Platja de Formentor Beach: Unexpectedly Calm

The Platja de Formentor Beach is a special spot on the rugged peninsula in northern Mallorca. It’s sheltered between high mountains and shaded by pine trees that grow right up to the shore. The shallow entry into the clear water makes it very kid-friendly, while the fine sandy beach is perfect for relaxing. The breathtaking backdrop of the surrounding mountains completes the idyllic setting. It’s a perfect place to enjoy the beauty of nature.

Platja de Formentor Beach

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Visitors at Platja de Formentor are a diverse mix. When tourism began in Mallorca, the Formentor Hotel was the place where celebrities gathered. Even today, many yachts are anchored here. The beach itself is less glamorous: young people, families, and locals all enjoy it. Prices are higher compared to the rest of the island, though the quality doesn’t always match. Additionally, Formentor Beach is not easy to reach, especially in the summer. Here’s how to get to Cala Formentor and what to expect.

No Parking Hassles: Take the Boat Shuttle from Port de Pollença

Important Information

  • Parking: Getting to Platja de Formentor can be difficult, especially during the summer months. There are several paid parking options near the beach.
  • At the Beach: Platja de Formentor is very child-friendly and clean. The calm sea provides perfect conditions for families.
  • Food & Drink: Prices for services on site, like restaurants and beach chair rentals, tend to be high.
  • Sightseeing: Near the Formentor Beach, there are several noteworthy places, including the Cap de Formentor lighthouse, the Es Colomer viewpoint, and the Talaiad’Albercutx pirate watchtower. These offer additional opportunities for exploration and excursions during your beach visit.

The crescent-shaped beach, just under a kilometer long, has attracted much attention since the beginning of tourism in Mallorca. Despite its remote location, Platja de Formentor is a place every vacationer wants to visit at least once. Its isolation and economic impracticality for mass tourism make it a longing destination.

Playa Formentor
Beach of Formentor

After Adán Diehl acquired some of the land on the peninsula and built the prestigious Hotel Formentor in 1929, celebrities flocked to Platja de Formentor. Prince Charles is said to have vacationed here, along with Winston Churchill, Charlie Chaplin, and Jackie Onassis.

The hotel still stands as the only one on Formentor Beach, now known as Royal Hideaway Formentor. Scandals have surrounded it then and now. The latest one is quite recent. The hotel was supposed to be fully renovated but was completely demolished instead, with plans to rebuild it from scratch. This was not pre-approved, leading to a construction halt and subsequent re-licensing. Currently, the hotel remains a construction site.

Even without the hotel, there’s still an air of exclusivity. Numerous luxury yachts can be seen near the beach, and the prices are high even for Mallorca. But paradise has its price. Despite this, Platja de Formentor offers ideal conditions for families. The beach is sheltered, the sea is very calm, and the water is shallow.

For Toddlers and Babies: Best Beaches for Families in Mallorca.

Directions & Parking at Playa Formentor

Cala Formentor is located roughly halfway between Pollença and the lighthouse at the far end of the cape. In the winter, you’ll hardly encounter any cars on the rather narrow access road. But then again, no one wants to go to the beach in winter.

Restricted Access to Cap de Formentor

The traffic situation in the summer months has been tense for years. That’s why access to Cap de Formentor from Pollença is restricted from June to September. From 10 AM to 10:30 PM, only residents and tour buses are allowed on the road heading north. This is monitored by cameras. You won’t be physically blocked from driving through, but you will be recorded and receive a fine.

View to the Formentor Beach
Formentor Beach

However, there is an exception for the beach at Formentor. Officially, you are allowed to use the road up to the beach. Proof of this is the parking ticket from one of the official parking lots. There is space for a total of 300 vehicles. A sign at the beginning of the access road indicates whether there are still available spots. Within three days after visiting the beach, the parking ticket must be sent to the traffic authority DGT. This can be done via a simple email ([email protected]) with the subject Platja de Formentor and a photo of the ticket attached. If you do not comply with the access restriction, you could face a fine of up to 200 euros.

Public Bus to the Formentor Beach

Getting to the Formentor beach by car can be a bit complicated and not very relaxing. That’s why taking the bus is a better alternative. It saves you the bureaucratic hassle, the stress of navigating through narrow winding roads with heavy traffic, and the expensive parking fees. The bus shuttle costs around 2 euros per person and ride. It’s best to pay with a card and contactless. Simply tap your card on the reader when boarding AND when getting off. The fare will be deducted when you exit, depending on the distance traveled.

From Port de Pollença, you have the bus number 334 available for the transfer to Formentor beach. It departs from Alcúdia, not only to Playa Formentor but also every half hour in summer to all other interesting points throughout Cap de Formentor. Besides Platja de Formentor, there are also stops at Cala Murta, Cala Figuera, and the viewpoint Es Colomer.

Parking at Playa Formentor

If you still want to go there by car, you’ll find several parking options near Platja de Formentor. However, they are among the most expensive on the island. Expect to pay around €12 for two hours. Day trips can become very costly.

Getting to Platja de Formentor by Boat

Online Ticket: Here you can purchase your boat tour ticket.

Besides driving or taking the bus, there’s a third way to get to Platja de Formentor. In the summer, a glass-bottom boat runs several times a day from Port de Pollença. This way, you can avoid traffic, parking issues, and the hassle of finding a parking spot, and you can get off right at the beach.

