Like pretty much every human on the planet I try to extend summer for as long as plausibility possible. Searching for cheap airfares during the middle of winter to warmer climates is pretty much my favourite past-time.
I also blame the fact that as autumn hits Europe, my entire Facebook feed is filled with smug status updates and photos of barbecues and trips to the beach from everyone back home. Even if I wanted escape summer (I don’t), I can’t.
This year we decided to squeeze the very last out of summer via the sunny Spanish isle that is Formentera. You come to this tiny island ( 83.24 square km to be exact) for pretty much one thing only; extreme relaxation. It’s mellow, the beaches are ridiculously good looking and it’s 30 degrees even in October.
There’s no airport on Formentera, so you’ll need to fly to Ibiza then take a bus or taxi to the port and jump on a fast ferry – which takes about 35 minutes and departs every half hour or so. No need to book in advance, just purchase a return ticket as the port which entitles you to a trip back to Ibiza on whatever day you want.
The Dreamiest Beach
Playa des Illetes is the stuff postcards are made of. It’s by far the most popular beach on the island, but it’s so damn beautiful it’s worth joining the hoards of holiday makers. Or if you go on the cusp of the season (May/June or Sept/Oct) you’ll easily find a quiet spot to yourself.
There are plenty of sun loungers, umbrellas and food options along the beach, although be warned not only is this the tiniest Balearic island, it’s by far the most expensive. Expect to pay a price for the epic views at any of the beach-front restaurants.
The Best Tapas
The restaurant and cafe scene is understandably traditional on Formentera; if I wanted green juices/craft beers I’d be heading to London or New York. Although that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of incredible Mediterranean food to be had. Our favourite tapas spot was S’Abeurada de Can Simonet in the white-washed town of Sant Francesc Xavier. Fresh, intensely flavoursome with plenty of options even for a vege (which I’ll admit can often be trying in Spain).
S’Abeurada de Can Simonet, Carrer des Pla del Rei, Sant Francesc Xavier
The Not-So-Secret Swim Spot
Hardly a secret, but definitely less frequented than other beaches due to the rocky access road, Calo Des Mort is a sheltered little cove with crystal clear waters and impressive views. Although I did get my very first jelly fish sting here – which, after some quick Googling I can tell you that Monica, Chandler and Joey’s remedy is in-fact not the answer.
The Relaxed Watering Hole
There are endless options when it comes to beachfront drinking spots – from Instagram-worthy cocktails to BYO beers on the sand. Our favourite spot was a little beachfront shack, the very aptly named Kiosko 62. It doesn’t get more basic than this – but that’s kind of the point right? Friendly locals, a slow pace and cold drinks right on the waters edge.
Kiosko 62, Camino de Can Simonet I
For A Light Lunch
There comes a time when you can’t face another paella or plate of bravas, and Ca Na Pepa is the ideal antidote. Avocado on toast, fresh salads hearty enough to be an actual meal, ample vegetarian options and even eggs bene if you’re in the mood. Their outdoor courtyard is also Instagram-friendly (it’s all about the ‘gram right) with cacti and bougainvillea a plenty.
Ca Na Pepa, Plaza de la Constitucion, 5, 07860 San Francisco Javier
Where To Stay
This is a tricky one as there’s no a huge amount of options on Formentera and everyone I’ve spoken to recommends finding a friend of a friend who has a place there. But if you don’t know anyone who has a place on Formentera (I don’t?!), fear not. We stayed at Apartmentos Estel – a freshly renovated self contained apartment was thoughtfully decorated, budget friendly and most importantly a 2 minute walk to the beach. There are a couple of lovely boutique hotels in Sant Francesc Xavier but to be honest if I’m on a tiny Mediterranean island I want to be a stones throw away from the beach.
Apartamentos Estel, Camí de Can Simonet I, 8, 07871 Platja de Migjorn
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