Formentera is the sleepy, unspoilt little sister of Ibiza. It is the fourth largest Balearic Island and it is just half an hour’s boat ride from Ibiza – there is no airport. When the day-trippers from Ibiza get the boat home in the evening, the peace and tranquillity of the island is total. Holidays on Formentera are all about relaxation. The pristine beaches are much quieter than anywhere else in Spain, and the pace of life is slower. It is easy to get around the island, as it is only 20km long. Choose a different beach every day and lap up the beautiful colours and the warm sun. Be aware – many of the beaches operate a ‘clothing optional’ policy. Inland, you can explore the hills and forests via a network of hiking and biking trails.
Most visitors to Formentera decide to hire a moped and zip around on two wheels. You can explore the wooded trails around the island’s interior on foot or by bike. Your exertions will not be strenuous as the island is almost completely flat, but emerging at the sea cliffs should reward you with spectacular views.
The whole of Formentera is fringed by white, sandy beaches. There are also two lagoons which offer warm, sheltered places to swim. The simplicity of life on Formentera makes it easy to get back to nature, spending all day on the warm sand and dipping in and out of the clear, inviting water. There are good beaches on every corner of the island, so consider the wind direction when choosing a sheltered spot to spend the day. Many people take a holiday in Formentera to embrace the nudist culture, although there is no pressure to do so. The only beach on which clothing is not optional is the busy town beach in Es Pujols.
If you’re spending all day on Formentera’s glorious beaches, the lure of the sea is likely to become overwhelming. The transparent waters and rich marine life offer ideal conditions for snorkelling and scuba diving. There is also a very active yacht club on the island, and keen sailors need only venture a little way offshore to find sporty Mediterranean breezes. Swimming is safe from almost everywhere on the island, and if you swim out to the deserted Isla S’Espalmador you can explore the natural hot mud springs at the centre. Popular watersports such as kayaking and paddle boarding are also on offer, and you can hire equipment from the bustling town beach.
The island has several towns, with a spirited bar culture and restaurants run by Formentera locals. La Savina and Es Pujols are the main destinations for night-time entertainment, but they are fairly quiet during the day as everyone is on the beach. Head to Big Sur to drink cocktails and watch the sunset, and on to Casa Paco after dark for a lively atmosphere.