There’s little as discouraging as it is to be on a beautiful island, 35 degrees, a bright sky… and realizing that the beach is completely packed. Unfortunately, that’s often the case in Europe’s main beach destinations.
Formentera was considered one of Spain’s hidden gems – only really known among the hippies during the 60s. At that time, there were around 1.300 hippies spending each summer on the island. Even though Franco’s regime threw them off the island in 1970, its culture today owes a lot to its hippy past.
As off the beaten track locations get more and more desirable for tourists of all kinds, Formentera is, I found, no longer characterized by paradisiac beaches with little or no people on it. Instead, its beaches are crowded with upper class fashionistas showing off the latest trends and on its still and turquoise water rest some of the largest and most luxurious yachts I’ve ever seen.
One morning, on our search for a picturesque and little known corner, we took a turn into a sand and stone way surrounded by trees on both sides. We instinctively followed a wood sign that indicated the way to Es Ram. Es Ram was nowhere to see on our simplified paper map.
While we cruised down the uneven path, we considered all possible outcomes: Were we going to end in front of a huge villa called Es Ram? Was Es Ram a hunting area? Or was there any possibility of Es Ram being the hidden beach we have been longing for?
Es Ram was, in fact, a small beach with perfect turquoise water. As we walked down the rocks, we realized that we were not on a usual beach – instead of sand, we were standing on dry seaweed!
We turned around us, only to notice that there were less than 8 people on the beach (counting us 4 in!). The other 2 groups had taken off their clothes to soak up the sun rays and occasionally went to take a dip into the crystalline water. We climbed into the water, admiring its transparency and the rare rock formations that followed the coast line. One of us spoke out loud what each of us were thinking – isn’t this the perfect moment to experience what it feels like to swim naked in the sea?
We felt our adrenaline rise as we hesitated on our decision. One after the other, we all chose to join the nudists on this one occasion – and we agreed that what we felt was relief. When we left the beach, we felt more confident and comfortable in our own skin. There was no better time than that one – four best friends, one tiny island and turquoise blue water.