The lost paths of the Mediterranean

Formentera offers more than 430 green routes for discovering its amazing views.

Day 1: The flamingo marshes

Cami dels BrollsPort de la Savina

The first day people arrive in Formentera, whatever their destination within the island, they always start their routes from La Savina, where the arrival port is located. From there, you will have access to almost any corner of this Mediterranean paradise. You can revel in its different seashores, paths and roads, which connect the towns, lighthouses and beaches, and you will be able to encompass the purest essence of Formentera in just one trip. 

Your first morning on the island, following a good breakfast next to the port of La Savina. There you will find numerous restaurants, such as the Café del Lago, which is famous precisely for its full breakfasts and pleasant atmosphere at any hour of the day. From the port area, take the indicator of the Green Routes, thanks to which you will discover lagoons, wetlands and secret coves as well as observe the birds inhabiting the isle as you travel a route lasting some 85 minutes on foot (half an hour on bicycle).

No sooner have you started walking than you will be able to gain a detailed enjoyment of the countryside of Las Salinas (salt flats) of Formentera, of its peculiar pinkish colours, its vegetation and its fauna, as well as the beauty of its coastal waters. The salt of Formentera, known all over the world for its properties and its artisanal processing, used to be the island’s main industry and even nowadays it represents one of its most noted and prized products.

Step by step, you will see the so-named Estany des Peix behind you and the Estany Pudent lagoon in front of you. This humid zone of the island is the perfect spot for observing the most colourful birds that visit Formentera: the flamingos. Next to them, you will see grey herons, ducks in thousands of shapes and colours, cormorants, seagulls… Follow the Camí dels Brolls, between hemps and rushes, and enjoy the placid and harmonious scene offered by the large natural lake, which stems from the underground waters that spring in this land, turning it all into a postcard marsh.

As not everything is going to be nature on this first day of travelling in Formentera, take the access to Es Pujols, offered you by the green route at the end of the tour, and treat yourself to a good meal with views to the sea and to the Islote dels Fonolls (islet of the Funnels) before embarking on your return.

Es Pujols is a highly recommendable area for its great variety in gastronomy and services. It also contains the only urban beach on the whole island and one can enjoy a quiet meal, an afternoon of cocktails, a romantic dinner and a night of fun without getting bored. The atmosphere is always lively but without losing the essence of peace that swamps everything in Formentera.

Day 2: The hippie Formentera

Es PujolsCalo des Mort Formentera

Your second day in Formentera starts in the centre of the isle, in the town of Sant Ferrán de Ses Roques, a symbol of the hippie spirit that reigned in the island during the sixties. Its traditional houses, with that luminous white colour so characteristic of the Pitiüsas, bear witness to the more rural and authentic Formentera and, in its square, groups of young and older people still gather to have fun while drinking something, playing a “batucada” or attending one of the multiple cultural events celebrated here all year round. 

Before starting the day’s route, use your time to learn more about the town: visit its church in the main square, have a look at the guitar workshop, visited in the past by the likes of Pink Floyd and Chris Rea, and treat yourself to a good breakfast in one of its most typical terraces: toasts with tomato and oil, cheese or ham, natural juice and coffee. Take it easy as today’s destination will be the Es Ca Marí area and getting there will only take you half an hour on foot or 10 minutes by bicycle, if you prefer this.

As you advance on the path towards the Es Migjorn beach, you will observe the most representative image of agricultural Formentera. The sandy and terracotta colours contrast with the bright blues of the sky, the artisanal dry stone walls – a model of local Balearic construction used for separating borders and marking routes -, the juniper farms and the pine trees at the edge of the path create a perfect framework for contemplation and meditation right in the middle of nature.

If you are a lover of speleology, you are in luck as, shortly after leaving the centre of Sant Ferrán, you will have the possibility of visiting one of the best-preserved caves in Formentera: Sa Cova d’en Xeroni, a huge millennial cavern (believed to be 3 million years old), with hundreds of stalagmites and stalactites that have been formed by the passing of time and the effects of saline humidity over the typical limestone of this zone.

Another of the monuments you will find on your way will be easy to notice: the Pi d’es Català defence tower, one of 4 such towers distributed at strategic points on the isle. This turret by the sea offers spectacular views of the whole Migjorn seaside, which was vital at the time the towns of the island were subject to pirate attacks. From this tower, one can see a twin tower, that of Es Cap.

Although today’s destination is the beach of Marí, the Migjorn area it lies within is one that agglutinates prettier and quieter beaches: that of Es Codol, the Es Vogamarí beach, that of Es Copinar and, in the background, that of Caló d’Es Mort. So if you want to continue walking, do not hesitate: a tour through this coastline in the south of Formentera will take you to the island’s most famous beach bars, where, in addition to eating, you will be able to taste a delicious cocktail before going home. Remember that, from these shores, the sunset is memorable.

