Tricks to feel at home
The only way to come to Formentera is by sea, and the Port of La Savina, connected with that of Ibiza town all the year round, is the only way in, and the only way out. Eleven miles separate the ports of the Pitiuses, tree shipping companies give transport service with “jet” boats, modern and quick, that need only half an hour for the crossing. There is also an “express” line, with boats that take more or less 45 minutes. The prices for a passenger ticket (without residence) depends on the type of boat and differs according to the company. It may lay between 17 euros to 26 euros. Some other shipping companies transport vehicles and freight. During the summer mother there exist some weekly direct connections Formentera-Peninsula(with the port of Denia) as well for freight as for passengers.
On the inside
All over the years Formentera has been considered “the island of the bicycle”. But times were changing, and with time the model of tourism changed, too. Although the bike did not disappear completely from the streets and the rural roads, traffic now is dominated by motorbikes and mopeds. In the port of La Savina and in the more important places there is a wide range of car-and-moped rentals, where they offer also electric vehicles. The island is one of the few in the Mediterranean that counts with a mains supply system with charge points. So one can circulate with a vehicle of electric propulsion without the fear of being stucked with an empty battery.
A very efficient public transport service of regular busses links the most important villages, the tourist zones and beaches. There are various lines and the time schedule provides no excess of “in-between-waiting periods”. The taxi service has its stands in la Savina, in Sant Francesc and “in Es Pujols, and number of radio-taxi is available.
Wether walking, by bike, by moped or car the most import thing is utmost caution! As well on the main roads as on the smaller country roads with a lot of intersections there is a hotch potch mixture of vehicles of all different types. The driver has to be aware and show respect, so as to share space and keep the necessary distance.
He should not forget that on this small island, there are very few kilometer to run, so speed is absurd. In Formentera , on the road the devise is: ”poco a poco”, step by step, slowly, slowly.
Formentera´s farmers have great love and respect for their land and their environment. So the visitor, taking a trip on the country roads, should not pass private entries, nor disturb the livestock nor jump over walls or fences.
Health´s service in Formentera is concentrated in the Hospital, just outside of Sant Francesc. It offers an ample range of services, f.e. primary treatment, determinated specializations, as well as on emergency center.
In most of the occasions the hospital center has sufficient means to attend the necessities of the residents and the visitors. But in case of diseases or accidents that require a more specialized treatment, always in function of the health condition of the patient, the emergency sanitary helicopter will be activated to do the transfer to Ibiza.
There are in la Savina, Sant Francesc and Sant Ferran private medical centers to complete the offer of sanitary services.
There are four pharmacies in Sant Francesc, Sant Ferran, Es Pujols and Es Caló.
Beaches and winds.
The special references in Formentera are marked by the four cardinal points, and its geographical situation makes it possible at the moment to go to the beach, to choose that one where the wind does not blow. So it is very useful, before taking a decision, to know the direction of the win. So the bather can go the western beaches by east wind and viceversa.
And by northern wind he can choose the migjorn beach, the south, and viceversa, too.
On the most important beaches watch service and first aid points are installed to take care of the security of the bathers. This service is formed by a group of professional experts on life saving at sea, specialized in reanimation and first aid, they have sufficient means to attend small wounds and jelly fish burns. It always is recommendable to follow their instructions, and to pay attention to the beach flags.
With their colour they indicate the condition of the sea, and the risks of bathing.
Almost in every village there is a typical hippy market besides the ample range of commercial localities. In Sant Francest the hippy market in the pedestrian precinct around the central church place is opened in the morning from Monday to Saturday. The stands in la Savina on the sea promenade are opened morning and afternoon on normal commercial time schedule.
In Es Pujols, with his attractive ambiance by night, there are many restaurants and shops to discover besides the hippy market with a great amount of all kind of articles:
Presents, imitation and authentic jewelry, leather works and casual fashion clothing. In Es Pujols, a real touristic center, one finds as enormous quantity of cafes, music bars and discotheques.
And, last but not least, the most famous handicraft market is the one in el Pilar de la Mola, on Wednesday and Sunday, both in the afternoon. This event was born almost 30 years ago, as a result of an idea treasured by a group of handicraft artist that lived up there.
With the flowing of the years, it went bigger and bigger and by now one can find an ample diversity of original handmade articles; the whole atmosphere has conserved the spirit of the hippy epoch and on the afternoons the market is open there is live music in the air and all kind of street artist give their performance.
Also in Sant Ferran there is a handy craft market and an artistic one, on weekdays. The creating artists exhibit and sell their products, directly in the "Carrer major", the main street. One can observe them “life” while they work in their stands.<br/< There exists a widespread range of supermarkets of all possible sizes and qualities. There is a big difference in prices from one commerce to the other, so it is convenient to compare.
Restaurants and kiosks The assortment of restaurants, snackbars and beach kiosks is as large as it is varied. To avoid disagreeable surprises, it is wise to consult the price list. For every purse there are possibilities and options from most exclusive restaurants to bars with very economical menus of the day.
Normally, in all places at the seaside the prices go up, as well in the restaurants as in the beach kiosks where they serve a large variety of cocktails at sunset.
Since many years the main squares in the villages have been stages for live performances.
This way, from June to September, the Constitution square by the church in Sant Francesc acts as stage set for jazz concert where local musicians mix with visitors.
In Sant Ferran, on the Church square, rock and modern actual musicians give, every Friday evening, interesting performances in a jolly ambience of amusement and dancing.
The same thing happens on the Europa square in Es Pujols but here every Thursday evening where the group “Antena libre” in company of invited artist shows its repertory os music of the whole world.
30 of May: the fiesta in honor of the village´s patron saint ,Sant Ferran de ses Roques, marks the beginning of the tourist season.
22 of June: Saint John´s Night in Pilar de la Mola. It is the Mediterranean equivalent of Midsummer´s Night, with a huge bonfire as major attraction to celebrate the shortest night of the year.
16 of July: fiesta of the “Virgen del Carmen” in la Savina. She is the patron saint of the sea. The fishermen take her statue to one of the professional fisher boats and leave the harbor for a procession to the sea, followed by a whole bunch of other boats. It is a yearly tradition ; every owner of an embarkation small or big will pass by and present it to the priest for benediction. The same celebration will take place some days later in Es Pujols; this small village maintains also its own mariner´s tradition, a big “Flower Power” fiesta included.
25 of July: Sant Jaume, Saint James. Day of Formentera. This is the most important and popular fiesta on the island. It takes place in Sant Francesc Javier and the program includes always the famous “Flower Power” a recreation of the hippy ambience in the sixties. A colorful event, everybody in disguise.
5 of August: “Santa Maria fiesta de la tierra” of the soil, its farmer and its products. The young ones of the island have taken its organization into their hands. The activities go on the whole month long, with an ample gamma of cultural and musical activities, with highpoints of electronic performances and groups that sing in Catalan.
24 of August: in the typical fisher port village of Es Calo de Sant Augusti, there are since 4 years live music concerts during the popular public festival.
September: Festival of the Formentera Guitars, with the best local musicians and even celebrities out of everywhere in Europe. The church square in Sant Ferran will be vibrating for at least two successive mights!
12 October: Fiesta in Pilar de la Mola a typical public festival with man, procession and later at night, a concert that marks the end of the tourist season. In honour of the many German residents and tourist, that have been faithfully coming since so many year there is an imitation of the “Oktoberfest”, the antic Bavarian beer festival.
3 of December: Fiesta of the patron Saint in Sant Francesc Xavier. Winter festival with religious services and festivities in the evening.