West of the Iberian Peninsula lay the Balearic Islands, owned by Spain but enjoyed worldwide. You probably have heard of Mallorca or Ibiza, 2 of the 4 isles, which are renowned for their resorts, pristine beaches, and nightlife. However, our adventures on our most recent trip took us to the smallest of the islands, Formentera.
The first day of March, a Friday, and the following Monday were no-school days for Brooks, so we had 4 days to spend in paradise. This trip was planned as a relaxing vacation, but it also was centered around a trail marathon that Brooks participated in. He had signed up for it many months ago, which held us to planning and executing this island get-away; something we may not have done if we didn’t have the reason to go.
Early Friday morning we got to the airport in Madrid and flew to Ibiza. From there we hopped on a bus to take us to the seaport, where all Formentera-bound travelers catch a ferry to the neighboring island. The ferry took only 30 minutes, and at first we couldn’t see our destination for the fog. However, as we drew near, the slim outline became visible, and it slowly grew in size until we were docked in port. It didn’t grow in size too much, because the island is tiny! In fact, it is less than 35 square miles in total land.
As with any trip, there are lessons learned. Here are just a few lessons that suck with us from Formentara.
Rent a Scooter or Bicycle:
We picked up our rental car, included in the marathon accommodation deal, put the sunroof down and went to explore the island. The Smart Car they provided us with was perfect for the island, however, we noticed there were quite a few scooters. It looked like an enjoyable ride, so on our last day we traded in the car for a scooter as transportation the rest of our time. It was such a fun choice, and the weather was perfect for zipping around the island with ocean air in our faces.
Don’t drink the tap:
Apparently the tap water is too saline, or salty to be consumed. We had seen or heard nothing about it previously, so we spent the first day filling up our water bottles from it…Oops! Once we were told otherwise, we bought a 2 gallon jug that lasted us the rest of the trip. Fortunately we didn’t get sick or dehydrated!
Crystal Clear Water:
The ocean water here is so dang clear! It looks just like a postcard for the Bahamas, but apparently its all due to biology. Locals informed us that a sea plant named Posidonia is responsible for the clarity, as it filters and cleans the water it lives in. With rather dazzling results, if I may say so!
A handful of towers dot the edges of the island, the biggest of these is, yep, you guessed it, a lighthouse. The others are old circular towers once used as military lookouts that also housed a cannon that could swivel in any direction.
Visitors from afar:
All of Spain’s Balearic islands get swarmed with tourist in the summer, even little old Formentera. Surprisingly, the country that visits the isles the most is…Germany! This explains all the menus we saw that were in Spanish/German.
There are Great Deals:
In our research we found there were several great deals to fly to the Balearic Islands from Madrid. All Madrid residents keep an eye out for an opportunity to visit this one of these incredible islands, especially Formentera!