Sometimes you discover a place where time seems to stand still, where every moment can be truly savoured. The environment promotes rest and deep nourishment. When you return home the memory and connection lingers and is forever embedded in your mind. Sometimes you want to keep this place all to yourself, your own hide-away from the hustle of life sometimes brings.
It was a decade ago I discovered such a place, whizzing around Formentera kicking up clouds of dust on the local dirt roads. Formentera Island the smallest Balearic and most southerly stands in the Mediterranean Sea. A little Island that stretches 20km long and only 2km wide at its smallest expanse.
I visited this magical Island 25 years ago when visiting my brother who was working there teaching in a local school. I decided to do a Rescue diver course whilst there and this is where the adventure and love for the Island began.
With great anticipated I was delighted to return last year and will share some of the magic of this encapsulating Island with you. I will share with you why I feel it promotes Well being. Formentera locals have certainly mastered the art of ‘just being’ enjoying natural beauty in its finest, a place for those seeking the most turqouise of waters and starriest skies.
Your journey begins with a boat ride, we opted for Balearia ferries from Denia. The Island has no airport and thankfully one that was strongly petitioned against by locals some time ago. We got the very early ferry from Denia to Formentera and enjoyed the gentle ride over passing the Iconic Es Vedrà rock, the jewel on Ibiza’s crown. You can also arrive by boat from neighbouring Islands of Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca.
Stepping back on land felt like not so long ago, Yes the port at La Savina has definitely got a modernisation and was much busier but very quickly our taxi ride to accommodation had us sitting back and taking in all the places we knew, remembering the beautiful light. Formentera is home to many artists and creative people and you can feel the laid pack quality of life here radiate.
We stayed beside Playa Migjorn at Astbury Apartments in Can Miguel Marti which were individual chalets styled accommodation not overlooked. We received a warm welcome and found the setting charming with a lot of thought going into guest needs. We were comfortable and the interiors were typical Balearic style. We had a lovely veranda surrounding by Pine trees and local plants, a lovely spot to enjoy a morning coffee and evening drink listening to the crickets. Only 300 m from Migjorn Beach, location was perfect for us. The small chalet contained local artisan textiles and art and a lovely welcoming pack of wine and goodies. I loved they all the natural toiletries products made on the Island. The location was quiet and peaceful yet close to local restaurants and a small grocer store should you choose to cook the odd time. We also realised it was beside an old Roman Mola.
You are spoilt for choice of great places to eat across the Island where care is taken in producing great local fresh food. We had three restaurants (including 2 chiringuitos) very close facing the sea which we repeatedly visited and loved. Both offered fresh seafood and Mediterranean style dishes.
We were delighted to see Sa Platgeta still there after 25 years and enjoyed a delicious paella and great pan aoili and a complementary Hierbas drink or bottle that was left with is. A lovely local drink that has notes of citrus, sage, rosemary and anise.
We also visited Cala Saono chirinquito, it was worth it for views but touristy expensive. It seems the view coaxed us. We enjoyed a delicious Paella at Restaurant Chacala afterwards on the entrance of Cala Saona where you can take in the sea views. Very friendly staff there.
In between daily swimming in the enticing turquoise waters a visit to La Mola lighthouse was essential which is one of the best view points on the Island. They have now but a barrier up so you can’t whizz up to it on a motorbike, but it makes a lovely walk up, thankfully it was off season for us. I guess due to heavier landfall as we could see there were protection notices for local flower life. This lighthouse is known too for the Spanish film “Lucia y el sexto’ where we stayed with the crew on our last visit here. You can see why the Island and this spot makes for stunning photography and sunsets. The light is truly unique.
The lighthouse is located on the edge of a cliff 120 metres above sea level, on the plateau of La Mola, where the highest point on the island is also to be found: Sa Talaïassa, 192 metres above sea level. Before you could climb down into the cave but now they have added a rope ladder, very practical and opens the view to those not as mobile. It’s worth the climb down as the view is spectacular. A spot know to locals for hosting parties and musical gatherings and to watch sunsets.
We also revisited the famous Pirata bus set up over 40 years ago when hippies were living in another chirinquito. Another stunning sunset place where they play Pavorretti “Times to say goodbye’ perfectly timed to sunset and you can enjoy some live music. It gets busy, so go early.
Sant Francesc Xavier is the capital of the town and it feels bright with it’s white buildings and bright blue doors.
We enjoyed revisiting and seeing many more boutique style artisan shops and grabbed a bocadillo in the local square café watching the world pass by. We heard many languages being spoken German, French, English and Iberican by locals.
Another evening we visited the long established bohemian market of La Mola, a great place to find local craft, art, live music and with the most beautiful jewellery store nearby called Majoral.
Talking to locals and seeing it ourselves Formentera is full of life and somewhere I prefer to go in lower season to fully enjoy its beauty and charm. You could also do a day trip from Ibiza but be warned you might wish you had longer…
Thank you for reading. I hope it inspires you to travel to beautiful places that lift your soul.
(Photography: Yasmina Lenahan, subject to copyright)
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