Rising from the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the blissful and Bohemian island of Formentera has always been one of my favourite summer holiday destinations.
Hidden behind the party-till-dawn image of its more crowded, better known island neighbor Ibiza, this idyllic little island is a paradise of untouched wilderness, pristine beaches, sparkling water and golden sunsets. Its 42 miles of incredible coastline don’t have any inch that doesn’t take your breath away.
Here a few tips to leave the tourist route behind and live the island life like a local.
The mix of beautiful beaches and quiet coves, combined with breath-taking nature, make the island the perfect place for a boat trip. You can easily hire little speed boats for a day to explore the shallow turquoise bays and take a dip in the best beaches around the island. The coast in Formentera contains many pretty coves that are not well-known by tourists. A very nice one is Es Molí Marroig, a sandy and rocky cove situated in the north of Formentera, in Ses Salines nature reserve. It is less crowded than other closer beaches and frequented by people who is looking for a lonely place.
This little gem is conveniently located very near the Es Moli de Sal, an old mill belonging to the old salt industry of Formentera, recently converted into a fine restaurant where you can enjoy the best typical dishes of the Mediterranean cuisine and magnificent views across the sea to Ibiza's Es Vedrà.
From here you can continue your tour to the northern part of the island and reach Platja de ses Illetes, indisputably the most beautiful beach in Formentera, with the nature of the island to be seen at its best here. Extensive sand dunes merge with endless areas of soft sand which slope gently into the Caribbean-looking, turquoise sea. Towards the north, Playa de ses Illetes gradually merges with the beach opposite Playa Levant. This creates a unique coastal landscape with endless beaches and fantastic views of Isla de Espalmador.
After a day spent cruising the sea, I always find it so refreshing to enjoy a few drinks in the glorious country garden of A Mi Manera, surrounded by the sights and smells of nature. The courtyard of this restaurant, immersed in bulging vegetables, herbs and flowers, seems like something out of a fairy tale and is the perfect place for an aperitif. The cocktail bar offers a selection of reinterpretations of the great classics using infusions and ingredients from the estate.
Formentera is located just about 20km away from Ibiza, which make it so convenient to pay a quick visit by boat to the capital of the Balearic. Ibiza is not only lively nightlife but is also home to beautiful golden beaches and romantic sandy coves backed by pine-clad hills found all around the coast.
When you need to get away from the hustle of tourist-filled beaches, my favourite escape in Ibiza is Cala Xuclar. This peaceful, horseshoe shaped bay, surrounded by turquoise water and rustic fishing huts is a breath of tranquil, fresh seaside air. Surrounded by hills covered in green trees and rocky coast, the raw nature of the area feels like one of the last undiscovered bastions of Ibiza beach life.
A must go place, to take a brake from the beach, is La Paloma restaurant. Located in the heart of San Lorenzo village and surrounded by gorgeous orange and lemon groves, La Paloma is an Ibiza institution and one of the few restaurants that serve farm to table food and have plenty vegetarian options. The food is heart-warming, fresh and simple, made with top ingredients. They only serve local and organic, homegrown products and specialities brought from Tuscany. The atmosphere in this family run café is very intimate, casual and relaxed. It feels like you are in somebody’s garden.
The atmosphere in the Balearics is relaxed and chill, well reflected in the dress code, which is very laid back and bohemian. Soft fabrics in natural tones and easy-to-throw-on shapes are keys. Make sure to pack breezy dresses or co-ords to pair with beach-to-bar summer handbags. Smart, neutral sandals will make sure any outfit is cocktail-ready. For swimwear, stay minimal but look for extra touches such as an asymmetric cut or belt detail.
Lucy Folk top £270.00, Lucy Folk shorts £285, Sophie Anderson bag £230, Gabriela Hearst slides £390.00, Myra swimsuit £120.00, Chloé earrings £335, Loewe hat £258.