BAYS AND BEACHES IN THE NORTH
Cala San Vicente
Driving down the curvy mountain road behind San Juan the panoramic views of Cala San Vicente bay unfold its full splendour in front of your eyes. This cheerful little beach resort still has maintained its 70s look, with two bigger four-star hotels and an apartment block on your left hand side, but nothing to disturb the view over this little bay.
Cala San Vicente does not pretend to be as mundane as Cala Jondal or Las Salinas, you will even find a minigolf place located next to the diving centre before strolling down to the beach, which in its white splendour and the picturesque fishing huts to your right can certainly compete with the likes of Cala Vadella or Cala Tarida in the south.
A wide, long promenade with boutiques and restaurants makes you easily spend the whole day at this resort. The wide, even beach with its fine clean sand is perfect for children to mess around while their parents are enjoying a drink in one of the cafés among the palm trees on the traffic free promenade. The sea at Cala San Vicente varies in its tints from light turquoise to the deepest blue and is always crystal clear with a very shallow entrance to the water. Snorkeling is perfect here, if you swim out to the rocks you will see abundant marine life. There are fantastic diving spots just around the corner as well. Among the locals the restaurants at Cala San Vicente are renowned for their rice and paella dishes.
Beach facilities: Promenade, loungers, parasols, restaurants, bars, shops, showers, pedaloes, windsurf and diving school, banana boat.
About ten minutes from San Carlos, Cala Boix is a laid-back, uncomplicated little stretch of approximately 100 meters, quite unusual to look at due to its dark, almost black sand.
Getting there is quite comfortable, there is ample parking, so even if you are staying elsewhere on the island, this hidden little bay is worth a day trip, also because of the three little restaurants on top of the bay, which serve fresh fish at reasonable rates.
You have to walk down quite a few, steep concrete stairs before getting there, but the relaxation level you find at Cala Boix is worth the effort. Just don´t think about having to go up again…
Beach facilities: sunbeds, parasols, shower, toilets,
Following the road to San Carlos the sign to Aguas Blancas, Ibiza´s official nudist beach apart from Es Cavallet, is easy to be missed. The name Aguas Blancas literally translates to white waters, a term which has come due to the color of the breaking waves - quite different to the calm, tranquil water across the rest of the island.
Only 300 m long and 15 m wide, Aguas Blancas is one of Ibiza´s most interesting and laid-back beaches with the white water being washed in as there is always a little breeze blowing. It has a very cosmopolitan, open-minded atmosphere - there’s definitely a live and let live vibe going on here.
You will find that the sea does not have the turquoise color as in the south, it is more atlantic-like, deeper and bluer. Perhaps this is due to the dark, at some spots almost black sand, which makes it impossible to walk barefoot on the beach in the summer heat. Enjoy the clicky clacky sound of the keen beach ball players while you are eating a “bocadillo” at the little kiosque “El Chiringuito” on the little rock plateau.
Or get down to earth and get covered in the black mud, which you find everywhere in the rocks and which will leave you skin peachlike.
When you have arrived and managed to find a parking on the little road up the bay, make sure you do not carry to many things with you, because the way down is steep, curvy and - dusty. Head to Aguas Blancas before lunchtime and make a day of it - the high cliffs mean you lose the sun a little earlier over here and there’s not much going on after dark But once you are there you will forget all the hassle.
Beach facilities: sunbeds, shower, two restaurants with fresh, simple food
A beautiful approach, driving down a curvy road through hills and valleys, brings you to a small bay nestled into pine clad hills. Benirras is a pretty beach of only 300 m lenth stretching over pebbly sand with rocks either side that you can clamber over and a picturesque view across the water to an interesting rock formation of which they say it resembles a Beethoven statue. The sea bed is rocky which makes it excellent for snorkellers but not so easy to walk into…but that’s all part of the fun! The water is crystal clear.
This sheltered bay about five minutes from San Miguel village and ten from San Juan away is a popular anchoring spot for private yachts and motor boats who gather in the late afternoon to enjoy the romantic sundown often accompanied by the drummers who descend to the beach to ‘drum down the sunset’. This drumming is a unique Ibiza experience, established over many years. On some sundays during the season some three thousand people turn up for the drumming spectacle making it difficult to get a parking spot or sometimes even a place on the beach!
Beach facilities: Loungers, parasols, restaurants, bars, massage, beach boutiques, showers, lifeguards.
