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El Pilar de La Mola

The village located at the highest point of the island is El Pilar de La Mola, better known as La Mola.
It is the most traditional and deeply rooted in the popular culture of Formentera.
Its inhabitants are referred to as “Virots.”

  • Perched atop the island’s elevation
  • Hippie market hub
  • Both rustic and cosmopolitan
  • Lighthouse at the road’s end
  • 16th-century windmill
  • Hiking trails abound.
La Mola, Formentera
El Pilar de La Mola Formentera

Everything you need to know about La Mola

The village situated at Formentera’s highest point is named El Pilar de La Mola, though it’s commonly known as La Mola. Undoubtedly, it embodies the most traditional and rural spirit among all the island’s towns.

In the 1960s, the first artisanal market was established by the hippie community that was beginning to settle in Formentera. To this day, La Mola market remains a must-visit for tourists and residents every Wednesday and Sunday during the summer months.

On the outskirts of the village, you’ll discover two of Formentera’s most prominent heritage sites. On one hand, the Molí Vell (Old Windmill), and on the other, the Faro de La Mola (Lighthouse of La Mola).


Keep in mind…

Exploring the village of La Mola during market days might present visitors with an impression that doesn’t align with the reality of the rest of the week. It transitions from being a bustling town with throngs of people in its streets to a serene and leisurely place during the rest of the summer days.

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How to get to La Mola

Reaching the village of El Pilar de La Mola from the port of La Savina is quite straightforward, as the main road (PM-820) connects the two locations, which are about 17 kilometers apart.

You’ll simply need to continue straight in a southerly direction, without deviating from the road. Once you pass the village of Es Caló de Sant Agustí, you’ll notice a change in the terrain as you begin ascending through a series of winding curves, flanked by a beautiful forest of pine and juniper trees on both sides of the road.

Exercise particular caution while driving on this stretch of curved road, as it lacks a shoulder, and buses, cars, motorcycles, and bicycles all share the same lane. Be considerate and avoid endangering other drivers.

Bus line 2 provides the connection between La Savina and all the villages of Formentera. We recommend visiting the official website to accurately ascertain the schedules and frequency of the bus that will take you to La Mola if that’s your final destination.

Parking at La Mola

All parking areas in the village of La Mola are free and not subject to the Blue Zone parking system. The number of parking spaces is limited on the main street, but to offset this, La Mola has two large parking lots on both sides of the road, right at the entrance of the houses that make up the village.

Especially during the peak tourist season and on the days when the artisan market is held, both parking lots can become quite full. Therefore, we recommend that you park your car or motorcycle in a way that doesn’t obstruct the arrival or departure of other vehicles.

Likewise, if you choose to park on any of the dirt roads in the vicinity, be sure not to block the access of residents to their homes.

On days when the market isn’t taking place, you won’t encounter any problems parking your car or motorcycle in one of these two designated parking lots in La Mola. This will allow you to enjoy the village and its surroundings with utmost tranquility.

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Staying in La Mola

Due to the rural atmosphere that has always characterized La Mola and its inhabitants, and due to its location being farther from the beach than other towns in Formentera, no hotels or tourist apartment complexes were ever constructed in this area of the island.

In today’s context, governed by the regulations for vacation rentals, the only accommodation option in La Mola is licensed houses. Specifically, around the church and within the village of El Pilar de La Mola itself, tourist rental is expressly prohibited in any of the buildings that make up the urban core.

The houses in the rural surroundings of La Mola, away from the village, are the only ones eligible for tourist licenses to offer short stays to visitors in this part of Formentera. Therefore, if you wish to stay with complete peace of mind, ensure that the dwelling has a valid tourist license, which must be displayed on any website or platform used to advertise or promote the property.


Eating at La Mola

The village of La Mola boasts several restaurants and bars that offer service throughout the day. Starting from mornings with breakfast and coffee, they transition to midday and evenings for lunches and dinners.

Depending on your choice of establishment, you can savor traditional island cuisine featuring rice dishes and fresh seafood as the foundation of their menu. There are also places where grilled meats take the spotlight, renowned for their quality and reasonable prices. Moreover, options range from pizzas, hamburgers to tapas.

While some of these establishments operate only during the summer season, there are always several restaurants and bars that cater to both the local population of La Mola and other visitors during the months outside of the tourist season.

Restaurantes La Mola Formentera

Hippy Market at La Mola

From May until the end of October, every Wednesday and Sunday, the Artisan Market of La Mola, also known as the Hippy Market, opens its doors from around 5:00 PM until approximately 10:30 PM. It welcomes all visitors who wish to enjoy a unique experience, taking a couple of hours away from Formentera’s beautiful beaches.

Since its inception in the 1960s, the Hippy Market of La Mola has served as a beacon for many generations of artists who showcase and sell their creations in this multicultural space. The various stalls of each skilled artisan contribute to filling the village of La Mola with vibrant colors and a festive atmosphere.

As expected, music at the heart of the market square provides a backdrop for most of the day. Ending up singing and dancing to the rhythm of the musical group you happen to come across will be an unforgettable experience to add to the album of memories from your vacation in Formentera.

Shopping in La Mola

Beyond the shopping opportunities offered by the market on Wednesdays and Fridays, it’s worth noting that La Mola is home to several fashion and accessory stores that stand out for their uniqueness and quality in materials and designs. Island-based fashion designers who create new collections every winter to present to visitors in their stores during the summer.

A special mention goes to the gallery/store/workshop of the jeweler Enric Majoral, who arrived in Formentera in the 1970s and was one of the driving forces behind the artisan market’s inception. His pieces are both renowned and recognizable, utilizing precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum to craft marvelous creations inspired by the nature that surrounds Formentera.

