Ibiza. More Than Just a Party Island
Updated: Oct 29, 2018
I only had three short days to convince my boyfriend that Ibiza is more than just a party island.
Alex had just spent 5 days in Ibiza with the boys, and I was flying in late Tuesday evening to spend an extra few days with him, just the two of us. I was aware of the week he had just had (booze, dance, sleep, repeat!), so I was keen to show him what else the island has to offer.
This was my 4th consecutive year I have made the trip to Ibiza. I did the party scene the first two years. Then last year I was lucky enough to have a Spanish friend on the island who showed my friends and I some new places we had never seen before. That trip opened my eyes up a bit, and I was able to see that Ibiza had a lot more to offer. So, this year I was keen to venture even further away from the tourists and I was hoping to make it to the north of the island… very, very far away from Platja d’en Bossa!
We opted for Airbnb accommodation. We found the cutest 1 bedroom apartment just outside the walls of the Old Town, very close to the port. Our street was only accessible by foot as it was a very narrow market street. It was beautiful! I would recommend this location for couples, as it is super romantic and lively. I have stayed in Bossa and San Antonio in the past, and these are two locations you want to avoid if you want some peace.
The night I arrived we went out for a late dinner at 10 pm. Much to our surprise, we were actually early for dinner. We soon found out most restaurants and shops were their busiest around midnight! I love this about European countries. There’s something special about eating alfresco in the heat and then walking through the market stalls in the middle of the night. Alex found an amazing restaurant off the main road called La Tana. The small cobbled street was filled with candles, mood lighting, flowers and vines. We had a really nice view of the lit up clock tower in the Old Town. The food was so good that we actually considered going back there the next night, but thought we’d better try somewhere different. (We ended up trying the restaurant across the road the following evening because we liked the street so much!)
To be honest, it didn’t take three days to show Alex the other side of Ibiza, he was convinced after day 1 and it wasn’t hard work at all. If you want to see beautiful parts of Ibiza that are hardly visited by many people… If you want to spend time surrounded by more locals than tourists… If you want to stumble across peaceful private beaches, I highly recommend you hire a car and go for an adventure. We were so glad we did.
We decided to drive to the north of the Island. The drive was beautiful. Alex was surprised at how green the countryside was, he had thought the Island was quite rocky previously to the drive. We drove 20 minutes off the main road, down a windy dirt road to find an adorable seaside town called Portinatx. As soon as we got there we felt like we were so far away from anything else. There was a beautiful beach with a small beach bar, made of a straw/leaf type roof, something that you see in the movies. We found ourselves a spot on the sand. There were a few small groups of people on the beach, but it was so quiet.
“I remember Alex and I whispering to each other so to not disturb the peace.”
We then decided to walk away from the beach and over the cliffs. We saw some very big drops down to the water and ended up in a small pebbled beach that had rock pools and a cave. There were 4 other people there, but they ended up leaving and we had the place to ourselves. We were once again pleased with our decision to adventure further on foot. Here are some pictures of what we saw…
A day trip to Formentera is a must! Boats leave from loads of different ports. Check the times of the boat trip against the prices before booking. We paid an extra 2 euros for a 20 minute quicker journey. I recommend going to the north of Formentera to see crystal clear turquoise waters (I’ve marked it with a heart on the map below). We hired bikes for 6 euro each and road as far as we could, then walked the rest. The previous year I had crossed the water to the top island, S’Espalmador, with our belongings on our head, but this year the water was too deep and we weren’t able to cross. We managed to find ourselves a private spot anyway and spent hours there, we were very happy. I recommend hiring a bicycle over a scooter or car.
Motor vehicles had to pay a congestion/toll fee to get past the gates further up the Island and we just rolled by on our bicycles for free. It was a really nice ride too.
Crossing the water to S’Espalmador – August 2016
Formentera June 2017
If you’re in a party mood, and you wanna get drunk and listen to music while watching the sunset go to Cafe Mambo in San Antonio. You can drink your own drinks there on the rocks but WARNING it smells bad, it’s uncomfortable, there’s a lot of broken glass and all your sunset pictures will be photo bombed by the crowds.
For a more relaxed enjoyable sunset, you can find some really lovely beaches along the west coast. We drove to one on the north-west coast and we were 1 of a few people there enjoying the view.
Summary of Tips!
Avoid Bossa & San Antonio if you want some peace – standard
Hire a car – you cannot see anything off the beaten track without a car
Read reviews on Trip Advisor for restaurants (this tip is for everywhere you travel!)
Hire bicycles in Formentera