Portinatx is very close to the village with the same name. The Punta Galera and de sa Torre or des Marès are the sides of the entrance to Cala Portinatx, in the interior of which there are some small coves, and this is the first one of them. The external area is an excellent place for practicing sailing sports. The beach is very sheltered and it is the end of a narrow sea inlet. On the left part there was an old shelter for the seamen of the village Cas Mallorquí, a marina and hotels.
The beach is quite small and the orientation is toward east, with golden quite fine-grained sand, and the slope is very gentle (at 40 meters from the coast there is a depth of less than two metres). The gentle wind blows normally toward the sea.
The marine and underwater conditions for anchoring boats are not very safe in the interior, because it is not very deep in the entrance (between four and six meters) until the coast. You are recommended instead to anchor on a sandy ground with seaweed and rocks at a depth that ranges from four to 15 meters, in the bigger Cala Portinatx. The accessibility by car is quite easy following the signs and the deviations. The private car can be left on a free parking area in the surroundings.
Beach facilities: Sunbeds, parasols, restaurants, bars, beach boutiques, showers.
Puerto de San Miguel
Loated at 4 kilometers from San Miguel, this beautiful and deep v-shaped sea inlet finishes on a beach which is not too big, completely developed with touristy buildings, quite fine-grained white sand, with a steep slope and surrounded by a thick pine wood on both sides. This sea inlet has also two small coves, Caló des Moltons and Pas de s'Illa des Bosc.
The marine and underwater conditions for anchoring boats are quite good. It is exposed to the wind from the northwest-north-northeast, very sheltered from the rest, and the wind blows normally gently from the sea. The sandy ground is irregular, and on the sides the ground is rocky with seaweed.
The accessibility by car is easy following the signs and the deviations. The private car can be lparked on a free parking area in the surroundings. You can also reach this beach with the public bus, which stop is located at half a hectometer.
Beach facilities: Loungers, parasols, restaurants, bars, shops, showers, pedaloes, sports school, shower.
BAYS AND BEACHES IN THE EAST
At the southern end of Es Cana, on the road which leads to the Hippy Market you’ll find the pretty beach of Cala Martina. It can be reached by foot from Es Cana and the camping sites near the village and is quite frequented during the summer months due to its excellent water-sports facilities.
Cala Martina is a very sheltered small beach of 100 m length, ideal for the whole family. A number of beach bars will cool your thirst and there is some great walking around the cliffs to the right of the beach.
One of the most popular beaches with the island’s windsurfers when the south wind blows. Suitable for expert and beginner alike.
Beach facilities: Loungers, parasols, pedaloes, sailing and windsurf school, diving school
Beach of the mini resort Cala Llonga. Turn right, just before driving into Santa Eulalia town, after two more km you enter the urbanisation of Cala Llonga. Magnificent wide sandy beach, which borders the immensely picturesque bay with smooth pine hills on either side.
Shallow waters go quite a way out making it safe for children; one of the reasons this beach is so popular with families.
There are many medium priced cafés, bars and restaurants plus a children´s playground right next to the beach.
Beach facilities: sunbeds, parasols, windsurf, waterski, parasailing, diving school, volleyball, playground.
You can easily miss this beach if you literally do not see the sign on a wall driving up the road from Santa Eulalia towards Es Cana. Turn right into a small private road and you are almost there. Parking is comfortable due to a big parking lot right in front of the beach restaurant Cala Pada. This little bay is a broad, sandy beach of 200 m with shallow, slowly shelving water. Very popular with the guests of the nearby Cala Pada resort, but never too crowded.
The offshore reefs protect the bay from the sea, making it popular with the island’s windsurfers when the south wind blows. The swimming is good and safe, once you´ve passed the shallow waters. On Sundays afternoons there is live music in the fish restaurant at the very end of the bay.
Beach facilities: Loungers, parasols, restaurants, toilets. Pedalo rent, sailing and windsurf school, diving school, parasailing
BAYS AND BEACHES IN THE SOUTH
The beach opposite the mystical rock Es Vedra, supposed base of fertility goddess Tanit. To see the sun go down behind Es Vedra is a must-do in the summertime and no. 1 on every couple´s “favourite five things to do on a romantic stay in Ibiza”.
