If you follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram then you know how fond we are of the island of Ibiza. We have done several articles about it and I personally have been visiting the island for more than a decade and still consider it the ultimate Summer destination and the “best party on the planet”. Unfortunately for us we all get older and our lives change. Personally, for me once I had kids, I reluctantly realized that parting until the sun comes up then taking a Vespa back to your hotel with a friend on the back while still being slightly inebriated is no longer on my agenda and we needed to find someplace where we could still get that Mediterranean weather, beach, and atmosphere minus the glow sticks, and most of all where we can comfortably bring the family, and we found it on the island of Formentera, Spain.
So, you can tell by the dialog that I have been drinking the punch (among other things) when it comes to Spanish islands but it’s justifiable. The beaches are pristine, some of the most beautiful people from around the world come to vacation, and the weather and blue water never disappoint. We obviously had heard about Formentera and seen the signs for the ‘day trips’ to the island when vacationing on Ibiza. They actually are packaged together with Formentera being the “sister island”, because of the short 35-minute ferry ride from Ibiza, you could actually spend a very quiet afternoon on a secluded beach, have lunch in a quaint restaurant that overlooks the turquoise water, and still make it back to the rock in time to take a power nap then hit one of the most happening night spots in the world and party until 6am. Not a bad way to spend 24-hours eay?
But now lil’ sis has grown up and now has been coined as the “the closest thing Europe has to a Caribbean island”. The small plastic chair bars and restaurants that served only beer and sangria have morphed into restaurants with tasting menus, wine list that have been influenced by their neighbors from Italy and would stand up to a challenge from places you would find in Rome or Madrid. The food has stepped up as well. I still fondly remember the days of my 5am gyro to help absorb the beverages that had been consumed over the past several hours, but now, whether it be lunch or dinner I want a quality meal that matches the environment and that all members of the family can enjoy. Today there are a plethora of options to choose from, and even though they may be decked in the standard white clad sophisticated décor, the restaurants are family friendly with some even having child menus. The challenge is not going to overboard. The tapas of lobster, spicy tuna, or ham croquetas go down so easy and fast that you might regret it when you slip back into your swimsuit the next day.
So where to go? Well, let’s look at places to eat first, and we start with Café del Lago. The only thing that may top the visual experience is the food, but you are right on the edge of the island with nothing but water and yachts in the visual. – Open from 9am – 12am, which is pretty much standard for the island. Seafood and Pasta are the specialty here, you can start off with the Seabass ceviche with avocado, corn choclo, salmon roe and” leche de tigre”. Then as a main course I recommend the Chitarrina with lobster, fresh tomato and basil, or the Risotto alla putanesca, scampi and burrata. The deserts top off an excellent evening and you can finish with an Italian cappuccino and classic tiramisu or my favorite the Dulcey white chocolate namelaka, coffee sponge cake with milk foam.
Other great spots – Juan y Andrea. I actually went to their restaurant in Ibiza first and enjoyed it so much I thought I would try on Formentera as well. In short, the paella is worth the trip alone.
Can Rafalet – Ok, you get it? All the restaurants have great views but some are better than others and if you can combine the view, with a family friendly atmosphere, and great food then you’ve got a winner.
Back with more ideas later in the week……..