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Formentera West

Ibiza - Playa de Ses Illetes - Cala Saona - Cabo Barberia - Ibiza

Ibiza - Playa de Ses Illetes - Cala Saona - Cabo Barberia - Ibiza

This is another of the flagship routes. It is an extension of the route to Ses Illetes adding two more stops at Cala Saona and the caves of Cala Saona. 

This route is best done when the winds are from the east, south, northeast or southeast. It is not advisable to do it with westerly winds as the sea will leave us with waves depending on the wind speed. In Ibiza and Formentera in summer the wind is usually from the east. On this route we can eat in one of the restaurants of Ses Illetes or Cala Saona, to choose. 


As usual we leave the port of Marina Botafoch and after 30 minutes we arrive at our first stop, which is the small island of Espalmador. It is a protected and uninhabited island very close to Formentera, only a sandbank separates it from Formentera. It is on this sandbank that we will make our first stop, one of the best places in Formentera to swim in its transparent turquoise blue waters. There are two buildings on the island, both owned by the owners of the island of Espalmador. As the island is protected, it is not possible to build anything else on it, nor to extend the existing buildings. The first of the buildings is on the other side of the bay of Espalmador, which can be experienced from our first anchorage, the second is in the interior of the island. They are the summer and winter residences of the owners. 

On the map we have prepared you can see where this first stop is indicated with a blue anchor and named El Paso. To reach this point you must take into account the different dangers that exist around Espalmador. They are rocky or shallow areas, and to avoid them it is best to keep a safe distance of at least 100 metres from the land and to pay attention to the indications on the map. Above all, we must be especially careful with the danger marked on the map with the name of Bajo de Gorrinets, which is a rock that is right in the direction we should take to go to our first anchorage.

Once anchored at this point we can go down to the island of Espalmador, for which we only have to swim a few metres from the boat until we set foot on the sandbank that separates Espalmador from Formentera. The water is waist-deep along the entire length of the sandbank.  From the sandbank, we only have to walk a few metres until we reach the beach. It is worthwhile to walk along it until you reach the owners' house, it is a unique beach. At the end of the bay and next to the owners' house there is a path that leads to the mud baths. These are clay pools where you can enjoy a free and highly enjoyable beauty treatment. 

Espalmador is within the Ses Salines marine reserve, and is therefore an area of special protection as we have already mentioned. You will see on the beach that access to some dune areas is forbidden in order to protect the dune biodiversity, which is particularly vulnerable. Respect the indications and enjoy this marvellous spot.

Espalmador faro

Espalmador-Ses Illetes

The second anchorage point is the beach of Ses Illetes (Formentera), where most of the boats stop. The reasons are well known all over the world: calm and crystal clear turquoise blue waters, enviable climate and magnificent restaurants. Here you can enjoy the dreamlike waters and the best restaurants on the island. There are plenty of restaurants where you can enjoy a delicious local fish or a succulent seafood paella. All the restaurants in the area are already prepared and they have a dinghy service to pick you up from the boat and take you ashore for lunch. If you want to eat in one of the restaurants in Illetas or Cala Saona, you will have to book well in advance as they are usually full every day in summer.

Remember that if you are going to go down for lunch you must make sure that the anchor is well seated on the sandy bottom and that there is enough chain so that the boat doesn't drag and hit the surrounding boats. It would not be the first time this has happened. Also keep in mind not to anchor on posidonia which is a protected marine plant and helps to make the water of Ibiza and Formentera crystal clear and transparent.  The waters are so clean that you can easily see the sandy bottom. If the water has a dark colour it is because you are anchoring in posidonia. You can anchor at a depth of 3 to 7 metres and always behind the area marked with yellow buoys that indicate the bathing area.

As always on the map you will see detailed all the restaurants in the area with information about their contact telephone numbers, email or customer reviews. They are not very cheap restaurants due to their high demand. Be sure to check their prices and menu before making a reservation.. 

The beach of Illetas is quite wide and reaches almost to the port of La Savina where the merchandise boats arrive to the island with the tourists and the necessary supplies for Formentera. It is not of great interest unless you want a mooring for the night. Again you have to ask for a mooring well in advance otherwise it is almost impossible due to the high demand. 

Ses Illetes dron

Ses Illetes-Cala Saona

As you can see on the map the next stop is the incredible Cala Saona, a natural bay of several hundred metres with a beautiful white sandy beach in the southern corner of the bay. The beach is surrounded by ochre cliffs 5 to 10 metres high. The crystal clear, sandy bottom waters are perfect for anchoring. In addition, these same cliffs, on days with stronger easterly, north-easterly or south-easterly winds, will protect us from the wind.

You can anchor, always respecting as always the yellow buoys that delimit the bathing area of the beach. In the cliff areas you can anchor a little closer to the coast. On the beach itself there are also several restaurants with a dinghy service where you can go down to the beach and enjoy a wonderful meal. For sailing boats and catamarans it is a good option to spend the night on the west side of the island as the beach is well protected and is out of the way of the ferries that pass through the port of La Savina, which create waves until late at night and early in the morning.. 


Cala Saona-Cuevas Cala Saona

The last stop is the caves of Cala Saona and before the cape of Barberia. You can anchor at various points but always make sure that there is no posidonia and that the bottom is relatively shallow. Between 6 and 8 metres is usually the perfect depth for this anchorage.  The cliffs are full of flooded caves that you can swim into, it's really fascinating. Here is the ideal place to snorkel and swim inside them, some of them have wonderful light effects. The cliffs are high, up to 50 metres high, so anchoring next to them is impressive. It is not usually a very crowded anchorage, so despite being a relatively small space where you have to anchor, you will not have many problems to do so. You can see a short video of the anchorage on the map if you click on the stop that says Cuevas de Cala Saona. 

Cuevas Cala Saona

Cuevas Cala Saona-Ibiza

From here we head back to the harbour of Marina Botafoch for the end of the day. From here to the harbour there is a sailing time of approximately 45 minutes, so plan the return trip in good time so that you arrive with enough light, remember that it is forbidden to sail at night because of its high danger. On arrival at the port of Ibiza you will have to fill up your fuel tank at the petrol station, someone from our team will be waiting for you. Please note that on the busiest days of the summer: weekends and every day in July and August, there are usually queues to fill up at the petrol station. If you arrive at the port between 19h and 20:30h be patient and wait your turn. We will be there to assist you. 

If you need to know with which boats you can do this route go to our charter boats section by clicking on the following link

Enjoy your day!!!

Date of Publication: 08/02/2022

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