Once upon a time the playground of the high rolling 70s jet set and the setting for that Club Tropicana video, Ibiza holidays may have become better known for super-clubs and Brits abroad antics, but the white island has witnessed a quiet revolution in recent years, with systematic crackdowns on outdoor partying, club curfews and a renewed focus on the traditional qualities of the island.
So where should you go to best appreciate the Balearic beauty’s more reflective side?
In the north east, the sheltered bay of Cala San Vicente has one of the best family-friendly beaches and a traffic free promenade. If you’re up for a walk, you can venture up to see Cova d’es Cuieram – the ancient cave where hundreds of archaeological finds were uncovered, proving the presence of a pre population on the island.
Elsewhere, the pine-clad hills of Cala Vadella lead down to a small cluster of bars, restaurants and shops that make up this small resort. It remains a popular draw for couples, families and locals who moor their private yachts there, thanks to its wide, white sandy beach and panoramic viewpoints.
Head inland to sample the charms of Ibizan rural life, as found in villages like Santa Gertudis. This village is a focal point for the island’s Bohemian community, with its 18th century whitewashed church. Make sure you stop off at the legendary Bar Costa for a traditional serrano ham roll before fossicking about in the antique, art galleries and craft shops.
Equally authentic is San Jose: rarely encumbered by coach tours, it’s home to simple tavernas serving Ibicencan cuisine at a fraction of the price found in the tourist resorts. There’s also an outdoor cinema, indie boutiques and old men playing cards in the shade of olive trees.
If you have chance on your Ibiza holidays, take a literary pilgrimage to the La Torrre Del Pirata (pirate’s watchtower) which has a starring role in Vincento Blasco Ibanez’s novel Los Muertos Mandan and stands 200 metres high on the cliff of Cap des Jueu, directly across from the craggy islets of Es Vedra and Vedranell. The views from here are truly spectacular, on a clear day you can even look out onto the Iberian Peninsula.
Also worth venturing out to is the remote and miniscule village of Es Cubells on the south west coast. Its centre comprises one church and two bars, perched on the lip of immense cliffs in a superb stretch of coastline ideal for snorkelling, replete with ramshackle fisherman’s huts and some awe-inspiring rock formations.
Now you’ve had your moment of quiet contemplation, take a look at some of our best bargain breaks in the Balearics, and discover Ibiza’s many hidden delights for yourself.