FORMENTERA VACATIONS

Explore Europe’s Caribbean Island

Hippy Chic in the Heart of the Balaeric Islands

The island of Formentera brims with light enhanced by the clear Mediterranean air, winds are tempered and clouds are few, where the sun reigns supreme over beautiful beaches. The quality of light and sunshine are almost African, but the transparent sea lapping its shores adds that incomparable sensation of freshness.

Often referred to as Eivissa’s (Ibiza) hippy “little sister”, in the heart of the Balearic Islands has been a place of elegant escape since the seventies, to carve a private piece of the Med’s sparkling little secret.

“Unspoilt” is one of the most used words in the history of travel, but it’s the only way of describing Formentera’s beaches, whitewashed villages, heathery scrub, salt plains and sand dunes.

It is “the last paradise of the Mediterranean”. Modern tourism is not existent in Formentera. There are no airports, few hotels (although many luxury villas), no designer shops and no fast-food chains. Most of the roads are dirt tracks, much of the beautiful countryside protected and areas in the north part of a World Heritage Site. The Ses Salines Natural Park safeguards a Unesco-protected seagrass, Posidonia, that’s one of the oldest living organisms in the world and which filters the water offshore and keeps it crystalline.

Swim, eat, drink on repeat: this is the Formentera’s fantastic deal. A destination for people who like good things in life but aren’t taken in by bright lights and flashy fanfare. Yes, it’s luxury, but it’s laid-back luxury. A creased shirt and shorts the dressing code.

Once you come to Formentera it’s time to make your own fun. With food, drink and scenery like this, excellent company is all you need to turn the island into your own personal paradise.

How to get there

There’s no airport in Formentera, so you need to travel by sea from Ibiza. It’s a 12-mile boat journey that takes around 25 minutes.

Water taxi: The best way to get across to Formentera is to book a luxury water taxi through Ibiza Delivers, complete with sound system, onboard bar service (sponsored by Dom Pérignon) and room for up to eight passengers. ibizadelivers.com/water-taxi

Ferry: Regular ferries from Ibiza (Port d’Eivissa) to Formentera (La Savina) cost around £20 each way. There are four companies to choose from depending on what time you want to travel. In high season, play it safe and book in advance. directferries.co.uk
Yacht: Charter from Ibiza to Formentera. Smartcharteribiza.com;ypigroup.com

Hippy Chic in the Heart of the Balaeric Islands

The island of Formentera brims with light enhanced by the clear Mediterranean air, winds are tempered and clouds are few, where the sun reigns supreme over beautiful beaches. The quality of light and sunshine are almost African, but the transparent sea lapping its shores adds that incomparable sensation of freshness.

Often referred to as Eivissa’s (Ibiza) hippy “little sister”, in the heart of the Balearic Islands has been a place of elegant escape since the seventies, to carve a private piece of the Med’s sparkling little secret.

“Unspoilt” is one of the most used words in the history of travel, but it’s the only way of describing Formentera’s beaches, whitewashed villages, heathery scrub, salt plains and sand dunes.

It is “the last paradise of the Mediterranean”. Modern tourism is not existent in Formentera. There are no airports, few hotels (although many luxury villas), no designer shops and no fast-food chains. Most of the roads are dirt tracks, much of the beautiful countryside protected and areas in the north part of a World Heritage Site. The Ses Salines Natural Park safeguards a Unesco-protected seagrass, Posidonia, that’s one of the oldest living organisms in the world and which filters the water offshore and keeps it crystalline.

Swim, eat, drink on repeat: this is the Formentera’s fantastic deal. A destination for people who like good things in life but aren’t taken in by bright lights and flashy fanfare. Yes, it’s luxury, but it’s laid-back luxury. A creased shirt and shorts the dressing code.

Once you come to Formentera it’s time to make your own fun. With food, drink and scenery like this, excellent company is all you need to turn the island into your own personal paradise.

How to get there

There’s no airport in Formentera, so you need to travel by sea from Ibiza. It’s a 12-mile boat journey that takes around 25 minutes.

