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Insider A to Z of Ibiza - F is for Formentera

The other island

As if living in Ibiza wasn't enough, just 30 minutes across the water by ferry lies an enchanting island. Paradise if you like. Already spoilt rotten with faultless beaches, azure seas and music in every nook and cranny, the fact that the island of Formentera is just a few kilometres away leaves us slightly embarrassed!

Perfectly merging tourism with a fierce protectiveness of the environment, the beauty of Formentera is unparalleled. There is an unwritten local rule - never refuse the chance to go to Formentera if it comes up. Within our busy lives, we often forget it is so close, so any opportunity to visit should never be passed up.

Formentera is only small, 12km long in fact, and if we have the chance to day trip it, you have to be wise in order to make the most of your day. So here's what the locals would do on a one-day stop, tried and tested to get maximum quality out of your visit...

Hire a scooter!

The best way to get around by far. Ridiculously cost effective, perfect for navigating smaller beach roads, easy to park and heaps of fun! There are numerous rental spots just by the ferry terminal at Puerto La Savina and all are much of a muchness. Pick up a ped for as little as €20 per day, grab a map from the hire company and get exploring!

A swim at Illetes

Head for the Northern tip of the island past the shimmering salt flats, park up your bike and set off over the rocks to the beautiful sand split that joins Formentera to Espalmador at the top of the wonderful Illetes beach. Sadly, the only way to reach the island of Espalmador itself is by boat, so if you're not lucky enough to own a yacht, you can catch the ferry from the port of Savinas. This will allow you to walk up to the pirate tower ‘Torre de Espalmador' and bathe in the crystal clear waters.

Lunch at Juan Y Andrea

Situated on the exquisite beach of Playa Illetas, Juan Y Andrea is an institution. Although regarded as a bit of a treat (expect to spend a bit more than usual here), it is certainly worth it. Born from a love story, the owners met when Juan was a fisherman and he set eyes on the beautiful Andrea when sailing in Formentera. They opened the restaurant together when this spot was only accessible by sea and from then on in, have continued to dish out lashings of love and seafood in this beautiful spot where the handsome waiting staff traverse the white sands barefoot. Splash out on the cava sangria and the Caldereta de Bogavante, or lobster stew and watch the rich, beautiful and bohemian come ashore from their yachts via the dinghy service. If you're only there for a day, then why the hell not!?

El Mirador

Head south on your moped after a brief siesta on the sand and a refreshing wake up swim for a coffee at El Mirador, the highest point of Formentera. The breathtaking panoramic view allows you to take in the island in its entirety and vistas stretch all the way across to Ibiza and the magical rock formation of Es Vedra. The proprietor boasts that if he had a penny for every photo taken here, he would be a billionaire!

El Tiburon for sunset

Head back down to the North Western side of the island to El Tiburon for a seriously mindblowing sunset experience. Accompanied by one of their signature (and remarkably strong) cocktails - the mojitos are definitely worth a mention - you can take in the magnificent sight of the sun disappearing over the top of Es Vedra across the blood-red sea. If you're feeling peckish again, the sharing and dipping plates offer a great filler. You can either park up under the wooden thatches and listen to the hustle and bustle of the relaxed crowd, or be led by the boardwalk down to the beach where you can take a paddle whilst the sun goes down on yet another day in Balearic paradise.

The journey home

After a day soaking in the unspoilt beauty that Formentera has to offer, take the time back on the ferry to reflect how damn lucky we are. You can only reach Formentera from Ibiza. And only by sea. It's a gift! And as you sail back to Ibiza Town with the wind in your hair and the colour warming your cheeks, the view of Dalt Vila rising from the rocks and giving off that unique welcoming glow can only put a big fat smile on your face...

Next week, G is for Gastronomy! Take a ride around the local's favourite island eateries for a mouthwatering food experience...

Insider A to Z of Ibiza

WORDS | Leena Sharma

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