Which Mediterranean holiday island destination has no traffic lights?
Got the answer yet? No? Here’s a few more clues:
- The island is 19km long
- There are plenty of white, clean natural beaches. (Look here for beach information.)
- It has no airport
- There are no fast-food places
- There are no discos
- Residents are unmoved by celebrity visits (for example, recent visits from Kate Moss, Jade Jagger, Philippe Starck , Naomi Campbell)
The answer is Formentera, Ibiza’s little sister.
Despite its laid back ambience there are some great places to stay (and eat). See this article from the New York Times.
There’s a great highly-detailed map of Formentera (a short ferry ride from Balearic island Ibiza) – for details of the map look here.
Say ‘Mallorca’ and most people think, “Sun, beaches, mountains, walks, sea-food, sangria …..
There’s another excellent reason for visiting this beautiful Balearic island, set in the blue Mediterranean.
Mallorca is home to a surprising number of bird species and acts as a passing-through stop-off for even more bird groups.
The island’s varied geography, from coastal cliffs to rugged mountains, from wetlands, reservoirs and coastal areas, offer bird life of many kinds a welcoming place to live, rest, feed and breed.
It’s an excellent and up-to-date detailed map (waterproof, tear resistant and guaranteed) perfect for touring the island, with a wealth of details such as best beaches, picnic areas, miradors – plus the locations of the best bird-spotting places.
The map reverse details 51 bird species together with photos and ID information.
If you are one of the many who found a Garmin GPS in their Christmas stocking, this post is for you.
Get your hands on a free sample ‘real-time’ map and see your Garmin come to life. You can choose a sample map of Graciosa ( off Lanzarote, Canary Islands) or Sierra de Aracena (Andalucia, Spain).
What you’ll get is a highly detailed real-time Tour & Trail digital download map, which you can save on your hard drive, transfer to your Garmin GPS CustomMap memory or onto a micro-SD card; you can also use the maps in Garmin Basecamp and Google Earth.
Alpujarras (Sierra Nevada, Andalucia, southern Spain)
Costa Blanca Mountains (Alicante, southern Spain)
Axarquia (Andalucia, southern Spain)
Sierra de Aracena (Helva province, southern Spain)
Hot off the press are two great new maps, highly detailed and just the thing whatever you want to do on this lovely isle; bikers, hikers and beach-lovers will find just what they seek on Ibiza and its little sister, Formentera.
There’s a special offer on for either (or both) maps :-
You’d be forgiven for not knowing the location of this little gem of an island. It’s surprisingly easy to reach and has a delightful personality all its own.
Formentera is one of the Balearic Islands to the east of mainland Spain, in the Meditteranean. It’s the little sister island to Ibiza and is only a 30-minute ferry trip away.
Here’s a few facts and figures:
- Beaches, beaches – so many of them for such a small island and white, clean and beautiful.
- The island had been occupied by the Carthaginians, then the ancient Romans, the Visigoths, the Byzantines, the Vandals, and the Arabs.
- Eventually the island added to the Crown of Aragon and later became part of the medieval Kingdom of Majorca.
- The main island of Formentera is 19 kilometres (12 miles) long and is located about 6 kilometres (4 miles) south of Ibiza in the Mediterranean Sea.
- The major villages are Sant Francesc Xavier, Sant Ferran de ses Roques, El Pilar de la Mola and La Savina.
- Formentera comprises one municipality, also called Formentera, and has a population of 9,962 (as at 1 January 2010).
- Its land area is 83.24 square kilometres (32.1 sq mi).
- Cars are easily hired in the port and there’s a good choice of conventional or electric vehicles. There are more electric vehicle charging points here than anywhere else in the world, given its land area.
- Mopeds and bicycles are available to hire; the terrain is mostly flat and there are dedicated cycle lanes in some areas.
- The island has four Martello towers.
- Ferries to Formentera from Ibiza operate every half hour in high season.
- A local Ibizan (eivissenc) variant of the Balearic dialect of the Catalan language is spoken in Formentera though English and other European languages are frequently heard too.
Discovery Walking Guides carried out an intensive cartographic survey on Formentera a few weeks back and design of the new Formentera Tour & Trail Super-Durable Map is well under way.
How would you like to be part of the launch of this exciting new map project? For a modest pledge you can help this project to fly – and receive free maps too.
There’s still time to be a part of this exciting project.
These notes were sent by Eryk Grant re the GR221, while using Charles Davis’ book ‘The GR221 – Mallorca’s Drystone Way’
http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/mallGR221Spec.htm , notably the stretch between Esporles and Valldemossa.
Walked this section last Sunday (6th April) without any problem.
There were five other walkers on the route and it looks like the obstructions placed by the landowner (notices and fence) are largely ignored. I saw no attempt to ‘repair’ the fence and it was easy to negotiate-there are cairns galore and helpful green/yellow spots on rocks. The track has not become overgrown suggesting it is really well used. There is also a shiny new GR route map in Esporles town centre showing the route going through and all the subsequent wayposts except one refer to it. I guess there may be some tacit acceptance that walking will continue and I would not hesitate to walk this part again.
Up by the Tossals refuge there is a fair amount of building material but not much sign that anything is happening! Last time we stayed there in 2012 we had a conversation with a Dutch couple who were using your DWG guide, and making their way based on “what does Charles say?” – your directions and supporting commentary have never let us down either and in fact have really added to the enjoyment in places.”
Thanks Erik – feedback from walkers who’ve been there is valuable both for those who come after you, as well as providing us with valuable information for new editions.
Bit of vital information for our updates pages:
Anybody planning on walking the Dry Stone Way, Mallorca (GR221) has a slightly surreal and stunningly irritating headache coming their way.
The refuge at Tossals Verds is closed on safety grounds and won’t be open before October if then. There is no comparable accommodation between Soller and Lluc. The ‘alternatives’ (such as they are) proposed by the authorities can be found here:
Taxiing back and forth between Cuber and Lluc rather spoils the point of doing a LDP*. Staying at Cuber would be lovely, though it might be a bit Spartan for some tastes and implies carrying extra weight. To get an idea of what this unmanned refuge is like, see
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwweVJtw1fE or google ‘refugio cuber’ for photos.
*LDP = Long Distance Path
The map section above shows a section of Walk! Mallorca Tour & Trail Map to illustrate the relative locations of Tossals Verd and Cuber. For more information on Mallorca maps and walking see http://www.dwgwalking.co.uk/mall.htm
Menorca might not be the first destination you think of for a walking holiday. We find it surprising and fascinating. It has beautiful wild countryside and great walking. The island is full of interest, especially if you have an interest in ancient history, archaeology, geology, birds or flora.
And if you’d like to escape the winter, you’ll find Spring starts a little earlier here.
Above; on the Cales Coves route, Walk 30.
More about walking on Menorca at http://dwgwalking.co.uk/men.htm