Sailing on Formentera

Formentera sailing has some favourable conditions for beginners, and enough challenging areas to satisfy Olympians such as Teresa Zabell who uses the island as a training base. Summer winds average between 5 and 15 knots. The winter can see storms of up to 30 knots. The prevailing winds come from the east in the summer, and the west in the winter.

Most boats approach via the North-West through the straits of Ses Portes, then thread between Illa des Penjats and an islet names Des Porcs, which has a lighthouse. Finally they pass Espalmador, and Formentera’s northern peninsula of Es Trucadors before reaching Port de la Savina.

A sailboat can travel from the north to the south of the island in two hours, or head over to Ibiza in about the same time (the ferries take 30 minutes). As you sail around the island’s 82km of coastline the cliffs, beaches and blue waters provide some variety in the landscape.

A popular spot for sailing is the northern peninsula, Es Trucadors, as it has something for everyone. It is a 3km beach running north to south with water on both sides. In the summer the eastern side has waves, whereas the western side has a calm sea. The conditions for sailing get rougher when you sail north or south of the peninsula by two miles.

If you sail to Formentera then you must observe its rules for anchoring. These are quite strict as the island protects its posidonia beds. The different types of anchoring zone that have been established are: free anchoring areas, regulated mooring areas with buoys, and restricted anchoring areas. The free anchoring areas have no limits to anchoring other than a maximum number of boats permitted in some areas. The regulated mooring areas with buoys have a number of regulations around their use, including a booking requirement. In the restricted anchoring areas the posidonia beds are being protected and it is only permitted to anchor to sandbars.

The designated buoys where you can anchor are in place between 1 June and 30 September, and if you are planning to use one then you need to book in advance  by contacting the Department for the Environment (Conselleria de Medi Ambient) reservation centre on 902 422 425. Reservations can be made 2 to 20 days in advance, by phone or online. There is a restriction of two consecutive nights in a calendar week, one buoy per vessel and anchoring between buoys is not permitted.

There are different types of buoys with the colours indicating the permitted vessel length. The maximum safe wind speed is also recorded, and the Department of the Environment states that it will not accept any liability in the event that these conditions are exceeded.

The most important rules to observe are to keep the length of the boat within the limits indicated by the colour of the buoy. Also, it is important not to moor two boats on the same buoy. At no time must you anchor on the posidonia, and you may only use sand banks when the buoys are occupied. If you do not take your buoy between 12.30 and 6.30pm of the arriving day then you may lose your reservation.

If would like to rent a boat or charter a cruise then one of the following companies will be able to help.

Sailing Schools & Charter Boats
Náutica Pins: La Savina
tel. 971 32 26 51

Barco Salao: La Savina
tel. 609 84 71 16

Fast Ferrari: La Savina
tel. 617 98 50 57

Formentera Rent a Boat: La Savina
tel. 971 32 10 89

Isla Azul: La Savina
tel. 971 32 34 24

Please leave your comments…