Destination: Formentera, Balearic Islands, Spain
When we visited: August
For how long: 5 nights
Getting to Formentera:
- Flight: We flew Thomas Cook Airlines to get to Ibiza from London but you can check out Skyscanner and Cheapflights to see what options you have.
- Time of arrival in Ibiza: 0825 Hrs
- Getting to the port: We caught a public bus from the airport to get to Ibiza Old Town Ferry Harbour, which cost us €7 for two and took about 30 minutes.
- Ferry: There are multiple companies ferrying people (with and without vehicles) from Ibiza to Formentera every 30 minutes. We booked our return tickets via Direct Ferries with Mediterranea Pitiusa for approximately €40 per person (this may change according to season).
- IT IS IMPORTANT to PRINT YOUR FERRY TICKET, we paid €5 to get it done at the ticketing counter.
- Arrival in Formentera: 1130 Hrs
Stay in Formentera:
- Hotel: Hostal Santi
CL ES Calo, 07872 ES Calo DE SAN Agusti, Spain
Phone: +34 971 32 83 75
- Cost: €1080 (approximately) for 5 nights with breakfast included.
- Review: Hostal Santi has the cutest rooms that are well-maintained and extremely clean. We chose to stay in their Delux Double Room with a sea view and boy! was that view breathtaking. The warm and extremely helpful service was such a bonus. They also have a bar that opens for a few hours during the day and from 1800 Hrs to 2300 Hrs in the night.
- Booked via Booking.com.
- In case Hostal Santi is booked out for your dates, you could check out these places instead: This is a lavish one but totally worth it: Insotel Club Maryland – All Inclusive. There are also Hostal Aigua Clara, Hotel Maysi and Casa Goro that you can stay at.
- Proximity: Nestled on a secluded path just a 2-minute walk away from Playa Mijorn, Hostal Santi was perfect for us to unwind at after blissfully hectic days. We were situated 5 minutes away from Es Calo, 10 minutes away from Sant Ferrano and 20 minutes away from Sant Francesc (all of these time approximations are on a scooter/bike). From these Sant Francesc is the main city-center with restaurants, boutiques, and supermarkets but the one at Es Calo was the closest to us. I’ll get into the details of how far the things-to-see were from us, below.
Transport in Formentera:
We rented a bike from right outside Hostal Santi and paid €28 per day for it. They had options to rent cycles, cars and ATB’s too.
You could even rent a vehicle at La Savina, which is the port you dock at when you reach Formentera but since we wanted to experience the island on a scooter and had too much luggage on us, we hired a taxi to drop us to our hotel for €23.50.
You can check out the video of our experience at Formentera here.
We had had quite a hectic day in London (will be writing about this soon) the day before we reached Formentera, and were pretty exhausted. Needless to say, the first thing we that did when we reached was take a cozy siesta. A good 4 hours later we were riding towards the supermarket in Es Calo to stock up on some water and of course some Cerveza. We took a stroll along Es Calo and soaked in some crystalline ocean water and decided to spend a couple hours here the next day. We got back and hit the beach beside Hostal Santi (Es Arenals) before getting back and sipping on some chilled Cerveza (we generally play it light on the first day to make sure that we make the most of the rest). Having had Beer for dinner (hey, we were on a vacay!) and gleaming with twinkling stars in the clear skies, we called it a day excited to see what Formentera had in store for us.
First on the list was browsing through the village of Sant Francesc. Picture a quaint town in Greece filled with colourful cafes and all the yummies- that’s what you’ll find here.
Some fresh watermelon juice later with a new beach umbrella strapped across my back, off we went to get our tan on at the Es Calo beach.
It took us 20-25 minutes to get to Es Calo (we ride at a comfortable pace, not too fast and not too slow- but Capt. Aspect disagrees on the latter sometimes).
There is a patch of sand on an otherwise rocky/reefy beach, which had people sprawled about- getting their tropical vibes on. We turned right and walked towards the rockier side since we wanted to find our own little corner in this paradise.
