Best Place to Stay in Formentera by Areas and Hotels
If you’re wondering where to stay in Formentera Spain, or where is the best area to stay in Formentera, you’re in the right place. In this article, I will give an insight into the best places to stay in Formentera for first-time visitors, couples, families, backpackers, all budget travelers; read on as I show you the best of Formentera.
Formentera is the smallest of the Balearic Islands off Spain’s Mediterranean Coast. It is a ferry ride south of Ibiza and on arrival, tourists will immediately feel a more relaxed atmosphere than on that ‘’party island.’’ With no airport and a permanent population of not many more than 10,000, it is unlikely that it will ever really change.
Tips for choosing Best Places to Stay in Formentera
Formentera does get busy in the height of summer and it is a favorite place for Italians. If you want to find somewhere to stay, you will have to book in advance. Package holiday makers have done that but independent travelers need to plan in advance.
Accommodation tends to be clean and basic, small, and largely independently owned; high rise building is forbidden. There are apartments available for holiday rent as an alternative to hotels.
Where to Stay in Formentera Spain – 8 Best Areas
Some visitors to Formentera are only day trippers. They are missing something because the Island not only has fine beaches and lovely waters but its cuisine is wonderful. It is the Mediterranean at its best with seafood especially fresh and special. The question is where you should stay on Formentera.
Tourists to Formentera come to enjoy its beaches and the activities that this small island offers. These include sailing and snorkeling, cycling, and walking. Even though the season is relatively short, the revenue that tourism brings is essential to the Island’s economy.
Some locals are fishermen but tourism sustains the Island. It is small so getting around is no real problem but there are still distinct areas that you should look at before booking your accommodation. You can take a hire car across to Formentera but booking the ferry in advance is once again essential. Otherwise, there are buses taking people around the Island, largely tourist-orientated so there is room for luggage.
So, Where is the best area to stay in Marrakech? In this section, take a look at these 8 areas to get a feel for Formentera and believe that a decision to spend time on Formentera is a good one.
Where to Stay in Formentera Spain – 8 Best Areas
- Es Pujols – Best Area for Nightlife
- Platja Migjorn – Best Area for Family
- Es Calo – Best Area for Quiet Holiday
- La Savina – Best Area to See the rest of Island
- La Mola – Best Area for Shopping and Sightseeing
- San Ferrán de ses Roques – Best Area for Local Feel
- Cala Saona – Best Area for Water Sport
- Sant Francesc Xavier – Best Area for History Buffs
Where to Stay in Formentera Map
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1. Es Pujols – Best Area for Nightlife
Es Pujols on the north east coast of Formentera is the only actual resort on the Island. As a result, it is the area that is most frequently offered for package holidays. The ferry from Ibiza docks at La Savina on the north west coast but it is just a short transfer to Es Pujols.
Es Pujols differs from most resorts worldwide in that it is both calm and elegant. You will even find it easy to get to know locals and the advantages that can produce.
There is a lovely white beach, tree-lined avenues, a resort reminiscent of a little village. That said, you will find plenty of market stalls, a great choice of cafes, and plenty of accommodation alternatives.
The restaurants overlooking the beach and those in the streets behind are known for their delicious cuisine, Mediterranean style. Es Pujols is the top place for nightlife on the Island with plenty of lively bars in the narrow streets behind the beach. Many places are open until the very early hours so you may make a late start each morning.
However, by day, many tourists can enjoy a range of water sports with kayaks for rent and sailing tours are very popular.
YOU SHOULD STAY HERE IF:
- You enjoy staying close to the beach to enjoy water sports or simply to relax.
- You want a good choice of accommodation, both hotels, and apartments
- You are looking for the best nightlife available on the Island
2. Platja Migjorn – Best Area for Family
The southern coast of Formentera has a three mile stretch of lovely sandy beaches. Each beach is separated from the next with small coves and rocky sections. Each stretch of sand has a given name, and there are good access points to each. From west to east, they are Mal Pas, Es Ca Mari, Es Raco Fondo, Es Codol Foradat, Es Valencians, Es Arenals, and Es Copinar.
This area is not as busy as some other parts of Formentera so it is possible to avoid crowds even on such a relatively small island. Some of the beaches are better for swimming than others because of their sandy seabeds. There three to look at first are Es Copinar, Es Arenals, and Ca Mari.
Tourists have a choice of accommodation down in the south varying from apartments to hotels, many small family concerns. You can expect cozy bars on the beach and lovely seafood on restaurant menus. This is a part of the Island that the locals frequent in numbers.
Platja Migjorn is probably the first area that families should look to if they intend to stay in Formentera. The sea is shallow for youngsters, and most beaches are sheltered most of the holiday season.
