Ibiza and Formentera
NAVIGATE IN THE PITIUSAS ISLANDS
Ibiza and Formentera are two of the four Balearic islands located in the Mediterranean Sea. The two islands, also known as the Pitiusas Islands, are famous for the countless beaches and coves, the quality of the water, the climate and the complementary and leisure offer that doesn’t exist in any other place in the world.
Both Ibiza and Formentera have an ideal environment to navigate and are considered two very relevant destinations in the nautical sector. You can find all kinds of boats to spend a nautical vacation, from a pneumatic with which you can surround the island to a yacht where you will enjoy a week of holidays with all services. In addition, both the boat rental in Ibiza and the boat rental in Formentera are one of the main leisure attractions for many of the tourists that visit one of the two islands.
Ibiza, third island in order of geographical extension of the Balearic islands with 572 km2, was declared a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1999 and has 170 km of coastline that are divided into many coves, beaches and cliffs, but above all beaches of white sand.
It is very easy to rent a boat in Ibiza, since the island has several ports from which to embark, for example, in Ibiza city you will find ports like Marina Botafoch, Marina Ibiza, Ibiza Magna and others. But there are also ports in other towns of Ibiza such as Marina Santa Eulalia or the Nautical Club of San Antonio. You can choose to rent a catamaran in Marina Ibiza or rent a sailboat in the Nautical Club of San Antonio.
The ibicencan coast is full of beaches and coves with turquoise waters. Some of the most popular coves are Cala Comte, Cala Salada, Cala Tarida and Cala d'Hort. Although if you are looking for a quieter place with less people, there are also Cala Llentrisca, Sa Caleta or Cala Olivera. Besides, in summer you will always find shows and events like in Benirrás beach where people gather to watch the sunset with a musical show or in Cala d'Hort to watch the sunset next to Es Vedrá.
Without a doubt, renting a boat in Ibiza and Formentera during your holidays is the best way to get to know the islands and discover magical corners. For example, renting a motorboat will allow you to discover coves and caves that are inaccessible by land. All ports have boats for all types of customers and you will only have to choose the one that best suits your needs and requirements.
The island of Formentera has an area of 82 km2 and is 11 miles away from the port of Ibiza. Its maximum length is 19 km and, together with the islets of Espardell and S'Espalmador, forms the municipality of Formentera. On this island you will find numerous cliffs and caves, as well as some of the best beaches with crystalline waters of the Mediterranean. Leisure activities such as boat rentals in Formentera, as well as diving or snorkeling are some of the favorite tourist activities on the island.
In Formentera you will also find paradisiacal beaches such as Ses Illetes, Es Caló, Cala Saona or Caló des Mort. Besides renting a boat in Formentera, you can also enjoy other activities and water games during your holidays in Ibiza and Formentera such as diving or snorkeling.
The islands of Ibiza and Formentera are also famous for their Mediterranean cuisine, as they offer unique products such as fish and seafood, with which they prepare one of the best known dishes: paella. It also has other dishes such as bullit de peix and ibicencan products such as sobrasada.
On the other hand, the islands offer numerous areas in which to walk or where to take something enjoying spectacular views. One of the most important places is Dalt Vila, the old walled city of the island of Ibiza that has streets full of shops and restaurants. And, for those looking for a nightly plan, Ibiza is full of clubs and discos with themed parties and well-known DJs on an international scale.
The Balearic Islands stand out for the Mediterranean climate and scarce rainfall that usually take place in the autumn-winter season. In addition, the island has mild temperatures 365 days a year. Specifically, temperatures in Ibiza and Formentera are usually regular and high, especially in summer months.
In Ibiza, the annual average is 18-19º C and in no month it is lower than 10ºC whereas, during the months of high season, temperatures exceed 25ºC on average. The temperatures in Formentera are usually a little higher, that is, the maximum averages never exceed 30 ºC and are higher in Autumn than in Spring and the minimum are usually given from December to February. While the annual thermal oscillation in Ibiza is 14ºC, in Formentera it is 13ºC. On the other hand, the average annual oscillation is between 5-6ºC. In other words, the Pitiusas Islands enjoy pleasant winters, hot and long summers, low average annual oscillation and a high percentage of sunny days per year.
