Formentera Ibiza - Holidays, hotels & beaches

The small island of Formentera is often overlooked by those visiting Ibiza, its larger and more notorious neighbour. Formentera spans a mere 85 square kilometres and is mainly flat except for a hilly area at its centre; both of its extremities (Cap de Barbaria and Punta de la Mola) are home to rocky, windswept lighthouses.

Ferries to Formentera depart regularly from Ibiza Town (Eivissa) and San Antonio, which is not really surprising since the island has developed a reputation for being a sort of Rehab Island for those suffering from the excesses of Ibiza. Even though Formentera is an island in its own right - like Ibiza, a member of the Pitiuses group - it is often annexed to Ibiza for the simple fact that it has so few residents and so few tourists. The ferry from Ibiza Town takes only thirty minutes to get to the port of La Savina on Formentera, and many visitors to Ibiza spend a day or two recuperating here.

The capital of Formentera is Sant Francesc Xavier, but the most frequented town is Es Pujols, which is in fact the island's only resort. There are now a few bars and restaurants appearing here and there on Formentera, but the it remains largely unspoiled by tourism. The beaches leave anything on Ibiza - including Playa d'en Bossa and Salines - standing; Playa de Migjorn (Platja de Migjorn) is five kilometres long (in comparison with the three kilometres at Playa d'en Bossa), while Cala Saona offers fantastic snorkelling within its cove.

Upon arrival at the port of La Savina, which is in the north of Formentera, there are plenty of places from which to hire cars, motorbikes and bicycles. Some sort of transport is definitely required on Formentera, since the island is long and thin, and towns are few and far between. Cycling on Formentera need not be too gruelling, as the island is basically flat, and there is also a well planned ' Green Route ' of bicycle trails. The tourist office at La Savina has maps and other island information. There is a bus network that circles the main towns and villages on a fairly regular basis.

Formentera has yet to become such a hotel hotspot as its neighbouring island, and is still largely favoured by hippies escaping the commercialism of Ibiza than by holidaymakers. A holiday on Formentera would certainly be quieter and more relaxing than one on Ibiza ; one of the prime pastimes is birdwatching at the salt lakes of Estany Pudent and Estany des Peix.

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