The most Southern island of the Balearics, Formentera is Ibiza’s less well-known, little sister. This gorgeous island is only 30 minutes away from Ibiza by boat, yet the two islands could not be more different.
Compared to hedonistic Ibiza, Formentera might seem like a shrinking violet and although nothing much seems to happen here, that’s probably part of the appeal. The pristine, white beaches tempt people back here year upon year and the Caribbean-esque seas make for a tropical paradise for swimmers and snorkelers alike. Who needs wild bars and clubs when you have pure heaven on your doorstep?
There’s also plenty of hippy markets where plenty of Ibiza veterans seem to have settled and the laidback lifestyle of the Formentera inhabitants is contagious. Don’t be surprised if you come back home with a wardrobe full of sarongs and a braid in your hair, Formentera is just that kind of chilled out place.
Formentera is only a small island measuring 19km by 6km, so anything worth doing is never far away. Your first port of call, when arriving here by boat, will be La Savine. A working port which is a great base for a stay on Formentera. The harbour is surrounded by a variety of resturants and there’s easy access to the unspoiled beaches of Illetes and Llevant.
Of course, these aren’t the only unspoilt beaches on the island. Every single beach looks like it’s been stolen from a Caribbean postcard and even in high season they don’t feel crowded. Be aware though, Formentera is a favourite place with those who like to sunbathe in the nude. The naturists won’t be offended though if you feel more comfortable wearing clothes!
For a more active day in the water, diving and snorkelling are a popular activity on the island. The crystal clear water allows for unobscured views of the underwater wildlife here on Formentera. Now, if you’re wanting unobscured views of Formentera’s coast, take a kayak and paddle around the shoreline. If you’ve got restless kids, hire out a family kayak and make it a little adventure!
To get around the island, you can hire a car here on Formentera but bicycles are probably the preferred mode of transport. With the land being flat and the island being fairly small, bike rides are leisurely and a great way to see the island. Take a trip to bustling towns such as the “capital village”, San Francisco or cycle up one of the islands few hills to the Artisan’s Market! This market occurs every Wednesday and Sunday and is hippy central, so expect to see lots of individual jewellery and one of pieces of art work! One of the best places to end a day out on the bike is at the light house of Es Cap de Barbaria. This desolate part of the island is becoming a well-known place to see some of the most beautiful sunsets around. What a great way to end the day!
As with all of the islands in the Mediterranean Sea, you can expect the food here in Formentera to be delicious and fresh. Succulent seafood along with traditional Spanish paella are common themes among Formentera menus or there’s the more unusual dishes such as fried octopus if you’re feeling a bit adventurous!
During the day you’ll probably find yourself getting a bit peckish. If you’re on the beach, you’ll probably stumble across what locals call “chiringuitos”. These use to be quiet little beach bars where you could grab a cool drink and some snacks to keep you going through the day. More recently though, these little beach shacks are more likely to have been converted into chic restaurants, offering guests a break from the heat of the mid-day sun.
In the evening, Formentera has no shortage restaurants by the sea or around the edge of a lively harbour. Settle down for the evening and treat yourself to seafood platter or try out the local salt-baked fish. Choose a well-deserved glass of wine to compliment your delicious meal and sit back and relax as the sun sets on this beautiful island.
You will need 3 months validity on a 10 year British passport.