Things to do and see in Formentera, the neighbouring island of Ibiza
One of the essential activities that almost nobody wants to miss on holiday in Ibiza takes place outside the island. If you fancy jumping across to the neighbouring island, find out what to do and see in Formentera on a day trip and get the most out of your visit to one of the most heavenly islands in the Mediterranean.
Discovering Formentera’s main tourist attractions in less than 12 hours is pretty easy, since its small size makes it a destination very easy to cover, even by bike. The smallest of the Balearic Islands has only 52 square miles of surface area and its longest road is not even 12 miles long. This is why in one day you can stroll around Sant Francesc Xavier, its capital, have your photo taken next to the lighthouse from the film Sex and Lucía, eat paella by the sea and, of course, swim in the turquoise waters of Illetes, the most famous beach in Formentera and one of the most photographed in the world. These three things are just some of the activities that await you on this small heavenly island where you will always want to return time and again. You don’t need to see it all the first time around so just enjoy its simple Mediterranean beauty.
How to get to Formentera
The Ports of Eivissa and La Savina are connected all year round via the regular ferry service offered by Balearia, Trasmapi and Mediterránea Pitiusa. During the summer months, these sailing companies increase the frequency of departures and the tourist companies that offer boat trips from Sant Antoni de Portmany, Santa Eulària, Figueretes and d’en Bossa Beach, like Aquabus Ibiza, Cruceros Portmany and Santa Eulalia Ferry, also have their own service.
In order to foster sustainable tourism, vehicle access to the island has been limited during the summer months (June-September) for a few years. This is why in order to board a car onto the ferries that connect Ibiza with Formentera you need a permit that has to be reserved in advance on the website Formentera.eco . If you want to visit Formentera with your rental car or motorbike, don’t forget to check in advance that the vehicle insurance includes transfer in case of breakdown, and reserve the vehicle’s entry permit to the island.
How to get around Formentera
In the Port of La Savina you will find motorbike, car and bike rental companies, as well as three tourist bus lines and two regular lines that connect the port with Es Pujols (L1) and El Pilar de la Mola (2). If you like cycling, you should know that Formentera has an extensive network of paths with 28 routes and a very gentle incline, with the exception of the ascent that leads to the plateau of La Mola.
What to see on a day trip to Formentera
If it is your first visit to the island, you cannot miss the following essential places:
Yes, this is the beach that Google shows when you look for the most famous beach in Formentera. You can spend the whole day there and leave the other sights for another trip (nobody would blame you) or arrive after lunch and enjoy this long, wild sandy area with turquoise waters for the whole afternoon.
Sant Francesc Xavier
The cute capital of the island is small, but its restaurants and boutiques will definitely provide more distraction than you expected. Do not miss the Sant Francesc Church, one of the best examples of church fortress of the Pityusic islands.
Cap Barbaria Lighthouse
This photogenic lighthouse shot to fame thanks to the film Sex and Lucía and has become one of the icons of Formentera. In summer, access is restricted to cars and motorbikes, so you have to walk about one mile from the carpark provided.
La Mola Lighthouse
The other emblematic lighthouse of the island is located at the façade of La Mola, a fabulous place to have a beer, relax and enjoy the views. The La Mola Market is held on Wednesdays and Sundays, where only original items made by certified artisans are sold.
The prettiest beaches of Formentera
On the 43 miles of this small island’s coastline there are beaches and coves for all tastes. Which one will become your favourite beach?
Ses Illetes Beach
The most famous beach in Formentera is usually at the top of the lists of the prettiest beaches in the world thanks to the colour of its waters. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, make the effort and head to the last section. You will have the sea to your left and right.
Platja de Llevant
The eastern side of the des Trucadors peninsula is not as famous as Ses Illetes, and so is usually much quieter. The ideal option for when the wind is blowing from the west.
Cavall d’en borràs
This wild beach is just one mile from the Port of La Savina, so is perfect for a day trip to Formentera without renting a vehicle.
This is one of the prettiest coves in Formentera due to its red cliffs and the beach huts located underneath. Perfect for watching the sunset.
Other coves and beaches for when you return to Formentera
There are many more coves where you can lay out your towel and forget about the world. If you return to the island and do not want to visit the same places or would rather visit the less busy parts of Formentera, you will surely like these shores.
At almost 11,500 feet long, this Formentera beach is the other great shore of the island along with Illetes. Its entire length comprises long sandy and other rocky sections, dunes and pine forests, nudist areas, refreshment stalls, beach clubs…
Caló des Mort
While it is no longer a secret, this small pretty cove with beach huts is still quiet if you visit at the beginning or end of the summer.
Calitas de Es Caló de Sant Agustí
This group of small coves separated by rocky sections is ideal if you are looking for peace and quiet and crystal clear waters.
At almost 2,300 feet long, it also has shallow turquoise waters and a certain sea charm. It is located in the main tourist centre of Formentera.
Where to eat in Formentera
Eating in beach restaurants in Formentera and sampling the traditional specialities is another of the activities you cannot miss on a day trip to the island. Some of the best restaurants and refreshment stalls where you can eat by the sea are:
This is one of the essential spots for Ibizans and locals. Its paellas and fish dishes will not disappoint.
Carrer de Sant Agustí, 1. Es Calo de Sant Agustí
+34 971 32 70 77
Located on the shore, it is known as one of the best restaurants in Formentera. The rice dishes, salt prawns and lobster stew are outstanding. It also has amazing sea views.
Vicari Joan Marí, 14. Es Calo de Sant Agustíg
+34 971 32 73 11
This traditional restaurant located on de Migjorn Beach is another favourite spot of the island’s inhabitants. The fried lobster with eggs and potatoes is one of its specialities, as is its brothy rice with lobster.
Carretera de la Mola, Km. 9.5, Platja de Migjorn
This is one of Formentera’s most fashionable restaurants and an interesting option if you want to eat in Illetes, since it is located in the neighbouring d’en Borrás Beach. You will find beautiful people, a young casual atmosphere, and Mediterranean and Basque food.
Playa d’en Borrás s/n
+34 971 34 99 00
Tips for your day trip to Formentera
– Arrive at Formentera in one of the first ferries in the morning to make the most of the day.
– If you are travelling in a regular line ferry, you can return at night and therefore enjoy the sunset from some of the most famous beach bars: Beso Beach, Blue Bar, El Pirata Bus or 10.7. The tourist companies have less frequent crossings.
– The restaurants at Illetes Beach stand out for their high prices. To avoid nasty surprises, we recommend you always find out the price of the specials or the catch of the day.
– Book a table at the beach restaurants in Formentera in advance, especially if you are visiting the island in July or August.
– If you need more information on the island, visit the official Tourism Formentera website
Get away to Formentera from Amàre Beach Hotel Ibiza
Our hotel in Ibiza recommended for adults is a few minutes by car from the Port of Sant Antoni de Potmany, from where the boat trips organised by the tourist company Cruceros Portmany depart to Formentera. If you would rather have more freedom, our staff can provide you with more information on departures from the Port of Ibiza, which is 20 minutes by car from Amàre Beach Hotel Ibiza. And to finish off a perfect day, when you return from the neighbouring paradise, the gastronomic delights of Hayaca await you; an exquisite journey to the flavours of Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Argentina, Cuba… #whatahappyday