Water taxi: The best way to get across to Formentera is to book a luxury water taxi through Ibiza Delivers, complete with sound system, onboard bar service (sponsored by Dom Pérignon) and room for up to eight passengers. ibizadelivers.com/water-taxi

Ferry: Regular ferries from Ibiza (Port d’Eivissa) to Formentera (La Savina) cost around £20 each way. There are four companies to choose from depending on what time you want to travel. In high season, play it safe and book in advance. directferries.co.uk
Yacht: Charter from Ibiza to Formentera. Smartcharteribiza.com;ypigroup.com

Discover Formentera

Click on the Formentera map below to discover more about the areas of Europe’s “Caribbean Island”…

Formentera Map

La Savina

Take your first steps off the ferry from Ibiza and you’ll find yourself in La Savina, bringing visitors from Peninsular Spain or Ibiza. This is the only harbour for all incoming and outgoing sailings. It has a large part of services concentrated here, information points, travel and estate agents, as well as a few bars and restaurant with fabulous views everywhere you turn – especially across to Ibiza and Es Vedra.

Es Pujols

Sun, beach and night life! Tourism is at its pick here. Located between Punta Prima and Pedrera d’en Coix, in Es Pujols you can find all you need for the whole of your stay. With beaches like Illa Plane, Illa des Fonoll Marí and Illa de s’aigua Dolca, the string of small islands out on the bay stands out like a decorative frieze against the skyline and makes the water around the beach placid. Around the bay, the sea front becomes the scene as evening draws on of lively café society, local craftmen selling their wares and market stalls of all kinds. At night, interest switches to a large number of restaurants and bars, a true reflection of the cosmopolitan character of the place. It accommodates the largest number of holiday makers on the island.

Sant Francesc

This is the official capital of Formentera, which is organised administratively as a single municipality so the town hall offices for dealing with the public are here. It is the main shopping place of the island, hosting excellent restaurants and bars entertainment and surely lots of fun. Just walk down the pedestrian streets of the mercadillo (street market) to find butchers, fishmongers and vegetables stalls for the veggie/vegan option.

In Sant Francesc Xavier are also situated the main buildings of the island. The main square opens up to the fortified church with its thick walls looking like and impenetrable tank. It dates back to the 18th century, a time when one couldn’t take too many precautions against pirates attacks. Next to the church we can find the Cistern, a vital architectural feature of an island which has always suffered a massive shortage of drinking water. Also a visit to the nearby Chapel of sa Tanca Vella and the Ethnological Museum is a must.

Sant Ferran

One of the parish established by Manuel archbishop of Ibiza, Sant Ferran de ses Roques goes back a long way. It is consecrated to the memory of King Ferdinand the Catholic and was initially intended to be a settlement for the salt workers of old. In the modern days is still an authentic hippies place, driven by the 70s golden era where the famous circuit of Frisco-Formentera-Katmandú was generated.

Fonda Pepe is still living off its reputation as a hippy hang out (Dylan spent a lot of time here), and you will see that someone forgot to tell a few of the residents that the 1960s are over. Formentera has a far stronger trace of the hippy movement than Ibiza and Fonda Pepe is the perfect place to soak it up. You can also visit the local guitar workshop which has been handcrafting instruments for rocks stars and holidaymakers for decades. The most famous customers are Pink Floyd, who no doubt hung out at Fonda Pepe whilst waiting for their bespoke guitars.

Es Calo

Before the La Savina port was developed, Es Calo Formentera was the island’s main harbor and the house of the old local fishermen of the island. Here the nets, the rustic sheds protecting the boats, the fish laid out to dry in the sun have an authentic flavor and such a custom dates back to the Romans times. In fact it was selected by the Romans to export figs, and later as a place for the residents of La Mola to drop anchor. The village gets its name of Es Calo de Sant Agusti from the fact that the monks from La Mola used to moor their boats here, before heading up Cami Roma to their monastery. Right up until the 1920s it was used for shipping sandstone, charcoal and wood…… and word has it that Es Caló has the best fish restaurants of the island: Pascual and Can Rafalet.

