From beachfront yoga and authentic hippy markets to magical full moon parties by the sea, here you’ll find many a place honouring the island’s bohemian roots. Once you’ve experienced island culture beyond the famous boats and beach restaurants, typical Formentera life leaves you craving so much more…
No Formentera holiday is complete without a session of morning yoga and the tranquil side of Playa de Migjorn is the ideal setting to explore ‘un camino de vida’. As the rest of the island awakens from its slumber, Gecko Beach Club hosts complimentary classes for guests every day, while those seeking a drop in class can visit Hostel Aigua Clara where professional and experienced, health conscious instructors offer unique yoga workshops every morning in front of the sea, to awaken the body and take you on a spiritual journey whilst surrounded by nature. www.hostalaiguaclara.com – +34 622 306 198
The most important meal of the day is also made even better with sea views, and Las Playas Dunas is one of Formentera’s best kept secret spots – one that’s well worth the dusty journey along sandy track roads leading to another section of Playa de Migjorn. Tucked within sand dunes, this traditional and charming Spanish breakfast spot is open from 9am and offers spectacular views of the deep blue sea. Tuck into a delicious buffet breakfast on the beachy terrace leading out the inviting infinity pool, which echoes the curve of the cliffside. www.dunasplaya.com –+43 971 32 80 52
Located to the left of the ribbon of road leading towards La Mola is the secluded beach of Es Calo – its unspoiled rugged cliffside offering a distinct change from the vastness of Playa de Migjorn. A stretch of the stunning cliffside plunges into the sea, creating a unique view and protected bay in which to swim. Three small coves appear like perfect blue lagoons with soft sandy shores, visited primarily by locals due to the secluded location. A tranquil resting point for a couple of hours of ‘you time’ before getting back on the road again.
The journey up to La Mola is a breezy, sight-seeing spectacle with the added bonus of finding parts of the island you didn’t know existed. Recently refurbished, with a Mediterranean inspired interior and a menu brimming with fresh seafood dishes, Can Pascual competes as one of the best fish restaurants on the island. Tastefully decorated with organic wood and bamboo furnishings, polished concrete floors and fresh whites combined with tropical, glass bottle greens. Open-plan seating merges the inside with out, for a trendy, cool and collected place to stop for lunch. www.canpasqualrestaurant.com – +34 971 327 014
Every Wednesday and Sunday from May to October, the island’s local creators, artists and musicians gather from 5pm at the authentic Hippy Market in the village of La Mola, at the highest southern point of the island. Here, you can feel the essence of original bohemian Formentera life. The joyful and colourful market is reminiscent of a time when hippies from around the world were beckoned by the freedom and peace Formentera could afford them. The space is transformed into a lively centre of culture where you can shop for a variety of fashion creations, ceramics, and handmade jewellery, while live music plays for a relaxed and fun afternoon.
A visit to La Mola is made even more worth the drive up the winding mountain road by the unique and striking birds-eye view of the island from the top. This sight is best seen towards the end of the day, most notably at sunset when the outline of the island is prominent and glowing beneath the candy floss sky. There is a perfect lookout point midway at El Mirador restaurant, where you can stop for a sundowner and absorb the unique scenery before you descend the mountain. +34 971 327 037
Sometimes you have to travel that extra mile to find some place special. With a true sense of exclusivity, this quaint, stylish and homely restaurant is hidden in the forest, at the base of the hillside leading to La Mola. Fairy lights light the pathway to a cosy hammock area where you can enjoy an aperitif before indulging in Italian-influenced cuisine with a modern Mediterranean twist. It is neither fussy nor pretentious but calm and comforting – owned and run by two respectful Italian brothers whose passion, charm and sophistication is reflected in their service, and quirky and inventive touches such as homemade flavoured breads. +34 971 327 472
One cannot leave Formentera without a visit to the famous Blue Bar and thankfully, this sunset spot is also a popular moonlight haunt. Open until 4am nightly, Blue Bar opened in the 60s and was later transformed into a cosmic inspired chill-out, hosting unforgettable sunsets, magnificent views and trance vibes. Legends such as Bob Marley and Pink Floyd have frequented this bar over the years (among others), though it’s now renowned for an eclectic mix of music from visiting and resident DJs. Choose between grooving on the tiered seating overlooking the sea, dancing beneath the moon and the stars or in the quirky interior. www.bluebarformentera.com – +34 666 75 81 90
Inspired by the seaside elegance of the 50s, Gecko Beach Club & Hotel invites cosmopolitan travellers to experience their very own version of a ‘Balearic Riviera’. Rooms are decorated in neutral colour palettes, with retro inspired furniture, lots of floor to ceiling glass and mirrors. Superior rooms include swish private patios and terraces with panoramic views of Playa de Migjorn or the hotel’s lush gardens, which overlook the beach. It’s impossible not to sleep well when this is your home away from home for the night. www.geckobeachclub.com – +34 971 328 024 Words and photos by Mimi Gerrard-Morgan Main Es Calo photo by Ana Lui