The Balearic Island of Ibiza is a bustling smorgasbord of disco clubs, shopping markets, and ethnic restaurants juxtaposed with striking vistas, quiet beaches, and dinner music perfectly timed with the sunsets. After several nights of jam packed water parties and pulsing techno music, the island can become an all-out sensory overload if you don't pace yourself. And that, my friends, is why they gave us Formentera.
The only way to get to the Island of Formentera, another in the Balearic archipelago, is to take the ferry from Ibiza— unless, of course, you charter your own boat, swim, or ride an underwater jet pack a la Mission Impossible. Its flat, unassuming, boomerang shape drips from the south coast of Ibiza and serves as a welcome respite from the Spring Break-like hustle of the larger island.
As you chug across the Mediterranean and the traffic noise and club music fade into the distance, the view of Ibiza Town is undeniably stunning. With the hum of the city behind you, the promise of quiet repose in front of you, and the lull of the water sends you to sleep, the last thing you'll be thinking is, "Are we there yet?"
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There's more to Ibiza than the partying
Yes, the famed Ibiza lives up to the insane parties. But I was surprised that some of the beaches were not that great. They were dirty with tons of litter both on the sand and in the water.
Always on the lookout for that fantastic beach with a sea made for swimming, I had heard of Formentera from one of the locals. If you take a boat and head out of Ibiza, in about half an hour you'll reach this small island. From your landing point you can rent a bicycle and go around the island. There are plenty of beaches, mostly secluded, but one beach I fell in love with was Illetes. It has blue/green waters, and it's just a strip of land that divides two beaches. The water is calmer on one side while you have almost no one on the other side. Take your pick. Either way Formentera is worth the visit.
I traveled to Ibiza to attend the wedding of a friend.
On the Sunday after the wedding, our hosts chartered a ship for the entire wedding party (50+ guests) that sailed to anchor just off the neighboring island of Formentera.
I found myself in a little bit of trouble when I prematurely jumped off the side of the boat. Apparently we weren't fully settled in with the okay from the ship's crew when I took on a dare to be the first in the water.
Horns blew, shipmates scolded me in Spanish and this here life ring was tossed out to me among all the fracas.