If you are asked to close your eyes and think about the paradise, surely in your mind the image of some of the beaches of Formentera appears. This small island belonging to the Balearic group has all the charm of its neighbor pitiusa but without that party tourism that little by little is killing the charm of Ibiza. It is true that more and more, Formentera is saturated in high season, until losing that enchantment that fascinated me more than 10 years ago, when I was fortunate to meet her for the first time. However, for me it remains a relaxing and heavenly destination, although I always try to avoid going between the months of June to September.
The island has no airport, so the only way to get there is by ferry. You can take a ferry from the peninsula or from any of the Balearic Islands. What we usually do is fly to Ibiza and from there take a ferry to Formentera. There is an urban bus that runs from the airport to the port, I think the price was € 3.5 and it takes little more than 15 minutes.
The island is small but very comfortable to walk and with a lot of charm, with beaches with crystal clear water and fine golden sand, pine forests and some very authentic villages.
For me this island has a special atmosphere that since you put a foot on it, the tranquility, the air, the color, the smell flood you. It has that bohemian characteristic that invites you to rest and enjoy every minute you spend in it.
How to get to Formentera from Ibiza
From Ibiza there are several ferry companies to Formentera. You can leave from the port of Ibiza, from playa d’en Bossa or from Figueretas. We have almost taken all of them, the price difference is not so big so we always decide depending on the time that best suits us (approx € 15 / trip). The most economical is called Aquabus. The last hours are 19h or 20h (depending on the companies).
Transportation on the Island: How to move.
The ships dock at the port of La Savina, the main port of the island of Formentera and is where most of the island’s car, motorcycle or bike rental companies are placed. Depending on how much time you are going to be on the island I recommend one option or another:
- When we have come to spend a day from Ibiza, the best option is a motorcycle. You travel the island perfectly throughout the day, it allows you to move from beach to beach and the price is cheaper when paying entrance in the Natural Park of Las Salinas. The price is around € 20 / day.
- If you come for several days, and if you also come with more than two people, I recommend renting a car. To carry the suitcases the first and last day will be more comfortable and to move you in group, too. When we have rented car we have always done it in advance and through the web rentalcars.
- There are many people who prefer to rent a bicycle. To climb the lighthouse of La Mola you have to climb a small mountain and by bicycle is complicated for those who are not in very good shape. The island is not so small when travelling by bicycle. Not the option I would recommend, but if it is yours, fair enough!
At the beginning of time, in Formentera there was a rather limited (and expensive) hotel capacity. Nowadays there are many more options of hotels and apartments as well as the great variety of private apartments that offer pages like airbnb or homeaway. The price of accommodation in Formentera is high. Keep in mind that it is a very small island with a lot of demand. They have no choice.
My recommendations for accommodation in Formentera are as follows (for sure there are many more). They are very good quality and price:
- Apartamentos Paya: They have swimming pool and are next to the beach.
- Hostal Es Pi: It also has a swimming pool and is five minutes walk from the beach.
- Hostal Sa Roqueta (tel 971 32 85 06), located on Sa Roqueta beach. Bookings at this hostel should start to be made from January 15 and only by email. This hotel is one of the best places to stay on the south side of the island, having in front of the sea both the restaurant and the rooms. -> I do not know it but I have read good opinions about it.
- Beach of Illetes (Ses Illetes): Without doubt it is the most beautiful beach of the island. The others are a 10/10, but this exceeds any scale. The down side is that it is very overcrowded and busy. In fact, during the summer months you have to pay an entrance fee (€ 4 per car and € 2 / bike). It is located within the Natural Park of Ses Salines.
- In the same Park, on the other side of the beach of Illetes is located the beach of Levante. It is almost as pretty as Illetes but it usually is windier and therefore has a few less tourists.The further you get away from the parking lots (especially at the end) the less people there will be. You can reach the Punta d’Es Pas, from where you can see the island of Espalmador, which, at low tide, can be reached by foot or by kayak.
The restaurants inside the park are very expensive, so I do not recommend any.
- Cala d’es Mort: It is located at the beginning of the beaches of Migjorn. It is a beautiful little beach with little sand and small, but a special place to snorkel.
- Playa de Migjorn: It is the largest and longest of the island. It has parts of sand and parts of coves. In some areas there are many seaweed, but at the end of the beach. In all the island is practiced nudism but in this beach even more.
- Cala Saona:It is a cove with crystalline waters and golden sand. It is getting more saturated, to the point that they have already fixed umbrellas. Usually it has considerable seaweed. As a novelty, in this cove you can see the fishermen’s huts on the rocks.
- Calas de San Agustín: Located towards La Mola, before starting the climb. You can park on the road practically and is accessed by a wooden platform.
What to see and do
In addition to the magnificent beaches of Formentera, the island offers local attractions such as hippie’s markets, breathtaking sunsets and charming villages.
- La Mola Lighthouse and windmills. The Lighthouse is located in the most remote and unpopulated area of the island, right on the opposite side of the port of La Savina. It is located in an area with landscapes full of cliffs. It became very famous after the Spanish movie “Sex and Lucia”.
*Note: This is not the best place to see sunset, since it is to the east. It’s much better from the viewpoint or from the lighthouse of Barbaria.
- Cap Barbaria Lighthouse: It is located in an area of great picturesque interest. In the surroundings of the lighthouse there are several archaeological sites cataloged and dated around the year 1500 BC. From here you can see beautiful sunsets.
- San Ferran artisitic market: Similar to La Mola but on a smaller scale.
- Torre des Garroveret: Near the Cap Barbaria (300m on foot) we find this tower of defense of the s.XVIII that served for the sighting of enemy ships.
- La Mola Street Market: It is a market with artisan products with hippie atmosphere, celebrated every Wednesday and Sunday in the evenings and that attracts multitude of people.
- La Savina: It will be the starting and ending point of your trip on the island. You will find the marina, fun to take a walk watching the boats, many rental companies, restaurants and hotels. You will also find here the market of handcrafted stalls (less attractive than La Mola’s). It has nothing more interesting.
- The viewpoint of Formentera: This is a restaurant with a large parking space located on the slope that climbs towards La Mola. Its strategic location allows to contemplate some overwhelming sunsets in which it is practically seen the whole island with Ibiza and Es Vedrá in the background.
*No need to consume, you can observe from the parking lot perfectly.
Bars and restaurants
- Restaurant Can Forn : the best place to eat typical dishes of the island
- Chiringuito Bartolo, where you can eat some delicious tortilla sandwiches and also hamburgers (you have to go early to get a table, since they do not book).
- Restaurant Sa Platgeta small restaurant tucked away between the pines, but opposite the beach, where to eat very good fish, at reasonable prices, and excellent paellas, highlighting the fish and seafood paella. Price medium-high.
- Bar Centro: located in the town square Sant Francesc Xavier, in front of the church. One of the cheapest places on the island and with a nice terrace in front of the church.
- Restaurant S’Abeurada de Can Simonet, in Sant Francesc. It is a restaurant recommended by locals. At lunchtime there are complete and inexpensive menus. Good value for money. Highly recommend.
- Pizzeria Macondorun by Italians on Calle Mayor, where you can eat pasta and the best pizzas on the island. Totally recommended, but do not forget to book!
- Bar Patiño. Perfect to buy snacks to take to the beach with good prices and variety.
- Blue Bar : Finally I recommend this bar ideal for a drink / beer while watching the sunset. They usually have live music and it is a joy of place.