A couple of relaxing and HOT hours later, we decided to walk into a restaurant for some Paella and Cerveza (we didn’t know this then but it’s always smarter to reserve a table at most restaurants in Formentera, however, we were lucky enough to be seated since we were the first to arrive during lunch hours).
How can a hungry mermaid see such inviting water and not be in it? Am I right?
The sharp rocks around here made it slightly difficult for us to completely get lost in the waves, so we decided to make our way back towards Es Arenals and Es Mijorn and spend the rest of the evening splashing away.
The restaurants around this side of Formentera shut quite early (between 2200 Hrs to 2230 Hrs) and we had our eye on 10 Punto 7 beach club, which served us honestly the best ravioli we have ever devoured. The Mediterranean views, the surprisingly pleasant night breeze, and fabulous vibes- that dinner has definitely been one of our highlights (and that’s saying something since we are always about nature and rarely about restaurants- but this needed a mention). Ps: This was just a tiny walk away from Hostal Santi.
Our day began early as we made our way to Playa De Illetes, the shore with the clearest waters in the Mediterranean sea!
It took us about 40 minutes to reach Ses Illetes from Hostal Santi and it takes about 15-20 minutes to get there from Sant Francesc.
We decided to get there by 0830 Hrs because we had heard that it gets extremely crowded later in the day. On the way there we crossed the island’s natural salt marshes- Salines De Formentera, where we saw flocks of seagulls leaving footprints in the salt-laden shallows, so of course, we stopped for a picture.
Illetes is kind of a long line of beaches just waiting to be explored. Long stretches of soft sand coastlines on either side with water so darn clear that it looks drinkable (don’t drink it though, it’s a salt-fest).
Positively thrilled, we made our way out of Ses Illetes with our map in our hand, trying to figure out where we wanted to go next.
Stopping at a supermercado at La Savina to pick up some sandwiches and iced-green tea for lunch, we set course to have a picnic at Ses Bassettes.
A short 10-15 minute ride later, we parked our scooter and started our hike around Ses Bassettes.
It was around 1400 Hrs and scorching hot, which explains why there were just a couple people chilling on the pebbly beach.
It was quite different from the beachside hikes we’ve done before. The landscape looked almost forlorn bride- gorgeous and glowing but drowned in thoughts of wilderness. On one end each step we took created a dust storm and on the other, we saw remarkable hues of ravishing blues. It was enchanting.
We made our way towards the left from Ses Bassettes on our hike and got to Punta De Sa Pedrera– a cliffy cove with turquoise water gushing in to look like a magical bathtub. If it weren’t for the giant rocks that were visible at the seabed, we probably would have abandoned our backpack and jumped right off! We could see a boat that had got snorkellers to the cove, so I guess that would be the saner way to swim at Punta De Sa Pedrera.
We were starving by now and thought of taking another route (one closer to the coast) back to Ses Bassettes but not before taking a dip somewhere close.
The water around here was really weedy and the moment we saw a clear patch, we decided to jump in.
A short hike and a late lunch later, we were back on our scooter and on our way home (Home is Hostal Santi and it took us around 35 minutes to get back).
Like I had mentioned earlier Playa Des Illetes had access bunch of beaches, on the opposite side of Ses Illetes was Playa De Llevant and we got there by 0830 Hrs to find the whole shore to ourselves.
After some skinny-dipping (all the beaches in Formentera are nude beaches if you’re comfortable enough to shed all the fabric off of you) and a long walk to the tip of the beach, we headed towards Raco De s’Alga.
The local map we were following said that it was not one of the popular spots because it was quite hard to reach. And it was. Not that we are complaining.
We rode towards Cap De Barbaria and took a left turn a few miles before. It’s a tiny path- very easy to miss. If you’re using Google maps (online or offline) it may be slightly easier (Gmaps shows Raco De s’Alga off the coast in the ocean, but it get’s you close enough to it).
We hit a dead-end on that left turn that we took because the way we were going was the route to a few private properties. We decided to trust the universe and follow our instinct- many wrong turns later, we parked our scooter and started walking towards what seemed like the edge of a cliff.
