Formentera is the smallest island of the Balearic autonomous community, located in Spain, which includes also Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca. Formentera is known for its crystal-clear waters, the salt pans, the good food, its hippie soul and the pubs/bars, the trendy restaurants and also for being the favourite holidays destination of many soccer players. It is also a very popular as summer destination among the Italians. As a consequence, almost everyone speaks Italian in Formentera.
If you are reading this article, probably you are thinking about an escape to this beautiful island, right? Well, here’s all you need to know to spend a week in Formentera between relaxation and fun!
Formentera can adapt to everyone’s needs, couples looking for a romantic holiday, groups of friends who want to live the island calmly or having parties, families with children and so on. It is that kind of destination that you can easily book through a travel agency (with an all-inclusive pack for example), but also by your own, for a customized solution. Also, it’s for all types of budget: living in Formentera can be expensive if you go out for breakfast, lunch and dinner or you can save a lot by going to the supermarket. It depends on you, on your needs!
In addition, you can find great deals on flight and accommodation by booking in advance while prices are much higher if you decide to book the last minute… We planned our journey some month before, and when we finally arrived in Formentera, we really enjoyed it to the fullest, checking over the whole island and trying out many restaurants and clubs. We are satisfied with our choice because we can now write this post in a comprehensive way!
When to go and how much to stay
The best time to go to Formentera is from May to September. From June to August, daytime temperatures reach 30 degrees, but, never forget a sweater for the evening because sometimes the temperature excursion is so high that it freezes at night! These are also the most touristic months, so if you are looking for a less chaotic Formentera, we suggest you visit it in the first two weeks of September.
A lot of people go to Formentera in one day from Ibiza, but it takes at least a week to visit the whole island. If then you have a few more days, well lucky you!
Reaching Formentera and moving within the island
The only way to reach Formentera is by ferry boat from Ibiza (which has an international airport). There are two ferry companies Balearia and Trasmapi that make numerous daily routes; you can browse the internet to find out the timetables and book tickets. It takes around 30 minutes to reach Formentera from Ibiza and, be careful that the sea can be quite rough, so if you suffer from seasickness don’t forget the anti-nausea drugs.
In Formentera, the best way to move freely is surely to rent a scooter; in fact it is an island suitable for Scooters and in the high season there are so many that sometimes it is even difficult to find parking!
Apartment or hotel? Which area to choose for accommodation?
In Formentera there is much more choice for renting apartments than hotels. You can check all the offers on booking.com, airbnb, contact a local rental agency or rely on acquaintances who have local contacts, as happened to us. Rents are often much cheaper if you are traveling as a group, which is why we were able to choose a single villa for 4 people (price € 350 each for 10 days … such a deal!).
An advice that we want to give you is to look for the accommodation in Es Pujols, the most touristic town of Formentera. Here, in fact, there are shops, restaurants and cool bars.
Our mantra to book the hotel when we travel is: “Go where you want during the day, stay downtown in the evening”…in order to always feel comfortable with the accommodation and to avoid long walks in the dark (and in the cold!). As an alternatively to Es Pujols, there is Sant Francesc Xavier, a nice and recently expanding town. To those who choose the all-inclusive resort or hotel, usually they’re always facing the beach.
Top Things To Do + Bars And Restaurants
Windmill and La Mola Lighthouse
The eastern area, Pilar De La Mola, is an elevation of the island (in fact there are no beaches here) and, just before reaching the lighthouse on the cliff, there is one of the few windmills in good condition of Formentera. In the city centre, every Wednesday and every Sunday from 4.30 pm to 10.30 pm, one of the most traditional Hippie markets take place, full of local artisan products. Surely you will notice that many of these souvenirs depict a lizard: it is the symbol of this island, as well as a representation of the human strength.
Es Pujols is the beating heart of Formentera, especially in the evening. Here there are many clothing and accessory shops, stalls that are set up every night along the seafront, but above all trendy restaurants and nightclubs you should try at least once during the holiday (always book your table in advance!). Here are our favourites:
Casanita – our absolute favourite restaurant, where we ate the best fish in the island! The location is small but really welcoming and the food is divine. It is open only for dinner.
Bocasalina – Another really good restaurant! It is located on the seafront, very elegant and open all day with Mediterranean dishes, fish, tapas and paella.
ChezzGerdi – beachfront restaurant and bar with a unique style. We ate well but the prices, in our opinion, were too expensive.
S’Avaradero – This restaurant is less fashionable than others, it maintains a traditional style, but their paella is one of the best in Formentera! Recommended!
Can Vent – open from morning to evening, this super cute beachfront restaurant made us fall in love with its delicious breakfasts! You must try it!
NeroOpaco – one of the best places for aperitifs, special cocktails!
For nightlife lovers, the two most popular nightclubs are the Tipic and the Pineta Club, open every night during summer.
