If it’s a laid-back, paradise vibe you seek, then Formentera holidays are just the ticket. Situated in Mediterranean Sea, Formentera offers visitors a far different experience than its Balearic neighbours.
The smallest of the four main islands, holidaymakers can make the most of secluded golden beaches that soak up the sun all the year round. There is a definite feeling of exclusivity on the island, with access only possible by taking a two and a half hour ferry ride from neighbouring island Ibiza, so visitors can relish in the intimate atmosphere found among the deserted stretches of sand.
Formentera is often called a smaller version of Ibiza, although it also has a lot in common with the Greek Islands. Regardless which island or islands it is compared to, most travellers come for the amazing beaches. Each white sand beach offers crystal clear waters and hour upon hour of sun. Whether you are a beach lover or just want a perfect golden Mediterranean tan, Formentera is calling your name.
Top resorts in Formentera
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Spanish
- Time Zone: GMT +1
- Average flight time: 2h 25m
When to go
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Sant Francesc is the island's capital and is the perfect starting point for a Formentera adventure. The village's fortress-church is located in the main plaza and its classic white exterior is pure Mediterranean. Sant Francesc has a market every day, so you will be able to get a number of great items during your stay on the island.
Faro de la Mola provides spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea. Located on a cliff, the quaint lighthouse is a landmark on Formentera. Near Faro de la Mola is a monument to French novelist Jules Verne, who set one of his stories on the island. Often overlooked or unknown, the monument is a special site that is mostly just stumbled upon.
Can Marroig is another breathtaking site on Formentera. The public farm has been around since the 1700s. At one time the farm was a safe haven for Jewish people fleeing mainland Europe.
Wine and Dine
The cuisine of the Balearic Islands is Mediterranean, although it does take generously from Catalan cooking. The island has long made great use of its natural resources which include vegetables, fruit, nuts and fish.
Like the more famous Balearic Islands of Mallorca and Menorca, visitors can eat delicious Mallorquin shrimp or lobster at one of the many restaurants. The best places to find these dishes is near the marina, where million pound yachts tie up, so that their owners can enjoy a day out in Formentera.
Visitors can always sample the traditional Spanish staples of tapas and paella when visiting the island. On a tapas tour, you will find juicy sobrassada sausage and small plates of baked fish. Wash it down with a local lager or Spanish red, and you are in paradise during a warm night in the Mediterranean.
Beaches are the main reason people travel to Formentera. The tiny island has a dozen beaches and all are easily accessible for families. Playa Illetes is the main beach and families will have plenty of space to stretch out on its white sand. Families can head to the north end for a more secluded spot, but Playa Illetes hosts a number of water sport activities for everyone to take park in.
Be sure to take your hiking boots, because Formentera has a fantastic network of ancient trekking routes. If you prefer to cycle them, visitors have the opportunity to mountain bike on the ancient tracks at top speeds. In all, Formentera has 35 kilometres of exciting tracks to hike on holiday.
A day out in Ibiza is only a ferry ride away and visitors enjoy heading back over to the larger island to sample its shopping when a beach break is needed.
Action and Adventure
Why not spend the day cruising around the Mediterranean in a private boat or sailing the Formentera coastline aboard a yacht? Both are easy to do with a holiday to the island, just head down to the marina and out onto the high seas. Of course, with water sports easily accessible, you can hit the waves with surfing or on a jet ski.
Formentera's small size means it is easy to get around and a scooter ride around the Balearic Island isn't too difficult. Once you have seen the entire island from sea or land, hand inward and tour the Faro de Barbaria caves. After you re-emerge, the dirt roads on the island make it possible to get lost on purpose. Why not find your way to a hidden beach like Calo des Mort and spend the afternoon all alone on your own private spot of Balearic Island sand?
Life's a Beach
The Playa Mithhorn exudes a raw natural landscape that runs along the south coast. It is a must visit for anyone who appreciates untouched, undeveloped areas. Its rocky coves sit beautifully against its soft sand swept beaches, which provide the ideal place for rest and relaxation.
Making Formentera's beaches even more exotic, is a lack of high rise buildings that dot the city. Although you will find hotels and restaurants built around Es Pujols Beach, the minimal development makes for an exotic, secluded feel.
The sun's rays can become overpowering on Formentera, but the chiringuitos – beach bars – are a perfect escape. After you have emerged from the Azure water, towel off with a cool drink and a bite of food before heading back out into the ocean's waves. It truly is paradise on Formentera.
Formentera is the new Ibiza when it comes to nightlife and thanks to the island's small size, it is easy to get around at night from club to club. Sure, it is still off the beaten path, and unknown to most that go to Ibiza, but that is why we love it so much.
In years past, Formentera was a haven for hippies and even today there is still a hippie vibe on the island. That is one reason you won't find large high rise buildings or ridiculously large clubs.
What you will find is a down to earth evenings out. Nightlife is just more low-key than it is on Ibiza, but don't let that fool you, there are plenty of great parties to go to once you leave the beach. The clubs on Formentera play host to DJs and dancing until dawn is a regular occurrence. Dance until the sun comes up and head straight to the beach; that is how to live on Formentera.
Couples will find plenty of romantic spots on Formentera. From walks on secluded beaches at sunset to tapas bar hopping in Sant Francesc, there are plenty of romantic places to go to on the island.
Es Cap de Barbaria Lighthouse looks out over the Mediterranean. Visit the lighthouse just before sunset to see a magic end to the day or take a picnic dinner and enjoy it as the sun goes down over the Balearic Islands.
The village of Sant Francesc is the most beautiful on the island, and the Sanctuary and Castle of Javier are two of its best sites to see. Couples can walk the tiny streets of the village and take in the quiet island atmosphere. Tour the sanctuary and castle as you make your way to the top of the building to look out over the village.
Formentera has a vibrant culture and much of the day is centred around the beach. When you have a dozen beaches, there is really no reason to think about anything else. However, it is the not the only attraction in Formentera. The island's Museum of Ethnography is a great view into life on Formentera. A tour around the museum gives visitors a taste of the past and present on the island.
Returning outside you will find more items from Formentera's past. Torre Garrovert looks out at the African coastline. The tower was used to spot African pirates as they came to raid the island and its neighbours. Today, it offers beautiful views out to the Mediterranean and you can see them while learning about the island's history. The island actually has several towers and most of them are accessible giving you the opportunity to climb to the top and feel the Mediterranean breeze in your hair.