In addition to its paradisiacal beaches, one of Formentera’s most common landscapes is that of the windmills. Through their millstones, a large part of the harvested cereal used to pass. They began to be built at the end of the 18th century and were essential for the development of the local economy. Windmills are an essential symbol of the island’s peasant life. Although not everyone agrees, some believe that the name Formentera comes from the Latin word Frumentaria, which means “wheat island”. The fact is that the island’s aridity has meant that most of the crops are devoted to this cereal.
The route of the mills of Formentera includes six mills, since the Molí d’en Simón in Es Cap de Babaria only conserves its foundations. Today, this route has become an important tourist attraction. It is ideal for couples, families and, in general, for all those who want to discover the architectural wealth of these constructions and also learn about the history of the island. And you… Would you like to visit it?
What the mills of Formentera are like
These mills, which harnessed the power of the wind to move their blades, began to be built in the 18th century, with the main function of turning grain into flour, an essential ingredient for making bread.
There are larger and smaller mills, but the type of construction is very similar in all of them. They are whitewashed, circular, three-storey buildings. The ground floor was used to store the wheat and the flour collected; the central floor was used to collect the flour; and the upper floor housed the gears and machinery used to grind the grain.
All the mills have large wooden blades, as well as a conical and movable roof, which allowed the blades to be oriented in the direction of the wind for better use.
The 6 windmills in Formentera
The six windmills that form part of the route can be seen in different parts of the island. In Sa Miranda, in the town of Sant Francesc Xavier, there are the Molí d’en Jeroni and the Molí d’en Mateu; in Sant Ferrán de Ses Roques, the Molí d’en Teuet and the Molí de Ses Roques; and in El Pilar de la Mola, the Molí Vell and the Molí d’en Botigues.
This route requires a car, and in addition to seeing the mills, you can take advantage of the opportunity to see other attractions in each of the villages where they are located.
Some interesting facts
In the area of Sa Miranda, in the village of Sant Francesc, you will find El Molí d’en Jeroni and El Molí d’en Mateu, built in the early 19th century and in use until shortly after the Civil War.
In Sant Ferran you will find the Molí d’en Teuet, built in 1773 and whose roof and blades have disappeared. It was the first known to exist and ceased to function in 1964. In this area you can also visit the Molí de Ses Roques, which was in operation until 1936 and is currently integrated into a private home.
In Pilar de la Mola you will find the Molí d’en Botigues and the Molí Vell de la Mola, the best preserved of the six and also the most touristic. It has been completely restored and declared an Asset of Cultural Interest. If you want to discover its interior, you can visit it every morning, from Monday to Saturday. Simply fabulous!