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Torre La Gavina Formentera

Torre La Gavina

Situated on the west coast of the island, Torre de La Gavina served as a protective and warning outpost against the arrival of invading ships from that part of the coast.
Constructed in the 18th century, like the rest of the towers in Formentera.

  • Located on the west coast
  • No interior access allowed
  • In a rather remote area
  • Constructed in the 18th century
  • Restored and in perfect condition
  • Impressive views of Ibiza and the sunset
Torre La Gavina Formentera
Torre La Gavina Formentera

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Everything you need to know about Torre de La Gavina 

Torre de La Gavina, an imposing defensive structure standing on the west coast of the beautiful island of Formentera, represents a prominent testament to the history of the Pityuses. This tower, dating back to the 18th century, saw its construction completed in the year 1762 and was carried out with the purpose of safeguarding the island’s coasts from possible pirate threats that lurked in those distant times.

What sets Torre de La Gavina apart from the other defense towers of Formentera is the difficulty of access to it via any of the paths leading to it.

Torre La Gavina Formentera

Unlike Torre des Pi des Català, which allows entry into its interior, this fortification does not grant access to its walled portion, and the visit is limited to the exterior. Nevertheless, its impressive presence along the coastline attracts visitors and the curious alike.

One of the most remarkable features of Torre de La Gavina is its strategic location on the west coast of Formentera. From this vantage point, you can enjoy spectacular views of the sunset over the sea and the silhouette of Es Vedrà islet, creating a natural setting that takes the breath away from those fortunate enough to witness it.

Undoubtedly, Torre de La Gavina is an emblematic place that enriches the experience of those exploring the beauty of Formentera and seeking to learn more about its history.

Keep in mind… 

Torre de La Gavina is located in a seldom-visited area, even during the peak tourist seasons. That’s why we recommend not going to this part of Formentera alone and always ensuring you have appropriate footwear, water, and a fully charged mobile phone in case you need it to communicate in case of an emergency.

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How to get to Torre de La Gavina 

To reach Torre de Punta Gavina, you have three access options, each with its own characteristics:

  1. From Portu Saler: If you prefer to drive to the tower, the first route takes you from the Portu Saler area. It’s important to note that this road can be somewhat challenging for both cars and motorcycles due to its difficulty. It’s recommended to use Google Maps or another navigation app to follow precise directions and ensure you don’t get lost along the way.
  2. From the Public Area of Can Marroig: Another option is to start your journey from the Public Estate of can Marroig. From there, you can follow the coastline for approximately 2 kilometers until you reach Torre de Punta Gavina. This route offers a scenic walk along the coast and allows you to enjoy the natural surroundings of the area.
  3. From Cala Saona: The third and possibly the most recommended of the routes is to depart from Cala Saona and head north, following the coastline. Throughout the journey, you’ll have Torre de Punta Gavina in sight in the distance, which makes navigation easier. This route is a bit longer, approximately 3 kilometers one way, and you should remember to add the distance for the return trip. However, it offers a rewarding experience with beautiful coastal views along the way.

History of Torre de La Gavina 

Torre de La Gavina in Formentera is a troncoconical edifice of notable uniqueness. Its structure has a lower diameter of 12.35 meters and rises to a maximum height of 8.74 meters. This tower, which stands as a silent witness to the island’s history, played a fundamental role as a watchtower until the year 1867.

The strategic location of La Torre de La Gavina and the other defense towers in Formentera can be attributed to the then Captain General of the Balearic Islands, Francisco de Paula Bucarelli y Ursúa. Bucarelli, aware of the need to protect the island’s coasts from potential threats, supervised the placement of these fortifications to ensure the safety of the local population and the defense of the island.

These defense towers in Formentera allowed for constant surveillance of the coast, providing an effective alert system for local populations in case of the arrival of hostile ships. During the day, smoke signals were used to communicate any imminent threat, while at night, fires were used to convey the same information.

This system of visual communication was essential for the coordination and defense of the island, ensuring that local populations were prepared for any eventuality and could take swift measures to protect themselves from pirate raids or other invaders.

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Construction and restoration of Torre de La Gavina 

The architectural project for all the defense towers in Formentera, including Torre de La Gavina, was the work of military engineer José García Martínez. His vision and technical skills gave rise to these unique structures that continue to impress visitors today. Torre de La Gavina stands as a tangible testament to the island’s history and its crucial role in protecting its coasts during centuries past.

In the year 2008, Torre de La Gavina underwent a restoration process under the direction of local architect Marià Castelló. This restoration project served to preserve and revitalize this historical gem, ensuring its integrity and allowing future generations to appreciate its beauty.

Torre La Gavina Formentera
Torre La Gavina Formentera Sunset

Long time memories 

On a sunny spring day, I find myself exploring the cliffs of the western area of Formentera, aiming to reach Torre de Punta Gavina. The sky shines with impeccable blue, and the sea sparkles under the sun, inviting me to delve into this corner of the island and its history.

As I make my way, I pass by the docks of traditional fishing boats, llauts, nestled among the rocks like silent guardians of the island’s ancient traditions. Their weathered wood and knotted ropes tell stories of countless days at sea. Without haste, I arrive at the imposing Torre de Punta Gavina from Cala Saona.

The place oozes history and mystery. I focus and imagine what life was like for the watchmen of the tower. Solitary, silent, and always vigilant, scanning the horizon for any sign of danger.

It’s at this moment that my mind travels back to the 18th century when the fearless inhabitants of Formentera struggled to repopulate the island. I visualize the arrival of a pirate ship and the urgency of the tower’s guardians to light a flame at the top of the magnificent stone structure, a warning signal for the other coastal towers of Formentera and those on neighboring Ibiza. A communication through fire and smoke signals that was vital to protect the lives and meager possessions of the islanders of that era.

At this moment, I can imagine how challenging it must have been to live on such a small island with such limited resources, especially due to the scarcity of fresh water and the constant threat of pirate attacks. History unfolds before me, and I feel a deep respect for those brave tower guardians and the inhabitants who shaped the destiny of Formentera in such trying times.

Torre La Gavina Formentera

About the author:
Laura Mateo has known and lived in Formentera for over 25 years. Her love for the island is reflected in her writing of articles and the creation of photos and videos for various national and international publications. She also serves as the Community Manager at Formentera Lifestyle.

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