Ever think to yourself: “I need a vacation on an island far away from everything with just peace, relaxation, and the sound of the waves”? You may think that may be hard to find in Europe. But actually, the Balearic Island of Formentera may have just what you’ve been looking for…
This rainy German weather has got me thinking of sunnier times…
As the smaller of the Pityusic Islands group (which is comprised of Ibiza and Formentera) you may think that it is simply not possible for Formentera to not share some qualities with its wild older sister, which is just an hour boat ride away.
In fact, Formentera goes almost the entire opposite end of the spectrum, with little downtown area, a super relaxed beach atmosphere and stunning coastlines frequented by few beachgoers. Even in the two times I’ve been there, I think I’ve seen one bar, ever!
The island has a long history with occupation by the Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Byzantines, Vandals and the Arabs. In 1109 it was the target of an attack by the Nowegian King before finally being conquered by the Catalands, added to the Crown of Aragon and later becoming part of the medieval Kingdom of Majorca. Today, it is part of the autonomous community of Spain, the Balearic Islands.
The main island is just 19 km long and about 83 km2 in total. There are about 10,800 resident as of 2012, but I can imagine that number grows during the summer season as Formentera is a popular day-trip destination for tourists visiting Ibiza as well as it is renowned for its white sand beaches and relaxed atmosphere.
To get to Formentera from Ibiza is relatively simple. You can take the ferry for around 22 euros round trip from either Ibiza Port, Figueretas or Playa Den Bossa. They run multiple times throughout each day.
Close to the port in Formentera there are a few restaurants serving a variety of food options. I would recommend however, going to the local grocery store and stocking up on picnic items. Then, rent a bicycle or quad and set out to explore the island, which is relatively small as well as flat. Also, many of the beaches are backed by protected sand dunes. Therefore, the council has installed wooden walkways and paths that are easy to navigate throughout the island.
Both of my visits there, we set out to explore the northern strip of the island, which is considered to be the most peaceful and scenic the farther you go out, through they are also the easiest and quickest to get to from the port, so perhaps they are also the most touristy!
The beaches we went to were Playa Illetes and Playa Llevant. It took about 25 minutes to bike there from the town center. They certainly did not disappoint, however!
With small waves, beautiful white sand and clear turquoise waters, the beaches were amazing. We spent some time just hanging out and exploring. The spot is also popular for nude sunbathers, who seemed to be in full relaxation mode. We also came upon a section full of stacked rocks. Yet to find out what the meaning behind it was, but looked interesting none the less…
Overall the island feels like a quick trip to the spa. Full of nature beauty, but casually mixed with laid back beach vibes, Formentera is the ultimate destination to relax, unwind and become closer to your natural self.