Formentera – the overlooked island

By | Category: Travel destinations

Readers have all heard of Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca. They know that these three are the Balearic islands but how many of you are aware of a fourth island – Formentera?

Formentera

Perhaps because there is no airport and you have to take a thirty-five minute ferry ride from Ibiza is why Formentera is often looked at as an afterthought – a place to take a day trip from Ibiza as a change from a bustling, tourist haunt.

In the last fifty years or so, the island has altered from a basically rural, self-sufficient economy to one that is more heavily reliant on tourism. But compared to the other islands in the Balearics, it is quieter and ideally suited for exploration by bike and walkers being just twenty kilometres at its longest distance.

The capital, Sant Francesc Xavier, has less than 3,000 residents so readers can see that the island isn’t overdeveloped. There is a regular craft market and a flea market opens every Sunday and that is where you will see the bargain hunters.

Yet it has 69 kilometres of beaches, beaches often protected from the ebullience of the weather by coves and inlets. Any number has shallow waters making them ideal for children and water activity learning.

And when you want a break from the beaches, you can explore the watchtowers and lighthouses. The four watchtowers were built as an early warning advice to let the inhabitants know about pirate vessels that plied their trade so that they could hide themselves and their valuables. Even the main church in the capital was initially built as a fortress and it certainly looks like it! That should attract youngsters and get them away from spending all day at the beaches!

In the villages, specialist open air markets appear especially throughout the summer like the one at Sant Ferran de Ses Roques which opens in the cool of the evenings to sell arts and crafts and the afternoon hippie market in the port of La Savina.

If you do hire a car to travel the few miles of the island (there are buses as well) be in for a surprise. There are more electric charging points than there are in the whole of my county which is twenty-five times the size of Formentera!

Whilst people may be queueing up to book holidays in Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca, the rush to Formentera is muted. And that could be the great benefit to readers.

There should be plenty of beach space, tables at the restaurants and cafes without having to get there early and the open spaces of a national park to explore at your leisure.

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