El Pilar (La Mola)

What a view of the island form the higher grounds…El Pilar de la Mola (The molers) seems to be somehow set apart from the rest of the island, unconcerned and untouched by what is happening beyond its limits. It is quite fair to say that the El Pilar population doesn’t leave their habitat very often. You really do get the sense of coming to a different place. Here we learn the terms ‘molers’ for the residents of the village and ‘baixers’ for the rest of the population, with baixer meaning from below. The village only extends for a few hundred meters of a land strip consisting of a few restaurants and farm houses. The main two carachteristic buildings are the Church of Nostra Senora del Pilar and the Mill of la Mola that even though built in 1778 it is still in good working conditions. In relation to the Mill there are rumors that Bob Dylan lived inside the mill in the 60s, but the question remains: how the hell did he make it to La Fonda Pepe every day????

Cap de Barbaria

Before the La Savina port was developed, Es Calo Formentera was the island’s main harbor and the house of the old local fishermen of the island. Here the nets, the rustic sheds protecting the boats, the fish laid out to dry in the sun have an authentic flavor and such a custom dates back to the Romans times. In fact it was selected by the Romans to export figs, and later as a place for the residents of La Mola to drop anchor. The village gets its name of Es Calo de Sant Agusti from the fact that the monks from La Mola used to moor their boats here, before heading up Cami Roma to their monastery. Right up until the 1920s it was used for shipping sandstone, charcoal and wood…… and word has it that Es Caló has the best fish restaurants of the island: Pascual and Can Rafalet.

Playa de Migjorn

Considered to be the Formentera’s longest beach with its five km stretch, Platja de Migjorn (Playa de Mitjorn) means midday beach, and it shows a fantastic rocky coastline interspersed with beautiful sandy beaches. From Sant Ferran, heading east, you can start with the greatest selection of the island’s beaches: Es Ca Mari, Raco Fondo, Es Codol Foradat, Es Valencians, Es Arenales and Maryland. Nudism is very much welcome in some of these beaches! At km 8 you should turn to go and enjoy one of our favourite bars: The Blue Bar, a true local institution, which has a terrace overlooking the ocean and the most relaxing ambient music and hippy appeal. Don’t be afraid to grab a bite, the restaurant is more than just decent.

La Savina

Take your first steps off the ferry from Ibiza and you’ll find yourself in La Savina, bringing visitors from Peninsular Spain or Ibiza. This is the only harbour for all incoming and outgoing sailings. It has a large part of services concentrated here, information points, travel and estate agents, as well as a few bars and restaurant with fabulous views everywhere you turn – especially across to Ibiza and Es Vedra.

Es Pujol

Sun, beach and night life! Tourism is at its pick here. Located between Punta Prima and Pedrera d’en Coix, in Es Pujol you can find all you need for the whole of your stay. With beaches like Illa Plane, Illa des Fonoll Marí and Illa de s’aigua Dolca, the string of small islands out on the bay stands out like a decorative frieze against the skyline and makes the water around the beach placid. Around the bay, the sea front becomes the scene as evening draws on of lively café society, local craftmen selling their wares and market stalls of all kinds. At night, interest switches to a large number of restaurants and bars, a true reflection of the cosmopolitan character of the place. It accommodates the largest number of holiday makers on the island.

Sant Francesc

This is the official capital of Formentera, which is organised administratively as a single municipality so the town hall offices for dealing with the public are here. It is the main shopping place of the island, hosting excellent restaurants and bars entertainment and surely lots of fun. Just walk down the pedestrian streets of the mercadillo (street market) to find butchers, fishmongers and vegetables stalls for the veggie/vegan option.

In Sant Francesc Xavier are also situated the main buildings of the island. The main square opens up to the fortified church with its thick walls looking like and impenetrable tank. It dates back to the 18th century, a time when one couldn’t take too many precautions against pirates attacks. Next to the church we can find the Cistern, a vital architectural feature of an island which has always suffered a massive shortage of drinking water. Also a visit to the nearby Chapel of sa Tanca Vella and the Ethnological Museum is a must.

