Formigues Islands

Illes Formigues (Ants Islands, name given by their small size) are a group of 16 islands located between Palamós and Mont-ràs, next to Calella de Palafrugell.

Las Islas Formigues, frente a la costa de Palamós y Calella de Palafrugell

Formigues Islands, in front of Palamós and Mont-ràs coast, Girona, Costa Brava, Spain

They are bare rocks, with no vegetation, and when the sea is usually rough they are almost invisible from the coast. But they have a maritime signaling beacon 6 miles far on the Formiga Gran island. These islands are a refuge for seabirds such as gulls and crows.

Baliza indicadora de las Islas Formigues

Birds and beacon on Formigues Islands, between Palamós and Mont-ràs, Girona, Costa Brava, Spain

Formigues Islands were the scene of an important chapter in the medieval Catalonia history . In front of them took place on 28th August 1285, during the reign of Pere II the Great, a naval battle against the army of Philip III of France.

The French army invaded Catalonia following the conflict with the Crown of Aragon in the Kingdom of Sicily. This invasion also had croada consideration by the Pope of Rome. The french invading army had at all times the naval support of the their own fleet, that supplied the food. So the King Pere III decided to directly attack that French fleet to stop the invasion. He brought his ships anchored in Palermo, Sicily (at that time catalonian kingdom) and, commanded by Admiral Roger de Llúria is attacked the French just in front of Formigues Islands.A plaque at one of those islands remembers us that event.

Placa conmemorativa de la Batalla de las Islas Formigues

Commemorative plaque that remembers Formigues Islands Battle

The french naval defeat was complete and this, together with the following catalan victories in Roses the 3rd and 4th September, led to French withdrawal. Philip III died from illness that same year in Perpignan and was buried in the Basilica of Saint Denis.

One of the best ways to visit the Formigas Islands, less than 1 km from the nearest point of the coast, is by kayak from any of the beaches in front of them, like Platja Es Castell.

Espectaculares formaciones rocosas sobre las Islas Formigues

Impressive rocky forms on Formigues Islands


Post Author

This post was written by Alex Rigola who has written 60 posts on Costa Brava Blog.

Alex Rigola is Costa Brava's editor and an ampurdan passionated who enjoys sailing his little boat through the Costa Brava coast. He currently lives in Pals and if you use to ride along cycling routes in the area, it's very likely that you encounter him at some point. When asked about his favorite spot on the Costa Brava he never hesitates for a moment: Cala Montjoi.

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