A visit to his space is highly recommended, located on the main street of El Pilar de La Mola, just a few meters from the entrance of the artisan market. Enjoy the displayed works of art, and if your budget allows, don’t hesitate to purchase one of his exquisite pieces.

Patron Saint Festivities in La Mola

The feast day of the Virgen del Pilar, celebrated on October 12th, marks the occasion for the patron saint festivities in La Mola. This day also symbolically concludes the tourist season in Formentera. Due to these dual reasons, these festivities typically draw a majority of residents from the island.
The prevailing feeling is one of transitioning into a period of relaxation and rest after the hard work of the summer season, uniting all participants.

The traditional nature of the patron saint festivities is a constant in every village of Formentera. However, it’s even more pronounced in the celebrations of La Mola, where the strong connection to the island and its ancient customs is fervently embraced.

El Pilar de La Mola Formentera
La Mola Formentera Fiestas

Starting a week before the Day of El Pilar, the La Mola neighborhood association organizes various events, including exhibitions, board game tournaments for both the older and younger generations, sports competitions, as well as displays of popular tradition such as “baile pagés” (country dance), “cantada pagesa” (traditional song), and occasionally a parade of antique carts through the village streets.

It’s also worth noting that during the celebration of the Night of San Juan on June 23rd, a large bonfire is lit in La Mola, accompanied by musical performances that last until dawn. This event marks the summer solstice and the shortest night of the year. It generally signifies the beginning of the peak tourist season in Formentera, bringing a higher influx of visitors to the island and consequently, a greater workload for the residents. In contrast, the Day of the Pilar marks the end of summer and the tourist season on the island.

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History and Heritage

In addition to the church, the village of La Mola boasts two heritage elements of great value and historical significance for Formentera.

One of these is the Molí Vell de La Mola, located around 500 meters outside the village. You can easily find it by following the signs along the side of the road. Built in 1778, the same year as the church, it was a high-tech production tool for the inhabitants of La Mola during those times when subsistence was challenging and primarily based on agriculture, livestock, and fishing.

Rehabilitated in 1994, the management and conservation of the mill were taken over by the Fundació Illes Balears, which keeps it open to the public and allows free visits to its interior.

Moli Vell de La Mola

At the far end of the road after crossing the village, you’ll come across the La Mola Lighthouse. Rising above the cliffs, it aids ship navigation along the southern route of Formentera.

Completed in 1861, it housed its last lighthouse keeper in 2001. Since then, it has operated in a fully automated manner, eliminating the need for a human keeper.

For many years, the building received minimal maintenance and the accommodations for the various lighthouse keepers led to the gradual deterioration of the structure. However, in 2019, an agreement between the Port Authority and the Consell de Formentera allowed the transformation of the old lighthouse into an exhibition space and interpretation center, accessible for both visitors and residents to enjoy.

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Cultural Vibe

Despite having the smallest registered population on Formentera, the village of El Pilar de la Mola holds a strong tradition of cultural activities catering to people of all ages.

Sharing a space with the senior citizens of the village, the Casa del Poble has become a cultural cornerstone for many island residents. This is due to its programming of events, conferences, and various artistic endeavors, especially during the winter months.

This work and dissemination of culture are primarily carried out by the cultural group Espai F, with occasional support from the Consell de Formentera. It sets an example for other villages on the island to follow and is greatly appreciated by those of us who live year-round in this beautiful Mediterranean paradise.

Services in La Mola

Due to its predominantly rural character and the dispersed population in the outskirts of El Pilar, the village of La Mola features only the most essential and necessary basic services. In most cases, the residents tend to do most of their shopping in Sant Francesc or Sant Ferran.

In any case, you’ll find a single bank branch, a sole supermarket, several bars and restaurants—some of which may close during the winter months—and not much more.

It’s worth noting that La Mola lacks a pharmacy, with the closest one being in Es Caló de Sant Agustí. The same applies if you need to refuel your car or motorcycle—the nearest gas station can be found in Sant Ferran.

Rutes and trails

The famous Camí de Sa Pujada was once the only route connecting the inhabitants of La Mola with those of the rest of the island. But beyond that, you’ll find signs pointing to Camí des Monestir, Punta Roja, Sa Talaiasa, and many more.

These routes, starting from the center of the village of La Mola, will take you to discover places in Formentera you could never have imagined. The views from the cliffs will captivate you and delight your followers on Instagram. It’s a side of Formentera that goes beyond the typical sun and beach postcard image.

La Mola Formentera Someres

And amidst this more rural ambiance, you’ll be surprised by the multitude of animals, both wild and domestic, that you’ll encounter on any stroll along the paths of La Mola.

Vino La Mola Formentera

Vineyards and Wines in La Mola

If you decide to wander around the outskirts of the village of El Pilar de La Mola, you’ll notice numerous small vineyard plots. Being a dryland crop due to the lack of rainfall on an island like Formentera, grapevines have been deeply rooted since the presence of Augustinian monks in the 12th century.

The majority of these vineyards are family-owned, and for the production of “vino payés,” the term used in Formentera for homemade wine made using techniques passed down through generations, the end result is truly unique. It’s wine for personal consumption, crafted with ancient production methods like traditional grape stomping, literally crushing the grapes with feet during a festive gathering of family and friends.

It’s worth noting that since the 1990s, La Mola has been producing excellent wines for sale by Bodegas Terramoll. Their main facility is located around two kilometers before reaching the village of El Pilar de La Mola. They offer scheduled visits and wine tastings in their cellars.


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