Not sure what to call it- a walk, a hike or a trek- but 2 hours of that, with pokey bushes acting as deterrents, we reached what seemed to be the edge. The reason this beach is not crowded begins now- you have to descend downwards from the cliff (it was slightly slopey- very slight) to reach a narrow rocky patch of land. We didn’t really make it all the way down but even getting to the point that we did was amazing. A sensational view with heavenly waters and nothing but a desert-jungle around us.
Ps: You know you’ve arrived when you see a rocked shaped like a face.
We had packed lunch this time too and munched on it while gaping at this ethereal seascape- it turned out to be one of the best moments in Formentera.
Next stop Cap De Barbaria.
We had to park our bike and walk 1 mile to the lighthouse on a tarred road but naturally, we turned right and created our own path (just FYI there are plenty thorny shrubs off the tarred road, so if you aren’t careful you’ll get poked- like I did). The lighthouse was sightly crowded when we got there but nothing compared how crowded it was going to get when we were leaving by around 1930 Hrs (the presumably stunning sunset would be the reason for this).
Clearest waters in the Mediterranean you say? Let’s dive.
We had booked 2 dives with Blue Adventure (it’s advisable to book beforehand), which cost us €45 per dive per person. Anna our dive instructor was a gem (we believe people who dive as a profession can never be anything other). We suited up (in 5 mm suits- certain parts of our dives did get pretty cold) at their center in La Savina, crossed the road and waded to their boat that was waiting for us.
Our dives were at sites Arco and Es Banc with a maximum depth of 15 meters and 22 meters respectively. It was a cloudy day so the visibility was slightly affected but it was still a good 20 plus meters at Arco and over 25 meters are Es Banc.
They were driftless relaxing dives, where every breath sent a sense of calmness through our veins. At Es Blanc the shades of blue and violet we witnessed were bewitching.
The landscape underwater was quite similar to what was on ground- caves, dunes, and weed.
We spotted over 15 tiny jellyfish dancing like graceful fairies in this magical blue (don’t be fooled by their size though, their stings can be painful- I would know- one of them loved me so much that he came and tried to kiss me).
After a thoroughly exhilarating time underwater, we headed back and onward to Es Ram– a gorgeous (rocky) bay that was not at all crowded and perfect for an afternoon chill-sess.
In the evening we decided to get our groove on and head to Es Pujols. This is where the party happens on Formentera. Bars, restaurants, and shopping- it felt like we were in Ibiza. We were quite tired from the earlier hike to s’Alga so decided to keep our cameras away and revel in high spirits while hopping between bars and strolling about the flea market.
On the 6th day, we checked out by 0900 Hrs and boarded our ferry from La Savina back to Ibiza.
Formentera was so much more than we expected, and it has so much more to explore than what we saw- 5 days were not enough and we will be going back to get soaked on this tiny paradise in Spain.
All times are approximations based on our scooter ride.
Best times to visit are based on our preference of not liking a crowded space too much.
Cerveza and chill
To Sant Francesc- 20 minutes, Sant Francesc to Es Calo- 20 minutes, Es Calo to Playa Mijorn & Es Arenals- 5 minutes.
To Salines de Formentera- 40 minutes, Salines de Formentera to Playa de Illetes- 5 minutes (best time to visit: before 1000 Hrs), Playa De Illetes to Ses Basettes- 15 minutes, Ses Bassettes to Punta de Pedrera- 30 minutes on foot.
You can also check out/lounge at Cala Saona, which is a gorgeous beach. We reached at 1300 Hrs and it was so packed with tourists that we couldn’t see the water, so we left.
To Playa de Llevant- 40 minutes (best time to visit- before 1000 Hrs), Playa de Llevant to Raco de s’Alga- 30 minutes on the scooter and 1.5 hrs on foot (best time to visit- any time of the day), Raco de s’Alga to Cap de Barbaria- 5 minutes by scooter and then 30 minutes on foot (best time to visit: around 1700 Hrs unless you don’t mind a crowded spot, then the sunset would be sensational).
To La Savina for diving- 25 minutes, from La Savina to Es Ram- 45 minutes, Es Ram to Hostal Santi- 15 minutes, Hostal Santi to Es Pujols- 25 minutes.
You can check out the video of our experience at Formentera here.