Formentera is the smallest of Spain's Balearic Islands. Famous for its unique natural beauty and amazing beaches, this unspoiled Mediterranean paradise is an ideal destination for relaxing holidays. In our travel guide, you can find all the information you need about the island: how to get there, things to do, best beaches, most popular attractions, food recommendations and ferry schedules. Compare prices and buy your ferry ticket to Formentera on Ferryhopper at no extra cost.
Swimmers enjoy a sunny day at the heavenly beach of Caló d'Es Mort in Formentera
Vacation in Formentera
Formentera belongs to the Balearic Islands and is located south of Ibiza in the Mediterranean Sea. It is often referred to as Ibiza's "little sister," since it is just 30 minutes away by ferry from the popular island. Formentera is home to some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean - if not in the world - and it is well known for its stunning landscapes and turquoise waters. The island has a relaxed vibe and it is said that, along with Ibiza, it used to be a popular meeting point for hippies traveling from Europe to India.
The people of Formentera have been striving to protect the island's unique environment and to promote sustainable tourism. In 2019, the Council of Formentera introduced a limit on the number of vehicles allowed on the island in an effort to reduce traffic and pollution. Formentera is also trying to eliminate single-use plastics, support sustainable ways of living and raise environmental awareness amongst visitors. Since the island is small (only 19km long), you can easily explore it by bike and help protect the local environment at the same time. Nobody in Formentera is in a hurry, anyway!
How to get to Formentera
You can travel by ferry to Formentera from the ports of Dénia and Barcelona in mainland Spain. The port of Dénia is the one closest to the island, with the ferry ride taking about 2 hours. There are also several daily ferry crossings from Ibiza to Formentera, as the distance between the two islands is only 19km.
You can find more information about ferry schedules and tickets to Formentera here.
Things to do in Formentera
Since Formentera is famous for its gorgeous beaches, swimming and relaxing on the beach are two of the main activities on the island. But that is not all there is to Formentera. From beautiful little villages and impressive caves to old watchtowers and lighthouses, the island has plenty for you to discover. And when the night falls, head to the local bars and restaurants to have a drink and try Formentera's delicious cuisine!
Sounds exciting? Read on to find all you need to know about your trip to Formentera.
The impressive white sand and turquoise waters of Ses Illetes beach
Beaches in Formentera
Formentera's heavenly beaches are renowned for their white sand and amazing crystal-clear turquoise waters. Most of them can be easily reached by bike or on foot.
Our favorite beaches in Formentera are:
- Ses Illetes: voted as one of the best beaches in the world and located just 5km from the port of La Savina, Ses Illetes is one of the most popular beaches in Formentera. The shallow turquoise waters and fine white sand create a truly spectacular landscape. The beach is ideal for kids and has several facilities for visitors, such as beach bars, restaurants and shops. Since Ses Illetes is quite long, you can find spots without overcrowding, while some parts are also nude-friendly.
- Levante or Llevant: located on the east side of the peninsula of Es Trucadors, this is a long beach with beautiful sand dunes. It is quiet and nude-friendly, but the strong winds can create currents and waves.
- Cala Saona: this small picturesque cove on the west coast of Formentera is ideal for swimming, snorkeling and other water activities. The sandy beach has sunbeds and umbrellas, and offers a beautiful view of the sunset.
- Es Pujols: this long sandy beach is located in the north, next to the popular tourist resort of Es Pujols. It is ideal for families and has several amenities, such as umbrellas, water sports facilities and restaurants. Es Pujols beach is also wheelchair-friendly, with a ramp that allows visitors with disabilities easy access to the water.
- Migjorn: this is the longest beach in Formentera, stretching for over 4km along the island's south coast. The sandy beach has beautiful blue waters, white and golden sand, as well as beach clubs and chiringuitos (small bars selling mainly drinks and tapas). Migjorn beach is also nude-friendly.