The rainfall in Ibiza and Formentera is irregular and scarce, with a total of 380 mm and 350 mm respectively. The rainy season begins in August, staying until December, with a maximum in October. Then a rain fall begins from January to April, when the spring showers begin. From there, it gradually descends until it reaches the moment of summer dryness. In no month there is an excess of water, but on the contrary, a water deficit is maintained for 9 months in Ibiza and 10 months in Formentera.
In winter, the prevailing winds are W-SW due to the continental anticyclone while, in summer, they are E caused by the depression of thermal origin in the center of the peninsula. Breezes can’t be form because the surface of the islands is not big enough. The island of Formentera presents a totally flat surface and, therefore, highlights its windy character where the wind blows most of the year. Two maxima are established: the first in December-January, quite sharp, blowing winds from the Northwest (Mistral), North (TRamontana) and NW (Gregal), and the second in April-May.
NAVIGATING BETWEEN IBIZA AND FORMENTERA
Sailing between Ibiza and Formentera supposes a greater knowledge of the areas of anchoring, as well as of the dangerous areas where you can’t pass or you need to have a constant vigilance to reach a good port. Among them we find prohibited areas of anchoring on Posidonia and protected areas.
The island of Ibiza has a park and a natural reserve called Ses Salines Natural Park and Cala D'hort Nature Reserve and both are located in Sant Josep de sa Talaia. The nature reserve includes Cala d'Hort, Es Vedrá, Es Vedranell and the islets of Poniente.
Ses Salines was declared a natural park in 2001 and occupies the entire area between the south of Ibiza and the north of Formentera with a total of 3,000 terrestrial hectares and 13,000 marine. This protected area has two ponds, S'Estany del peix and s'Estany Pudent, the beaches of Es Codolar, Canal de s'Olla, Las Salinas and Es Cavallet in Ibiza and, the beaches of Illetes and Llevant in Formentera. Besides, a large part of the area between Ibiza and Formentera is formed by Posidonia Oceánica grasslands, which was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999. There are also 177 other species of plants in this park. As for the fauna, Ses Salines is a place of passage for more than 200 different species of birds during the migration and you can find birds such as the peregrine falcon or the osprey in the cliff areas.
The natural reserve of Cala d'Hort is located in the southwest part of the island and is formed by islets, cliffs, beaches, torrents, forests and marine environment. This reserve protects Cala d'Hort, Cala Vedella, Cala Carbó and the islets of Es Vedrá, Es Vedranell, S'Espartar, Sa Conillera, S'Illa des Bosc and Ses Bledes. There are also the Torre des Savinar and Sa Pedrera of Cala d'Hort (Atlantis). The most famous image of this reserve is the islet of Es Vedrá, more than 380 meters high, and Es Vedranell, not more than 100 meters high.
Dangers for navigation
To navigate the waters of Ibiza and Formentera, you have to take into account certain areas that could be dangerous if you don’t know them well. It is important to know "Els Freus", the passage that is between Ibiza and Formentera. There are three paths that are "Es Freu Petit", "Es Freu Mitja" and "Es Freu Gros".
Between the Tower of Ses Portes and S'Escull d'en Terra there is an area that is not recommended to navigate due to the shallowness of the sand. There is also another dangerous area that is not recommended to pass between S'Escull d'en Terra and the island Es Carregador in Es Freu Petit, formed by sand and shallow rocks. Es Freu Petit is the area between Punta Portas and Caragolé Island and it is only advisable to navigate through it with very small boats.
On the other hand, in Es Freu Mitja you have to be careful with a shallow stone called Sa Barqueta, located between the island of Es Carregador and the island Ahorcados. Es Freu Mitja is the path that many boats choose to go to the west of the island or to the beach of Salinas and is the one that is located between the northern tip of the island Ahorcados and the southern tip of the islet Caragolé.
