How to do Formentera on a budget

4 October 20225 min read

Picture of the tiny Balearic island of Espalmador that lies between Ibiza and Formentera with beautiful natural sandy beach and yachts anchored near the shore

The small island of Formentera is located just off Ibiza’s south coast and makes a great budget-friendly destination. With affordable accommodation, picture-perfect beaches and idyllic sunset spots, you can enjoy a dreamy holiday here for very little.

To help make sure you get the best deals on your Formentera holiday, we’ve put together this handy guide to travelling on a budget.

Where to stay in Formentera on a budget

As a general rule, accommodation in Formentera is affordable. There are relatively few big hotels; instead, most of the accommodation is in self-catering apartments and villas, or small boutique hotels with bed and breakfast. This is great news for budget travellers, as you’ll either have your own kitchen for cooking, or pay well under the odds for a prime beachfront location. In fact, the beach bungalows at Las Dunas Playa offer the best of both and are as charming as they are cheap.

If you are looking to stay somewhere a little more upmarket, like at the Insotel Hotel Formentera Playa, book well in advance and consider choosing an all-inclusive or half-board option to help keep overall holiday costs down. You may also find deals where kids stay for free, or you get a discounted rate on the ferry included.

Where to eat in Formentera on a budget

While some of Formentera’s beach bars are famed for their over-the-top prices, there are plenty of small, locally owned restaurants that offer a low-cost alternative. Of course, if you are staying in a villa or apartment, one of the best ways to save is to cook for yourself. Formentera’s markets are packed with local produce – think fresh fish, cured meats, and cheeses – so you can usually rustle up a feast for a few euros. Pack a picnic to take with you on beach days, too.

When you do want to dine out, try to stick to the local cuisine, as this is nearly always the cheapest (and tastiest!) food around. For paella with a spectacular sea view, Sa Platgeta restaurant on Migjorn beach is a great affordable option, and for fresh fish, Can Rafalet in Es Caló is another go-to.

What to do in Formentera on a budget

The powder-white shores of Formentera are a paradise for beach-loving budget travellers. After all, a day sunbathing and swimming in stunning turquoise water costs absolutely nothing. Pack your snorkel and head to Ses Platgetes Beach for some of the best snorkelling on the island. Or, add some romance to your beach fun by admiring the sunset with a beer on Es Cavall d’en Borras.

Despite Formentera’s small size, there are plenty of non-beach activities to enjoy, too. Hire bikes for a few euros and spend a day cycling around the coast, or head inland to explore the lush forests and charming rural villages. La Mola lighthouse is another must-see sight, with an impressive clifftop location and epic sea views.

For a fun and detoxifying experience, make your way to the north of Formentera and take a boat trip out to the idyllic Espalmador Island. Here you’ll find totally unspoiled beaches, but also natural mud baths at the island’s centre – think of it as a free spa day!

How to get around Formentera on a budget

As a remote island with no airport, boats are the only option for getting to Formentera. Following a cheap flight to Ibiza, you have a handful of options departing from Ibiza Town, Figueretas and Playa d’en Bossa – crossings take around half an hour. Compare prices online and book before you go to find the best prices.

Once you’re on dry land, be aware that getting around can be expensive as taxis are limited. Instead, opt to hire a scooter for around €35 a day, or even a much cheaper push bike if you’re feeling active. Hiring your own transport also means you're free to explore the island at your own leisure, heading off the beaten track to some of the most secluded spots and saving money on cheaper dining spots, too.

If you’re willing to be slightly more flexible, Formentera has a pretty regular and affordable bus network. There is even a bus route (the L3) dedicated to taking tourists to the best spots on the island, though tickets on this route do cost slightly more at €8-12 return.

Alternatively, treat your holiday as a pure rest and relaxation retreat, and stay in a hotel in the centre of one of Formentera’s small resorts. That way, you’ll only have to pay for taxis and the start and end of your stay and can simply stroll from bed to beach and back again.

Insider tips

  • Opt to stay in a villa or apartment where you can cook your own meals but still enjoy spectacular sea views.
  • Visit as many beaches as you can during your holiday – they’re all unbelievably beautiful, and it will make you feel like your itinerary is jam packed without you having to spend a penny.
  • Indulge in affordable local delicacies like bullit de peix (a typical fish stew) to tantalise the taste buds without breaking the bank.
  • Take it easy – a holiday in Formentera is all about sun, sea and salty skin. Swimming, sunbathing and watching spellbinding sunsets don’t cost a penny.

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