When C. Smith suggested that we head to Spain for our next vacation I was definitely on-board and I knew what my “A” as going to be – Formentera.
First let me explain what “A” even means. Whenever we travel we both make a list of our A, B and C priorities. A = not leaving until I see it, B = Let’s try very hard to see it, C = Would like to see it if we can make it work. Truthfully we rarely make it into C territory because our A’s often do not align and take some coordination. Formentera was no exception.
I had read an article about Formentera in Travel and Leisure and was really taken to how different it sounded, the author of the article did a great job of drawing me into this sundrenched hippie island and I just had to see it for myself.
Now it turns out Formentera is not the easiest place to get to, considering there is no airport, which I did not realize when I made it top priority. So after 3 days in Barcelona seeing Camp Nu (A – check) and La Sagrada Familia (B – check) we were off. A relatively quick flight to Ibiza and we land in the war zone that was the Ibiza airport, as the cleaning crew had been on strike for 3 weeks. Luckily we had coordinated with our resort on Formentera to arrange for some transportation. We were warmly met by Mel and Tony, a super cool British couple who now call Ibiza home. Bags in the back of their car, and we were off to the marina to meet Matt our skipper for the day.
Once on board, with a cold beer in hand, we set off speeding across the Mediterranean to arrive on Formenterra in 20 minutes time. It was a bit windy and choppy that day but Matt was great and pointed out some sights along the Ibiza shoreline and more importantly his favorite beach restaurant as we approached Formentera.
Once on land we were met by the Gecko Hotel and Beach Club Jeep and headed to our final destination. Driving along we are now getting our first glimpse of the island and my first thought was how dry the land was, and how crazy everyone seemed for biking along in the scorching sun. The dryness of the land is in stark contrast to the gorgeous hues of blue and green of the Mediterranean, and once at our resort with a drink in hand staring at the sea, the stress of today’s travels slowly fades away.
Truth be told, I was drawn to the island off of one photo in particular and I was going to find Calo Des Mort no matter what, but that was going to require transportation. I was thinking maybe a cool convertible, but C. had other plans and suggested we rent Vespas. OK so I have rented a moped before but a Vespa is quite a bit larger and faster than my cute pink Key West ride. I was pretty nervous so C. had me practice riding up and down the back roads before heading out onto the main road. After one minor incident, it was time to get up the nerve and see my cove, and off we went…
Getting to the cove was a bit of an adventure but totally worth it. Most of the beaches in Formentera remind me of the Caribbean, beautiful sandy beaches against crystal clear water. Calo Des Mort has the same crystal clear water but is surrounded by a cliff and rock formations which meant a bit of a hike to get there. Those rocks also provided a unique spot for one to sunbathe au natural. Anyone who has spent any time at the beach with me must be seeing the irony in this, the one spot I had to see is the best spot to ditch all clothing and fry your skin off; but I did not care. I waded in the cool clear water in my hat and one-piece suit right alongside the man who was frying his willy off he was so burnt, and had just as perfect a day as he did.
One of the most pleasant surprises of the island was the boardwalk. Due to the protection of the vegetation there is a long, well maintained boardwalk along the sand dunes. Walk along and you will encounter a number of restaurants and beach bars, some no more that a beach hut. A few of our personal favorites were Flipper and Chiller where we sat on their roof top watching the sun dance along the ocean, and Luckys, a bar in the sand where the beers were ice cold and the tunes were tight.
And.the.food. Why I did not take a single photo of food is beyond me, I think it was because I devoured it before I thought to snap a pic. One of my favorite meals was a lengthy lunch at Tiburon. This was at the recommendation of Matt our skipper and it was outstanding. Overlooking the yachts rolling in for lunch, with Ibiza in the distance we snacked on olives, anchovies, bread, yogurt dip and crisp white wine. This was followed up with fresh seafood pasta, more summer wine and an on the house digestif that was reminiscent of Ouzo. This will forever be one of my most memorable meals; the food, atmosphere, service and view were all spectacular.
Overall the island was pretty cool and we could not have picked a better resort, the staff at the Gecko Hotel and Beach Club was outstanding, from the team at the front desk to all the servers and bartenders, they made our stay so enjoyable. When we met up with Mel and Tony back on Ibiza, Mel commented on how relaxed we looked, so it must have been good. But really the take away from this trip was once again getting outside my comfort zone. C. Smith deserves some kind of sainthood for being so patient with me as I was a nervous wreck on the RIB ride to and from Ibiza, and was an even bigger baby when it came to the Vespas. But I did it and survived, and I did it all on the small, hippie, sundrenched, swim suit optional island of Formentera.