Formentera and Menorca - The Underestimated Balearic Islands
Updated: Jun 22, 2020
The Balearic Islands
While the many travelers are already familiar with Ibiza and Mallorca, why not avoid the crowds and head to the islands of Formentera and Menorca, two hidden Balearic gems. These islands are largely underestimated and do not contain any large overbearing resorts. Instead, you will find rugged uncharted Mediterranean beauty.
Formentera is located about 2 nautical miles off the southern coast of Ibiza and is the smallest inhabited island in the Balearic archipelago. It is known for its dramatic sunsets as well as its pristine beaches. It is set on an intricately carved coastline and transportation around the island is manageable by bike or moped. One of the most striking elements of this island is how well preserved the natural environment is, with dunes and beaches in wonderful condition. It is very easy to lose yourself in one of the many hidden corners and coves of Formentera.
Once on the island, you may enjoy the jaw-dropping, white sand, turquoise water beaches, catch a bike trail that will take you on picturesque routes around the island, hire a boat to bring you to one of the secret coves, and of course, enjoy a sundowner at the oldest and most famous lighthouse on the island, La Mola. Perched on top of a 120 meter cliff overlooking the sea, this makes for quite the sundowner scene in summer months. There are also charming daily "hippy" markets that proudly display artisan crafts, trinkets and leather goods.
Notable restaurants include Es Caló which features fresh seafood and locally grown vegetables and the 1 Michelin starred Can Dani, which offers exquisite local Balearic cuisine. A distinguished place to stay is at one of the suites at Gecko Hotel or at the boutique Paraiso De Los Pinos. More dynamic activities include paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, or simply swimming throughout the turquoise bay and private coves in Cales Coves.
Menorca is a unique natural oasis loaded with hidden corners to discover. The island boasts over 200km of highly varied coastline, sprawled out between two small historic cities of Cuitadella and Mahón.
It is a real paradise that will win you over with its peaceful harmony and diversity. Menorca is known for its pristine and rugged coves, having one of the largest natural ports in Europe, its gin and cow's milk cheese, and also for its nudist culture. A typical activity on the island is to find a secluded beach, birthday suit up, and naturally soak in the mud baths at the beach. They say it is fabulous for your skin! Menorca is also famous as a scuba diving destination and its wealth of flora and fauna, recognized by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve.
Indulge your senses with mouth watering seafood as well. A trip to Menorca would be incomplete without a Caldereta de Langosta, a typical lobster stew. Try it at Es Cranc in the seaport town of Fornell. The highly polished wait staff will help you pair a wine with your meal.
For lodging, a stay in one of the whitewashed Menorcan farm houses provide an authentic way of living and are located on hills overlooking vineyards and the sea. Some date back to 2000 BC! At Torralbenc, they have been renovated into luxury accommodations that give you a fantastic contrast of chic and rustic.
Both islands are truly magical places in the Mediterranean and waiting to be discovered. If you want insider access to these incredible gems, inquire with us and we will ensure an authentic vacation.