Ibiza (or Eivissa in catalan) is the capital of Ibiza island and the biggest town. It has about 50,000 inhabitants but much more visitors that come every year for its bustling nightlife. We used it as our base through out our trip to Ibiza island so we had the chance to see the town during the day but also during the night.
There are some scenic areas, near the port, Sa Penya with the small alleys and numerous café, bars and restaurants, no surprise most visitors love this area and it’s always full of people, ideal for those who want to see and be seen, there’s a raw of expensive bars at carrer de Barcelona, parallel to the port, but the view isn’t great because there’s a parking space between the bar area and the sea itself so we decided to skip this and keep the money for some other bars further inside Sa Penya no matter the people that work there trying hard to push you stop for a drink.
In Sa Penya you’ll see lots of people, some dressed up with weird clothes, no surprise the area is also full of small boutique that sell strange colorful clothes. Usually, packed with people the area has always something for you no matter if it is a posh bar or an upscale restaurant, the truth is that most of the evening we just preferred smaller corners but it was lovely to stroll around day and night, always with nice ambience especially in the evenings.
Dalt Vila (upper town) is another must see area, it is the Old Town located inside the old fortress walls on the hill that overlooks the port.
It is a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1999 and we spend there some hours one morning. There are 3 different Gates to get inside, the main gate is Portal de ses Taules that was built in 16th century when the walls were added too by King Felipe II. But the Romans were the first the built the fortress many centuries before.
We had a nice map that we took from the local Info Center so we didn’t get lost among the maze of small alleys. Once inside we saw Placa de la Vila where many stores and restaurants are located. You can just stop here or can go up to Sant Bernat Bastion and enjoy the view over the sea, I also loved the gun turrets, some of them seemed that are ready to shoot all the sinners of the town :) Check also Museu d’Art Contemporani, the Archeological museum (closed during our visit), the Santa Maria d’Eivissa cathedral and Dioceca museum), San Domingo church etc
But most of all just walk around and enjoy the Old Town, there are some nice old houses, don’t forget people still live here among all these quaint narrow streets, life hasn’t change much here except the expensive boutiques of course.
Most of the area was quiet early in the morning but our second visit in the evening was different, we walked a bit in the alleys (they are lit) and noticed that most of the café, bars and restaurants were packed with people.
There are also some beaches near Ibiza town but of course you have better choices all around the island.
If your hotel is not in San Antonio, I think you should visit this place for one day!
The rocky beaches are fine, and once there you must go to Cafè del Mar!
Cafè del Mar is just like this...you sit at the table or on the rocks, watching the sunset and listening to music...then, when the sun has just gone down,everybody claps...such a magic atmosphere,it can't be described!
- School Holidays
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Sant Antoni de Portmany (or San Antonio Abad in catalan, originally called Port Magnus by the Romans) is an (extra) popular resort in Ibiza island which means most people come here for the countless parties caring only about the sun, beach and drink philosophy. Saying that you understand that it’s a place to avoid if you’re not a party animal and cant stand hundreds of young people that lets say forget their good manners back home after some drinks….
It is located on west coast of Ibiza, 15km west of Eivissa (the capital of Ibiza). Once a small seaside town that was based on fishing it is now a place with about 8000 inhabitants (second largest town in Ibiza) and thousands of tourists that come for the famous dancing clubs where famous DJs play. The town started to grow fast in the early 60s with huge hotels rising non stop and changing completely the town. It is very popular among young british tourists and that’s why usually all other people try to find other more peaceful places for accommodation.
