Holidays in Formentera are not complete without a true taste of the Balearics. Locally sourced fresh Mediterranean produce is often the order of the day, usually with an Italian twist. Tour the traditional markets and try local fresh cheese, dried figs and honey. Many restaurants on the island serve traditional Ibizan one-pot dishes made from meat (traditionally pork or lamb), or seafood served with rice or salad. It’s possible to find many good restaurants across the island, especially by the beaches of Ses Illetes and Playa Migjorn. Other typical local dishes to look out for are squid (cooked in its own ink), fish stew (bullit de peix), meat stew (sofrit pagès) and fried lamb (frit de bestiar).
Unsurprisingly, Formentera’s nightlife is far more relaxed than the clubbing hotspot of Ibiza. For late-night entertainment on the beach, Beso Beach, near Playa Illetes, is great for watching the sun set, dancing, live music and cocktails. Club Tipic in the resort of Es Pujols is also worth visiting. This well-known island institution once hosted Pink Floyd, and now regularly features well-known DJs. Most bars and clubs in the Es Pujols area are open until late night.
Things to do
Formentera holidays are not complete without a visit to some local markets. Choose from handmade jewellery, ceramics, clothing and art made by local craftsmen as a special souvenir of your trip. Visit the art-filled artisan night market in San Fernando, open every day from 8.30pm to midnight (except Wednesdays and Sundays), while the San Francisco morning market is a great stop for those into all-things crafts.
Water-sports fans are also catered for on Formentera, with kayaking, diving, snorkelling, windsurfing, paragliding and jet-skiing all on the agenda. You’ll find many companies offering a variety of activities in the areas of La Savina, Es Pujols and Playa Illetes. Those who prefer to see the island on foot or by bike can explore the Greenway Paths on the island. Covering more than 60 miles, the 32 Greenways on Formentera are an amazing way to get in touch with nature and see the island’s landmarks at a slower pace.
This island is steeped in history. Take a trip to the south to find the historical lighthouse of La Mola, which dates to the 1800s, and enjoy the amazing views from its clifftop. Other great things to do on Formentera include the Ethnological Museum of San Francisco, which houses a collection of artefacts and information on how the people of this island used to live in days gone by, including how they dressed, farmed and worked. The museum is free to visit. While in the north of the island between Es Pujols and the inland lake of Estany Pudent, you’ll find the oldest tombs of the Balearics – the megalithic graves of Ca Na Costa. The paving here dates to 2000 BC, with eight bodies and numerous ceramics of the period excavated.
If you’re looking for Balearic sunshine with a slower, calmer pace and exciting nightlife without the packed bars and clubs, Ibiza’s little sister of Formentera is a perfect choice for your next holiday to Spain. It’s quirky Spanish charm, pristine beaches, delicious fare and history make it the perfect place to relax and sample a more tranquil way of life.