One of the fantastic advantages of visiting such a small island is that you can meander from one village to the next from day to night with ease, flitting back and forth to suit your mood and style. Pair the liveliness of Es Pujols by day with the chilled ambience of nearby Sant Ferran by night for a true taste of authentic island life.
Getting the most out of a day in Formentera definitely requires an early start! There is no better way to experience the cooler, more tranquil hours of the morning, as the sleepy island awakes, than with a horse riding tour along the peaceful shores of Playa Llevant and Illetes. Led by local instructor Vicent Juan of Rutas Es Boixets horse riding club (situated on the dusty track between Es Pujols and Sant Francesc), this two-and-a-half hour seaside hack is suitable for experienced riders and beginners alike. From cantering across soft white sand and trotting over country terrain to striding through the shallow waters, this is an experience well worth getting out of bed early for. www.rutasesboixets.com – +34 669 572 896
If your equestrian adventures have worked up an appetite, make haste to the Es Pujols promenade for a nourishing breakfast that truly hits the spot. Café Miranda is a funky new addition to the area, overlooking the beach and featuring a mash up of 50s, 60s and 70s retro furniture and quirky props. A colourful, casual and upbeat affair, the cute café attracts a hip crowd looking for an early morning pick me up before hitting the beach for the remainder of the day. Super friendly, smiley staff, great beach views, fresh juices, flaky pastries and of course, fantastic coffee are the perfect complement to the quirky vintage design and décor –stepping back in time, Formentera style. www.cafemiranda.eu – +34 603 319 813
After an invigorating morning, the next best thing to seek is a spot of sun, sand and vitamin sea! Since you’re already on the seafront at Es Pujols, it makes sense to stay in the area, with all the convenience of nearby shops, cafes and bars for snacks and drinks throughout the day – however it’s worth walking around the main town-like strip of beach, where the clean, white stretch of sand sweeps around the aqua blue waters and you reach a quiet cove dubbed Roca Bella by locals, so named for the hotel that presides over it. Here there is a much more family-oriented vibe and private feel with straw sun umbrellas perfectly placed along the shore to offer respite from the sun and creating a boho ambience.
If you’re feeling peckish but do not want to leave the essence of the beach behind, head slightly ashore and grab a spot of shade at Tahiti, a stylish seaside hotel and restaurant with a super laid-back vibe. Bold turquoise cushions scatter sun dappled furniture in a Mediterranean-inspired setting, as you dine with your feet in the cool sand, soaking up the fresh sea air and tuck into tasty seasonal cuisine – star dishes include salmon tartare and a delicious tagliatelle, leaving you contently full enough to roll back to the beach to continue topping up that tan. www.tahiti.es – +34 971 328 122
There is truly no better time of day in Formentera than when the sun is low and gentle on your skin and the evening sky begins to fill with a soft amber glow. A calm but warm energy fills the air as the island starts to come alive for the evening – day trippers are on their way back to their respective destinations and the island takes on a true local’s feeing. It is exactly at this time of day when People – a cool and sophisticated beach kiosk on the spit between near Roca Bella’ –captures this feeling perfectly. Lounge on white bean bags and listen to a tranquil soundtrack while soaking up the last of the evening sun with an aperitif in hand, before heading back home to shake off those sandy feet and freshen up for dinner. www.people-formentera.com – +34 630 221 787
Sant Ferran is famously known for its laid-back hippy vibes and unspoilt influences from the 60s that have stood the test of time. This village has a unique charm and soul in the evening, with the heart of the action taking place under a beautiful moonlit square and opposite a traditional whitewashed church. This is the place where the island’s original hippies used to congregate to dine and enjoy live music, and while the setting may have slightly evolved, the free-spirited ambience remains. Market stalls throughout the square and surrounding streets showcase the work of local artists, jewellers and more. Enjoy a sultry stroll before dinner to the sounds of live music courtesy of local buskers, as the pretty village begins to get busy with the arrival of the nightly dinner crowds.
One of the standout restaurants in a square filled with too many options to choose from is Maricastaña, a fresh Sant Ferran restaurant concept with a boho-chic, contemporary twist. Experience a friendly and buzzing atmosphere on the stylish terrace, as you order from a menu comprised of modern Mediterranean dishes and unique global flavours – think typical Spanish tapas made with a high-end twist, street food classics given a fine dining upgrade, mouth watering fresh pastas and classic paell options. On weekends, the restaurant hosts Formentera’s most talented musicians on the terrace from 9pm – all the more reason to reserve a table. maricastañaformentera.com – +34 971 328 935
An early night is in order after such a long day and Castavi Hotel & Apartments are recognised as one of the best places to stay in Formentera thanks to a fresh and modern interior combined with warm service, easy accessibility and beautiful location. On the cusp of Es Pujols, heading towards La Savina, this well-designed hotel balances itself between a bustling street and serene swimming pool space immersed in greenery and palms, with a view overlooking the salt flats and Sant Francesc in the distance. Offering a true home away from home feeling, you’re guaranteed to wake up cosy and rested – right in the heart of an authentic Formentera location. www.castavi.com – +34 971 328 521 Words and photos by Mimi Gerrard-Morgan Es Pujols main photo by Ana Lui