Wednesday, August 22, 2018

TRAVEL GUIDES SERIES: FORMENTERA

What is so special about an island that is right over there in the Mediterranean? Essentially its spirit. Its beaches. They are beautiful, breath-taking, and most of them are meant to be found out through the luxurious greenery, and a few steps ahead there is nothing we can say, except for: wow! Are you sure this wasn’t photoshopped? This is it: the water is turquoise, the sand is white, the sea is so calm that can almost be mistaken for a pool. To soak in these waters evokes such a feeling of tranquillity and peace that it is addictive.

How to get there

The island is quite small (one of the traits that makes it special and whole-hearted) and does not have an airport. You must fly to Ibiza first and take the ferryboat to Formentera — it takes about 30 minutes and it is an utterly whimsical ride, as you get a feeling of calmness for being in the ocean and a rush of excitement as you are approaching the island and seeing its gorgeous waters. The port is in La Savina, and from there you can reach every corner of the island.

Backstage | Travel Guides Series: Formentera
Formentera


Where to stay

The island does not cater to a lot of hotels, but instead offers accommodation in small, charming houses for rent. This kind of accommodation is perfect, as it gives you more freedom and a more genuine sense of how it feels to live in the island. For larger groups, the houses from Villas Formentera are excellent options. For couples, Can Vicent Lluqinet houses are ideal, very welcoming and well-located.

Backstage | Travel Guides Series: Formentera
(c) Can Soñar | Villas Formentera


The beaches

They are the main reason to visit Formentera and definitely do not disappoint. The best way to make the most out of it is renting a motorcycle and browsing the entire island to discover the most stunning beaches. The best tip: let yourselves go with the flow; if it is too windy on one side of the island, the other side will be amazing. Exploring new beaches is quite an adventure, but you should also visit the most well-known ones: Ses Illetes, Playa de Llevant, Cala es Mort, Cala Saona and Playa de Migiorn. Caló de Sant Agustí, near Es Caló, is a tiny beach, but perfect for swimming.

Backstage | Travel Guides Series: Formentera
Ses Illetes
Backstage | Travel Guides Series: Formentera
Caló de Sant Augustí


The restaurants

The best of the island, in addition to great food, is the incredible atmosphere. To start off the day with a delicious brunch, the best options are Blat Picat, in Sant Ferran, and Cafe Matinal, in Sant Francesc Xavier.

Backstage | Travel Guides Series: Formentera
Blat Picat

For lunch, the best option is to go to the chiringuitos — beach bars that sell mainly tapas and drinks — like Blue Bar, in Migiorn beach, and Kiosko 62, near the Gecko Hotel, or stop by Es Pujols and buy the most beautiful pata negra ham and tomato sandwich at Gran Iberico. Rafalet restaurant is unmissable, as well, with an incredible view over Caló de Sant Agustí. This year, the big new thing at the most visited beaches is fresh fruit, like pineapple and coconut, cracked open on the spot — delicious!

Backstage | Travel Guides Series: Formentera
Kiosko 62

The most renowned spots are better left for dinner; in fact, many just open in the evening with that purpose. Ca Na Joana and Can Carlos, in Sant Francesc, and La Mariterranea and Pizzaria Macondo, in Sant Ferran.

Backstage | Travel Guides Series: Formentera
La Mariterranea

For those who love sweet treats, do not leave the best ice cream parlour in Formentera out of the picture: La Mukkeria. I guarantee you will not be able to resist a second visit.

The sunset

This is one of the highlights of the day and there are several options: beach bars like Pirata Bus, in Es Caló, are a must-visit, the atmosphere is amazing, a lot of people gather at these bars, which turns this moment into a full-blown celebration. Ses Illetes, near the El Moli de Sal restaurant, is a great place, too. The Estany Pudent, the big lake in the heart of the island, gives you the perfect backdrop for amazing photos of the sunset mirrored on the water. Then there are also secret spots in the island where you can watch the sunset amidst nature, surrounded by soothing silence, and a lovely view over Isla Bonita, which a certain code of conduct for explorers does not allow me to reveal the location completely. Hint: look for small details on the road that goes up to Pilar de la Mola. Take advantage of the trip and explore the Farol de la Mola, a beautiful spot that also bares a hidden secret on the ground.

Backstage | Travel Guides Series: Formentera
Estany Pudent Lake
Backstage | Travel Guides Series: Formentera
Secret spot

The best in Formentera, paired with all these wonderful experiences, is always associated with a laidback feel, a sheer sense of freedom. In Formentera, you can be how you want, you can be topless or nude, and no one will look or judge, everybody is in a positive and serene state of mind, and that is conveyed to what is happening around us. It is one of the most peaceful places I ever step my foot in; since the first time I visited I felt as though I belonged here.

Backstage | Travel Guides Series: Formentera
Sant Francesc

June is the ideal month to go to Formentera, the water is not that warm, but the stillness that we find in the island can be lost during the busiest months of July and August, when the population of the island is four times higher than the rest of the year. In September, peace is restored (and the water is still warm) but you can tell the locals are somewhat tired thanks to the intensity of summertime. Regardless, the island is always awe-inspiring, a paradise in the middle of the Mediterranean that wins our hearts right away.

Backstage | Dina Horta

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