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Formentera doesn’t have the glitz and glamour of its neighbours – and that’s just the way this Spanish island likes it. A hippie haven, the smallest inhabited Balearic Island now lures more visitors than it once did but even then, it still manages to maintain its laid-back charm – so leave your worries (and shoes) at home.
Formentera dangles to the south of sister island Ibiza in the Mediterranean Sea. But, though only a 30-minute ferry ride away, its pace is far slower. It’s this laid-back air that’s attracted famous free-thinkers to the island, including Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd.
Today, many Formentera holidays are based around its beaches, regarded as some of the best in Europe. The pristine stretches of white sand that ring the island and look out over perfect azure waters could be from a Caribbean paradise. Even better, they won’t be as packed as the famous beaches on the Spanish mainland.
But it’s not just about lazy days in the sun here – Formentera is also a top destination for watersports, such as paddleboarding or kayaking out to the quiet coves hidden along the coast. Alternatively, put on a snorkel to see underwater plants and count the shimmering fish swimming in the clear waters.
Beyond the beaches, Formentera’s interior is just as unspoilt. The 12-mile (19km) long island has only 12,000 or so residents, so you’ll be free to explore the historic towns and juniper and pine forests at your own pace. One of the best ways to do so is on foot or bike, thanks to Formentera’s relatively flat landscape and network of cycle paths.
After navigating the often-arid interior, visit one of the tranquil fishing villages for a lunch of fresh seafood. Sit back, order a glass of something cold, and wonder if you’ve ever felt this relaxed.
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