Platja de Ses illetes
Ses Illetes is undoubtedly the most beautiful beach on this island, with pinkish white sand and crystal-clear water with turquoise-blue shades. Unfortunately, it gets crowded quickly. We recommend you to go there early in the morning to enjoy the view without too many people. Ses Illetes is part of a protected area so, to access it, you have to pay a toll, the price of which varies according to the vehicle you use.
In this area there are several restaurants (with prices unfortunately above average) such as the famous El Tiburon and Es Molì de Sal. Also here there is a really top spot for sunset aperitifs: we’re talking about Beso Beach! Try their Sangria, it’s so good!!
Es Calò Beach
Es Calò is a very long and not very crowded beach, we really like it for this reason! However, there are no refreshment places and, being on the north side of the island, it is often very windy. Recommended to go there early in the morning.
Sant Francesc Xavier
Sant Francesc Xavier is the capital of the island, as well as the most populated town. Even here you can walk along the streets and find many interesting shops and trendy places as the centre is developing quickly in recent years. We strongly advise you to try breakfast at Canapepa (also open for lunch and dinner) to have the best pancakes in the world! For a special dinner we suggest the Can Carlos, a refined outdoor restaurant where the bucolic atmosphere among olive trees and hanging lights will make you fall in love. In Sant Francesc, there is also another unmissable windmill in a desolate place, the Molì d’en Mateu.
Es Calò des Mort
Es Calò des Mort is a small beach, slightly challenging to reach on foot, bordered by rocks and characterized by small craft boats. Because of its small size, this place is often crowded, but the view is really worth it! Nearby you can have a snack at Chiringuito Bartolo (recognizable by its hanging shells) or have lunch in Escupina, a good seafront restaurant.
One of the most suggestive places to watch the sunset in Formentera is the Barbaria Lighthouse. It takes about 20 minutes from Es Pujols to get to the Barbaria lighthouse; the road is long and sometimes desolate, but when you arrive at your destination you will understand the beauty of the place. Bring something to eat, like chips and some Corona beers … et voilà! You will have one of the best aperitifs watching the sun go down behind the horizon on the sea!
Cala Saona is a wonderful beach located in the western part of Formentera. This bay has beautiful turquoise-blue water colors, so crystal-clear to be ideal for snorkelling. Here there are several hotels so it is a very popular beach for families with children. Even in Cala Saona you can enjoy a beautiful sunset.
Near Cala Saona there is one of the most beautiful and original restaurants in Formentera: A Mi Manera. Try it for dinner (reservation required), the cosy location with soft lighting will surrender you to a bohemian atmosphere, between secret gardens and illuminated trees.
Playa de Migjorn
The Migjorn beach, which is located on the southern slope, is quite huge so we always orient ourselves with well-known bars and restaurants that define the various areas. Below there is our subdivision starting from the beginning and then going down:
Kiosko 62 – This beach is not the best of the island due to the color of the water, but the Kiosko 62 is quite popular among the Spanish and its cocktails are exceptional! Super recommended for experiencing the real Formentera, especially at aperitif time.
Blue Bar – A Formentera milestone, built in the 1960s, this Bar is unique. They say that it was hanged out by hippies and some of them were just famous people like Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley! However, this fully painted Blu restaurant, located in front of the sea, is the ideal place to enjoy a gorgeous view while sipping a cool drink. Furthermore, his psychedelic music adds that touch of “Vibe” that only few other places have. It is pleasant to go there during the day, to have lunch and then relax on its beach (here we found the nudists) but also at sunset when the sky is tinged with pastel colours and the atmosphere becomes magical. A MUST in Formentera!!!
10.7 Formentera Beach Restaurant – This restaurant with sea view is quite exclusive. Booking is necessary, especially at lunch, to ensure a place with a good view. The food is delicious but the prices are slightly above average … however, on vacation, it’s totally worth it! This was one of the best restaurants we tried, both for the quality of the food and the location. We were also lucky enough to be seated close to a famous Italian football player and his girlfriend! The beach of 10.7 is free and usually not too crowded.
El Piratabus – The last one, as well as our favourite in Formentera, the Piratabus beach. This beach is large and partly equipped with sunbeds and umbrellas. The crystal-clear turquoise water is wonderful and here grows a typical kind of white flowers, very common on this island, called “Pancratium Maritimum”. The Piratabus is a famous open-air beach bar, very handy, where you can eat special sandwiches and lots of other things! In alternative, there is a bigger restaurant located on this beach, the Flipper Chiringuito.
Formentera is called “Isla Bonita” for a reason: it is a land that makes you fall in love and want to come back again, because even if you have discover it all, you will never get tired of it. Maybe it’s because of the air you breathe, or maybe its paradisiacal beaches … or its aperitifs watching the sunset … or even the delicious food and soft music on the bars. We don’t know what it is, but you can find Formentera only in Formentera!!
Hoping to have given you all the tools you need to spend a wonderful vacation on this Spanish island, we greet you and invite you to write us if you have any other questions! Bye! ♥