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Phespirit goes to Formentera
Cala Saona     July 2005

AROUND FORMENTERA

Map of Formentera

1 Cala Saona

Some words about Hotel Cala Saona. Phespirit stayed in room 10 in a little ground floor annex at the rear of the hotel (no sea view). The bed was comfortable, the TV reception was scratchy - of ten channels, alas, only CNN was in English - and the bathroom was so small that when he sat on the toilet his knees touched the wall opposite.

The restaurant was very good, providing a fine buffet selection for breakfasts and evening meals. Service was efficient and discreet, and the Torres Viña del Sol was chilled and refreshing.

So, on balance, all perfectly satisfactory for Phespirit's needs.

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2 Sant Francesc

Phespirit became well acquainted with the main roundabout of the island's diminutive capital as he busily cycled to other places, but precious little else caught his interest in Sant Francesc.

O.K., so it also has an unornamented whitewashed church, and a short pedestrianised shopping parade for tourists, but still nothing to stoke passionate enthusiasm.

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3 La Savina

Formentera has no airports and no connecting bridges or tunnels, so the port of La Savina is the only recognised way in. It is served by ferries of every shape and speed, taking travellers to and from neighbouring Ibiza. This means that for most of the day the port is populated solely by tourists, aimlessly pondering what to do next.

Visitors looking for distraction may take refreshment in one of the many cafés, or perhaps browse the dozen or so stalls ambitiously described as a "hippy market".

Phespirit killed time thus while he waited for his boat.

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4 Es Trocadors

The lower part of the island's north peninsula has Platja de Llevant to the east and Platja de ses Illetes to the west. The upper part is where the peninsula narrows and east meets west, becoming one double-sided beach: es Trocadors.

Phespirit pedalled his bike past the two popular platjas, parking at Bar-Restaurant Es Ministre where es Trocadors begins - its strips of golden sand lounge in shelter between rocky elevations.

Phespirit stripped and lounged.

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5 S'Espalmador

S'Espalmador is a peaceful place at all times, but never more so than late afternoon when the sun has begun its slow descent and the majority of its worshipers have departed. The peace and quiet is magnificently complimented by open space .....

S'Alga beach is a wonderful place to be.

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6 Cova d'en Jeroni

Phespirit likes a nice cave. As with all things in Formentera, Cava d'en Jeroni is small and unpretentious but a well-formed, attractive feature nonetheless.

The single subterranean chamber has stalactites and stalagmites in a variety of aesthetically pleasing shapes and sizes. The tacky multi-coloured lights that illuminate these natural wonders are an ill-advised attempt to gild the lily.

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7 Platja des Migjorn

Going by the map it would be easy to think of Migjorn as a single 8km sweep of sand all the way from es Ca Marí to Caló des Mort. Not so. Certainly it is walkable end-to-end, and it is probably 95% fine sand, but the continuous stretch is interrupted by patches of rock and subtle little bays, beach bars and boathouse slipways.

Phespirit had a stroll up and down before eventually finding a nice central spot by the Taberna la Formenterena, Venda des Ca Mari.

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8 Es Mirador

Formentera is essentially a low-lying island with headlands to the east and southwest. The highest point in the east is El Pilar, but the best place for panoramic views is just below it, at es Mirador.

Phespirit paused here whilst on his way to El Pilar and Punta des Far, snapping a typical portolio of tourist photos from the terraces of Bar-Restaurant Mirador.

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9 El Pilar

Time for a spot of lunch at the restaurant opposite the Church of Notre Senyora del Pilar. Phespirit feasted on a plate of dried figs, dried bacon, goats cheese, fig cake, mini pizza squares, red wine and brandy; all produced locally and all very pleasant (give or take the figs).

The rest of El Pilar village? Negligible, to be honest.

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10 Punta des Far

The lighthouse of Punta del Far is the focus of this broad majestic headland. Phespirit recommends clambering a little way down the rocks to the left of the lighthouse, where a large cave-like opening provides ample space for a party in the crags, along with views of the dizzyingly steep cliffs, plus the dazzling darts of local lizards that somehow out-green the foliage.

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  1. Cala Saona
  2. Sant Francesc
  3. La Savina
  4. Es Trocadors
  5. S'Espalmador
  6. Cova d'en Jeroni
  7. Platja des Migjorn
  8. Es Mirador
  9. El Pilar
  10. Punta des Far
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Cala Saona Sant Francesc La Savina Es Trocadors S'Espalmador Cova d'en Jeroni Platja des Migjorn Es Mirador El Pilar Punta des Far