Formentera is the island next door.
The voyage itself from Barcelona to Formentera was a nice preview of what was in store, as the top deck of the boat transformed into an outdoor dance floor that was occupied for the entirety of the eight hour ride. After arriving, we adjusted quickly to the island lifestyle: hanging poolside or at the beach by day, staying out all night (and morning), and then doing it all over again. Clubs with capacities for 10,000 people, foam parties and nonstop dancing, Ibiza is everything it’s touted to be. While all these elements make for an undoubtedly exciting vacation, this lifestyle can get a little exhausting.
Luckily, we had the opportunity to get away for a day to the small, neighboring island of Formentera. Just forty minutes south of Ibiza by boat, Formentera is a mere 12 square miles long, with a population of 10,000. Pleasantly intimate, the island entreats you to explore its of scenic trails and pristine beaches. Dozens of shops are ready to rent you bikes, mopeds, and cars to help you get around the island. You can also take on the island by foot; Formentera’s abundance of flat terrain and navigable paths make it extremely hiker friendly. My friends and I went for the bikes, which for the day were 5 euro, a small price to pay for all the sites we would uncover. After a little pedaling under the warm Formenterian sun, we found the perfect beach, where a sea of cream colored sand laid against the vivid, turquoise water.
Now one thing that has always struck me is how blue the Mediterranean Sea is. I first observed this during my visits to the Barcelona beaches, and then again when we uncovered the beaches of Ibiza. Nothing, however, would prepare me for Formentera, home to the most strikingly blue and brilliant water I’ve ever seen. You could see your own feet as you stood in the water, and the clarity with which you could observe the marine life benath you was incredible. We even spotted jellyfish, bobbing along the ocean floor with their translucent, pinkish bodies (cool sight, but swim away fast!). Because the beaches of Formentera are still fairly untouched, the sand even appeared pearly and clean, free from litter and the dirty tinge of gray that many big beaches suffer from.
And though there were other people around us, the mutual feeling of tranquility made it feel like our own, private resort. Almost everyone seemed relaxed into the soft, pillowy sand, taking in the gradient of clear to turquoise to deep blue. The magnificent waters and views of islands in the distance make Formentera’s beaches a perfect backdrop for your very own, shameless photo shoot. There will probably be a few girls in their best bikini angles who have beat you to it anyway. In addition to a camera, definitely bring snacks and water with you—it’ll be hard to leave the beaches once setting foot on them. For us, hours passed quickly on Formentera, and before we knew it, it was time to go back to the harbor.
Tucked away behind Ibiza’s shadow lies the humble island of Formentera, a place that effortlessly makes heaven on earth is possible. Free from the touristy crowds and commercial bustle, the island is rich with natural beauty and a peacefulness that is hard to find in most popular beach destinations. Take a break from all the clubbing and revel in the precious and serene island life. Though my time in Ibiza was truly unforgettable, Formentera was the unparalleled highlight of my trip. Next time you’re planning a vacation to the infamous island of Ibiza, make sure to pay a visit to the equally stunning Formentera, you won’t want to miss it!