Tene Sommer's Blog Vol.2: Paradise on earth - Formentera12-10-2012
I really hope you enjoyed my previous blog about Ibiza and if you haven't read it click HERE to do so. This time I really want to share with you the paradise I found - Formentera island.
Have you ever dreamt of walking along white sandy beaches and bathing in turquoise waters, but don't really fancy the long and expensive flight to the Caribbean islands? Well I just found the solution. Let me introduce you to Formentera - one of the last outposts of paradise in Europe! And joy oh joy, it lies in the Mediterranean, just 6 kilometers off the coast of Ibiza..
Formentera is the smaller and more southerly island of the Pitiusic Islands group (comprising Ibiza and Formentera, as well as various small islets), which all belong to the Balearic Islands autonomous community. Going to Formentera from Ibiza by a ferry takes about 60 minutes, while a fast catamaran will get you there in 30 minutes. Unfortunately we took ferry that took an whole hour to get there. And when I usually love boat rides this one really made me scared for my life, because the ferry was rocking from side to side and the waves were coming in! Fortunately, we arrived to the Formentera harbor called La Savina safely and I must say it is worth the ride.
The land area of this idyllic isle only 83.24 square kilometers big and the main island of Formentera is 19 kilometers (12 mi) long. We decided to head straight to the beach by walking, which took us quite some time, but we stopped in between in a chiringuito to have a snack and water. One thing that was very surprising, were the high prices in the local chiringuitos by the beach. But I understand it, because these places are obviously meant for tourists and where else are you gonna go when hunger strikes in the middle of your beach day? So the businesses definitely take advantage of that!
Illetes - The beach
After a 40-minute walk we arrived to the most popular beach of the island - Illetes. I must say I haven't seen something so overwhelming in my life. The white sand and amazing crystalline sea made me speechless. Instantly I jumped into the water and swam for a long time. I always considered the beaches of Tarifa my favorite, but Illetes opened my eyes. This is really is a paradise on earth and I'm so grateful I got to visit it.
The beach of Illetes is small, but very diverse. One side of the beach had strong wind and waves, while the other side was calm and perfect for sunbathing. I must admin that the people there were completely different from the young party crowd on Ibiza. I think they are people who value peace and quiet in the most beautiful surroundings. And as a matter of fact, progress happens slowly in Formentera. Inhabitants and visitors are content with a simple, healthy lifestyle as emphasized by the most popular form of transport; cycling or walking along the excellent cycle paths and well-marked hiking trails.
The secret of this paradise is …
After spending couple of hours in paradise beach, we walked back from the Illetes beach to see a bit more of the island. On the hiking trail I saw many environmental signs that made me realize the difference of Formentera. It is marked by respect for nature, the survival of its own culture and the vision of achieving exclusivity through protecting the environment. The secret of the existence of a crystalline sea and Formentera's long beaches, which mark it out from the rest of the Mediterranean, is the posidonia prairie that surrounds the island, a natural treatment plant that cleans the water and makes it possible for sand to be deposited on the coast. It is a real underwater jungle, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. So I hope everybody who travels to that island is environmental friendly and will help to keep this paradise clean.
After Illetes, we rented a scooter to see more of the island, although we didn't have much time left. We drove to Cala Saona to have lunch with an amazing view of the beach. If you go to Formentera, please do yourself a favor and order local fish for lunch. You will thank me later!
We didn't go swimming in Cala Saona, but the beach was also breathtaking and it had all sort of water sport possibilities. After lunch we were running out of time.. I really wanted to see the famous caves in Cap de Barbaria, but we had to rush back to get our ferry, since we didn't want to experience the scary ferry ride in the dark. And I wanted to save something for my next visit to Formentera, because I am definitely going back!
Formentera is a place where you can relax and just be yourself!
By: Tene Sommer
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