Formentera for Families
- Carly Sorensen
Over Easter, my family and I took advantage of the cheap ferry tickets residencia in Ibiza provides and went on a weekend long cycling holiday to Formentera. We’d been on our boat a couple times but had never really explored inland that much, so booked ourselves a hotel in Es Pujols, grabbed our 20 euro each returns on the fast ferry (bikes go free) packed a couple of backpacks, strapped little Ela into her seat and headed to the port in Ibiza. After a couple initial problems (I’d forgotten Ela’s sun cream and coat, a trip to Decathlon en route quickly sorted that, and Mike got a flat tyre which he stopped by his work to mend) we boarded the ferry and in just over half an hour, docked in a sun soaked Salinas.
People had warned us it was not very bicycle friendly and was rather expensive, but we found neither of these to be true. There are well marked bicycle routes all over the island and bike paths along all the major routes. The path running between the salt flats and beach from Salinas toward Es Pujols in particular is spectacular boasting views across to Es Vedrá on one side and of still glittering salt flats on the other. Though staying in Es Pujols, we cycled about a fair bit in our three days and visited Sant Francesc, San Ferrer, Ses Illetes, Playa Migjorn, Salinas and a great deal of the countryside in between. Each town and beach had something different to offer and each route we cycled gave us different things to look at, from prehistoric ruins, wildflowers, inland waters and olive groves to pristine beaches, fishing shacks, boats and breathtaking cliff top views.
Es Pujols itself was a lovely place to stay as a family. It has a lovely long white beach flanked by rocky cliffs which were great fun to climb and backed by gorgeous sand dunes. The promenade featured several restaurants, cafes and bars and the little numbered plaques on the ground were tell tale signs of a bustling market in Summer. The beach was dotted with picturesque varaderos and quirky chiringuitos and the atmosphere was friendly and welcoming. The little town has a park, shops, restaurants and lots of hotels. We stayed in Hostal Rosales which was clean, comfortable, affordable, and served an awesome buffet breakfast. A great base from which to explore the island.
Those who’ve been to Formentera before will know how stunning our sister island is, but for those who haven’t, let me paint a little picture. White, sandy, clean beaches, turquoise and crystal clear waters, pretty little towns, a few historic ruins, gorgeous, character laden beach chiringuitos (and a couple of the seemingly omnipresent ‘beach clubs’), rows of ancient little boat houses and miles of unspoilt nature. I imagine much like Ibiza thirty odd years ago.
We had a wonderful, energising break and thoroughly enjoyed cycling around exploring with our little chica on the back of Daddy’s bike. She enjoyed herself too and found the ride very comfortable, even falling asleep a few times!
If you’re looking for nightlife, it probably isn’t for you, at least not out of season anyway. However, if you’re looking for relaxation or exercise in beautiful, natural surroundings, then you can’t go wrong with Formentera. We’ll definitely be heading back.
We travelled with Trasmapi and booked online. Balaeria also offer online bookings and there are several other companies in the port in Ibiza town selling tickets to Formentera.
To get residents discount, we only needed to put in our NIE numbers when booking and the computer system confirmed we were residents, but some companies may require a print-out from your local Ayuntamiento.