Canary islands

Formentera

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The ultimate guide to Formentera

Formentera

Formentera is a small island, part of the Balearic Island archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. Formentera is just 6km south of the island of Ibiza and is just 19 km from end to end.

If you are visiting Ibiza, you should definitely set aside a day to explore this spectacular island.

Formentera is the perfect day trip if you are in Ibiza and the perfect contrast to the vibrant party island. Formentera is laid back, bohemian, and wonderfully peaceful. You will find a mix of exotic beaches and quaint village life. Our travel experts break down the best things to enjoy on this small Mediterranean jewel.

Formetera guide

Formentera in a nutshell

Where is Formentera?

Formentera is part of the Balearic Islands, an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, off the eastern coast of Spain, in between Spain and Italy. Formentera is part of a small subsection of islands and islets within the archipelago, known as the Pityusic Islands (which includes the island of Ibiza).

Top attractions

The main attraction of the island is the beaches that are often likened to those in the Caribbean. The water is turquoise and unbelievably clear and the sand is powdery white. The beaches feel untouched and pristine, almost as if you were the first person to find that particular stretch of sand:

Ses Illetes

Located on the north coast of Formentera,Ses Illetes is long and thin and spectacularly beautiful. It feels completely secluded and hidden thanks to its lack of development (so keep that in mind when packing for the day). There is nothing but a couple of nice restaurants, but that is about it. 

This area is part of the Las Salinas Natural Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the immense diversity of the endemic marine life. 

Cala Saona

Probably the best option if you are traveling with your family. This beach enjoys powdery sand, shallow shores, and crystal clear waters. Cala means cove, and this little beach is surrounded by high cliffs, which make it feel tucked away and secluded.

Platja Migjorn

Platja Migjorn is a large cove in the south of Formentera. The beach is 7 kilometers long and is by smaller coves, inlets, and rocky outcrops. This beach isn’t as “untouched” as Ses Illetes but, it is a more comfortable experience. Here you will find loungers, umbrellas, and a couple of hotels. 

Sant Francesc Hippie Market

Formentera has been a hippy haven since the 1960s. In the quaint town of Sant Francesc, the island’s capital you will find small squares, a charming church, and the town hall. You will also find a sprawling hippie market, where you will find all sorts of local artisans selling everything from clothing to sandals and jewelry.

La Mola Market

La Mola is even larger and opulent than the market at Sant Francesc. La Mola is located just outside the village of El Pilar de la Mola. Local merchants set up shop every Wednesday and Saturday afternoon from 4-9 PM (May to October only). There is live music, food carts, and stalls selling… everything. 

 

cove formentera
sand formentera

A brief history of Formentera

The first known human presence of Formentera is in the Bronze Age, when the megalithic tomb of Ca na Costa discovered in 1974 was built. This funerary monument, built between 1900 and 1600 BC, confirms the existence of a stable and organized population in the beginnings of the Bronze Age, about a thousand years before the Phoenicians settled in Ibiza. 

The troops of Jaime I of Aragón, commanded by Archbishop Guillermo de Montgrí, conquered the Pitiusas (Ibiza, Formentera and a series of islets)  in 1235, which were incorporated into the Kingdom of Mallorca.

For a long time, the island remained unpopulated, as there were few people willing to live on the island. During the rest of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Formentera was only found occasionally populated by inhabitants of the island of Ibiza. It was in 1695 when the definitive repopulation of the island took place.

Small population centers were created around the churches that were built, although the majority of the population has always been dispersed in small country houses. Towards the middle of the 18th century, the population of Formentera was four hundred people and at the end of the 19th century, the population grew to almost two thousand.

At the end of the 60s the hippy movement began in Formentera, a fact that has profoundly marked the personality of the island. For a long time, the people of Formentera fought for the island to stop depending on Ibiza and, like the other islands, to have its own Insular Council. In 2007, after the 1983 reform of the Statute of Autonomy of the Balearic Islands, Formentera got its own Insular Council, separating itself from the Insular Council of Ibiza and Formentera.

Weather in Formentera

The climate of Formentera is Mediterranean, with warm and rainy winters and hot, sun-filled summers.

Formentera, Ibiza and some islets are part of the Balearic archipelago known as the Pityusic islands. This subdivision is located in the southwest of the Balearic Islands, and it is more sheltered than the other islands of the archipelago, from the northern wind that blows from France.

Average temperatures on the islands range from 11 °C (52.5 °F) in January and February to 25 °C (76 °F) in August. 

Golden sand

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