The most used passage is Es Freu Gran, a channel less than 1 mile wide that is between the lighthouse of the Ahorcadas island and the lighthouse of the island of Puercos. This channel with probes between 6 and 8.5 meters comprises an area called the Freu bar of 250 meters in the widest part that runs in the direction from lighthouse to lighthouse, a little to the E of the imaginary line that joins them. Inside this step there is a northern beacon cardinal tower with light that signals the Baix d'en Pou, with 6 meters of water.
Between the island of Espalmador and the island Castaví is the base of Castaví, that's why it is more advisable to go by starboard of the island Castavi or, at least, if you pass between these two points, sail as close as possible to the island Castaví to avoid this low.
In the Freus there are usually currents to the west or Levante of quite intense and not subject to any fixed rule, although all this depends on the persistence of the wind. When there are storms, they tend to be stronger and, usually, against the prevailing wind. These cases cause the breakage of the sea along the entire length of the channels and that makes navigating those areas very dangerous.
Finally, between the island of Espalmador and Formentera we have Es Trucadors, an area whose depth varies according to the tide without exceeding a maximum depth of 50 cm. This passage of sand is the one used by people to cross between the island of Espalmador and Formentera, although it is not highly recommended.
WHAT CAN I DO IN IBIZA?
The island of Ibiza has many places that you should visit at least once in your life. Here is a list of essential things to do during your vacation.
Visit Dalt Vila
It is the oldest area of the city of Ibiza and is completely walled. All the cobbled streets are full of small shops, restaurants and old houses. In the highest part of the walled city you’ll find the Cathedral of Ibiza and an area where you can see the streets of Ibiza from above.
However, we recommend visiting these wonderful streets during the hours of less heat because the road is full of slopes and completely exposed to the sun. On the other hand, visiting Dalt Vila at night is another thing because you will find places with music, all the streets illuminated ... a totally different environment.
Sunset in front of Es vedrá
Possibly this is one of the favorite places for both tourists and residents. It is an island approximately 400 meters high located southwest of Ibiza protected since 2002 as a nature reserve in the Parc de Cala d'Hort and Es Vedrá.
There are several places from which to see this islet as the beach of Cala d'Hort or the tower of Es Savinar. Although there are also several viewpoints that are between these two sites and that are more accessible by car.
Discover the nightlife
Undoubtedly, one of the reasons that Ibiza is so well known are its clubs. Pacha, Amnesia, DC10, Privilege, Swag ... All nightclubs organize theme parties every night and feature dj's and world-famous artists such as Martin Garrix, David Guetta or Steve Aoki.
You can find the best party with your musical style, since these clubs prepare parties Flower Power, 80's, electronic music, Rap, Reggae, among others. So, you just need to choose the environment and enjoy a night dancing on the floor and singing your favorite songs.
Enjoy music in Benirrás
Benirrás is one of the coves in the north of the island of Ibiza, located in the area of San Miguel, where every Sunday a group of musicians gather to watch the sunset at the improvised rhythm of their drums.
On this beach you can enjoy the hippy atmosphere of Ibiza while watching the landscape that this beach offers with the small island of Cap Bernat located right in the middle of the bay. However, it is advisable to go early to take a place since it is an area with few parking lots
Market of Las Dalias
Las Dalias is one of the oldest and most well-known hippie markets on the island. It is located between Santa Eulalia and San Carlos and celebrates markets of all kinds throughout the year with parties both day and night.
The best known event is held every Saturday where you will find musical performances, stalls with handmade jewelry and typical Ibiza dresses, activities for children, tapas bars with typical Spanish food .... It also has night markets twice a week and with special markets during festive times like Christmas.
Discover Sa Pedrera of Sant Josep-Atlantis
Sa Pedrera in Cala d'Hort, better known as Atlantis, is an old rock quarry located in the Natural Reserve of Cala d'Hort ideal for all those adventurous and interested in hiking.
It is a cove with crystal clear waters, full of fish and a very quiet area and ideal for diving. Although it is a difficult road and, therefore, it is not advisable for people not used to walking, with fear of heights or small children.