Sant Ferran

One of the parish established by Manuel archbishop of Ibiza, Sant Ferran de ses Roques goes back a long way. It is consecrated to the memory of King Ferdinand the Catholic and was initially intended to be a settlement for the salt workers of old. In the modern days is still an authentic hippies place, driven by the 70s golden era where the famous circuit of Frisco-Formentera-Katmandú was generated.

Fonda Pepe is still living off its reputation as a hippy hang out (Dylan spent a lot of time here), and you will see that someone forgot to tell a few of the residents that the 1960s are over. Formentera has a far stronger trace of the hippy movement than Ibiza and Fonda Pepe is the perfect place to soak it up. You can also visit the local guitar workshop which has been handcrafting instruments for rocks stars and holidaymakers for decades. The most famous customers are Pink Floyd, who no doubt hung out at Fonda Pepe whilst waiting for their bespoke guitars.

Es Calo

Before the La Savina port was developed, Es Calo Formentera was the island’s main harbor and the house of the old local fishermen of the island. Here the nets, the rustic sheds protecting the boats, the fish laid out to dry in the sun have an authentic flavor and such a custom dates back to the Romans times. In fact it was selected by the Romans to export figs, and later as a place for the residents of La Mola to drop anchor. The village gets its name of Es Calo de Sant Agusti from the fact that the monks from La Mola used to moor their boats here, before heading up Cami Roma to their monastery. Right up until the 1920s it was used for shipping sandstone, charcoal and wood…… and word has it that Es Caló has the best fish restaurants of the island: Pascual and Can Rafalet.

El Pilar (La Mola)

What a view of the island form the higher grounds…El Pilar de la Mola (The molers) seems to be somehow set apart from the rest of the island, unconcerned and untouched by what is happening beyond its limits. It is quite fair to say that the El Pilar population doesn’t leave their habitat very often. You really do get the sense of coming to a different place. Here we learn the terms ‘molers’ for the residents of the village and ‘baixers’ for the rest of the population, with baixer meaning from below. The village only extends for a few hundred meters of a land strip consisting of a few restaurants and farm houses. The main two carachteristic buildings are the Church of Nostra Senora del Pilar and the Mill of la Mola that even though built in 1778 it is still in good working conditions. In relation to the Mill there are rumors that Bob Dylan lived inside the mill in the 60s, but the question remains: how the hell did he make it to La Fonda Pepe every day????

Cap de Barbaria

Es Cap de Barbaria – in Spanish, Cabo de Berbería – is the southernmost point of the Balearic Islands. Although the origin of its name is not very clear, many locals would insist that you can see the African’s Barbary coast, hence its name. Our opinion? They have never convinced us, the African coast being at least 60 miles away from it (100 Km). Thanks to its well-known lighthouse and the cave forada (the pitted cove), it is fair to describe it as one of the most emblematic places of Formentera with a tandem of words explaining it: isolation desolation. The only sight you have is a defense tower (sat on the top of some impressive cliffs), Ibiza’s Es Vedra and the lonely road back to Sant Francesc. As you get closer to the southern point at the end of the road the vegetation gets ever sparser; there is a total absence of the recurrent view of pine trees, with rosemary and thyme being the only surviving heroes in the area. The reason for the lack of vegetation lays in the deforestation during the early part of the twentieth century, and subsequent use of the land for grazing.

Playa de Migjorn

Considered to be the Formentera’s longest beach with its five km stretch, Platja de Migjorn (Playa de Mitjorn) means midday beach, and it shows a fantastic rocky coastline interspersed with beautiful sandy beaches. From Sant Ferran, heading east, you can start with the greatest selection of the island’s beaches: Es Ca Mari, Raco Fondo, Es Codol Foradat, Es Valencians, Es Arenales and Maryland. Nudism is very much welcome in some of these beaches! At km 8 you should turn to go and enjoy one of our favourite bars: The Blue Bar, a true local institution, which has a terrace overlooking the ocean and the most relaxing ambient music and hippy appeal. Don’t be afraid to grab a bite, the restaurant is more than just decent.