Formentera - the hidden gem of the Baleares
Updated: Jun 14
As a true island lover I adore the Mediterranean and have explored much of its beauty already, among which several Greek islands, Corsica, Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera as well, although the last only for a day trip from Ibiza. Regardless our short stay we already found out that Formentera is a true gem, although located near the well known party island Ibiza and bigger touristic island Malllorca, offering a whole different vibe which beckoned for more.
Last month I finally had the pleasure to truly explore this Balearic Island on a 3,5 day presstrip with Visit Formentera, who showed me why the island is world-renowned for the preservation of its environment, the beautiful accommodations, stunning beaches, excellent cuisine and atmospheric restaurants. And we were able to uncover some of the hidden gems and spectacular viewpoints of the island as well.
For the most authentic & chic hotels on the island check out:
And get a small taste of some of my favourite spots on the island already through my own pics:
Highlights of Formentera
Formentera has been a popular destination for hippies from the 60’s. Since then many artists, writers and celebs have have lived here, like Bob Dylan, who once lived in the Cap de Barbaria lighthouse. Many artists still choose Formentera for their (summer) home, which creates a unique atmosphere.
This can be felt throughout the island in the many authentic towns, cute shops and overall vibe, perhaps best described as ‘hippy chique’, as quality and sustainability are of great importance to the island as well.
How to get there?
Formentera doesn’t have an airport and used to be only reachable by boat from Ibiza, but lately also from the mainland of Spain by ferry.
We took the ferry from Ibiza, which only takes 30 minutes and you can buy your tickets in advance on Trasmapi.com. A return ticket without car costs around €46,50 and depart every half hour in high season until 11/11.30 pm.
From the port you can rent a bike or explore the island on foot for a day trip, but I really recommend to stay for a few days as this island has so much to offer.
For a more convenient arrival you can also book a bus or private transfer via: FlyeVai.com
Where to stay?
The island has a big variety of accommodations and many quaint boutique hotels, but not many 5 star hotels. To make our authentic stay a bit more luxurious we had to honour to test the brand new 5 star hotel that just opened a few weeks before in Es Pujols:
Five Flowers Hotel & Spa Formentera
This hotels offers everything you might need for a convenient stay, in a quiet location, but near the touristic center of the island, with many restaurants and bars, just 150 meters from the beach of Es Pujols.
The hotel’s design is a special mix of 70’s decoration, combined with the clean, and modern white style, typical for Ibiza and Formentera. I loved the playful decor of the rooms, and the jacuzzi on the room’s rooftop terrace made it even better!
The rooftop pool next to the Sky Cocktail Bar gives you fabulous 360º views of Formentera and Ibiza. And Five Flowers also offers 2 restaurants, of which one with a Michelin star! Find out more on their own website: FiveFlowersHotel.com
Gecko Beach Club
Even though we just briefly visited this hotel/beachclub for lunch, I immediately felt that this was a place I wanted to come back to. With its chic vibe, beautiful design, classy rooms, a multitude of Spa facilities, and beach cabanas facing Migjorn beach, its no wonder that this hotel is featured in many high-end magazines, and favoured by several celebs.
Find out all about this 4 star hotel on their own website: GeckoBeachclub.com
With direct access to the beach in a more quiet area of Formentera, this 4 star hotel offers everything you might need to fully relax, such as a Spa, wellness, yoga and more. See all of it here: HotelCalaSaona.com
Where to eat?
Although we stayed in Es Pujols, which has many good restaurants on the boulevard, we did sample some other great restaurants as well. For example the restaurant of the last hotel I mentioned, which offers great cocktails on the terrace at sundown, and one of the best 4 course dinners we had during our stay:
Restaurant Sol Post Cala Saona Hotel
Vogamarí Playa Migjorn
Restaurant Can Vent Es Pujols
Chezz Gerdi Es Pujols
What to do?
I really enjoyed my visit to the island, but unfortunately we were not blessed with the weather with rain 2 out of the 3 days, which is highly unlikely in May☹ To be honest there are not many covered options on Formentera when it rains, except eating and shopping! And of course that’s what we did!
But in my opinion the nature and beaches of Formentera are the most spectacular and luckily we got to explore some of that as well on the first day, when the weather was still friendly to us😊
Beach, beach, beach
The island is just 19 kilometres (12 mi) long and lined with beautiful white beaches and rugged cliffs on both sides. Surrounded by unbelievably blue and turquoise waters, filtered and extra clear because of the special indigenous seaplant Posidonia, making the settings even more impressive.
The beaches of Formentera are renowned for the fact that nude sunbathing is allowed on many of its beaches, which are known as some of the most stunning in Europe.
Platja de Ses Illetes
Certainly a special beach, but also the most difficult one to get to, as access is limited by the government and you have to pay toll to enter the nature park, in order to protect it, and to prevent it from getting overcrowded.
Located in the north of Formentera, in the natural park of Ses Salines, far away from the tourist center and surrounded by pretty dunes, this idyllic beach is the most famous and popular of the island thanks to the fine white sand mixed with powder of pink coral. Also known as the most fashionable beach on Formentera with several well-known bars & restaurants right on the beach.
However there are many other gorgeous beaces and cala’s to be found on the island, and I loved driving around to explore them! Some of my favourites were:
Cala des Muertes
Playa de Migjorn
Playa Es Pujol
Although the Balearic islands are in general not known for their windmills and vineyards, they do have some special ones on Formentera, which are certainly worth visiting during a day of sightseeing.
Windmills & vineyards
Mirador de La Mola
Vineyard & winehouse Cap de Barberia
Es Moli vell de la Mola
This quaint town displays the authentic character of the island so well, with its traditional harbour and squids hanging out to dry:
Boat trips, hiking & cycling
Of course a boat trip around the island is a unique and fun experience, which we unfortunately missed because of the bad weather, but luckily there are many other ways to explore the island! As Formentera is quite small and some of the most beautiful beaches are only reachable by dirt road, many people choose to rent mopeds instead of cars, as the number of cars is now even being restricted in the high season.
There are several dedicated cycle tracks as well, and cycling through the National park Ses Salines is recommended. However hiking is also very popular here and a good option if you want to explore the unique nature of the island in a more relaxed way.
Always a good idea, especially on Formentera with its quaint shops filled with authentic interior decoration and furniture, stylish hippy clothes, accessories, and unique arts and crafts displayed in their own creative way!
When you go shopping here bring a big suitcase and make sure not to miss these hotspots:
San Francesc Xavier
I hope I was able to show you why Formentera has a totally different vibe than the other Balearic islands. And that it’s the perfect to experience the authenticity of the Mediterranean, combined with the hippy vibe of Ibiza, in a more relaxing, yet luxurious manner.
If you want to go here I recommend to avoid the high season and visit Formentera for a few days to a week, either from end of April to half June, or from end of August to half October, when the weather is usually still nice😊
For more info go to: Formentera.es, or ask me anything here or on social media, via the direct links at the bottom of this page!