Private island next to Formentera

Espalmador, vista aerea de la isla privada situada en la parte norte de Formentera

Formentera, June 8, 2024

Espalmador, also known as S’Espalmador, is a small island located north of Formentera. It could be considered an extension of Ses Illetes beach if it weren’t for the channel of water that separates both islands. Espalmador offers its few visitors crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and a wild atmosphere that will steal your heart.

Since becoming part of the Natural Park of the Salt Flats of Ibiza and Formentera in 1980, Espalmador has been a refuge for birdlife and tranquility due to the scarce human presence beyond the summer months.

With a length of approximately 2,925 meters and a width of 800 meters, approximately 2.3 square kilometers, the island of Espalmador offers a unique space to explore and enjoy on an excursion from Formentera.

Surrounded by small islets like Illa Castavi and Illa des Porcs, where the En Pou lighthouse, located at the northern tip, adds a touch of charm, the island offers endless opportunities for swimming, exploring, and enjoying the natural surroundings.

If you traverse the island of Espalmador in its entirety, you’ll enjoy cliffs, beautiful coves like Sa Torreta, and white sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters, so common in Formentera, along with the 18th-century defense tower known as Torre de Sa Guardiola.

How far is Espalmador from Formentera?

The distance between the northern tip of Formentera and the nearest part of Espalmador Island is only about 350 meters. The proximity of both islands often leads people who want to visit Espalmador from Formentera to do so by walking (if the depth of the stretch allows) and swimming. However, this is not only very dangerous due to the usual currents in this narrow passage, but it is also prohibited as the area is permanently marked with a red flag.

Unfortunately, there have been several cases over time that have ended tragically when trying to reach Espalmador from Formentera through this water passage known as Es Pas des Trucadors.

How to get to Espalmador on your own?

If you’re looking for a self-guided adventure to explore and discover Espalmador, renting a private boat is an excellent option. With this alternative, you can enjoy the freedom of sailing at your own pace and uncovering the treasures of the neighboring islet to Formentera.

There are two options available for renting private boats:

  • With skipper: This option is perfect if you prefer to leave the navigation in the hands of an expert. The skipper will take care of everything related to navigation and access to Espalmador, allowing you to relax and enjoy the trip without worries.
  • Without skipper: For the more adventurous, you can choose to rent a rigid inflatable boat, such as a Zodiac, without the need for a license. These boats can carry up to six passengers and are ideal for groups of friends looking for a unique experience at sea. However, it’s important to note that the sea can be unpredictable and treacherous, so special care and attention must be taken during navigation.

For both options, my recommendation is to contact the company Experiensea based in the port of La Savina, where they will advise you in the best way about the different options of boat and price to spend a day in Espalmador.

Additionally, when booking via WhatsApp, you can use the discount code 4MENTERA to get an even better price.

Kayaking or Paddle Surfing

Since 2024, a new option to reach Espalmador is renting a paddleboard or a kayak. These activities are available at the sailing school located at the end of Illetes known as Es Ministre, offering you the opportunity to paddle around Illetes and venture to Espalmador.

For those who prefer a guided experience, the sailing school also organizes several scheduled two-hour outings with an experienced instructor. This instructor will accompany you throughout the journey, ensuring you enjoy a safe and smooth trip to Espalmador.

Espalmador with the Bahia boat

The Bahia boat used to be a familiar sight at the docks of La Savina port, taking passengers on excursions that lasted several hours, from the port of Formentera to Espalmador passing through Ses Illetes.

However, everything changed just after the Covid pandemic, and since 2020, with the prohibition of excursion boats landing on Espalmador, the Bahia boat can no longer be used to reach from Formentera.
Therefore, if you see information on other websites about reaching Espalmador with the Bahia boat, please note that it is outdated and not up-to-date.

Bring what you need with you

When you venture to discover Espalmador, make sure to bring everything you may need, such as water and some food, especially if you plan to spend several hours exploring the island next to Formentera. Remember that Espalmador does not have any services, so it is essential to be prepared.

It is crucial not to leave any kind of waste on the beach or anywhere else on the island. Bring a bag with you to collect your trash and, if possible, any other litter you find, thus contributing to maintaining this environment of the Espalmador island in the best possible way.

Respect the natural environment you are in and do not forget that you are in a designated Natural Park area.
Only respect and care will help preserve the beauty and biodiversity of Espalmador for future generations.

Mud baths in Espalmador, Formentera

In the interior part of Espalmador, there is a curious phenomenon: something resembling a mudflat, a wet area with abundant mud. For years, there were talks of the supposed skin benefits of this mud, and it was common to see people covered from head to toe returning from Espalmador to Formentera.

However, the truth behind this mudflat is less charming than what is spoken. In reality, this swamp used to be used to deposit the corpses of sheep and goats that died in what was once an agricultural estate in Formentera. Therefore, with those remains inside, the legend of the skin benefits is quite questionable.

Additionally, it’s important to note that if you decide to cover yourself with Espalmador’s mud, you risk facing a fine of €1000 imposed by the Natural Park agents who patrol the area.

So, if despite everything, you still feel tempted to try the mysterious benefits of the mud on your skin, the consequences could be costly and not as beneficial as you expected… Perhaps it’s better to think twice before diving into this “experience.”


Private Island Espalmador, Formentera

Jean Philippe, Christian Leon, and Michael Jan Cigrang, three (millionaire) brothers from Luxembourg, are the current owners of Espalmador, which they acquired in March 2018 for their own use. They bought the island from the previous owners, the Cinnamond family, for a total of 18 million euros.

The sale occurred after the Insular Council of Formentera and the Balearic Government failed to reach an agreement with the then-owners on how to acquire the protected enclave, which had been put up for sale earlier that same year.

In any case, the level of protection of the Espalmador island is maximum, and the possibilities for construction growth and the use of existing houses are very restricted.

Among the existing constructions on Espalmador are two houses, a small pier, and a chapel where the original owners used to attend mass. In 1932, the first sale of the property of Espalmador Island occurred when Carlos Tur sold it to the English family, Cinnamond, and since then, it has only had one new, and current, owner in the Cigrang brothers.

I’m Ramón Tur, the person behind everything written and photographed on this website about Formentera. I discovered the island in 1972 when my parents, aboard the mythical Joven Dolores, took me on vacation from Ibiza for the first time, and it was love at first sight that has only grown stronger over time, making Formentera my place of residence for many years now. If you wish, you can follow me on Instagram @4mentera.com_

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