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For years, Formentera was known as the "forgotten Balearic." The smallest island of the archipelago, it's a 78-sq.-km (30-sq.-mile) flat limestone plain. In the east it is flanked by La Mola, a peak rising 187m (613 ft.), and in the west it is protected by Berberia, at 96m (315 ft.).

The Romans called it Frumentaria (meaning "wheat granary") when they oversaw it as a booming little agricultural center. But that was then. A shortage of water, coupled with strong winds, has allowed only meager vegetation to grow, notably some fig trees and fields of wild rosemary (which are home to thousands of green lizards). A few hearty goats live on the island.

Like Ibiza, Formentera has a salt industry. Its year-round population of 5,000 swells in summer, mostly with day-trippers from Ibiza. Limited hotels have kept development in check, and most visitors come over for the day to enjoy the beaches, where they often swim without bathing suits and sunbathe along the excellent stretches of sand. Britons and Germans form the majority of tourists who actually spend the night.