Ibiza holidays

24 hours in Formentera – La Savina and Playa Llevant

As the closest connection to Ibiza, Formentera’s port La Savina – edged by magnificent salt flats on one side and stunning Mediterranean coastline on the other – has a...

As the closest connection to Ibiza, the port of La Savina – edged by magnificent salt flats on one side and stunning Mediterranean coastline on the other – has a unique significance on our sister island.

The outside world is at touching distance and yet Formentera still feels like an exclusive and secluded paradise. The energy of La Savina ebbs and flows throughout the day as visitors filter on and off the endless fleet of ferries from Ibiza. At the end of the day, a subdued and gentle calmness is left behind, breeding a satisfying feeling of content for those who remain onshore, because just for a little while longer, you have the pleasure of indulging in the lesser-known Formentera life.

8.30am – Breakfast

A stone’s throw from the bustle of the main port, Quimera is a quiet and serene little situ for breakfast accompanied by an idyllic morning view. This newly-renovated hidden gem with ancestral Spanish heritage boasts a cosmopolitan atmosphere and Mediterranean style menu created by a Michelin star awarded chef, although breakfast is a relaxed affair. A tropical-inspired seating area on the breezy terrace overlooks L’Estany des Peix, a calm lagoon (complete with a covert beach) that leads out into the open sea, scattered with llaüts, the traditional local fishing boats. Watch the water glisten as boats roll in and out and fill up on a wholesome breakfast of freshly baked croissants or Grandma’s homemade scrambled eggs, washed down with a freshly squeezed juice – the perfect fuel-up for the day ahead. – +34 971 322 279

9.30am – SUP

The Stand Up Paddleboarding phenomenon shows no signs of slowing down in 2018 and Formentera’s calm waters are the ideal place to combine fun and exploration with balance, relaxation and strength. Saigu, in La Savina, gives you the opportunity to see Formentera from a new perspective, with professional SUP instructors leading you on a stunning scenic route around the north coast of the island, before wading through crystal clear waters and later arriving at the nature reserve of Es Palmador to explore the marine environment. Advance reservations for these early morning three-hour adventures are essential – suitable for all levels of experience. – +34 674 409 358

1.30pm – Lunch

This unexpected and unassuming little chiringuito is tucked neatly within the sand dunes of Playa Llevant and hidden from view, creating a discreet and tranquil lunch spot that’s far from the madding crowds. There is a certain type of Caribbean charm about its stripped back, rustic presentation, complete with wooden furniture and sandy floors sheltered beneath a cool wicker shade. Tantalising aromas of fresh seafood, rich pasta dishes and tapas escape from the kitchen, complemented by warm staff and attentive service until 8pm daily. – +34 669 30 9 802

3.30pm – Beach

While it’s just a short stroll from the popular white sands of Illetes, Playa Llevant is a peaceful respite – which explains why this less familiar stretch of coastline is the place celebrities opt to spend their heady Formentera days (making it prone to the odd paparazzi). Soft white sand and a gentle breeze even in high summer create the most relaxing environment and depending on the daily wind change, the sea can alternate between a flat pond of transparent waters to a windsurfer’s paradise of turquoise crashing waves. Either way, a day spent here is one to remember.

8.30pm – Sunset drinks

Ibiza might be world-renowned for its famous sunset strip, but sunsets in Formentera are equally as spectacular. As the day winds down and as the air cools, the glorious sunset paints the Balearic sky intense shades of red, pink and orange on a clear night. This natural spectacle is always a must-see and can be viewed from many points around Las Salinas. Sa Sequi boasts a picture perfect setting, with the landscape of La Savina on the left and the hazy outline of Ibiza on the right. Carefully curated music complements the chilled atmosphere as the light slowly falls, illuminating the north of the island and effortlessly capturing the silhouette of Es Vedra on the horizon. – +34 622 853 340

10.30pm – Dinner

Ibiza’s most popular Brazilian hangout recently opened the tropical doors to its Formentera outpost on the dock of the bay in La Savina. Expect a tasty infusion of light, fresh and rich Japanese cuisine – a staple cuisine in the Brazilian diet since thousands of Japanese families migrated to the country after the First World War – plus the very finest Brazilian cocktails, all enjoyed with panoramic views of La Savina and the twinkling harbour at night. A fun and casual dining experience with warm, speedy service and authentic music – a buzzing way to either end your day or kick-start your Formentera night. – +34 602 645 973

11.30pm – Night cap

For some, the night is still young and the great advantage of dining in the port at La Savina is that the best bars are all within walking distance. Just a few steps away from Temakhino, Aigua offers a stylish lounging area ideal for a night cap – its cosy, candlelit setting on the picturesque marina is the ideal place to soak up the scenery. Kick back on low-slung seating and sip on expertly made cocktails; savour the sea breeze to the sounds of clinking boat masts and reflect on the day gone by. This is the part of Formentera life most day-trippers never get to experience. +34 971 323 322

12.30am – Sleep

Set on the cusp of the road leading from La Mola right through to La Savina, Can Aisha is a secluded sanctuary of calm and pure bliss, yet just minutes away from all the island’s action. This complex of five studio apartments with contemporary Spanish touches make for a highly inviting and comfortable stay. Each apartment shares a luxury garden area with a private swimming pool surrounded with cacti and soft white sun loungers. Chic is an understatement and whilst feeling very exclusive, the complex is perfectly positioned in proximity to the best beaches, bars and restaurants. With less than one kilometre drive away from each town, staying here means the island is your oyster! – +34 616 654 982 Words and photos by Mimi Gerrard-Morgan Playa Llevant photo by Ana Lui