We visited San Antonio as half day trip after checking some peaceful towns on the north coast. The main reason was that we wanted to check the famous spectacular sunsets as the town is located on the west coast of Ibiza it has the privilege of a gorgeous sunset so no surprise there’s a line of café/pubs (along Ses Variades coast line) that you have a great view of the sunset and of course you know that you are going to be overcharged for that :) Most café/bars there are famous (Café del Mar, Mambo, Savannah) with famous djs playing music (lounge before sunset, more beats after sunset)
Huge famous nightclubs include Es Paradis and Eden while on West End area you’ll find many bars that play loud music and annoying people trying to push you get inside, don’t worry freedom is just a couple of streets away… :)
But apart from the unpleasant clichés about this place we walked a bit around, first we visited a nice church, it is church of San Antonio that dates from 14th century in a strange style, typical Ibicenco defensive architecture, actually it is a fortified church that was the centre of the village life, obviously to protect the people from threads like a pirate attack so not just a place for prayer but a shelter for the inhabitants of the port.
Then, we did some shopping, walked along Passeig de Ses Fonts that has some nice palm trees and numerous pavement cafes, enjoyed a light meal, a tasty ice cream and ended up at Café del Mar to enjoy the sunset before we return back to Eivissa.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
San Miguel and Can Marca caves
We visited the peaceful town of San Miguel in the morning, it seemed very quiet almost a ghost town (although it’s the biggest town of Sant Joan de Labritja municipality with 1600 inhabitants, 100 of them at the port).
We drove up to the one and only attraction which is a church from 15th century (Esglesia de Sant Miquel de Balansat) but it was closed too. It was dedicated to Jesús Salvador de los Hombres but later was dedicated to archangel San Miguel. The bell tower dates from 19th century and there is an inner yard with the buildings all around, it seemed like a small fortress, the church has a cross like shape. Although the church was closed we noticed that the library is also attached, the cemetery is just a few meters away.
As the church was closed we just the view of the town downhill (the church is located on the top). Not really much to do here, we just relaxed for some moments, checked the statue of a man (cant recall who he was) showing a man walking while reading a book.
There is a craft market every Thursday on the main square, where you can also see traditional folk dances during the evenings. The big fiesta of the town is on 29 of September.
The town is not far from the port de Sant Miquel which is located only 4km away and it’s more popular among the visitors due to its white sandy beach. We didn’t like the port as it is just another nice natural harbor with a raw of huge hotels and other apartments along the coast. But if you travel down here you may want to try seafood at one of the restaurants there.
We took some pictures around but the fact that we met with no one made us no choice and left the village to the famous caves of Can Marca which is the real attraction of the general area, located 1,5km from port de San Miquel.
Cova de Can Marca is the most popular caves in the area, not far from Benirras beach which is also popular among hippy tourists. Even you are not interested that much about caves you will love the view over the north coast.
We parked the car and then walked down the hill where there is a small café where you actually buy the ticket wait for the next tour to start. Then you have to go down lots of steps until the entrance of the caves, no wheelchair access possibility.
The cave that it is almost 100,000 years old (!) used to be a hideaway for smugglers that 100 years ago where they were storing things etc We noticed some small tunnels inside that they used to enter/exit the cave, they must been small people :)
The tour inside the caves lasted for about 40minutes with a woman giving us many useful information and kindly answered many questions we had. Due to low levels of rain water the cave dying slowly through the centuries with most part of the caves been largely fossilized (stalactites and stalagmites are connected with rain water on the upper ground) but they have used some interesting effects in some corners, color on some water lakes, glow pools etc The most amazing is a small light and water show that we saw at the end (pic 5) with some music at the background.
Some small lakes and waterfalls are not natural of course, they were pumped there to show us how the caves were many years before. Obviously if you have visited other caves all over the world you may be disappointed here and yes I’ve heard many people on the way out talking about a pure rip off considering the expensive ticket.
You can see a small video here.
Entrance fee is 9euro
It’s open daily 10.30-19.30 (winter 11.00-17.30)
San Juan Bautista (or Sant Joan de Labritja in catalan) is a small town in north part of Ibiza.
