Found in the heart of the Mediterranean, Ibiza is known for its year-round party atmosphere, but there’s more to this Balearic beauty than meets the eye. Beyond the all-night parties and super-clubs of Ibiza Town and San Antonio, there’s a more relaxed side which entices the more discerning holidaymaker. This is Ibiza for the laidback traveller.
Where to stay
Cala Conta is a tranquil location which boasts one of the island’s best beaches, while Portinatx, on Ibiza’s north coast, is surrounded by lush green pine trees. If you want to relax in a rural village, San Miguel is the place for you. Ibiza is small enough to drive from one end to the other in just over an hour, so you can easily reach any of our James Villas properties on the island.
What to do in Ibiza
You may not know it, but outside of Ibiza’s busy cities there’s a whole world of relaxation just waiting to be discovered. For the most tranquil beaches, start with Cala Salada, north of San Antonio, and Cala d’en Serra, which is a tiny horseshoe beach near Portinatx. While I love spreading out on a sun lounger, Ibiza has far more to offer away from its breath-taking beaches.
Las Salinas Salt Flats
On Ibiza’s southernmost tip you’ll come across one of the island’s most visually striking landmarks, the Las Salinas Salt Flats. During the year’s hottest months, water evaporates leaving behind a layer of pure salt on the lake beds. Near to one of Ibiza’s most iconic beaches, Las Salinas, the salt flats are a great place to watch the sunset and even do a bit of birdwatching.
Ibiza Old Town (Dalt Vila)
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ibiza’s Old Town is an iconic part of the island. A fortress resting high on the Ibizan landscape, you can easily spend hours wandering through the cobbled streets of Dalt Vila. With a history covering almost 2,500 years, you’ll find historic churches and chapels, battlements and the archaeological museum, plus some fabulous bars and restaurants and sweeping views of the town below.
Hippy Market at Es Canar
Fancy a shopping experience with a difference? There are several “hippy markets” around Ibiza, but the one at Es Canar is one of my favourites. Located on the grounds of the Club Punta Arabi, it’s the largest and most famous of all the markets on the island, with hundreds of stalls open for business between April and October. Buy jewellery, crafts and natural cosmetics, and taste some homemade paella as you stroll around.
Can Marça Caves
A visit to the Can Marça Caves is perfect for escaping the Ibizan heat. Found in Puerto San Miguel, the caves were originally used by smugglers. Although the caves are lit up today, when they were originally used, smugglers would have to make marks on the walls to find their way in the dark. See incredible stalagmite formations and don’t miss the music and light show, which features a 30 foot cascade of brightly-lit water.
If you’re visiting Ibiza, you simply must try snorkelling. Along with Cala Salada and Cala d’en Serra, the beach of Aguas Blancas is a great beach for snorkelling due to its clear waters and rocky outcrops, which provide shelter for a whole host of marine life. South of San Antonio you’ll find Cala Conta, which has a small handful of coves, each thriving with wildlife to see.
If you want to see even more of the area, try taking a boat trip to Ibiza’s sister island, Formentera. This island is a paradise of calm. Charming villages overlook pristine white beaches, and as you look out to the ocean, the blue horizon seems to go on forever.
Catch the sunset
As well as its party island image, Ibiza has gained a well-deserved reputation for its picturesque sunsets. They’re unbeatable. What better way to relax than a beautiful sunset? Be part of a long-established Ibizan tradition and watch the sunset near the rocky islands of Es Vedra and Es Vedranell, from the cliffs at ‘L’Era d’Es Mataret’ near Es Cubells.
Best ways to get around…
Undoubtedly the best way to experience this varied landscape is to venture into the great outdoors.
A three-hour circular walk from Portitxol beach, in the north east, offers amazing sea views and is just one of Ibiza’s walking routes.
Cyclists should try the Port des Torrent route, which will take you past beautiful bays and coves.
If you want to see the vast landscapes of Ibiza from a different perspective, use one of the many horse riding tours that are available. Trekking through mountains and thick forests, it’s an experience you’ll never forget.
Plan your laidback island getaway
Take a look at our selection of Ibizan villas and start planning today.