YOU SHOULD STAY HERE IF:
- You are looking for the best place on Formentera for a family holiday
- You want to avoid the most crowded parts of the Island
- You love intimate bars and fresh seafood
3. Es Calo – Best Area for Quiet Holiday
Es Calo is a small fishing village in the south east of Formentera. There is a natural harbor in the shape of a horseshoe. Anyone who visits Es Calo cannot fail to be impressed by what they see. There are only a few houses but more importantly for visitors, there are several good restaurants.
Each seems to have its own speciality. Seafood is an obvious favorite and it is as fresh as it comes. The paella has its own unique ingredients while grilled meat is a regular as well. You can enjoy any of these dishes while looking out onto the beautiful Mediterranean.
The beaches and coves are a great place to relax, sunbathe and swim. If you go snorkeling, you will be rewarded by the colorful marine life on view. Best of all, in Es Calo, you will avoid any crowds.
If you are interested in the Island’s history, you will find Roman remnants nearby. Es Calo was the main port in Roman times, and hence the best protected district on Formentera. Can Blai is an old Roman chapel while there is a cobbled street that heads to the nearby village of El Pilar de la Mola.
YOU SHOULD STAY HERE IF:
- You are looking for somewhere relatively quiet with a local flavor.
- You want to sample fresh seafood
- You are happy to spend some time away from the beach involving history or culture.
4. La Savina – Best Area to See the rest of Island
You arrive on Formentera from Ibiza in the small ferry port of La Savina. This is also where you will see the marina with impressive luxury yachts whose owners are sailing the West of the Mediterranean.
Bars, cafes, and restaurants line the harbor itself. In addition, during the tourist season, there are numerous stalls selling everything from clothing and jewelry to artisan goods and souvenirs in general. Your eyes may be drawn by the lovely views back to Ibiza or to the small isle of Es Vedra.
Visitors can hire scooters, cars or just cycles at the harbor and there are a couple of supermarkets for those wanting to shop before heading to their accommodation. La Savina is a great base for those holidaying on Formentera because it has good connections with all parts of the Island.
Additionally, two of Formentera’s best beaches, Playa Illetes and Playa de Levante are closeby. You can get a ferry to the former, or walk although it is not advisable on hot summer days.
YOU SHOULD STAY HERE IF:
- You are looking for a good base with connections to the rest of the Island
- You are traveling independently and want to hire some form of transport
- You enjoy a nautical atmosphere and the feeling of exclusivity that yachtsmen tend to create.
- You want accommodation close to where you arrive, and where you will finally depart from at the end of your holiday.
5. La Mola – Best Area for Shopping and Sightseeing
Perched on top of the highest point of the island in the east, The little village of Pilar de la Mola is located at the highest point on the Island. You will find it in the east of Formentera and there are lovely views of the whole island from La Mola.
Life is slow here but that is not to say there is nothing to do. The village has a main street where you will have plenty of choices when it comes to bars and restaurants.
An artisan market is held here twice a week through the weeks of summer. There are a number of things that tourists can buy to remind them of their holiday. They include paintings by local artists, jewelry, leather goods, ceramics, and other craftwork. The Markets are held on Wednesdays and Sundays between and including May and October.
You can enjoy live music at the market while much of the artisan work is sold in small shops every day of the week during summer.
One landmark to visit while you are here is La Mola lighthouse on the steep cliff 400 feet above the Mediterranean. It is just a short distance out of the village and you should certainly take your camera to capture views of both the Island and the Mediterranean.
YOU SHOULD STAY HERE IF:
- You are looking for a slow pace of life on your holiday
- You enjoy shopping with the chance of buying something unique to your holiday destination
- You are keen on photography and want the best views on Formentera.
6. San Ferrán de ses Roques – Best Area for Local Feel
While most tourists on a small island seeking to get accommodation on the beach, that is not the only option. The village of San Ferran de ses Roques is in the center of Formentera. In the middle of this lovely village, you will find the main square that contains its 18th Century Church. Its exterior is sandstone and mostly unpainted.
The Square is at the heart of the action, especially at night. Restaurants, bars and the lively night market with its music see the village come to life. The Market is held 5 days a week, excluding Wednesday and Sunday from May to October inclusive. You will find a fine range of artisan goods, paintings, sculptures, etc.
San Ferran found fame as a hippy destination over half a century ago and its informality has existed ever since. The countryside surrounding San Ferran contains vineyards and farmhouses. If you want a quiet time, this is a village for you with a day in nearby Es Pujols providing a contrast. Vice versa applies as well.
The village is popular with visitors looking for budget hostels or apartments. Small shops will provide all the supplies that those self-catering might need.
YOU SHOULD STAY HERE IF:
- You are not concerned about a beach location
- You want to get a flavor of local life and culture
- You enjoy the nightlife without noisy clubs and late nights
7. Cala Saona – Best Area for Water Sport
The main choice that tourists have if they want to stay on Formentera’s West Coast is Cala Saona. It has the only sandy beach amongst the coastline’s cliffs. The beach itself is small and surrounded by cliffs.