San Juan is a peaceful place, we arrived there miday and stopped for a while during our day trip by car in north part of Ibiza which is way less touristic than the south part, actually there was no one around, the sun was burning over the white houses and we didn’t know what to do. No surprise why it’s a favorite place among romantic couples that love Ibiza but not the clubs :)
First we visited the church that dominates the town, church of San Juan (Esglesia de Sant Joan de Labritja) dates back from the 18th century. It’s a nice whitewashed church, nothing special to see, a bronze figure outside, simple interior but obviously the church dominates the town as the most impressive building above the houses. The church celebrates with a big fiesta in town on 24 of June when you can see much more people around that come not only to enjoy local food and music but also the fireworks in the sky but also in the ground (!) when locals try to jump over fires, an old custom that suppose to protect the town from evil spirit and bring good luck :)
Then we took some pictures of the houses, checked some wooden doors and windows, some lovely colorful flowers on the white walls, and then seek for shelter in one of the small cafes.
A cold beer was like a gift from God at that time… Most of the cafes are located on the main street. I was surprised to see lots of banks and ATM machines around too.
If you want to stay here there are some agrotourist guesthouses. Obviously it’s a place where you can relax away from the clubs, you can spend hours at one of the cafes watching the time passing slowly or check the unspoiled woodlands around and when you get bored you can just visit some nice bays and enjoy the waters of some nice beaches around, beach of Cala Xaracca is 8km to the north or Portinatx 2km after that with full facilities. But the most popular is Cala San Vicente is a fine 380 meters long sandy beach 10km to the east through a picturesque road with a popular restaurant too (Can Gat) that we didn’t try, we just walked on the promenade. The beach has lots of facilities including lifeguard, showers, water sports etc
The best sea is in Formentera
You must absolutely make a one-day trip to Formentera...
Ferries from Ibiza town, Figueretes and Playa d'en Bossa cost 13-15 euros...it will take you about 30 minutes and then you'll be in Paradise!
One of the best beaches is Playa des Illetes, but once you rent a bike (about 6 euros for one day) or a motorbike (remember to bring your driving licence) you can go wherever you want and look for the beaches you like the most! They're just wonderful!!!!
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Portinatx is a small seaside resort at north part Ibiza island. It is located on the northern part of the island, about 29km from Ibiza town.
If you like a hotel on a picturesque scenery you may want to check one of the hotels here. There are 450 inhabitants but much more tourists of course. Not much going on here, you just enjoy the beach as there are not many attractions, ok maybe the old pirate tower on the opposite hill :)
Lying on the beach is also good for another reason, it’s the only way to avoid seeing the ugly architecture, large hotels dominate the area as in many spanish resorts near the sea… No surprise lots of hotels have risen near the Portinatx beach which is actually 3 different ones, s’Arenal Gros (170m long), s’Arenal Petit (50m long) and Port de Portinatx (35m long).
Calm waters, natular sand with some rock areas. Family friendly beaches as the water are low depth at the beginning. There are the usual facilities: loungers, parasols, showers etc Although we preferred other more peaceful beaches on the island it was nice to be here for a while, at least as long as we tried to swim because the screaming of the kids playing on the sand send us after some minutes to the near by café for a beer :)
We just came for the beach, then we just had a beer and left the area.
Es Canar is a small seaside resort on east part of Ibiza island, 20km NE from Ibiza town and 5km NE from Santa Eulalia, actually Es Canar belongs to municipality of Santa Eularia des Riu.
The Hippy Market is the weekly market that takes place in Es Canar every Wednesday. We visited Es Canar on Wednesday too, so after checking the beach we headed to the market where we walked along the numerous stands that sell clothes, handicrafts etc but we didn’t get excited with anything. Some street artists (living statues, musicians) add to the atmosphere but if you don’t have much time to loose you better head to nicer corners of Ibiza island.
It started in the 60s when the hippies (hence the name) that visited the islands started to sell small items made by wood or metal. In our days it’s still there with numerous stands that sell clothes, leather bags, jewelery, handicrafts, cds, souvenirs etc
We parked opposite the entrance (3,5euro per car) and we entered. It was very crowded inside, some items are the same in many stands so so you have to try hard to find something unique although some handmade items may attract your attention. I guess most of the people just came to see what this is all about, we did the same but we got bored fast and we decided to leave.
