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  • Writer's pictureVanessa Valenti

Formentera, la Isla Bonita - let me take you to one of my favorite place on earth!

Formentera is pure magic, definitely one of my favorite places, I will never get tired of this island! In fact, this year I went back for the third time and I can assure you that it certainly won't be the last. Formentera is the ideal destination to relax and take a quiet holiday (if you decide to go out of season) but also if you are looking for sophisticated clubs and nightlife (if you go in July and August), full of wonderful beaches and breathtaking sunset points and great food. For those who have never heard of it, Formentera is a small island in the archipelago of the Balearic Islands (Spain) located right in front of Ibiza. But let's find out together: let's see the best beaches, the famous chiringuitos, the splendid lighthouses and everything that this magical island offers.

If you still have to book your trip to Formentera click here for my mini guide on how to plan a do-it-yourself holiday in Isla Bonita!

Cap de Barbaria, Formentera, Isole Baleari, Spagna

Formentera's wonderful beaches

Formentera is very famous for its splendid beaches and crystal clear sea, which make it the ideal destination for a beach holiday. Let's see my favorite beaches together following the order of my preferences!

  • Ses Illetes

Ses Illetes, Formentera, Isole Baleari, Spagna

Ses Illetes is certainly the best known of the beaches of Formentera and also one of the most splendid. It's a very long strip of sand located on the north of the island, within the Natural Park of Ses Salines de Eivissa y Formentera. It's so named for the various islets located in front of the coast: Illa de Tramuntana, Illa des Forn, Escull des Pou, Illa Redona and Escull d'en Palla, whose presence makes the beach landscape even more unique. Thanks to these islets, the beach of Ses Illetes is characterized by crystal clear and always calm waters that make it a paradisiacal landscape. If you are thirsty or hungry, there are guys who spend all day on the beach with fresh fruit and great drinks, otherwise there are various different style restaurants along the waterfront. Being a natural park, the surroundings are enclosed by dune protection areas but you can access them via walkways and you will find specific areas where you can park motorbikes and cars (to learn more about how to get around the island click here) . To access the natural park by car or motorbike, a small entrance fee must be paid, while access on foot and by bicycle is free.


  • May, 01-15 June, 16-30 September: cars 4€, motorbikes 2€

  • 16-30 June, 01-15 July, 01-15 September: cars 5€, motorbikes 3€

  • 16-31 July, August: cars 6€, motorbikes 4€

Espalmador is a beautiful islet located north of Ses Illetes, unspoiled and with white sand beaches and Caribbean waters. It's about 2 square kilometers in size and is the largest of the uninhabited islands of the Balearics. It can only be reached by boat (never cross Punta de Pas on foot, the very short sandy stretch - 50 m - that divides it from Formentera, because it is very dangerous due to strong currents). To visit Espalmador you can rent a boat or join the group day trips that depart from the port of La Savina. Ferries usually depart in high season between 10:15 and 11:45 and 1:15, with a stop off the coast of Ses Illetes. The return is scheduled for 16:15 / 17:30 or 18:45.

Ses Illetes is undoubtedly my favorite beach, definitely a must on your trip to Formentera, but beware: in high season, being one of the most beautiful, it's very crowded!

  • Cala Saona

Cala Saona, Formentera, Isole Baleari, Spagna

Cala Saona is another of my favorite beaches: unlike Ses Illetes, it's a cove, an inlet surrounded by red cliffs. To reach it, take the road that connects Sant Francesc to Cap de Barbaria and turn right when you find the marked deviation. The road is paved for the first part and continues on the dirt road, until you reach the parking lot on the cliff. From here on foot, in a few minutes you will reach the beach, enjoying a splendid view of the crystal clear waters of the cove. The beach is not very long but still beautiful wide, which is why it's often very crowded ... but do not despair, be patient and focus on the beauty of the place, you will not regret it. Cala Saona at sunset is a magical spectacle, it turns red, guaranteeing a magnificent experience so stay up late!

