The chances are that’s something along the lines of a crazy party island best suited to those who want to stay up all night and sleep all day. And to be honest, I too was in that boat until recently. After our friends let us know they were getting married on the island, I started doing some research, to understand whether we should stay on and explore or visit another island nearby. Because, full confession, I don’t quite have all night parties in me anymore. Long lunches are my favourite past time, and sunset drinks are my jam, but by 11pm I pretty much turn into a pumpkin.
After digging deeply (coverage of the island not dedicated to partying seems sparse) I started to get the feeling that there was more to the island than meets the eye, and so much more beyond the nightclubs. After spending eight nights there and exploring hidden coves, doing incredible hikes, discovering quaint inland towns and eating at tiny beachside restaurants, I have to say I’m 100% sold on this little paradise. And in the event that you are keen to check out some of the clubs on the island, you’ll be happy to know there are lots of relaxing spots to recover! So it’s pretty much for something for everyone.
If you’re looking to avoid the parties, finding the right location to base yourself is key. I knew from the trip Ben and I did in 2008 that we should avoid both Ibiza Town (and its surrounds) and St Antonio because they’re very busy, touristy and designed for parties. I searched for days for just the right type of accommodation for our trip – trying to find something that was a little more remote, on the beach and not too over the top (in terms of price and also design). I had soooo many requirements. After scrolling my mouse til my fingers were sore, we decided to split our time between the western and eastern coasts. For the first four nights, we stayed at The Ancient Charcoal’s Cottage at Cala Vadella, an Airbnb in a traditional house where charcoal used was stored before being sent off by ship. It was so peaceful waking up on the tiny beach every morning and drinking our home made coffee on the beach. For the next four nights, we moved to the other side of the island to a hotel called Los Enamorados… I loved this place! Admittedly the service was on the relaxed side, and it wasn’t cheap, but that was totally made up for by the decor and chilled out vibes.
Eat & Drink
Spend a whole day at the relaxed beach club Cala Bonita.
If you don’t stay at Los Enamorados, it’s definitely worth booking sunset drinks and dinner there.
Drop into the gorgeous farm to table restaurant Aubergine for lunch or dinner.
Head to El Bigotes for a traditional Bullit de Peix (fish and potato soup)… People discuss at length how hard this place is to get into, but we turned up at 1.30pm and got a table for the 2pm sitting. If you can (particulate if it’s high season), try to get your hotel to book for you in advance.
Have a drink under the trees at the oldest bar on Ibiza, Bar Anita.
Have lunch under the trees at Vivo in Santa Gertrudis.
See & Do
Visit the gorgeous beaches, our favourites were Cala Vadella, Cala D’hort and Cala Xarraca.
Hike down to Atlantis, a fantastic rock excavation site that has filled with water to create pools. It’s a very steep climb so make sure you wear the right shoes and take water. Also, on your way out to see this, we took a right turn rather than a left on the walking track and ended up on the other side of the mountain looking down over the outlying rocking island of Es Vedra, an incredible sight to behold!
Hike into the gorgeous little cove of Es Portitxol.
Wander and take in the sunset in the UNESCO listed old town of Dalt Vila.
Take a ferry over to Formentera and hire bikes and explore. A full guide on this is coming soon!
Visit the Hippy Markets of Las Dalias, check the website for dates at other times of the year.
Wander and have lunch in the chilled out village of Santa Gertrudis.
Good to know
If you’re going to see the best, hidden parts of Ibiza, you absolutely need a car.
Serene easy mornings.
We found this rock porthole!
Ibiza Old Town
Always on the hunt for some florals… This DIY dress is coming soon!