Formentera holidays are big on beaches, boat trips, and peace and quiet.

Formentera might be the smallest of the Balearic babes, but it packs a big beachy punch. Expect immaculate sands and hidden coves, and don’t be surprised if you’ve got a stretch to yourself. The dreamy coastline’s dotted with peaceful resorts and cute villages, and you can easily explore them all thanks to the island’s diddy size. Life moves at a much slower pace here than on its neighbouring islands, so embrace the Zen vibes with horizontal lounger time, scenic strolls along the seafront and lots of local culture. And if you fancy a trip to one of the sister islands, you can catch a boat over to Ibiza in just 30 minutes.

Why pick Formentera

Beaut beaches

Formentera’s coastline’s the star of the show. Its beaches give Majorca and Ibiza a run for their money – they’re just as unreal, and a ban on building near the sand makes them some of the prettiest in Europe. There are 12 milesof sunbathing spots, and there’s a chance you won’t have to share with anyone else. Migjorn, Llevant and Ses Illetes are popular picks for their powdery sweeps and shallow water. Cala Saona’s got those aesthetic red cliffs, or for something more secluded, Es Caló’s hidden coves are perfect for snorkelling.

Village life

Whitewashed houses and narrow streets – Formentera’s villages are super quaint. Even the island’s capital – Sant Francesc Xavier – is on the cute side. It’s got a sweet square lined with cafes and boutiques, and finished with a palm-lined church. La Mola meets the laidback brief with its hilltop scenes and artisan market – hunt for handmade crafts, sip on a sangria and watch the world go by or wander along the coast to the lighthouse.

Watersports win

Formentera’s a big name in the watersports world. Playa de Migjorn’s reliable breeze and wide-open water make the perfect combo for windsurfing and kitesurfing. The compact coastline’s easy to get around on a kayak or paddleboard, and it’s a great hack for finding secret swim spots, too. The island’s also a strong destination for diving, with sites like Punta Pedrera serving up thriving marine life and underwater caves.

Natural beauty

The north side of the island is home to Ses Salines Natural Park. The protected area’s had UNESCO status since 1999 for its rich biodiversity, salt flats and sand dunes. Set off on a walkthrough the pine groves and along the coastal trails, keeping your eyes peeled for wildlife. It’s a nesting spot for migrating birds, and over 210 species have been recorded here – you might even see flamingos.

Our pick

Take it from someone that's been there – here’s a top tip from our team:

‘The best way to explore the island is by hiring a bike or a car for a tour. It’s super easy to get around and there’s hardly any traffic on the road. I drove to Far de la Mola at the top end, which has got an unreal view of a lighthouse and the ocean. Then, I found Cavall d'en Borras beach – all the beaches are signposted, even the ones that are tucked away. The water was warm and crystal clear, with the most golden sand I've ever seen in Europe.’ Jessica Fonseca

Festivals and Events

Here are the highlights from Formentera’s cultural calendar…

Formentera Jazz Festival

What: a celebration of all things jazz

Where: all around the island

When: early June

Key highlights: live performances from local and international artists, jam sessions, open-air concerts.

Sant Jaume Festival

What: a day all about Formentera’s patron saint

Where: Sant Francesc Xavier

When: 25 July

Key highlights: parades, live music, traditional dances and fireworks.

Formentera Film Festival

What: an international film festival

Where: Sant Francesc Xavier

When: May

Key highlights: screenings of short films and documentaries, plus creative workshops and Q&A sessions.

Picks That Don’t Cost a Penny

The Ethnological Museum of Formentera

Did someone say free history? This tiny museum in Sant Francesc Xavier’s dedicated to all things Formentera, from its origins and culture to the lives of the islanders. You’ll see old agricultural machinery and traditional costume on display, plus you can learn all about the island’s wine industry and how it’s made.

The Non-Touristy Pick

None of the beaches here are going to feel seriously busy, but for an undiscovered vibe, check out Cala en Baster. The beach is rocky rather than sandy, which makes the water extra clear for snorkelling, and the sea caves carved into the cliff are the perfect shady spot.

Best places to stay

Es Pujols

Es Pujols is the liveliest it gets on the island, and it barely feels big enough to be called a town. It nails the balance between beachy and buzzy, with a prom backed by bars and restaurants lining the stretch of sand. It’s had big boho energy since the Sixties, with beachfront yoga sessions, craft markets and al fresco cafés keeping the good vibes going today.

Platja de Migjorn

If packing in the beach time is your priority, pick Platja de Migjorn. This seven-kilometre sandy stretch is the island’s longest, so you’ll have plenty of space to yourself. It’s backed by a few beach bars and a couple of luxury hotels, but other than that, it’s been left pretty much untouched.

Getting around

Formentera’s mini size makes finding your way around a breeze…

Bike hire

Cycling is one of the best ways to explore the island. It’s all pretty flat, and you’ll find dedicated bike paths and super scenic routes everywhere, like the one between Sant Francesc Xavier and La Mola. There are loads of bike rental shops in the main towns that can get you set up with a pair of wheels.

Car hire

Hire your own car for ultimate freedom. You’ll be able to fit the whole gang in, plus getting from A to B will be much quicker. Keep an eye out for signposts to hidden beaches around the coastline.


If you’re on a budget, public transport’s the way to go. Formentera’s got a reliable bus service with five lines connecting the main towns and beaches. Depending on how far you’re going, it’ll cost you between €1.80 and €2.55.


There’s no airport on the island, so you’ll fly into Ibiza where you’ll catch a ferry over to Formentera. The journey takes about 30 minutes, and there are regular services throughout the day. It’s a scenic ride, and you might even spot dolphins along the way.

At a Glance

  • Visit the shores of the Estany Pudent lagoon
  • Wind down on Migjorn Beach
  • Stroll along the seafront in Es Pujols

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