Ibiza; a local's perspective

I’ve been asked to write this travel piece by my soon to be ex-colleague (Mr. Hu[gh]mid jungle Sawyer) on the magical island of Ibiza. I think that having been born and partially brought up there is supposed to make me some kind of expert. So in a vain attempt at travel writing I shall do my very best at recommending the island from a native’s point of view. Warning: for all ye out there only interested in ‘largin-it up’ in Ibiza, I recommend two things a; stay at home - we don’t want beer swilling, drug taking promiscuous a**holes messing up our island and/or b; if you insist on coming then San Antonio is your Burberry cap heaven. However if you are, erm, normal then read on dear friends…

So despite its infamous press dubbing it ‘the party capital of the world’, Ibiza is actually an incredibly peaceful place. Step away from the madness of San Antonio and you’ll find some incredible beaches with crystalline clear blue waters, white sandy beaches, hidden coves, picturesque villages tucked secretly away from the madding crowds, amazing views and some of the best restaurants and cafes you will ever eat and drink at. Where are theses places? Well that’s the beauty of the Island – only the most adventurous of souls will reap the rewards the Island has to offer! Okay so that’s a bit of a copout on my part, but it’s true. I recommend that when you land you hire a car or a scooter and just explore the island – after all you can’t get lost, its 24 km long by 17km wide! Very well then you troglodytes’ here-are-some-of-my-most-favourite-places…

beefa.jpgBeaches: Cala Conta (beautiful clear waters – West of the Island near San Antonio), Cala Jondal (South West of the Island), Sa Caleta (tiny beach near Cala Jondal), Cala Xarraca (lovely beach with some amazing views. Tip: pass the beach and climb the large rock and you will discover your own little piece of paradise – watch out for the nudey bathers! – North of the Island), Cala San Vicente (Huge beach with lovely white sand, can get busy though as its surrounded by a few hotels, best visited early morning. Tip: follow the road to the very top of the mountain where all the houses are, park your car and go by foot along a dirt path past the large boulders and see some of the most spectacular scenery – North East of the Island). Cala Lleña (possibly my favourite winter beach, completely abandoned with soft sand and translucent waters – still worth a visit in the summer although it does get busy! – East of the Island)

Towns and Villages: Santa Gertrudis (in the centre of the Island in between Santa Eulalia and San Antonio) lovely quiet little village, very popular with locals and nouveaux hippies, some excellent little bars that make the best damn warm sandwiches ever good all-round ‘Ibicencan’ vibe! Tip: order the ‘bocadillo de Jamon Serrano. Ibiza Town (the old part). Despite the sickening influx of concrete buildings currently overtaking the town, there is no denying that the old town is still pretty damn cool; it pretty much symbolises the Island i.e. it has two sides: the mad party side and the cool laidback side. Ibiza town by day is a cool sophisticated place with some great little boutiques and cafes and by night it reveals its darker side it is what Batman is to Bruce Wayne! Whether you decide never to step into a club I highly recommend you make time for this. You’ve not ‘done’ Ibiza unless you’ve done it by night! Visit any one of the harbour bars along the marina front opposite some of the most expensive yachts you will ever see or venture down the small side streets (avoid sitting at the bars with the really tall stalls as the prices are equally high!) sit back, relax, and enjoy the Freakish and the Bizarre that is Ibiza By Night. San Miguel (not far from Santa Gertrudis) quaint little village with a exceptionally pretty little church on the hill top and stunning views of the sea and surrounding hills. There are plenty more to visit but I only have a certain amount of copy space, so over to you!

Restaurants: There are just too many excellent restaurants to name. You’ll find most of the better restaurants off the beaten track dotted along the coastline or in between towns; Es Pins is a particularly good one it makes great ‘menu del dia’ menu of the day, with it you get the nicest freshly made bread on site with the most potent but delicious aiyoli (garlic spread) and organic olives. There’s a bar on the road to Cala Llonga just before you get to Siesta that makes great Paella on Thursdays, it costs 9 euros and you get a salad as starter, a bottle of wine and typical ibicencan desert (greixonera or flan). If you’re a little bit ponsy but still want to keep it authentic try Bambuddha Grove. Its totally hip, slightly pretentious restaurant with the goods to back it up. It’s situated on the road to San Juan (visit www.bambuddha.com ) with its ultra cool bamboo garden and fusion of Mediterranean and Asian cuisine which they’ve dubbed ‘Mediterrasian’, they make a delicious seared tuna. I also suggest you try the coconut covered warm banana! It also has a music bar and dance area that plays some great ‘chill-out tunes’. You really can’t go wrong with this place! Alternatively visit D’alt Villa the castle in Ibiza town which houses some great (but expensive) restaurants.

Clubs: So okay, you should do at least one club whilst you are there (otherwise you will never hear the end of it from your friends), take your pick there are about 7 of them – warning they don’t open till 2 am and don’t really get going till 3.30/4.00. Pacha (one of Islands first clubs) in Ibiza town behind the new marina. Amnesia (by all accounts the birthplace of the Foam Party) short people beware – you will drown in toxic bubble bath hell, keep to the shallow end and avoid the cannon at all costs! Otherwise an excellent night to be had (this club is on the San Antonio Road just before you get to Privilege). Privilege referred to as its previous name of Ku by the locals, this place needs no introduction, you know it’s the biggest club in the world bla bla bla and home to Manumission full stop (also on the road to San Antonio) Tip: don’t be an idiot, get a taxi there and back, many a wandering clubber has lost there life on the notorious ‘San An’ road! This is the holy trinity of clubs, as I said there are four others but this isn’t a club guide so that’s your lot! Although I might just mention Space, which opens after all the other clubs have closed. Recommended for the hard core clubber or the early riser!

So I suppose that’s it. I’ve covered all the essential topics usually expected of a travel guide. Although before I leave you I will just mention ‘other things’ that didn’t fit into any of the above sections. For example:

If you have time I highly recommend you jump on one of the ferry boats and head over to Formentera (Ibiza’s little brother) for the day, you will find some of the best beaches ever, with waters rivalling that of the Caribbean. Make sure you apply factor 40 sunscreen as you can get some serious lobster like burns!

Back on the main Island visit Santa Eulalia my birth town and go to Miretti’s ice cream café in Santa Eulalia (also one in Ibiza town), they do the best homemade ice-cream with over 25 flavours (by the beach along the promenade).

So that really is it folks, as the hippies would say ‘just go with the flow’ and you can’t fail but have a brilliant holiday on the fabulous island of Ibiza.

P.S. On take off look down at the rock of Es Vedra; Ibiza is said to have mystical powers and that if you see it you will be back again.


words by Yolanda Amengual

Posted on Thursday, June 22, 2006 at 13:20 by Registered CommenterJam | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference