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Formentera unveils nature trails for European Mobility Week

rutes verdes senyalecticaA full programme of activities underpins the Formentera Council's backing of European Mobility Week. At the top of the list, said Rafael González, is an initiative called Rutes Verdes, a network of thirty-two newly completed nature trails. The transport councillor called the bid to boost exploration of the island by bike one of the Council's “star projects”.

For the Council, European Mobility Week also has great symbolic value; our administration has for years made strides in sustainable mobility. The Council, González said, backs any effort to enjoy the island in ways that are cleaner, quieter and more sustainable.

E-cars
This Thursday, September 21, an exhibition of zero-emissions vehicles will unfold in plaça de la Constitució from 10.00am to 1.00pm. Various local companies will showcase models from their e-vehicle fleets and the Council will follow suit, with displays of two of its own E-Meharis, two scooters and two bikes. Formentera's celebration of the yearly European Mobility Week campaign centres on “giving locals and tourists a way to discover the advantage of these vehicles firsthand”, said the councillor.

Bike ride and tourist-appreciation day
Visitors and residents alike are invited to jump on board, Thursday September 22, for a bicicletada (bike ride) across the island's network of nature trails. The gathering point has been set at 9.30am at plaça de la Constitució. From there, participants will set out for Cala Saona, making their way across three of Formentera's 32 bike and walk paths. González was sure to highlight the trails' newly installed signage. His office runs the initiative with the help of tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer.

The Office of Tourism has slated celebrations for its tourist-appreciation day, Dia del Turista, on the same day, Thursday September 22, “to put the spotlight on sustainability and see that Formentera's visiting tourists are committed to this kind of transport”, said González. According to the councillor, moving Dia del Turista to its current spot on the calendar was the Council's way of letting tourists know where Formentera's priorities lie and boosting the importance of the Mobility Week initiative.

An outreach campaign over the last week at area hotels and tourist lodgings was aimed at getting the word out about the activities and the trails system. At approximately 11.00am on Thursday, when bike ride participants make it back to plaça de la Constitució, they will be met with a sampling of traditional Formentera products. All of Formentera is invited to come out and participate in this encounter for increased sustainability.

Discounts, bonuses and fun activities are back...and all part of 'Discover Formentera in October'

nightskyEarlier today the Formentera Council's tourism bureau pulled the curtain back on Discover Formentera in October, a bid to boost pre- and post-season tourist travel to the island leveraging special offers and bonuses. “October is the perfect time to come spend a few days on Formentera,” proclaimed the island's tourism board director, Carlos Bernús, who invoked a mild climate ideal for late-summer swimming and a beefed-up calendar of events as two of the island's most potent draws.

Gastronomic Weekends
The first and second weekends of October, various restaurants will offer sample menus of typical island cuisine for a lean 20 euros. The idea is to encourage tourists to visit the island before or after the traditional high season, but as Bernús acknowledged, the effort has also become a hit among locals.

Activities
Brand new this year is Formentera Astronòmica, an event whose subtitle —“the universe at your fingertips”— is indicative. Bernús described the initiative in the following terms: “For 70 euros, participants will get a chance to discover, photograph, observe by telescope and otherwise marvel at Formentera's fabulous nighttime skyscape.” For the complete programme and to signup, visit www.formenteraastronomica.com.

In addition, this year, from October 8 to 11, residents and visitors will see the return of Formentera Zen, promoting approaches to healthy living. The entire programme can be seen online at www.formenterazen.info and registration costs 350 euros.

Sports
Sporting events on Formentera are a mainstay. Formentera's fourth annual triathlon is scheduled for October 8 and signups is possible on the website, www.triatlonformentera.com. Volta a peu a Formentera (“the walk round Formentera”) runs from October 8 to 11, and offers participants the opportunity to hike the island in groups and in multiple stages. Head to the www.amicsdeformentera.cat website for details and registration.

Local celebrations
El Pilar de la Mola's popular festival (“les Festes”) is another towering figure on the island's list of attractions. Live music, traditional dance, kids' activities and a procession are all on the agenda for locals and tourists alike starting October 12. Up-to-date information can be found at www.agendaformentera.cat.

