As I prepare for my next destination or should I say destinations; a 4 night Jon Bon Jovi Cruise on the Norwegian Pearl starting in Barcelona and heading to Palma before returning back to Port de Barcelona next week, I reminisced fondly about my trip to Ibiza in June.
8 weeks after knee replacement surgery my daughter and I, headed off to Ibiza for 5 nights, returning back to Hotel Marco Polo in San Antonio where we had stayed the previous year. All in the name of R&R.
Choosing to stay in San An again as my daughter enjoys the sunset and I am familiar with the area being relatively flat, it was somewhere I knew I’d progress with my knee replacement recovery. The hotel, a short walk from the bus depot, which we now use like locals to explore the island, was a great central location. All be it incredibly noisy with hotel guest screaming at all hours of the night. The music from Eden until 6 am was nothing compared to this debauchery in the hallways.
Using San Antonio as our base we headed for day trips out, Laura wanting to visit Playa D’en Bossa, where Hi and Ushuaia are located as well as world-famous Bora Bora. This turned out to be far more raucous than SA and it was only 11 am! It was also the place we were offered to buy weed from the sunglass sellers on the side of the road… We did, however, visit a couple of incredibly beautiful towns, which given the chance, when in Ibiza are the best destinations you should visit.
Santa Eulària des Riu
Ibiza’s third largest resort and hailed as a haven for families is Santa Eulària. This location is out of the way of the club scene and is picture-perfect. The historic beach town is palm-lined along the front and a far cry from some of the other towns in Ibiza.
Steeped in a rich history of being Ibiza’s gastronomic and cultural centre, there is no shortage of restaurants to dine in and beautiful buildings to ogle at. Just spending even 10 minutes walking along the streets of Santa Eulària you’ll see why.
Life in this little town moves at a more relaxed pace and boasts much quieter nightlife. Don’t be mistaken though, the town is busy with the local community all year round and not just seasonally, unlike other destinations on the White Isle… From Art Galleries to the exclusive Yacht Marina to even the fantastic shopping, there’s certainly a more traditional approach to island life.
Santa Eulària attracts families and the yachts attract cash, so you’ll find the exclusive Nikki Beach day club a 3km distance from the town centre.
Head to Formentera for the day, you can easily hop on the ferry from Santa Eulària and experience the smallest of Spain’s Balearic islands in the Mediterranean Sea.
Much like Santa Eulària, Cala Vedella lives a more relaxed pace of life. A 10-minute drive from San José, this protected bay is surrounded by pine-clad hills and is ideal for off-road walking.
Enjoy the breathtaking views of the beach as you descend down from a climb into the bay. A sprinkling of beach cafes and bars along the front make for great vantage points for a day of sipping sangria watching the boats majestically dance in and out of the bay. With great snorkelling in the crystal clear waters, there are also a couple of diving schools, so is a great place for sea activity (if you’re into that).
Due to the beauty of the bay on an evening it transforms into a romantic place used by yachts and boats to enjoy the sunset. Similarly to Santa Eulària, you can also hop on a boat from here to explore Formentera.
The bars are great during the day and can get a little lively on the evening to help get families enjoying their holidays in Ibiza in the mood for a traditional Balearic evening. If you’re craving the party scene of San Antonio it’s only 10km in a taxi, do beware though, you will have to call and book a taxi as this quaint little village doesn’t have a taxi rank or readily available taxis. You can take the bus, however again this doesn’t run frequently into this sleepy town.
We initially stayed here last year on my first trip to the White Isle (we got a great deal on Holiday Pirates), however, decided that early May was just too quiet for us so we moved on to San Antonio.
Portinatx is situated at the top North of the island. Boasting not one, but three beautiful beaches, S’Arenal Gros (which is the largest), S’Arenal Petit (which is more private) and Playa Porto Beach. This one is lined with bars and restaurants. Similarly to Cala Vedella, the stunning clear waters make this particular area a favourite of snorkelers and divers.
It has fast become a family favourite area as Portinatx is quiet and away from the hustle and bustle of hectic Ibiza nightlife. This being said, you can still enjoy the traditional active nightlife in some of the local restaurants and bars.
Ibiza Town (Eivissa)
Eivissa(as it is known in Catalan) is the capital (and largest town) in Ibiza. Made famous by Pacha, the superclub founded in 1967. The town, which is located on a port, has something for everyone’s tastes. With a selection of small boutiques, high-end fashion stores, shoe shops, art galleries and museums there’s a lot to see and do.
A favourite of the rich and famous, in high Summer it’s not uncommon to see celebrities such as George Clooney or Leonardo Di Caprio wandering around.
Ibiza’s capital has an exceptional nightlife scene with a plethora of bars and exquisite restaurants at your disposal. Enjoy the culture and history as new meets old with beautiful historic buildings as the backdrop. The Renaissance defensive wall, a must-see, it is a spectacle in itself.
Eivissa is split into three distinct parts; The Old Town, New Town and Marina.
The Old Town
Founded by the Phoenicians over 2500 years ago, today people still live within its walls. The old town comprises of the fortified citadel Dalt Vila and the old fishing area around the main drawbridge called Portal de Ses Taules.
You will find picturesque lanes with cobbled streets and pretty white-painted houses and buildings at the Old Port Area. In the Summer months, there are people strolling around during the day, by dusk however, the area comes alive for the nightly hippy market.
The New Town
The newest part of the town includes everything on the flat plain. The central boulevard of Vara de Rey and stunning plazas are home to beautiful townhouses. These date back from the beginning of the last century. If you’re into people-watching like we are then the neighbouring Plaza del Parque is an ideal location. It boasts a collection of bars on one side and restaurants lining the other.
The Marina is located across from the Old Town. Over recent years this area has been developed greatly to include a big sweeping walkway and beautiful coloured buildings. Like the majority of Ibiza, you’ll find a great choice of bars and restaurants. There’s a very luxurious feel around The Marina from designer fashion boutiques and super-yachts, to a Hollywood A-Lister or two.
Ibiza is far more than just a clubbing destination and even in these ‘party resorts’ there are some incredible places to see, drink and dine at and enjoy.
After feeling very reserved about and asking my 28-year-old daughter if I was too old for Ibiza, I can safely say, you are never too old for Ibiza!