Ibiza had been on my list since forever and finally, at the end of spring just before the season started, we got to go for a blissful 72 hours. We didn’t party, we explored. We hired a car and hopped from beach to beach with sand between our toes. We drank beer on the beach at sunset, and feasted on fresh fish in off-the-beaten path seafood shacks. Now I’ve got a taste for it and seen just how good the beaches really are, I’m itching to get back. But first thing’s first, here’s my holiday guide to Ibiza…
stay at pure house
We spent two nights at Pure House and absolutely loved it. Just 4 rooms spread across the white-washed finaca, all separated by shady terraces and patio areas, it’s escapism at best. The ivory colour palette, macrame headboards, luscious grounds, glistening saltwater pool, and thatched cabanas have instant calming effects — you won’t want to ever leave. Off the beaten path and surrounded by nature, it feels wonderfully intimate and secret. You will need a car, though its just 15 minutes from the airport and 10 minutes from the Old Town.
hire a car and road trip!
Ibiza is 50 minutes drive tip-to-tip so it’s pretty easy to do a lot in a short amount of time. I’d definitely recommend hiring a car as most of the beaches are off the beaten path (especially the best ones!) and public transport doesn’t give you that blissful holiday freedom. Plus, there are some much loved restaurants like Paloma, Wild Beets and Aubergine in the middle of the island you’d miss without a car. The roads are easy to drive, and everything is well sign-posted. Parking near the beaches can be tricky at peak times, but you can usually find something and walk down.
hit the beaches
For me, the beaches were by far the best thing about Ibiza. There a tonnes and you’ll never do them all, but you can make a pretty good stab at them, just leisurely hopping from beach to beach in the car, taking a picnic for lunch as most of the best ones feel pretty remote without restaurants or shops. Up on the north east of the island, you’ll find a string of sleepy beaches with the clearest waters. Start at Playa Cala Xarraca and bathe on its stone pier, continue up to rocky Playa de La Cueva De Portinatx, and spend the rest of the afternoon down on the sandy shores of Cala D’En Serra — one of my faves on the island. My number one has to be Cala Saladetta though, a rocky beach with the bluest, brightest waters, not far from Sant Antoni.
lose yourself in the pretty streets of dalt vila
One of the prettiest parts of Ibiza, don’t pass up spending at least a morning (and ideally, a sunkissed evening too) getting lost in the cobbled web of streets that is Ibiza Old Town. Follow the path up hill to the Dalt Vila gate and be met with glistening white washed buildings, colourful flora and towering cacti, all overlooking the coastline and the rest of the city. It’s picture-perfect and ever so quaint. Don’t go without your camera.
eat the catch of the day fish shack
A cluster of parasols and a few plastic tables and chairs on the rocks at the far end of Talamanca Beach, Fish Shack doesn’t have any official online presence, but it’s not a huge secret these days. Known among locals and out-of-towners as one of the best places to seafood in Ibiza, honestly, you’d be hard pushed to find anything fresher. There’s no menu at Fish Shack. Not even a chalkboard with daily specials. The waiters will let you know the different fish they’ve caught that day, and everything will be served the same way with potatoes, salad, and a generous douse of olive oil. Delicious, affordable, don’t miss it.
join the sunday sunset drumming ritual on benirrás beach
There’s no place you want to be on a Sunday night other than Benirrás beach: a large, sandy bay with beautiful golden light on the north of the island. Come here well before the sun sets to watch, dance and join in with the lively drumming ritual that takes place every Sunday. It’s fun to get involved but also just to sit nearby and soak up the atmosphere, with beers and takeout pizzas from the pizzeria at the top of the beach. This little Sunday situ was of my favourite Ibiza experiences.
eat tapas at la bodega
Gotta love Spain for its tapas! And there’s no better place to indulge (at good value!) than at La Bodega, a popular little spot that’s been around for years and years just near the walled gate in the Old Town. It’s traditional tapas with good prices and a great atmosphere, plus a handful of outdoor tables that are perfect for soaking up the last of the sun. Expect all your favourites — ham croquettes, pulpo, fried calamari, patatas bravas… Call up early and book a table or else you’re looking at a 2+ hour wait.
watch the sunset over es vedra at cala d’hort
Rumour has it, if you make a wish looking out to Es Vedra, it comes true. So wish wisely. Shrouded in myth and legend, Es Vedra is an uninhabited limestone rock that stands almost 400m tall in the ocean, off of the sandy beach of Cala D’Hort bay. Once you’ve made your wish, get comfy with a couple sundowners and see out the sunset — one of the most beautiful on the island casting Es Vedra into shadow.