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Formentera: the smallest Balearic Island with a BIG green footprint


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Separated from the chaos of Ibiza by no more than a few miles of open water, Formentera is the opposition; the perfect antidote to relentless tourist numbers, traffic, and debauchery.

Holding a hint of pride, Formentera is the smallest of the Balearic Islands at a mere 20 kilometers long. With no airport, no fast-food joints or low-cost chain stores – yes, that means no McDonald’s – tourism here is tightly tied to environmental ethics.

In recent years, ecotourism has become a trend for the bohemian wanderlust crowd, and it’s clear Formentera leads in the Balearic ‘green movement’. Hotel numbers restricted, infrastructure control, and minimal traffic, the island has put huge efforts into boosting “active tourism”.

Ecotourism is a combination of rural and sustainable tourism offering the possibility of being in contact with nature to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife. Formentera’s local government, therefore, is collaborating with the locals as well as travellers to make a responsible and respectful promotion of the territory.

In a bid to limit traffic and pollution, visitors and locals alike are encouraged to travel using the green routes – a network of more than 100 kilometers of paths, most of which are suitable for cyclists and those covering on foot. A comprehensive guide proved by The Council of Tourism offers the length and details of 32 routes, as well as providing information on other types of heritage resources, points of interest and geographical data.

With a surge in tourism in the summer months, the number of cars soars to as high as 50,800 vehicles – a 145% increase of cars and motorbikes on a road network that stretches less than 40 kilometers.

Alongside the already implemented “green routes”, Formentera’s economic and environmental sustainability is only looking to grow, with six e-Mehari cars being donated by Citroen as part of a pilot scheme to potentially banish petrol and diesel cars from its shores.

Formentera also offers an array of natural tourism including bird watching tours, marine conservation, and panoramic beaches. Estany D’Es Peix and Ses Salines are fascinating wetlands that are visited by a number of migratory birds; best known for the pink flamingos arriving between the months of August and October for the winter months ahead.

Another attraction of the green movement and being in contact with nature is present in the demand for luxury villas. As real estate values have rocketed, finding isolated and natural environments to disconnect from society is a largely sought experience. Still, within the minimal number of hotels that the island host’s, the impressive Gecko Hotel & Beach Club is famed for its environmental contribution.

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Found on Formentera’s ‘prettiest’ beach, the innovative hotel intends to remove all plastic waste by the end of this year – ensuring all 10 kilometers of white sand stay that way. The entirety of the hotel’s plastic will be substituted for biodegradable options while employee uniforms have been redesigned by ethical fashion brand ECOALF.

Ultimately, Formentera’s pace of life is idyllic for enjoying white sands, turquoise waters and green nature sights with a mild-warm temperature variety ensuring over 300 days of sun each year.

Find out more using the Greenway Route Catalogue:

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