The unusual geological evolution of Formentera has created a variety of beaches. The central, narrow part of the island known as Es Carnatge has the rocky Tramuntana coastline on its north face, and the sandy Platja de Mitjorn on the south. The northern peninsula has back to back beaches with no buildings in sight, and there are also various bays, such as the natural cove of Cala Saona. Formentera’s beaches have a number of natural advantages: with no plankton in the waters they remain crystal clear, and the island’s shape protects the southern beaches when the winds are up on the northern side.
Views out to Es Vedra, and back to Cala Saona
In total Formentera has over 20 kilometers of beaches, from rocky coves through to white sand beaches stretching out along the ocean. What you will notice about most of them is the almost total absence of buildings, and those that do have construction have significant height restrictions. The Blue Flag Programme, owned and run by the independent non-profit organisation Foundation for Environmental Education, has awarded its mark to many of the island’s pristine beaches.
Getting to Cala Saona
If you take the main road west from Sant Francesc and then after 2.5 kilometers take the road running south-west you will travel through fields of carob and fig, and Aleppo pine. Three kilometers later you get to the cove of Cala Saona. The cove is low lying as a result of a structural fault, and differential erosion has created a beach just 140 meters across, but 120 meters in depth.
In its day Cala Saona had 400 ships anchored at port, but when you lie on the beach it’s difficult to imagine the hustle and bustle of the sixteenth century. These days there are just a few of the wooden escars used to shelter small fishing boats. It was also used as a place to breed and train falcons, but spotting a bird of prey in this location is less likely today.
More than a Beach
Cala Saona is more than a beach – the surrounding farmland and cliff top walks will take your breath away. The views looking down from the peak of Punta Rasa make it worth the 30 minute hike: you will see some deep yet crystal clear waters battering the cliffs, and on a good day can see as far as Denia. The waters around Punta Rasa are popular with divers as there are plenty of caves to explore.
The Hotel Cala Saona is right on the beach if you want to make Cala Saona your base.