Discounts
Transport companies offer discounts on boat tickets for the Eivissa-Formentera route for tourists that stay in any one of the 21 hotels and tourist lodgings that have signed up for the island's ploy to bolster off-season visitors. Three rental car agencies have also pledged to give discounts to tourists and active tourism firms offering bonuses. Details are available at Formentera's tourism webpage, http://formentera.es/beta/ca/content/descobreix-formentera-loctubre-2016.

Guitar fest promises plenty of weekend fun

presentacio festivalToday at half past noon in the courtyard of Formentera's artistic centre, organisers unveiled details behind Guitarres de Formentera, a homegrown festival dedicated to all things guitars that turns eight this September. On hand at the Centre Gabrielet for the press conference were Ekkehard “Eki” Hoffman, chair of the event, Damian Soto, who sits on the festival's organising board, and Susana Labrador, the administration's councillor in charge of culture.

Guitarres de Formentera is a festival of blues, jazz and rock music that will take place this weekend in Sant Ferran. The event has become a mainstay on the island's musical calendar, and is put on by the association that Hoffman, himself a musician, founded and continues to front.

The event's 2016 programme of music-themed activities will unfold over two evenings, September 16-17, 10.00pm to 4.00am in the Sant Ferran square. Crowds will see performances from Blues Màfia i es Saligardos, Matthias Baumgarth Band, Kelly&The Jam Factory, Ras Smaïla, Chimichurri, Litus, Sirjo Cocchi Songbook and The Frigolos. Then, from 6.00 to 9.00pm on Sunday, September 18, the Sant Ferran restaurant Sa Panxa will be the scene of a special closing performance by Els Perillosos Gentlemen. Jam sessions will crown the programme all three days.

Port authority to steward full remodel of la Savina harbour

foto visita far de la molaThe president of the Formentera Council (CiF), together with his office's top councillor and the CiF infrastructure councillor, paid a visit today to the la Savina port with several officials from the port authority of the Balearic Islands (APB). President Jaume Ferrer and councillors Bartomeu Escandell and Rafael González were joined by APB president Joan Gual de Torrella, the agency's director, Juan Carlos Plaza, APB's Eivissa and Formentera chair Joaquin Jiménez and other members of staff.

After the tour the officials regrouped in the local administration's plenary hall and de Torrella laid out his agency's plan to completely revamp the Port de la Savina, creating a promenade “without barriers”. The works are scheduled to begin in 2018.

The future site of the Formentera ferry landing in the Eivissa port was also a protagonist in the morning discussion. Council president Ferrer cited a September 28 meeting which APB's board of directors will use to initial the agreement to relocate the landing 200 metres from the current location.

Finally, the group visited the la Mola lighthouse following an announcement from the APB president that officials at the same board meeting would green-light a deal giving the Formentera government management of the town's flagship monument. Plans are in place to turn the landmark into a centre for cultural activities.

 

A first: free year-long tutoring for struggling pupils

foto taller reforcAccording to an announcement from the Formentera Council's Office of Social Welfare, tomorrow marks the start of the enrolment period in free tutoring for year five and six primary school pupils. Office chair Vanessa Parellada portrayed the academic assistance as "geared toward students with learning difficulties and at perennial risk of falling behind, with a particular focus on pupils who are struggling with academic integration and deficiencies in language and maths.”

This year is the first time the tutoring will run the entire academic year, from September 26 to the end of the course, and will be free. The classes, which cost the Council 13,000 euros, have benefitted 112 students over the last five years. Parellada credited the decision to continue the initiative with the positive feedback it has customarily received.

It is expected that some twenty students will attend the Monday-Friday, afternoon tutoring sessions, for which an exact timetable has yet to be set. The schools must help the contracted instructor, Maribel Jiménez, select which pupils will require the extra help. Parents of interested students have from September 15 to 22 to hand in enrolment applications at the Office of Social Welfare.

The tutoring will centre on boosting pupils' scholastic abilities using motivation-based tactics and by favouring a daily-work ethic. The students' school work will serve as a yardstick for additional help in English, Castilian Spanish, Catalan, environmental studies and maths. Furthermore, since learning will be organised in group sessions, social integration and teamwork will also be promoted.

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