Sant Ferran de ses Roques
Sant Ferran Formentera is the most centrally located of the island’s villages and has a lot going for it as a base from which to explore the island. However, it has not always been in its current location, as it was previously nearer to the saltwater lagoon of Estany Pudent.
It was named in memory of King Ferdinand the Catholic and its full name is Sant Ferran de ses Roques, or San Fernando in Catalan. With two flour mills and a church dating back to the eighteenth century it is clear that it has always been a focal point of the island. It has continued to grow, and the resulting architecture is not always pretty. As you come from Es Pujols the apartment blocks look distinctly drab, but on the plus side the village is very functional with banks, a post office, internet café, and an excellent doctor’s surgery.
If you leave the main streets and head up the cobbled path to the Esgelsia de Sant Ferran you reach a prettier area. The church was originally located closer to the salt pans, but was moved along with the rest of the village in 1883 because the saltpan ground was not firm enough and the building started to crumble. The fact that the sandstone facade has not been whitewashed distinguishes it from most Balearic churches, and just opposite is La Fonda Pepe.
Fonda Pepe is still living off its reputation as a hippy hang out (Dylan spent a lot of time here), and you will see that someone forgot to tell a few of the residents that the 1960s are over. Formentera has a far stronger trace of the hippy movement than Ibiza and Fonda Pepe is the perfect place to soak it up. You can also visit the local guitar workshop which has been handcrafting instruments for rocks stars and holidaymakers alike for decades. The most famous customers are Pink Floyd, who no doubt hung out at Fonda Pepe whilst waiting for their bespoke guitars.
The following video isn’t very exciting, but it gives you a good idea how small the village is. This is the one minute cycle up the main street:
If you decide to make Sant Ferran your base then there are vineyards and farmlands around the village that offer a good range of accommodation, in far more attractive surroundings than the main village itself. If you head up towards the countryside next to Esgelsia de Sant Ferran you will see that this area known as venda de ses Roques has plenty of traditional farmhouses. The vineyards are on the other side of the village, and this is a great spot because you are just five minutes away from the action of Es Pujols without being exposed to its throng of young holidaymakers 24 hours a day.
In terms of sites Cova d’en Joroni/Cova d’en Xeroni is just down the road. A local farmer found these caves when he was digging a well, and many a disappointed tourist wishes that he hadn’t. The stalactites and stalagmites are nothing special really. To get there you head just past the 6km point of the PM-820 and turn right opposite the Spar supermarket.