  • Caló d’es Morts

Calo d'es Morts, Formentera, Isole Baleari, Spagna

Despite the somewhat gloomy name, Caló d’es Morts is a real pearl of Formentera: certainly among the most beautiful beaches on the island. We are further south, on the opposite side of Ibiza: going towards El Pilar della Mola, on the long main road of the island, you will find it signposted on your right. Take the dirt road and leave your car or motorbike in front of the Hotel Riu La Mola: parking for motorbikes right on the beach front is no longer allowed. After a short walk you will arrive in what is surely the most beautiful cove in Formentera. Pay attention to the descent to the beach, it's a bit steep: I recommend you do it with closed shoes, no flip flops! Another tip: arrive early in the morning: the fame of this place attracts a lot of people in any period, so if you want to make sure you find a place you must notgo too late, also because the space is not much! Once here you will be rewarded for the early rising and the steep descent: Caló d’es Morts is of rare beauty! Make sure you include it in your itinerary, you won't regret it.

  • Platja de Migjorn

Platja de Migjorn, Formentera, Isole Baleari, Spagna

Platja de Migjorn is not the most beautiful in Formentera, although it's still very nice, but it's certainly the longest: 6 km of beach and a splendid blue sea. In some places there are some rocks, but the beach is certainly mostly sand. It's also called the midday beach because it faces south. It's usually divided into four parts: Ca Marí which is the closest to Sant Ferran, Migjorn which is the central part, Es Arenals which is the most touristic and is characterized by a very large beach both in terms of extension and depth, and finally Es Copinar which is the final part. Compared to the beaches we have seen so far, it's certainly the wildest and not always ideal for a relaxing day at the beach: in fact, depending on the winds and currents, the sea is quite rough and brings a lot of algae ashore. Usually I give it a go, if the conditions on this side are not the best, then it means that on the opposite side of the island it will be calmer. Luckily this part of the island is very narrow, so crossing it from one side to the other takes very little time!

  • Es Arenals

Es Arenals is an extension of Migjorn and is therefore very similar to the latter: very long, fine sand and a splendid blue sea. It's perhaps the busiest on the island and as in Migjorn it is full of bars and restaurants to take advantage of. It's the most crowded beach for families with children and tourists as it's certainly one of the most comfortable to reach. Here too the same goes for the nearby Migjorn: depending on the wind and the tide, the sea will be more or less rough.

  • Platja de Llevant

Platja de Llevant, Formentera, Isole Baleari, Spagna

Located in the north of Formentera, on the opposite side of the strip of sand that makes up Ses Illetes, we find Platja de Llevant. Here, too, we find fine white sand and a splendid sea, perhaps a little more rough than in Illetes, as it's not sheltered by the islets that characterize the other side of the strip of sand. This beach is also located within the Natural Park of Ses Salines de Eivissa y Formentera, surrounded by nature among the sand dunes: the entrance prices are the same as in Ses Lletes being the park itself, and access to the area. coincides.

  • Es Cavall d’en Borras

Es Cavall d'en Borras beach is the closest beach to the port of La Savina, and is located west of the salt flats. Also in this cove we find white sand and a beautiful turquoise sea with sandy and sloping bottoms. From here you can admire the uninhabited islets of Es Vedrà and Es Vedranell, offering a splendid panorama at sunset. To reach this beach you will also have to cross the typical dunes of Formentera, but unlike Ses Illetes and Es Arenales, the beach of Es Cavall d’en Borras is not within the natural park, so you will not have to pay the entrance. In this beach you will find Beso Beach, a restaurant (personally I do not consider it a chiringuito) very popular and certainly not very cheap. It's very famous for its bench with the words "no hay verano sin beso" (which it means "there is no summer without a kiss") which lends itself perfectly to great photos!

