If Ibiza is Spain's party island then its low-key Mediterranean neighbour is the ideal place to recover.
It’s sometimes called Ibiza’s little sister but Formentera, just a few nautical miles to the south, feels more like a distant, hippie relative. Small, arid and mostly flat (making it perfect for cycling), Formentera has almost entirely eschewed development; instead of nightclubs and mega hotels, visitors will find whitewashed towns, thatched-roof beach bars and quirky artist markets. But the real star is the island itself, which has swathes of white-sand beaches and craggy limestone cliffs from which to leap into the turquoise waters below.
Gecko Hotel & Beach Club sits on a stretch of beach known as Platja de Migjorn. The interiors are filled with rustic timber tables and mosaic tiles – and while the rooms are small, many come with private plunge pools.
Formentera is all about dining on the sand. At Juan y Andrea, barefoot waiters deliver lobster, caviar and huge pans of paella to couples who arrive on superyachts anchored in the bay.
Even if you’re not staying in-house, you’ll want to eat at Gecko Beach Club for its stand-out seafood dishes: try a super-fresh ceviche or sea bass fillet served simply with sautéed tomato and basil.
Hire a bicycle, motorbike or one of the island’s colourful Citroën convertible jeeps and take the winding road to the highest point, El Pilar de la Mola, where the outdoor “hippie market” sells artisan-made goods. Then, gather at one of the chiringuito or beach shack bars at sunset (Beso Beach is a great option) to sip on a cocktail as you take in the views.
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