|FORMENTERA Balearic Islands
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.