Es Cavall d'en Borras, Formentera, Isole Baleari, Spagna

Formentera's Chiringuitos

Kiosko Saona, Formentera, Isole Baleari, Spagna

The chiringuitos of Formentera are, immediately after the splendid beaches, the symbol of the island: spectacular happy hours on the beach in a relaxed and a bit hippie atmosphere, ideal to end a wonderful day at sea. For safety issues, they had been closed after last season, but a recent official communication has given the green light to the reconstruction of many of the most famous, which will therefore be operational again in mid-June 2022. So let's see the unmissable chiringuitos of Formentera that you absolutely must not miss!

  • Lucky - Playa de Migjorn

  • Piratabus - Playa de Migjorn

  • Chiringuito Bartolo - Playa de Migjorn

  • Kiosko62 - Playa de Migjorn, Ca Marí

The Blue Bar and Chezz Gerdi are often included among the chiringuitos of Formentera but honestly I don't feel like considering them as such. They are certainly among the most famous clubs on the island and are worth a visit, but I would certainly not call them chiringuitos. They are clubs and restaurants that are also suitable for a happy hour, but they do not have the classic structure of the beloved chiringuitos on the beach. To find out more about each of these chiringuitos click here for the full post on Formentera's Chiringuitos & Restaurants.

Formentera's Lighthouses

Formentera's Lighthouses are one of the symbols of the island, almost as famous as its beaches. There are 3 of them: the lighthouse of El Pilar de la Mola, Cap de Barbaria, and the lighthouse of La Savina. The first two are definitely my favorites and the ones that in my opinion you absolutely cannot fail to include in your itinerary in Formentera.

  • El Pilar de la Mola

El Pilar de la Mola, Formentera, Isole Baleari, Spagna

El Pilar de La Mola is located in the southernmost point of Formentera, just after the village El Pilar de la Mola, famous for its hippie market. With its 22 meters high, it's certainly one of the symbols of Formentera: you cannot visit the island without stopping by here. Since 2019, a museum with a related cultural space has been opened inside the lighthouse and hosts a permanent exhibition that illustrates the great importance of lighthouses in the islands as well as the history of Formentera and its close relationship with the sea. It's open every day, except Mondays, from 11 to 14 and from and from 17 to 21. The cost of admission is € 4.5. There is no a better time to visit the lighthouse but certainly, thanks to its orientation, it's the best place to watch the sunrise. I usually go there after a nice day at the beach on one of the beaches in the south of the island (Caló d’es Morts or Platja de Migjorn): I take a tour of the hippie market in El Pilar della Mola and head towards the lighthouse. If you don't suffer from vertigo, look out from the high cliffs: the spectacle of the sea breaking on the rocks is breathtaking.

El Pilar de la Mola, Formentera, Isole Baleari, Spagna
  • Cap de Barbaria

Cap de Barbaria, Formentera, Isole Baleari, Spagna

Exactly on the other end of the island from El Pilar della Mola, we find the splendid lighthouse of Cap de Barbaria. Lower than the first, it reaches 17 meters and faces the coasts of Africa. Cap de Barbaria is undoubtedly the best place to enjoy a sunset on the island of Formentera! I recommend that you calculate the times well and arrive half an hour before sunset, ideal with two beers to enjoy in front of this show. The Cap de Barbaria lighthouse is located beyond Cala Saona, proceeding to the end of the road: you will have to leave the vehicles before the metal bar and then continue by foot. Give it at least 20 minutes (2km) of walking to the lighthouse, and another 5-6 to the right towards the cliff from which to admire the sunset. The walk is particularly pleasant: you will walk immersed in nature, in an arid and very particular terrain, which is worthwhile in itself. Take into account the timing also on the way back: after sunset it gets dark in no time, we got to the motorbike just before it got completely dark!

