs make this resort a tourist paradise. Whether by day or by night, the flow of people to and through Es Pujols is continual; During the day people come to enjoy its beaches and its shopping. After sundown the party scene begins to buzz, especially in the pubs and on the waterfront where the hippie market attracts people and the night crowd mixes and mingles in the sea air.
Formentera is a well-known and esteemed tourist destination thanks to its clear waters with turquoise tones and fine white sands that leave visitors speechless. The protected beaches have barely been changed by man and frame a land that is well equipped with familiar, modern tourist infrastructures.
Upon observing the peculiar contour of Formentera, there are three large expanses of beaches: on the northeast, the coasts of Llevant and Tramuntana; on the opposite side, the northwest coast, the island’s most famous islands, Illetes and Cavall d’en Borràs; and to the south, the coast of Migjorn.
The peninsula of Es Trucadors, to the north of the island, is a large stretch of sand that spreads out from south to north. Here the beaches of Llevant, Ses Illetes and Es Cavall d’en Borràs are formed, which occupy the west coast. Illetes is the most famous beach on the island and receives the most tourists. Despite the large concentration at peak times of day, walking along as far as the final authorised car park, there are stretches of practically deserted beaches, even at peak times.
Moreover, the nearby beach of Llevant is much less visited than Illetes. It covers the entire east coast of the beach, and also has fine, white sands, though with small rocky areas. Moving northwards, these two beaches are so close that you can spread out your towel in the middle and enjoy both at the same time.
All this area falls within the Ses Salines d’Eivissa i Formentera Natural Park, an area of special environmental preservation. For those visiting on motorbike or by car, a fee must be paid at the Park entrance, whilst pedestrians, cyclists or those with electric vehicles may enter free of charge.
In the natural extension of Es Trucadors we find S’Espalmador, a private island that is open to the public. It is very easy to cover on foot and has various beaches, the most popular being that of S’Alga on the west coast. To access S’Espalmador (swimming across is prohibited due to the sea currents), a local company makes various crossings each day, leaving from the La Savina Port and stopping off at the Illetes beach. Other options are to pay for a nautical tour or to rent a boat.
The other large sandy area is the beach of Migjorn. It stretches over 5 km in a half-moon shape, covering the whole of the south of the island from the Es Mal Pas area up to the Es Copinar zone. The Migjorn beach has different place names to distinguish one part from another, from west to east: Es Mal Pas, Es Ca Marí, Racó Fondo, Còdol Foradat, Es Valencians, Es Arenals and Es Copinar.
Es Caló des Mort deserves a special mention, a small cove along from Migjorn beach and separated from the area of Es Copinar by a rocky and rugged area.
Cliffs dominate the western coast of the island, among which a small natural bay can be found, with beautiful landscape and crystalline waters. It is the beach of Cala Saona, loved by families for its shallow, clear waters. Small cliffs and a large number of boatyards in good condition frame this backdrop.
The Tramuntana Coast occupies the central northern part of the island and is a low, rocky coastline. The walking route along the top is agreeable, starting from the Racó de sa Pujada, and among the numerous rocky stretches where it is relatively easy to find sandy nooks. It is one of the most tranquil parts, even in peak season. The only coastal population in this area, Es Caló de Sant Agustí, is very highly regarded among locals and visitors alike, due to its fishing port and exquisite gastronomic premises. Just a two-minute walk away is Ses Platgetes, two small adjacent bays in which sand is broken up with rocky areas.
In the far west of this coast is Cala en Baster, a rocky cove surrounded by high limestone walls where outstanding boatyards can be found, made in natural caves. Easy access to this location is from the town of Sant Ferran.
In Formentera there are 2 adapted beaches for people with reduced mobility: Es Pujols and Arenals. Both have access ramps, a platform with shade, handrails, amphibious chairs and lifeguards. Arenals has adapted bathrooms and reserved parking.