Ibiza’s long been known as a party animal, but there’s a reason why laid-back loving hippies made this their home back in the 60s. Serene sunsets, secret coves and go-slow fishing villages are also on the cards if you know where to look. Follow our tips for uncovering Ibiza at its most idyllic and we promise you won’t see a glow stick in sight...
It doesn’t get much quieter than Playa Es Figueral up on the island’s north shores – it’s as chilled-out as they come. There’s not much going on, but then that’s all part of the simple beach life package here.
Further along the coast is veteran holiday resort Playa Es Cana. You’ll soon see that this place also reveals the quieter side to Ibiza as you sink into its cosy cove, trimmed with tapas bars. And pine-fringed Portinatx is just as delightful thanks to its trio of sun-bleached beaches – check out the natural mud baths at Cala Xarraca. You can pick up some stunning coastal walks from here too.
Dreamy day tripping
Journey inland to San Juan and your camera will thank you. This gorgeous little spot is all leafy lanes, brightly painted shutters and coffee-drinking locals. If you’re looking for the real Ibiza, this is it. Swing by on a Sunday to catch the artisan market in the town square. Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera has similar boho village vibes, along with vegan eats, fairy-lit cocktail courtyards and little art galleries that give it a chic twist.
If you’re the seaside-snooze type, you need to seek out a sandy cove for the perfect siesta. Luckily, Ibiza comes up trumps in that department.
Down on the island’s southern shores, Cala Llentrisca serves up the most turquoise waters we’ve ever seen, plus a cracking view of the mystical island, Es Vedrá. A wooden jetty and a few fishing boats are likely to be your only company here. Along the coast, super scenic Cala Carbó is a favourite with the locals, perhaps because of the tasty plates of paella on offer.
Up on Ibiza’s north coast, Es Portitxol is a hush-hush kinda spot that’s well worth the hike through pine forests to get there. And there are sands around Es Figueral that have solitude written all over them – so much so that you climb down a rope ladder to reach Raco de ses Dones. And it's oh so quiet.
These sarong-selling stalls have become an Ibizan institution over the years. Paying homage to the island’s hippy heritage, expect locally-crafted items and eco-friendly finds. Es Cana’s Punta Arabi market is the oldest of the bunch, while Las Dalias is another favourite. Treat yourself to a massage or palm reading as DJs spin Balearic beats in the background. Top souvenirs to snag are a bottle of hierbas Ibicencas (an island-made liqueur), some organic aloe vera beauty treats and a hand-made hammock.
Yoga is a big deal on this wellness loving island. So why not make like Kate Moss and Co and get down with some downward dog? Yogarosa is a classic countryside finca (that’s farmhouse to you and us) set in a tranquil pine forest. Retreat here for a full day of nature, nutrition and namaste. Om. If you’d prefer a beach setting, choose Amante for yoga on the sands followed by a healthy breakfast.
When it comes to sunsets, Ibiza’s are the stuff of legend. The crowds flock to the terraces of party-hard San Antonio’s “Sunset Strip”, but for something more serene, you gotta go north. On a Sunday, you can dance around fires to the sound of drums on Benirrás Beach. It does get busy here, but the hippy-style vibes keep things feeling peaceful. After, go for a moonlit supper of bullit de peix fish stew at nearby Port Balansat.
Where to eat
Let’s start with brunch. For scenery as drool-worthy as the food, El Chiringuito on Es Cavallet beach is a chic choice. Menu-wise, think wholesome smoothies and classic egg dishes to enjoy as waves lap the white sandy shore.
If you’ve been exploring the cobbles and cool boutiques of Ibiza Town, finish things off at The Fish Shack. This is a no-frills joint that oozes hidden-gem appeal while plating up the catch of the day.
And we know we’re staying away from San Antonio but tucked-away in a quiet corner of the resort is the simply gorgeous Sa Capella. This former monastery is a world away from the all the clubbing hype and its Spanish classics are served up in a lantern-lit courtyard, framed by flowers.
Santa Eulalia’s the place to go gourmet thanks to its buzzing dining scene. Head to “Restaurant Street” for a choice of French, Thai, Nepalese – the list goes on. Local favourite CaNaRibes has been tickling taste buds since 1926 with sophisticated specialities such as prawns in champagne. Veggie? Hit vintage-style Caos for veg-packed goodness with a sea view on Paseo Maritimo.
And no holiday would be complete without indulging at Ibizan icon, Bambuddha. Just outside Santa Eulalia, in a sumptuous Asian-temple setting, you can sip Bamboozle cocktails and tuck into platters of sushi, dim sum and bamboo skewers with the style set. Bliss.
If that’s got you feeling all Zen, search our huge range of super-chilled Ibiza holidays.
Posted: 24th Dec 2019.