If your starting point is La Savina, you will find a route southwards to get to Cala Saona through pine forests. Alternatively, take the road from Sant Francesc towards Cap de Barbaria and turn-off west, halfway down the road to the west. Where the tarmac ends, you will find a car park and beach access.
A hotel will come into view so staying here is certainly an option and the wide beach is one reason why you might want to do that. It is one of the Island’s most popular beaches despite its location with the sheltered aspect a huge advantage. Perhaps the lovely sunset helps?
You can enjoy water sports down here, ranging from snorkeling and paddle surfing to rowing boats and kayaks. Take local advice because there are some underground caves well worth exploring.
YOU SHOULD STAY HERE IF:
- You are looking for a remote location
- You enjoy water sports, especially exploring marine life and everything that is under the waves
- You want a slower pace of life with plenty to do when you want activity.
8. Sant Francesc Xavier – Best Area for History Buffs
The Island’s capital is no more than an inland village really, Sant Francesc Xavier, commonly referred to like San Francisco. Its heart is the main square with its 18th Century Church from which the Capital takes its name and white painted houses. The Church is impressive by day and even more so by night when it is floodlit.
It is a pleasure just to walk around or sit and watch life go by. There are plenty of good restaurants in the side streets off the square and shoppers will find plenty to attract them. Restaurant prices tend to be lower than in the restaurants that look out onto the Mediterranean.
At night, Sant Francesc has a buzz with locals mixing with tourists during the summer season.
Those interested in culture should visit the Ethnographic Museum on Calle Jaume I where they will see what life might have been like centuries ago. Exhibits include tools and utensils, clothing, and furniture. The Ajuntament Vell Exhibition Centre in the Square holds regular exhibitions of both local and international artists.
If you head to Formentera in June, you can expect outdoor concerts and the Island’s annual Jazz Festival. A craft market is held each day between May and October
YOU SHOULD STAY HERE IF:
- You are interested in local history and culture
- You prefer a location away from the busy beaches
- You want a good choice of restaurants
- Where to Stay in Formentera with a Family?
- Where to Stay in Formentera for the First Time
- Where to Stay in Formentera for Nightlife
- Where to Stay in Formentera for Couples
- How to Get to Formentera?
- How to Get around Formentera?
- Best Things to Do and See in Formentera
- Best Places to Eat in Formentera
- Best Time to Visit Formentera?
Where to Stay in Formentera with a Family?
Children love beach holidays and that is certainly available on this small island. Because of its size, it can be crowded especially during school holiday times. Es Pujols is the only real resort on the Island so many packages holidays are focussed on this area.
You may have little choice if you book a package holiday than to go to Es Pujols which to be fair has every facility a holiday maker needs. However, if you are traveling at peak times and want to avoid crowds where possible, it may be better to look at Platja Migjorn in the south to see what is available.
Where to Stay in Formentera for the First Time
If you are not familiar with a holiday destination, you are likely to choose a place that has a good tourist infrastructure. You will want links to other places of interest nearby. In the case of Formentera, nowhere is too far away.
The resort of Es Pujols is the place where many package holidays are available so it is a logical choice for newcomers to Formentera. Having said that, unless you are traveling as a family and want a coastal location, both Sant Francesc and Sant Ferran have plenty to offer other than sea and sand.
La Savina where you will disembark from Ibiza is also good because of its links to other parts of the Island.
Where to Stay in Formentera for Nightlife
A similar thing applies to tourists looking for good nightlife. El Pujols caters for tourists and that means plenty of action with places staying open until the early hours. To a lesser extent, you can look at La Savina, Sant Ferran and Sant Francesc are the largest places on the Island.
Where to Stay in Formentera for Couples
Couples whose priority on holiday is beach parties, clubbing, and drinking until the early hours will not pick Formentera. They may head to the Balearics but they will find far more action on Ibiza, Majorca, and Minorca.
Formentera is an island where couples are more likely to want to enjoy water sports and enjoy fine cuisine. They may prefer to avoid crowds on the whole. Do that, they may not pick July or August for their holidays unless their work demands that.
Cycles, scooters, and cars are available for hire so nowhere is too far away on Formentera but how is this for an idea? Cala Saona is quiet yet its beach and interesting water sports offer plenty to do by day. Relaxing with a dinner including fresh seafood at Cala Saona could be the perfect holiday.
If Cala Saona sounds too quiet there are the lovely sands in the south of Formentera that Platja Migjorn can provide.
How to Get to Formentera?
There is no airport on Formentera and it is unlikely that there ever will be. Visitors to Formentera need to take a ferry from Ibiza just to the north for the journey of just over half an hour to the ferry port of Formentera, La Salina. Ferries run to Ibiza from the Spanish mainland or alternatively, tourists can fly direct into Ibiza.