- Caló d'Es Mort: this stunning small cove is located on the easternmost part of Migjorn beach and can get quite busy in the summer. To reach Caló d'Es Mort, you will have to go down some steps carved into the rock. The beach doesn't have shade or any amenities, so make sure that you carry water, food and an umbrella. The fishermen's picturesque wooden boathouses add to the beauty of the landscape.
- Es Arenals: located on the south coast of Formentera, this beautiful sandy beach is one of the busiest on the island. It has several amenities for visitors, including a diving and windsurfing school. The beach bar Pirata Bus serves great mojitos, which you can drink while watching the gorgeous sunset.
Tip: we recommend going for a day trip to S'Espalmador, an uninhabited little island with amazing beaches next to Formentera. To get there, take the small La Bahía ferry from the port of La Savina.
Sightseeing in Formentera
Formentera has a long history and according to the archaeological evidence, it was first inhabited in 2000 BCE. The island has many sites that are worth visiting and due to its small size, it is easy to explore even by bike.
Some of the best things to see during your vacation in Formentera are:
- the impressive lighthouses in La Mola in the east and in Es Cap de Barbaria in the southwest
- the island's beautiful caves
- the still-functioning old windmill in La Mola (Molí Vell de La Mola)
- the megalithic tomb in Ca na Costa, the largest prehistoric monument on the island
- the 18th-century Punta Prima and Sa Gavina defensive towers on the north coast (Torre de sa Punta Prima and Torre de Sa Gavina)
- the Terramoll and Es Cap de Barbaria wineries for wine-tasting
The lighthouse in Es Cap de Barbaria surrounded by a gorgeous landscape
Nightlife in Formentera
While nightlife in Formentera is quieter than Ibiza's, it is still exciting and fun. You can start your evening by watching the sunset while sipping a cocktail at one of the island's several beach bars. Later on, head to the village of Es Pujols, a popular tourist resort and the center of Formentera's nightlife. There, you can party until morning at some of the best bars and nightclubs on the island. Formentera's capital, Sant Francesc Xavier, has a more relaxed athmosphere, with live jazz gigs every Saturday night.
Food in Formentera
Like in all the Balearic Islands, Formentera's cuisine is delicious and full of Mediterranean flavors. If you are visiting Formentera during the summer, make sure that you book a table in advance, as restaurants can get quite busy. We recommend going to the restaurant El Mirador to enjoy a truly spectacular view of the sea.
Some local dishes and delicacies that you should definitely try are:
- ensalada payesa (lettuce salad with sun-dried salted fish, pepper and onion)
- frit de pop (fried octopus)
- allioli (sauce with garlic, olive oil and salt)
- sobrassada and botifarra (or butifarra, traditional Balearic sausages)
- goat cheese
- thyme and rosemary honey
- xereques (dried figs)
- flaó (type of cheesecake with goat or sheep cheese)
- herbal liqueurs (usually served on ice)
Villages in Formentera
With their small squares, picturesque churches and Mediterranean architecture, Formentera's villages are ideal for leisurely walks - especially since most of them have been fully or partially pedestrianized. Enjoy your drink at the charming café-bars, try the mouthwatering local cuisine, shop at the artisan market and marvel at the panoramic views!
Ferryhopper suggests visiting the following villages in Formentera:
- Es Caló de San Agustí, a small fishing village surrounded by a pine forest
- Sant Francesc Xavier, the capital of Formentera with the historic Sa Tanca Vella chapel
- Es Pujols, a popular tourist resort with an exciting nightlife
- Sant Ferran de ses Roques, where several music-related events take place in the summer
- El Pilar de la Mola, a peaceful village with an amazing view of the island
The picturesque fishing village of Es Caló de Sant Agustí
Useful information about Formentera
Formentera does not have an airport, so the only way to reach the island is by ferry. The capital and largest village is Sant Francesc Xavier (or Sant Francesc de Formentera), which is located only 3.5km from the ferry port of La Savina (about 5 minutes by car or 15 minutes by bike). In Sant Francesc Xavier, you will find most of the island's supermarkets, mini markets, ATM machines, shops, restaurants and cafés as well as a pharmacy and a hospital. The port of La Savina and the villages of Es Pujols and Sant Ferran de ses Roques also have several amenities for visitors.