Other places not to be missed in Formentera

  • Ses Salines

Ses Salines, Formentera, Isole Baleari, Spagna

The salt pans of Formentera date back to 1200 and in 1995 they were declared a Nature Reserve. This denomination also includes the salt flats of Ibiza and the islets that lie between the two islands. In Formentera, the salt pans area also includes two saltwater lagoons, Estany des Peix and Estany Pudent. The salt flats offer a splendid landscape to be discovered both on foot and by bicycle, thanks to the numerous paths that cross them: here you can admire many protected animal and plant species. The salt flats of Formentera can be visited all year round but if you want to see them in their famous pink color which makes them very scenic, you will have to go there at the end of the summer. It's in this moment that the crystallization of the salt takes place and, illuminated by the sun, they recreate that postcard color that made them famous.

  • El Pilar de la Mola - Fira Artesanal de la Mola

Mercatino Hippie El Pilar de la Mola, Formentera, Isole Baleari, Spagna

El Pilar de la Mola is a small town located in the southern part of the island, and it's the municipality that houses the El Pilar de la Mola lighthouse, which we talked about a little while ago. The village is tiny and is famous for its Fira Artesanal de la Mola, a very characteristic hippie market that is definitely worth a visit. Keep in mind that the La Mola market takes place only twice a week: every Wednesday and Sunday, from 4pm until late sunset! Here you will find groups playing live in the central square and it's ideal as a stop before going to the lighthouse. The market is not large, it consists of about fifty stalls where you will find handmade souvenirs by local artisans and some hippie veterans: jewels, costume jewelery, bags, paintings, ceramics, clothing and many products created with natural materials, from wood to stone, from leather to silver. The town does not offer much else, in addition to some interesting craft shops: I suggest you take a stroll on the main street while you are there and maybe have a quick aperitif in one of the bars present, to freshen up before proceeding. towards the lighthouse.

  • Sant Francesc Xavier

Sant Francesc Xavier is the capital of Formentera and the largest and oldest inhabited center on the island. It's definitely a charming village, with a warm and typically Mediterranean atmosphere. Here you will find the town hall and the main buildings of the island, as well as a small museum and the post office, but the square is the most beautiful and characteristic part, with its beautiful church of Sant Francesc and the delightful shops and bars. Definitely another obligatory stop to be included in your itinerary.

  • Es Pujols

Es Pujols is definitely the main tourist center of Formentera: here you will find many shops, restaurants, supermarkets, bars, car and motorbike rentals and holiday apartments for rent. Personally, it's always my first choice for accommodation: it's very convenient to reach everything on the island and allows me to go out often in the evening without having to travel - to find out where to stay in Formentera click here. One of the things to do absolutely in Es Pujols is to visit the market on the seafront, in front of a string of delicious restaurants: the market, run by artisans and hippies of the island, is open from 7pm until midnight, from May to October.

Es Pujols beach is very nice to be right in the town: frankly if I can move I much prefer the ones we talked about before, but it's a great alternative if you need to stay close to the town or you don't have any transport. In Es Pujols you will find a huge choice of restaurants where to dine, from Italian to typical Spanish cuisine and with a wide variety of prices. My favorites are the Cava, on the seafront in front of the market, the Bocasalina and the Casanita. A few steps from the center, on the beach you will also find the Chezz Gerdi.

READ ALSO: Restaurants and Chiringuitos in Formentera: the list of my favorite places in the Isla Bonita To find out more about the restaurants in Formentera, click here for the dedicated post. Finally, if you are looking for the Movida, Es Pujols is definitely the right place for you. Here you will find many places open from aperitifs until late at night: from 54 Formentera, the Ugly Box, Alma and many others, all concentrated in the so-called nightlife district. If you want to go dancing instead, you can choose between Pineta, in the center of Es Pujols, or the Tipic, just before the town.

Formentera, Isole Baleari, Spagna
Tramonto sulla strada per El Pilar de la Mola

Let's face it, Formentera lends itself well to whatever type of holiday you want to do: relaxing or full of fun and nightlife, surrounded by nature, as a couple, with family or friends ... there is something for everyone. Impossible not to love it or get tired of it. In fact, it definitely retains a special place in my heart, and I can't wait to go back. I hope I made you love her as I love her .. let me know! And if you need a hand in organizing your holiday, don't forget my mini guide with some useful information.


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