The Other Side of Ibiza
A new movie highlights the non-stop party Ibiza is known for (even recently!) But there’s another, quieter side to Paradise
If you search Google images for Ibiza, you will mostly see the parties, clubs, and the hotels and beach resorts the island is famous/infamous for. Less is known about the quiet north of the island, San Juan Bautista, and other peaceful spots that are ignored by the partygoers. The island has become so synonymous with partying, alcohol and sex, and become so popular (surprise!), that other islands such as Mykonos have copied what they see to be Ibiza’s party-tourism concept.
From the airport, Aeropuerto de Ibiza San José, most people head to Playa d’en Bossa, the long stretch of beach where the huge parties are hosted. If you want to avoid that — and you might — you should go in the middle of September or later. The high season starts the beginning of June and ends with, naturally, closing parties in late September.
But if during the high season you want a peaceful retreat, the northern part of the island is the place to go, especially the north east where there are many secluded, calm beaches, some of them for nudists.
As soon as you get off the paved main road on the island, you are heading to unimaginably beautiful and serenely quiet spots. There are rural hotels perfectly suited for both family vacations and romantic holidays. Of course, there is also the inevitable development where the old, characteristic fincas are being torn down to make way for new, often pompous, luxurious modern holiday homes.
On this part of the island visitors can sunbathe by a quiet pool, or in the surrounding fields under baobab, olive or orange trees. You can enjoy the stunning sunsets, perhaps with a good glass of wine in hand. Wine pairs well with sunsets.
The hotels here seem a thousand miles from the parties and the packed city centre of Ibiza Town, but are actually close enough to the action to visit and mingle with the rich and beautiful — and when is that not fun?
The best hotels in the northern area are:
Ca Na Xica is a 5-star boutique hotel in the country side surrounded by olive trees. This hotel is routinely complimented for their friendly staff. It consists of a main house and small surrounding fincas. www.canaxica.com
Hacienda Na Xamena is a 5-star luxury hotel famous for its amazing views. You don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to enjoy the spa area and the pool. www.haciendanaxamena-ibiza.com
Atzaró is a 4-star, beautiful hotel, situated on a very large compound where you can very easily feel far away from other guests. www.atzaro.com
Closer to Ibiza Town: Pure House Ibiza is a 5-star hotel, that despite being close to the party scene is very quiet. Children under the age of 18 are not allowed in the hotel. And children over 18 don’t ruin it. www.purehouseibiza.com
There are numerous accommodations to choose from on Airbnb and they range from the classic fincas to modern villas. The Spanish people from the mainland often rent out their holiday homes during the busy months in summer and then return to the island to relax when the high season is over.
If you want to spend a quiet day at the beach we recommend:
Cala Salada which is in the north west and boasts crystal clear, blue water and untouched scenery.
Cala Xarraca which is one of the most northern beaches and is perfect for families as it offers pedal boats and calm waters that are ideal for snorkeling.
S’illot des Rencli is right next to Cala Xarraca and is perfect for both a relaxing day and fun activities.
Cala Xuclar might be the most quiet beach of the entire island. It is also in the north, close to S’illot des Rencli. It is a very small beach (only 35m long) that is surrounded by small huts where fishing boats are stored.
Lastly there is the beach of Aguas Blancas. On this beach you can only enjoy sunrays until around 5pm as the sun sets behind the cliff that shields the beach. You can expect larger waves and, as it is officially a nudist-beach, some nude people.
Now, for those of you looking for a beach with music, action and some fun drinks….
Es Cavallet one of the most southern beaches of Ibiza and has a very delicious, bohemian restaurant famous for its oysters. The further away you sunbathe from the beach bar, the quieter it gets, of course, but you will encounter people wanting to sell you fake bags and purses.
Coco Beach is another beach on the playa d’en bossa and was completely renovated in 2015. Here you can enjoy the sun from a white cabana or on sun loungers under a straw beach umbrella.
Amante in the bay of Sol d’en Serra is a beach club and restaurant that are situated like a balcony above the ocean. From here you can enjoy spectacular views and fruity cocktails. Life doesn’t suck.
And lastly the Cotton Beach Club. Every fabric you can find on this beach is made of 100% cotton as the name suggests, with furniture made of white wood giving the place a very, appropriately summery feel. It is one of the most picturesque beaches on the island, with a very delicious restaurant.
Most of the restaurants are clustered around the city centre or close to the ocean. A real insider tip however is the Cami de Balafia in the middle of the island. Because many locals love this place, it is essential to make a reservation beforehand. This restaurant is family-run and has a very small menu which is read to the guests upon arrival. It is short and sweet: they only serve lamb, chicken and beef steak with a side of either tomato salad or country cuts. You will hardly find any partygoers here, as it is far from the city.
Another amazing restaurant is Sa Punta, a double-story all-white restaurant with a lovely view of the old town of Ibiza from the deck. When going for drinks on the top floor you are served Lebanese food while on the ground-floor the menu is very Italian. This restaurant is very loud and very full during the high season!