With so many attractive beaches to enjoy in Europe, choosing the best one was a tough ask – but after much debating, deep thinking, more debating and a bit of cake, we eventually decided on our favourite…
Playa de Ses Illetes on the idyllic island of Formentera.
Formentera is a short boat trip south of Ibiza, but unlike the famous party-island it is predominantly unspoilt by tourism and far less crowded. The tranquillity is reflected in its pristine beaches, the most popular of which is the bounty-like paradise of Illetes. Surrounded by crystal clear waters, the white sands encrusted with pink corals can rival tropical scenery anywhere in the world.
Covering an area of just 83 square-kilometres, Formentera is the smallest of the Balearic Islands and arguably the most picturesque. The island is blessed with a host of pristine beaches and boasts tropical settings typically associated with exotic locations in Indonesia or the Caribbean.
Playa de Ses Illetes clutches at the fringes of a pretty town centre by the same name. Formentera may not get the same kind of headlines as its more illustrious neighbours, but it still gets its fair share of visitors, many of whom come here purely for the tropical beach experience.
Illetes is a fairly long stretch of coastline on an island peninsula, which extends from the port of La Savina to the tiny island of Espalmador. The tepid-cool water is coloured with a tropical green-blue hue and boasts an abundance of vibrant corals and exotic fish, which makes snorkelling a popular past-time.
Although the beach is only a short walk from the city centre, buildings are hidden from view. It is likely the summer months will attract revellers popping over for a day trip from nearby Ibiza, but most bathers are beautiful locals and other glamourous Mediterranean types from Italy, France and Portugal. Head towards the corners of the shoreline and you will find a peaceful spot to relax and enjoy the scenery.
There is a plethora of restaurants close to the beach, but they can be a little expensive, so if you are on a tight budget, take your own pack up and have a picnic on the sandy stalls of the Med. Alternatively, a nice spot for lunch is on the rocks beside one of two lighthouses that mark either end of the beach. If you are staying on the island, make time to visit the beach at night and enjoy the stunning light show as the beams of the lighthouse bounce off the waves.
The only way to get to Formentera is by the ferry from Ibiza. Once you arrive in this pretty port you have the option of taking public transport or grabbing a taxi. Or if you want to enjoy the stunning views at your own pace and for a lot less money why not hire a bicycle and make the 10-minute journey along the dusty coastal path. There’s a nudist beach back on-route if you fancy a cheeky skinny-dip!
Planning your holiday for 2015? It is after all the best way to get over the summer. Why not book a week or two in Ibiza and spend the day on Formentera?