Day 3:  The red island

Isla RojaDetalle barrera y mar azul Formentera

Turquoise blues, yellows, gold, greens, ochres and silver… For this third day of your stay in Formentera, we suggest that you travel through Formentera’s colour palette, its most impressive and authentic sites. And with a final surprise awaiting you in Cala Saona, the beach from where you will enjoy an unforgettable sunset. Out of a postcard, as people say. 

The idea is that of starting the route from La Savina and calculating a full journey lasting an hour and a half on foot or 35 minutes if you choose to go by bicycle. You will wander through one of the most beautiful sites of rural Formentera, Portossalé, and you will be able to revel in the emblematic Estany des Peix and its mud and sand beach. This pond, as you will see, is a kind of natural salt lake on which small boats are allowed to moor and navigate. Its waters are very calm and are protected from the wind and the currents, which means you should not waste the opportunity to rent a kayak and see the island from the sea.  

The beach of Estany des Peix opens to the Mediterranean via a channel known among the locals as Sa Boca; it is a whim of nature such as you will not find on any other of the Balearic Islands. The sandbank is a wide one and covers the whole area from the left arm of La Savina port to the Caló de S’Oli. You will see that this territory, apart from a large beach, also has small coves in which one can rest and find shelter. Many regular visitors, in fact, go to these beaches to practice nudism away from the more frequented tourist circuits. 

Once you have finished your walk through the Estany des Peix, you must submerge yourself again in rural Formentera on paths surrounded by junipers, white houses and dry stone walls. Following a brief walk, you will arrive in Cala Saona, a place full of colour that contrasts with the more typical countryside of Formentera. The cliffs here are low, as if constructed on sheets over the sea, and they are noted for a deep reddish colour in contrast with the monotony of greens and turquoise blues you will see elsewhere on the isle. A spectacle worth a thousand photographs. 

Since the route will take up your whole morning, once you reach Cala Saona the time will be perfect for having something to eat at the restaurant on the beach. Take advantage of the sun and swim in its crystalline waters, have a siesta and finish the afternoon admiring the sunset from the bar you will find in one of the cliff areas of the beach.

Day 4: Bathing in nature

Acceso Playa Formentera

The last Formentera path we suggest you take will bring you to the island’s great green lung, which is said to contain one of its most amazing sites: the natural pools of Can Marroig, known as Les piscinetes (little pools) among the locals. In this estate, located to the west of the Estany des Peix and a little beyond the Caló de S’Oli, you will find the Interpretation Centre of Ses Salines, which has a unique environmental richness in the Mediterranean.

This being a natural reserve with a very strict conservation policy, you must follow the routes indicated and not stray aimlessly from these as the ecosystem of Ses Salines is very rich but very weak. That of Sa Pedrera is the most famous and will allow you to go through the whole area from La Savina to the Punta de la Gavina, whose Sa Gavina tower will put an end to today’s tour. 

To start the day with energy, have a heavy breakfast and prepare a picnic for carrying in your rucksack: you will spend the whole day surrounded by nature in its purest state, far from all the typical services of tourist areas and enveloped in surroundings that will fully transform you. The Can Marroig area is a mixture of classical Pitiüsa vegetation and arid sites, wide stone grounds that were formerly used for extracting the sandstone seen in most of the island’s constructions. 

Among these rockier areas, which will make you feel as if walking on the surface of the moon, particular mention should be made of the area taken up by Les piscinetes, in Punta Pedrera. These natural pools are the resulting of the Mediterranean entering the irregular sheets of the Can Marroig coast, forming small ponds in which the water stagnates and becomes warm under the sun, thus resulting in what many people regard as a natural spa. 

Here, in Punta Pedrera, following a relaxed walk admiring the countryside, you can stay to enjoy the day. Yes, a whole day in the middle of nature and without checking your watch: swimming in the pools, eating something, reading under the sun, having a siesta with the murmur of the sea against the rocks, watching the wildlife that inhabits these parts of the Natural Park of Ses Salines, admiring Es Vedrá from the cliffs, practicing snorkelling and discovering the depths of its seas, the concealed underwater caves of its coasts… 

When sunset comes, go to the area of the Sa Gavina tower, which offers exceptional views of this rugged coastline of crystalline waters and an infinite horizon. It is moreover said by the locals that on very clear days, without clouds or mists, one can see the profile of the peninsular coast right in front of the waters of Formentera. After the sun sets, go back to la Savina with the last lights in the horizon and enjoy a traditional supper in the most typical restaurants: you have only a few hours left in Formentera so you must make the most of it.