As for accommodation, there are some hotels in Es Pujols, while you will also find hostels, studios and bungalows close to the island's most popular beaches. Formentera does not have any campsites and camping is not permitted on the island.
Important phone numbers for your stay in Formentera
Here are some useful contacts to keep handy when you travel to Formentera:
- emergency number for Ibiza and Formentera: 112
- La Savina tourist information office: +34971322057
- Sant Francesc Xavier tourist information point: +34971323620
- Es Pujols tourist information office: +34971328997
- Formentera Hospital: +34971321212
- pharmacy in Sant Francesc Xavier: +34971322419
- pharmacy in Es Pujols: +34971328663
- pharmacy in Sant Ferran de ses Roques: +34971328004
- pharmacy in Es Caló de Sant Agustí: +34971327398
- local police: 092 / +34971322201
- taxi services: +34971322342
- sea taxi services: +34609847116 / +34629158664 / +34607188981
- public bus services (Autocares Paya): +34971323181
- Balearic Islands Port Authority (port of La Savina): +34971322130
Transportation in Formentera
In 2019, the Council of Formentera introduced legislation that limits the number of motor vehicles allowed on the island. The objective of this initiative is to protect the local economy and environment, and build awareness regarding the importance of supporting sustainable tourism. The restrictions apply from the end of June until the beginning of September and in order to transport, drive and park your vehicle on the island during that time, you have to apply for a permit. For more information, please visit the Formentera Eco website.
To get around in Formentera, you can use public transport. There are regular bus services connecting the port to the island's beaches and villages throughout the year, with frequency increasing in the summer. There is also a tourist bus route (L3) that connects La Savina, Ses Illetes and Es Pujols from mid-May till the end of October. Formentera also has taxi and sea taxi services.
Alternatively, you can get around the small island by bike, as it is quite flat and the roads have bike lanes. You can bring your own bicycle on the ferry or rent from one of the many bike rental shops. If you prefer to explore Formentera by car, the island has several car rentals, most of which are located at the port and in Es Pujols. Bear in mind that to access some beaches with a car or motorbike, you will have to pay a small fee.
Sailing boats in the crystal blue waters of Cala Saona in Formentera
Ports in Formentera
Formentera has one ferry port in La Savina on the north coast of the island. Located about 3.5km from Sant Franscesc Xavier, it is connected to the capital and the island's villages and beaches with regular bus services. The port of Formentera has a passenger terminal with a café that offers panoramic views of the coast of Formentera and Ibiza.
Island hopping from Formentera
From Formentera, you can easily get to Ibiza, as there are regular ferry connections between the two islands and the shortest journey takes only 25 minutes. You can also travel by ferry from Formentera to Mallorca. The route is usually served daily and trip duration is about 3.5 hours.
On Ferryhopper's Map of ferries, you can see all the available ferry routes from Formentera, so that you can easily organize your island hopping in the Balearics.
Formentera ferry: schedules and tickets
You can take the ferry to Formentera from Ibiza, as the distance between the two islands is very small and the duration of the shortest trip is only 25 minutes.
From mainland Spain, you can travel to Formentera by ferry either from the port of Dénia or from the port of Barcelona. Dénia is located in the southeast of Spain, between the cities of Valencia and Alicante, while Barcelona is in the northeast.
More specifically, the ferry routes from mainland Spain to Formentera are the following:
- Dénia - Formentera: there are usually at least 7 weekly ferry crossings from Dénia to Formentera and the duration of the trip is around 2 hours.
- Barcelona - Formentera: the ferry route is normally served 3-6 times per week and the journey from Barcelona to Formentera takes about 11.5 hours.
Find all available ferry schedules and compare prices for ferry tickets to Formentera at a glance on Ferryhopper!
Where to book ferry tickets online to Formentera
Book cheap ferry tickets to Formentera on Ferryhopper with no hidden fees! Compare departure times, discounts and prices, and organize your trip to the Balearic Islands with just 4 clicks.