Boat Tour from Port de Pollença to Formentor Beach
Parking at Playa Formentor is difficult. It's better to take a tour boat instead.

The duration of your stay varies depending on which boat you take to and from the beach. In any case, you’ll have enough time to explore the beach and splash around in the crystal-clear water. Additionally, on the way to the beach, you’ll get to see the impressive coastline of Cap de Formentor from the sea—something you’d miss by car.

Service at Platja de Formentor

The beach at Platja de Formentor is rather narrow, with some pine trees almost reaching the sea, adding to its idyllic charm. The lack of width is compensated by its length, stretching nearly 900 meters from one end of the bay to the other. As mentioned earlier, the water is shallow near the shore, making it perfect for kids to play safely at the water’s edge. Due to the location and orientation of Formentor Bay, strong waves are a rare occurrence.

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Playa de Formentor also meets the quality standards of Mallorcan beaches, as evidenced by the annual awarding of the Blue Flag. Visitors can expect a clean beach and a comprehensive range of tourist services. During the summer season, lifeguards ensure the safety of swimmers. There are sunbed and umbrella rentals, and showers and restrooms are available. Additionally, a restaurant provides food and drinks right on the beach.

Looking for other beaches? Discover the most beautiful coves and beaches in the north of Mallorca.

The beach loungers at Playa de Formentor are quite expensive.
Der Cap de Formentor Beach

But the prices are somewhat exaggerated. A simple pizza costs around 20 euros. For loungers and umbrellas, usually about 15 euros per day are charged at other beaches. At Platja de Formentor, on our last visit, a set of umbrella and loungers cost 60 euros.

Those who wish can spend the money. However, you’re not necessarily dependent on umbrellas because the pine trees are right on the beach and extend partly into the water. So, you don’t need an umbrella to have a shady spot. And for food, you can also bring your own picnic.

Activities at Formentor Beach

Because the bay is so well protected from waves, it’s perfect for those who want to try stand-up paddling. The rental shop, Esports Nautics Formentor, has a stand in the western part of the bay, a bit hidden among all the trees. There, boards are available starting at 20 euros per hour.

Insider Tip: Do you like the swing overlooking the sea? You’ll find it a bit hidden in the eastern part of the beach, behind the kayak rental.

Also there, you can get various paddle boats with slides and single or double kayaks. For those who like it a bit more action-packed, you can also try windsurfing and small sailboats. You can find the provider on Instagram too.

Excursions Nearby

As beautiful as the Platja de Formentor beach is, few guests will spend a whole day there. Nearby, there are other attractions that you should at least consider visiting to make the somewhat arduous journey worthwhile.

Cap de Formentor Lighthouse

The lighthouse at the northernmost end of the island is the ultimate tourist spot. The rugged coast and the expansive view of the sea are fantastic. However, there’s little else to discover. It’s too dangerous for hiking or climbing. From Platja de Formentor, it’s about 12 kilometers and a 20-minute drive to the northernmost point of Mallorca. Those who come here gaze over the rugged landscape of the Tramuntana Mountains and the expanse of the Mediterranean Sea. On clear days, the view extends to Menorca.

Lighthouse at the Cap de Formentor

Inside the lighthouse, there’s a small bar and a public restroom. Here too, price and quality don’t always match. Sometimes it’s not so easy to find a parking spot. Since the new access regulations (see above), the situation has relaxed somewhat. But in the pre-season during holidays like Easter, the crowds can be very borderline.

The natural cove Cala Figuera

If you’re looking for a stark contrast to the beach of Formentor, then Cala Figuera de Formentor is a destination for you. The rocky beach is hidden, just before the lighthouse. From the bus stop, where there is also a small parking area, there’s a short but not to be underestimated hike through overgrown vegetation and washed-out rain gutters.

The water at Cala Figuera is wonderfully clear and perfect for snorkeling. However, you should definitely bring swim shoes, not only because of the rocky bottom. Caution is advised with jellyfish. There’s an old shooting range on the beach, which you can climb into from above.

Es Colomer Viewpoint

Es Colomer is the most iconic viewpoint at Cap de Formentor besides the lighthouse. There’s a small parking lot with a bar. From the parking lot, a paved path leads to the coast, from where you can look out over the offshore rock island and Cap de Formentor.

Viewpoint Cap de Formentor
Cap de Formentor

The viewpoint is nice, but it’s usually very crowded as it’s a mandatory stop for all tourist buses. You’ll get a much better view if you go a little higher, to the watchtower on the mountain above the viewpoint.

Pirate Watchtower Talaia d’Albercutx

You can reach the watchtower Talaia d’Albercutx by car or on foot from the Es Colomer viewpoint. The access road is a bit narrow but paved, and not many cars drive up. Parking is available at the end of the road along the roadside.

Cap de Formentor: viewpoint

From there, it’s just a short walk past ruins and over some rocky terrain. Even before reaching the tower, you’ll have a good view over the entire northern part of Mallorca. You’ll see the beaches of Pollença, the Bay of Alcúdia, the beach Platja de Formentor, and Cap de Formentor. Unfortunately, you can’t climb up the tower at the moment because it’s too dilapidated. We hope it will be restored soon.

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