I’ve been to Ibiza 12 times and not once have I stepped foot into a club or partied. Granted, 10 of those times I was well below the drinking age but it’s never been something that appealed to me. I’m definitely not cool enough for Pacha or Café Mambo, but now I’m older I’d probably try one of those day clubs where you just get to vegetate in a cabana to the sound of laid back music while eating your body weight in alioli. My point is though, Ibiza has had a rough ride over the years as far as it’s reputation goes and I am here to tell you that there is so much more to this stunning island than the clubs.
I was thinking about my favourite places closer to home that I’d return to in a heartbeat when covid-19 has become a thing of the past (and I can get travel insurance – not an ideal situation to be in as someone who eats, breathes and sleeps travel) and I realised that when it comes to Europe, Italy and the Balearics have my heart. Forever.
We had the luxury of spending a week in Ibiza at the end of September 2019 and it was a week that was pure relaxation. We both needed it more than we realised. But in 2018 we also got to attend a friends wedding in Ibiza so I’m here to show you exactly what you’re missing by dismissing the white island and why it should move up that list of places to visit.
PLACES TO STAY – LUXURY HOTELS
Our last stay was at Aguas de Ibiza in Santa Eulalia, the foodie capital of Ibiza. A spa hotel with a rooftop bar to watch Ibiza’s spectacular sunsets, a rooftop pool if you’re wanting an adults only day, a Clarins spa and restaurants with some of the nicest food I’ve tasted.
At the other side of the island you have 7Pines, an all suite resort with views for days, fire pits, dining overlooking the sea and if you’re wanting a sense of daily calm, they offer yoga.
If you’re wanting something a little more central to Ibiza Town, you have Nobu, part of the upscale chain of hotels offering dining on the beach, a luxe spa, and direct beach access. Be warned though, some of the rooms can be on the smaller side.
You truly are spoilt for choice when it comes to 5* hotels.
Wherever you choose to stay, if you’re not wanting to just stay in that town for the entire week, check out the transport situation. I know lots of people choose to hire cars at quite reasonable prices but we liked the Aquabus Ferry Boat. We booked a round trip from Santa Eulalia to Ibiza Town which took about an hour, and it was worth every penny. Getting to see the island by boat was an experience I think everyone should have and on this occasion, we even got to see dolphins.
PLACES TO VISIT
Ibiza Old Town/Ibiza Town
Protected by walls, Ibiza Old Town is the perfect spot for a leisurely stroll. Cobbled streets, views of the bay, tiny cafes tucked away. And as you venture further into Ibiza Town you’ll find shops (hello Sephora!), bars, more cafes, restaurants, and in the summer months, you can explore the street markets lining the cobbled streets and the marina front to see what treasures you can take home with you.
A foodies dream. A walk along the marina will leave you spoilt for choice as far as places to eat and drink are concerned. Fancying seafood? The options are endless. Italian? Some not so hidden gems line the front. Vegan? Full English? A cup of Yorkshire Tea? The last one sounds like a joke, but I started to crave a cup of tea on our last break and the pleasure that one cup brought me (as a coffee drinker this is somewhat unheard of for me) is indescribable.
If you venture back into the heart of this small town, you’ll also find small bars, bakeries and a token English pub.
A sprawling beach. Unbelievable sunsets. Complete tranquility. This small hidden gem at the far side of the island, Cala Tarida sits higher up on the island and is well suited to both families and couples wanting a quiet getaway or a relaxing day trip. Accessible by car or ferry in the summer months, this resort is everything that Ibiza should be known for. Crystal blue waters, fine white sand, and a beach lovers dream.
A small resort at the very north of Ibiza, this former fishing village is another perfect location for someone wanting to get away from it all or families wanting a family friendly holiday without fear of clubbers.
Blessed with three beaches, water sports and activities a plenty, and stunning views but be warned, if you’re thinking of staying there it’s best to get a car if you’re wanting to get around because the buses can be slow and not always air conditioned.
Now hear me out, I’m not talking about the kind of clubs where champagne is sprayed everywhere and there are people partying and generally doing what you wanted to avoid on your relaxing break. I’m talking the kind of places you can rent a cabana for the day, listen to chillout music and even take your children if you’re in the market for a family holiday.
I know that daybeds don’t come cheap but usually that cost can go against food, drinks and sometimes even spa treatments!
Cotton Beach Club – Cala Tarida (closed at the time of writing due to Covid)
Amante Beach – Cala Llonga (25 euros per person for the daybed)
Atzaro Beach – Cala Nova (50 euros per person minimum consumption of food and drink for the daybed)
Have you ever been to Ibiza? What are your favourite things to do there?