Visitors wanting a holiday on the Island come almost exclusively between May and October when there are ferries throughout the day. Outside those months, there are still ferries but they are far less frequent so it is important to check timetables..
How to Get around Formentera?
You can hire a car on Formentera if you wish. It is such a small island that in some ways that is a waste. Indeed, you can bring a car over by ferry but you will have to book well in advance to get a space. There are plenty of buses going around the Island, linking the villages. They tend to be tourist-orientated so you will find luggage space if you choose a bus to transfer to your accommodation. Scooters and cycles are available to hire if you wish to explore from the base that you choose.
Best Things to Do and See in Formentera
Most people who decide on a holiday on the Island of Formentera do so to enjoy the lovely beaches, the crystal clear waters and the hours of sunshine. To that extent Formentera has plenty of competition in the Mediterranean. Indeed, the larger Balearic Islands spring to mid immediately.
You need to make an effort to get to Formentera; you cannot just fly in. The regular ferries from Ibiza will take you there whether you have flown into Ibiza Airport or got a ferry from the Spanish Mainland. Once there, most tourists want to be by the coast, but there is more to Formentera than that.
The two main large villages inland, the Capital, Sant Francesc Xavier and Sant Ferran are places where you can meet the locals. Evidence of the history and culture of Formentera is there as you walk around their narrow streets. Both have 18th Century churches to enjoy.
While many of the beaches are busy in high season, you can hire a cycle or scooter to explore the Island with its many trails and pine forests.
The cuisine on the Island is good and varied. Mediterranean food is obvious, as is seafood on many menus. You can expect the best of Catalan dishes, fine tapas but also plenty of Italian favorites. The Italians are by far the largest nationality visiting Formentera.
You have a choice when it comes to watersports. Kayaking, sailing, and snorkeling are all great experiences in Formentera’s warm waters. The marine life and underground caves are an added attraction.
Best Places to Eat in Formentera
There are many good places to eat on Formentera for lunch and dinner. Here are some ideas in each of the areas described above.
Cala Saona: Restaurante Es Cap serves a wide range of Mediterranean cuisine as well as some other European favorites
La Savina: Quimera Restaurant will satisfy anyone who loves Mediterranean food.
Platja Migjorn: Restaurante La Fragata has a seafront setting and serves the freshest of seafood each day
Es Calo: Caterina specializes in Italian and Mediterranean and its menu includes many seafood dishes
- Sti Cactus in Formentera’s only resort caters for tourists keen on grills and fast food, its burgers being a great idea.
- Carmen Restaurant by Blanco serves fine Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine with plenty of vegetarian and vegan alternatives
La Mola: Can Carol offers Mexican and American cuisine
Sant Francesc Xavier
- Restaurante Casbah specializes in Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine and has plenty that will appeal to vegetarians and vegans
- Casadela Cantina y Pescado serves fine Italian and seafood dishes
- S’Abeurada de Can Simonet is your place for tapas and Catalan favorites, a great place for lunch
Sant Ferran de ses Roques
- La Marittanea is a fine restaurant specializing in seafood. Try the local paella as just one recommendation.
- Quartieri Spagnoli’s Italian food is delicious and booking is rarely necessary.
Best Time to Visit Formentera?
It is not just climate that dictates the best time to visit Formentera. It is also a matter of supply and demand. Outside the months between May and October, access is more difficult. The Island of Formentera is geared to the many tourist weeks of summer and to an extent reverts back to the quiet life outside those months.
The weather can certainly be very pleasant in the springtime while mid-winter is generally far nicer than parts of Europe to the north. However, although the larger Balearic Islands do get numbers visiting in the winter, that is not really the case on Formentera.
If you are restricted to school holiday times to take your annual break, you may have to pick July and August. This is when Formentera is at its busiest and most expensive. You will also not find accommodation at the last minute. The beaches will be very crowded, the roads very busy and the best restaurants full without a booking.
Given no restraints on when you can take your holiday, May and June, and then September and October are far better alternatives. You may even be able to look for a last-minute booking during those months and be successful.
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Formentera does not receive as much attention as the larger Balearic Islands when it comes to selecting somewhere to go on holiday. The Italians know about it, and obviously the Spanish but it has yet to reach a wider audience.
Its size is a limiting factor but there are several positives that make it worth investigating if you want a holiday on the Mediterranean. While there is no airport, ferry connections with Ibiza are quick and regular through the months between May and October.
The sandy beaches are lovely, and plentiful. Water sports and equipment are available at many of them. You can enjoy swimming and snorkeling, catch the sun’s rays and just relax. The choice is yours. There are some elements of history and culture, largely in the two inland villages, Sant Francesc and San Ferran. Both are worth a visit to absorb local life.