swimming

Es Ram, Formentera (Spain)

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, Formentera (Spain)

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!

Dry Seaweed, Es Ram, Formentera (Spain)

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?

Water in Es Ram, Formentera, Spain

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.

Crystalline Water in Formentera

I had promised more pictures and stories about my week in the tiny island on Formentera as soon as I got back to normal, and now that I’ve recovered my computer and said goodbye to Switzerland – I thought it’s about time. Plus, I love to go through fun summer memories when it’s raining and windy outside.

Formentera’s sands and crystalline water are world-famousdon’t believe me? check out where Giorgio Armani or Shakira spent this summer! – which also means that most of its easy accessible beaches are really crowded. That’s when one becomes creative to find a peaceful spot to lay down and soak up some mediterranean sun. And then it hit us – we had to rent a boat and discover all those hidden gems that have no land access.

All good, but what do you do without any kind of maritime license (and ok, lets admit it, without cash to spend on renting a 10 meter sail boat to explore the island’s coastline)?

Rent a Zodiac instead!

Me on our Zodiac, Formentera

If you ever thought that a zodiac would only be good enough to take you from your yacht to the beach and back, then you’re wrong. You should never underestimate the power of a zodiac – this smaller version of a speed boat took us all the way from the port of Formentera to the south of the island and back up all the way north to S’Espalmador.

About 20 minutes after leaving the port towards the south of the Island, we found a peaceful spot with crystalline blue water. We dropped the anchor and looked around us. Not more than 3 other boats were surrounding us, and there was enough distance between us to almost feel like we had the spot for ourselves.

The color of the sea was so appealing that it didn’t take us more than 3 minutes to jump into the water (part of those 3 minutes, we were trying to figure how to best jump from an inflatable boat without looking too ridiculous – what we didn’t realize was the actual ridiculous part would be trying to get back into the zodiac again). This was the first time I made use of my underwater camera kit.

Crystalline Water in Formentera

Underwater in Formentera, Spain

Swimming in Crystalline Water, Formentera

Underwater in Formentera, Spain