This Beach In Spain Is Light On Crowds And Makes For A Perfect Family-Friendly Escape

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Off the eastern coast of Spain sits a jewel in the sea. Unlike a certain nearby island, it's not a haven for the fabulously wealthy and famous (or notorious) for its parties and clubs. No, this place we're speaking of isn't Ibiza, though that island does make for quite a wildly wonderful vacation if you love to party. A much quieter destination in the Pityusic Islands group is Formentera. The island is only 12.4 miles long and a little over a mile wide, but it's a beautiful place with lovely beaches, including one that is perfect for a family-friendly getaway.

Formentera is just under 15 miles south of Ibiza (which is definitely a place to go before you have kids!). On this pretty island, you'll find Playa de Migjorn beach (Platja de Migjorn in Catalan), a long (3.1 miles) crescent-shaped beach with white sand and crystal-clear waters. This island and the beach itself are far less chaotic than Ibiza. Maybe you've partied yourself out, and you need a break for a few days, or you're taking the kids on the trip of a lifetime. Either way, Playa de Migjorn is the perfect spot for a family getaway. And the best part? Despite its popularity in the high season, Playa de Migjorn is so expansive that you can always find a section that isn't full of crowds.

Getting to Playa de Migjorn

This pretty island has been inhabited since the Megalithic era, eventually becoming home to the Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Byzantines, and Moors before it was incorporated into the Kingdom of Aragon in 1235. The main language spoken on Formentera is Catalan, though Spanish is also widely spoken. There is no airport here, or even tall buildings, to add to the ambiance. Instead of flying in, you can take a ferry from Ibiza to La Savina on Formentera, which takes around 30 minutes. Once here, you can rent a car, though you can also opt for a more environmentally friendly scooter or bicycle. There are plenty of hiking trails, some of which go to the several lighthouses on the island, and bike paths as well (so many ways to tire out the littles!).

Playa de Migjorn itself is the largest beach on the island. There are over 200 restaurants and bars of all types to choose from when you get hungry, and wooden walkways to stroll on after you eat. The beach sits in the center of the southern side of the island, protected from the wind due to its position in a large crescent, so you'll find calm (and shallow) waters that are perfect for new swimmers. Plus, you can rent kayaks, boats, and other equipment for playtime, and there is plenty of room for things like volleyball. The best time to go is from May through October. 

Under the sea in Playa de Migjorn

While there is a lot of greenery on Formentera, shade on the beach is a little lacking, so don't forget to wear sunscreen. Make sure it's reef-safe sunscreen to protect the delicate balance of the island and its waters. This area (including Ibiza) is home to Posidonia seagrass, which is protected by the Ses Salines Nature Park, as it helps filter the water and supports species in the area. It also helps keep the oxygen level high. The water at the beach is incredibly clear, making it perfect for snorkeling and diving. 

If you happen to visit in the summer, you may get lucky and see loggerhead turtles laying eggs or even hatching. Though you'll see it more on nearby Playa de Ses Illetes, they do sometimes visit Playa de Migjorn. If you do come upon them, stay quiet, keep out of sight (or you may scare them into leaving the spot), and don't use flash photography. They generally mate at the beginning of summer, and can lay eggs every 12 to 17 days through the season. The eggs hatch after 45 to 80 days. Whether you get to spot sea turtles in the flesh or not, Formentera's Playa de Migjorn is definitely worth visiting for a family-friendly beach vacation that's on the quieter side.