Ibiza’s Tourist Board has spent the past few decades courting upmarket travellers who would scarcely give the island’s booming clubbing scene a second glance, though the success of Ushuaia’s high spec clubbers’ hotel seems to show that partying remains high on the agenda of most visitors.
But even if you plan to hit the clubs hard, there’s bound to come a time when you crave some peaceful moments away from the maelstrom. With this in mind, it’s worth taking note of some of Ibiza’s quieter resorts, where you can enjoy the other side of Ibiza, or just recharge your batteries before the next big session.
Portinatx, on the northern tip of the island, is a world away from the buzzy dance hubs that populate the opposite end and has long been a resort favoured by families. A renowned beauty spot where the musical South Pacific was filmed, it’s centred around a pretty cove between two bays, with a lush backdrop of pine-clad hills. There are a handful of bars, shops and restaurants here, enough to hold your attention for a few nights or so, but they’re low key with most winding down around midnight.
Taking in the sunset from Café del Mar on San Antonio’s heaving Sunset Strip long crossed over from being an iconic experience to something of a tourist cliché, but the good news is that you can still appreciate it by meandering a little further north to the undeveloped sandy cove of Cala Salada. It’s a wonderful spot where you can trace the sun’s slow fade between the rocks of Sa Conillera and Bosc before enjoying a private swim.
If you want to get a sense of the serene paradise that Ibiza once was before it mushroomed into its present pleasure-pleasing incarnation, jump on a ferry from Ibiza Town and explore the sister island of Formentera, the Balearics’ most southerly outpost. Its stretches of pure white sands and clear blue seas are best seen by hiring a bike or eco-scooter. Keep an eye out for sheep and goats often found sheltering in the shade of fig trees.
Nothing to do with the beer that shares its name, the village of San Miguel on the way to the busier port is trendy enough to appeal to the clubbing crowd without sacrificing the tranquillity it offers. Rustic ‘fincas’ (rural estates) and agritourism businesses have flourished in an untouched, relatively underpopulated corner that’s home to one of Ibiza’s oldest churches and a single music bar where the local characters congregate.
Where are your favourite spots away from the Balearic party crowds? Let us know your insider tips on the road less well-trodden in Ibiza…