Formentera is a small island with a big fan base. Our blog writer finds out what makes it a cut above the average…
As part of my job I probably see around 100 beach shots a day. I know… tough gig, right? That means for me to be wowed, a sand-sea-sky combo has to be on another level. I’d heard whispers about Ibiza’s annexed island, Formentera, for a while, and – of course – seen countless photos, so it’s long been a front-runner on my travel wish-list. But nothing prepared me for seeing it first hand. Here’s why you should be making a beeline for this Eden-like idyll…
There were audible gasps when our group stepped over the sand dunes and Playa Illetes came in to view. Known as Formentera’s ‘fashion beach’ thanks to the A-list crowd it pulls in, this perfect curl of white sand is nudged by what can only be described as a ‘Listerine blue’ sea (other mint mouthwashes are available). We people-watched, took selfies in the shallows, and generally checked out the scene we’ll be committing to memory and reaching for on dreary January mornings.
Our lunch at Restaurante Maritim in the quaint resort of Es Pujols was hands down one of the best meals I’ve ever had. It could have had something to do with the epic pile of fresh-out-the-sea king prawns and muscles mingled with the type of spaghetti sauce that definitely didn’t come out of a jar. Or the fact that my husband shunned his usual ‘Joey doesn’t share food’ approach and let me tuck in to his (equally phenomenal) seafood pizza. Or the stunning view with the gentle strumming of Spanish guitar in the background. Basically, it was all of the above. A little slice of heaven.
If you’re hooked on hue, then Formentera was designed with you in mind. From the sun-bleached shutters adorning a café in Es Pujols, to the rainbow parasols dotted on the beaches, Formentera is teeming with colour. In fact, there were more shades of blue than our eyes knew what to do with. It’s no wonder its beaches were chosen as the location for that Bounty advert – essentially, we have the Caribbean on our doorstep. Without the 9-hour flight.
I love a coastline with charisma, and Es Pujol’s clutch of beaches delivers it in droves. Fishing boats peek out of rickety wooden huts that no doubt have a story to tell, and the whole bay has an intimate feel with its paved promenade snaking past bohemian cafés and bars. Formentera has a World Heritage listing, along with a ban on beachside construction, which means it’s as unspoilt as they come. My tip? Hire a bike and explore the off-road tracks that slide lazily round the island.
The boat ride to Formentera was an excursion in itself. We hopped on a glass-bottom boat at the end of Playa d’en Bossa beach and sped through the turquoise waves, skirting past the teeny island of Espalmador en route. The journey took 45 minutes, but who’s counting when there’s paradise found everywhere you look? When we eventually tore ourselves away from Ibiza’s little sister at the end of the day, we headed back to the mainland just as the early evening sun threw a marble effect across the sea. We couldn’t have planned it better.
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Author: El Berwick
Published: July 25, 2014
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