Formentera’s history, the Mediterranean essence

Punta Prima en Formentera

Formentera, the smallest Balearic Island, is not like any that you’ve seen. All of the dreams about Mediterranean paradise condense in this 80-square-kilometers island, famous for its pure nature. It is destiny that has inspired many, among them Jules Verne. It is a haven for an entire generation hippies and en environmental enclave of a global importance. It has preserved its ancient beauty to this day. The island has rewarded the residents for many years of their care and has surrounded them with a natural protective shield of oceanic posidonia. Formentera’s history is full of magic and memories.

Es Cap de Barbaria, Formentera, Islas Baleares
Es Cap de Barbaria. ©

Italian tourists coming here since sixties know it well, when you visit the last paradise of the Mediterranean sea, you won’t regret it. You will find here peace, fresh air and the sun that seems to never go down. Many years ago Romans, Arabs and Christians have been passing the small Pitiusa, and all fell in love with its beaches. One of the oldest tracks found here, is the Romanesque chapel of Sa Tanca Vella, built in 1336, with a simplicity that seems tailor-made for the island.

History of Formentera: The repopulation of paradise

Iglesia de Sant Frances Xavier
Iglesia de Sant Frances Xavier

After being forgotten for three hundreds, Formentera started repopulating in the late eighteenth century.  New people start coming and settling down. Soon the first church was founded. It was dedicated to Sant Francesc Xavier (1738), the saint that also gave his name to the islands capital. The population grew progressively, so as the tourism industry. In the 60s and 70s, Formentera became the great hidden treasure rediscovered by Europe. The tourists who come to Formentera are not looking for a conventional holiday. Here, the nature tells you what to do and we to adapt to it, no questions asked.

La posidonia oceánicaNot many people know, that the secret of the smooth sand and the crystal clear water is hidden on the bottom of the sea. The oceanic Posidonia, an aquatic plant responsible for the quality of biodiversity, has created around Formentera meadows of underwater flora, which keep the island beautiful since its inception. In 1999 this miracle of nature was declared as a Heritage Site by UNESCO and in 2006 researches have discovered that one of these algae had a length of eight kilometers and is 100,000 years old. Even tough we study it deeply, the Poisidonia is still a big mystery that remains unresolved.

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