Formentera On a Balearic island, discover how two brothers have rethought the whole concept of a holiday camp.
Hiding behind the rather strange name of Etosoto is the blueprint for a new style of travelling and another vision of family holidays. Etosoto Formentera, or the pilot in a (hopefully) long series of fave destinations for children and parents, where the Italian expression farniente (idleness) no longer has the same meaning. Ever since Julien and Gregory Labrousse, two young enterprising brothers from Paris, decided to revamp the whole idea of holidays in a superb, particularly unspoilt bay on the island of Formentera.
Since February, this finca with ten very independently scattered rooms has played host to the first free-spirited, creative holidaymakers in search of anti-consumerism. “We wanted to take advantage of this period of relaxation, conducive to broadening one’s mind, to explore the dynamics of informal learning and propose a new idea of travel and the possibility of personal enrichment. Our aim is to teach skills, to raise awareness, to exchange points of view and to share knowledge,” explains Julien. This is a place where one can take it easy, but leave knowing more than when one arrived. The beauty of the landscapes stimulate the senses. Expert in their field, instructors introduce children to arts and culture in a way that may trigger new passions or vocations. Who knows?
At the the Super 8 Club, budding Spielbergs can shoot one or several short films in week-long experiential workshops run by the young director Gari Kikoine. Scriptwriting, casting, location hunting, filming, acting and music will all be covered in playful manner. Formentera’s particularly photogenic beaches and seascapes used as outdoor locations enable kids to shoot scenes worthy of Pirates of
the Caribbean, Finding Nemo or Moonrise Kingdom. Music lovers, meanwhile, can do a course in pop music under the baton of Constance
A new idea of travel and the possibility of personal enrichment.
Verluca, who founded an eponymous music school, where children are taught music informally without scores or having to learn how to read music. They get a chance to have fun playing guitar, piano and drums, or singing in a group. It’s an easy-going, uninhibited way of being introduced to music, free of the constraints of conventional methods.
Meanwhile, parents can devote themselves to island activities such as diving, sunbathing or sipping aperitifs at sunset in Formentera’s
kioskos, delighted to be able to envisage the possibility of experiential holidays for their own age group when the kids are back at school. On the menu are fasting weeks with Celeste Candido, introductory courses in naturopathy with Alexandra Lohr, a graduate of the Dargère School of Naturopathy, courses in organic market gardening, to learn how to grow one’s own fruit and vegetables, from Polyface Farm-trained Matthew Robertson, and, lastly, yoga sessions with Anne Bianchi, Jacqueline Lysycia or Aurore Lagache.
Next year, young and old alike will be able to pursue their adventures into learning in Portugal, another Etosoto satellite. Between two arms of the sea, in the Arrabida nature park, thirty minutes south of Lisbon, ninety wooden designer houses will welcome a flock of children and teachers. Masterpieces and virtuosos will be created; there’ll be cattle on the beach and visitors will grow vegetables on a seventy-hectare organic farm amidst hens, goats and cats. And it’ll be fabulous. etosoto.com