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Formentera is the southernmost island of the Balearic Islands archipelago and, together with Ibiza, forms the Pitiusas archipelago, islands covered with pine trees, in ancient Greek.
Inhabited since the Palaeolithic, Formentera has undergone stages in its history under the domination of different empires with small populations, but more or less stable, even its total depopulation for several centuries until 1695 when repopulation began and many of its current inhabitants, they are direct descendants of that new wave of “formenterers”.
In Formentera, both Spanish and Catalan are co-official languages and the use of both is present, both in the daily life of the majority of its residents throughout the year, and in the government institutions of the island, Consell Insular de Formentera.
I refer to the year-round resident population because during the summer months, the summer population multiplies with respect to the winter population, which, theoretically, is made up of 13,000 residents but reality tells us that in winter we are less than half those of us who spend the coldest months of the year in Formentera….. some wonderful months, by the way.
Formentera, a unique island
Formentera is, without a doubt, a unique island where its very silhouette makes it different from any other island on the planet.
Many times I have thought that if you ask a designer to draw the profile of an imaginary island, he would not do something more beautiful and distinctive than the silhouette that nature has given to our beloved island.
The island has an area of 83 km² and a perimeter of approximately 72 kilometers.
Although the image that all future visitors to Formentera have in their minds are the wonderful beaches of white sand and transparent waters, the island has large areas of steep cliffs of impressive beauty and areas in the interior of the island where the oldest customs are still part of everyday life.
Many are the nationalities that coexist in Formentera and, since the arrival of the first hippies and tourists in the 60s of the last century, the inhabitants of Formentera have shared the space of their island in a welcoming way with those who have decided to settle here if they like. has done with respect.
Formentera and its people are welcoming by nature but expect a degree of respect towards its inhabitants, territory, history, culture and language.
Something very normal and easy to understand, on the other hand.
Formentera, a fragile island
Due to the small size of the island, the strong pressure of visitors in summer and the limited resources it has, we can assure you that Formentera is a fragile island.
If you are planning to spend your next summer holidays on the island, you should know that water is a very scarce and precious commodity for those of us who live in Formentera all year round, and that the consumption you make when you arrive at the hotel, apartment or wherever whoever you stay, you should have it very controlled.
The same thing happens with our forests and the danger of fire that we experience every summer on the island.
The scarce rains during most of the year, leads us to have very dry forests and always live under the threat of a fire that endangers the interior environment of our island.
So, if you are a smoker and you are reading these lines, please, never throw a cigarette butt from your car or motorcycle when you drive around the island, well, not in Formentera or anywhere else. You will avoid scares and put the forests of our beloved island at risk.
In the same way, to protect the pressure on the island, since 2019 a campaign has been launched to control the access of motor vehicles during the summer months.
A pioneering decision in Spain and that was followed with great interest before its implementation by many national and international media.
Formentera and butts
Unfortunately, and although not all, many smokers have the ugly habit of leaving their cigarette butts buried in the sand or embedded in rocks.
Honestly, it’s one of the things that annoys me the most. That someone is not able to respect the environment and leave their butts buried in the sand.
That someone who goes to the beach to enjoy the sand and a crystal clear sea, has as a way of thanking something so beautiful, leaving their crap buried in the sand, is something that I will never be able to understand.
On many of the island’s beaches you will find recycled ashtray dispensers.
Empty soda cans available to smokers so that they can deposit their butts there and empty them in the bin once they leave the beach.
The construction of these lecterns is the responsibility of the Fundació Deixalles, which gives work on the islands to people at risk of social and labor exclusion.
A great social and environmental work on your part.
Take care of Formentera, please
Whether your intention is to spend a single day on the island, or if you are going to spend several days or weeks with us, I would ask you to do so with the greatest respect, especially towards the natural environment that you will find.
We hope you find an island that you love and that you fall in love with at first sight, that you enjoy its beaches and crystal clear waters, that you see sunsets that you will never forget, that you laugh, that you dance and enjoy your stay in Formentera to the fullest but from here We ask that you be respectful of all these things that our island offers our visitors and residents and that you leave everything, at least, as you found it.
That those of us who live here all year round, are happy for your visit and wish to see you again next summer, or when you decide. May the island you wanted to meet so much be just as happy to have met you.
Among all, let’s respect Formentera, let’s respect our planet.