There are also some street artists here and there (living statues, painters and musicians) that make the atmosphere a bit better and also lots of places to drink or eat something if you spend a lot of time here.
The market is open on Wednesdays 10.00-18.00. There’s no entrance fee.
People also (especially families) come here because there are hotels along the 300m long sandy beach that is 25m wide with all the usual facilities (showers, parasols, loungers, toilets, lifeguards), it is a small town with everything a typical tourist want (café, restaurants, stores, lots of water sports etc) but that’s all, nothing special, just a typical small tourist resort. It is connected by bus with Santa Eulalia (the bigger town of the general area) but also by boat from the small harbor.
Official Nude Bathing Beach. Wild and natural, backed by sand dunes and a little green belt of shade and hills. Large breaking waves when the east wind blows near the sandy shoreline. Popular with windsurfers when the wind blows.
Rolling dunes and a very broad sandy beach are perfect for beach strolls. Throughout the summer months, these sandy dunes are a much-loved meeting point for homosexuals. With disco-music and cocktails, the party feeling continues here the whole day long.
One of the best beach in the island,
don?t forget have lunch,very late in "el chiringuito",
and a drink in "la escollera"
- Gay and Lesbian
- Water Sports
There are more than 50 beaches to choose from! The truth is that we didn’t check many as preferred to swim near Ibiza Town most of the days at Platja de ses Figueretes. As I said the island has many beaches but this was just 5’ walk away from our hotel through a nice path called paseig de ses Pitiuses. There were also some nice cafes and pictures restaurant along the way. The beach was pretty busy, has all the basic usual facilities like loungers, parasols, showers etc
The beach is also a stop for the aguabus that many other people used to get transferred to other beaches.
But we also drove around the island and there were some peaceful ones, many beaches for nudist people, some family oriented near resorts like Portinatx etc
We went on an organised boat trip which involved dropping anchor and diving for champagne in the clear blue water. We then sailed to a nearby beach where we swam in the sea, had a barbeque, and played games around the pool or relaxed with a beer. At the end of the day we were taken back to our hotels by boat.
Please see my Travelogue for more pictures.
- Water Sports
- Sailing and Boating
Spend some hours at a hippy market.
There are several hippies markets in Ibiza. I went to the oldest that is located at Punta Arabì.
This market was started by a group of hippies in 1973. At first it was make of few stalls. Today these are around 500 or maybe more. It is held every wednesday from april to october.
Here you can find various things as clothes, jewellery and lots of crafts.
The market has some eateries, cafes and an area for children.
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Cala Bassa. Take a short boat trip from San Antonio to this lovely beach which is ideal for sunbathing, snorkelling, jetskiing and generally relaxing. It is a lot better than the beach at San Antonio.
Please see my Travelogue for more pictures.
There are two small islands in the middle of the beach, on which people tend to sunbathe. It also has an array of water sport facilities (scuba-diving club that organises diving excursions, pedal boat hire, etc). The area is set in a beautiful location surrounded by mountains full of pine trees. It is full of families from the area. It has excellent services and facilities for the disabled with access to the beach by ramp.
Location: Ibiza/Cala Carbó Housing Estate
Type of terrain: Fine Golden Sand
Type of waves: Still
Explore Ibiza (or Eivissa).
Ibiza, also called Eivissa is the capitol town of the island. It is located on the south-east coast.
Its oldest area; Dalt Vila is surrounded by walls erected in the 16th century. Here you can visit the cathedral, some museums and see lots of ancient houses. There are some shops, restaurants, cafes and a few hotels at Dalt Vila.
Sa Penya was a fishermen' s quarter. It is the oldest area of the town outside the walls. I didn' t like it much. Don' t miss a visit to Casa Broner if you happen to be in that area. It is a nice house built in 1960 by a famous architect; Erwin Broner (1898 - 1971).
The Marina is another area of this town. Here you can find every kind of shops you like. There is even a good choice of cafes and restaurants as well.
- Family Travel