The legend of this limestone colossus is that this is the remains of Atlantis and that Odysseus was lured here by the Sirens. Tanit, the Carthaginian love and fertility goddess is supposed to dwell inside the rock. The only human inhabitant, a Carmelite monk, reported seeing strange lights and visions (UFOs nowadays). At the base of the cliff is an old quarry where hippies have apparently experienced visions of Buddha, and decorated the cave with symbols. The cave is inhabited by a witch, according to folklore , and you must leave a personal item at the cave’s entrance for luck.
Local fishermen have reported their compasses and instruments go mad when near the island. Only goats, lizards and birds live on the magical isle of Es Vedra. Backed by cliffs, the beach is situated at the end of a steep road. The bay is sandy to one side, more pebbly to the other, and in summer is extremely popular.
Beach facilities: sunbeds, parasols, restaurants, beach-boutique
Approaching this beach with its breathtaking views is already a holiday! You swoop around and down to a protected bay, surrounded by pine clad hills.
The 230 m long and about 50 m wide beach of fine white sand slopes gently into shallow waters close to shore - good for fun and games with the children. Even at the height of summer there’s always a spot to be found on this easygoing beach with its charming facade of little villas and old fishing huts nestled into the pine clad rocks. The crystal clear water is perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
The sheltered bay is a popular anchoring spot for private yachts and motor boats, who often gather there to watch the romantic sundown. There is a couple of simple restaurants with good, fresh seafood, meat and paellas.
Beach facilities: Sunbeds, parasols, restaurants, bars, shops, showers, pedaloes for hire, dive school
Located on the upper part of the Las Salinas natural reserve, Es Cavellet is one of Ibiza´s official nudist beaches. A very picturesque, wild beach, it has still preserved its original character. Flanked by two recommendable restaurants, Es Cavallet is frequented by celebrities not only in the summer month.
At the end of the beach there is a popular gay restaurant and lounge bar which has turned this beach into a world famous gay spot in the summer.
There is a car park just in front of the beach, but since the restaurants and bars at this beach get so crowded in the summer months, the cars park alongside the small local road, which can turn driving into an adventure sometimes. Don´t forget to pay a visit to the pirate watchtower Torre de Ses Portes at the end of the beach.
Beach facilities: Loungers, parasols, food and drinks to your sunbed, massage, beach boutiques, shop, lockers, showers
Located at about 10 min drive from Ibiza town and about 15 min from San José this 1,5 km long sandy stretch with its soft little dunes is one of Ibiza´s most popular beaches, - especially when you want to spot the occasional celebrity to hang out in one of its many fancy beach restaurants, which on some days turn into a fashion lounge with renowned djs speading some chilled vibes.
Las Salinas is named after the salt flats which you are passing before arriving at the beach. Whilst on some winter mornings you can watch flamingoes gather at the salt flats this place tends to become crowded with sun worshippers during the summer months. A secure parking area was established a couple of years ago. The current daily rate is 4 Euros, no matter whether you leave your car half or full day long.
Beach facilities: Loungers, parasols, food and drinks to your sunbed, massage, beach boutiques, shop, lockers, showers, lifeguards, pedaloes, electro boats, catamaran rent, diving school, bus service every hour to every half hour.
Ten to fifteen minutes by car from Ibiza town, ten minutes from San José, Cala Jondal has become the trendiest beach on the island of Ibiza not only due to its crystalline waters and exclusivity but also to some of the islands fanciest restaurants, bars and beach clubs located along the 350 m of this little bay. Cala Es Jondal combines the laid back hippie chic with a touch of cosmopolitan sophistication.
Overlooked only by a few exquisitely architected homes high up on the surrounding green hills, the white pebbly beach is dotted here and there with the shade of pine trees before sloping to the glittering, crystal clear waters. Entering the water can be tricky, as pebbles are uncomfortable to walk on, but it’s worth the effort to swim in pure turquoise.
Although small in size Cala Jondal is now possibly the fanciest beach on Ibiza and there’s a fabulous selection of beach restaurants that are popular with the rich and famous as well as locals. Many offer zodiac service (taking a motordinghy out to the yachts anchored off shore to collect the owners to eat in their restaurants). This can be great fun to watch as many dress completely inappropriately for stepping out of the dinghy into the sea! Some restaurants also offer the service to bring you your drinks directly to your boat. Reserve your place in the sun and especially in one of the restaurants to avoid disappointment. This place is packed every day of the week in July and August.
Beach facilities: Loungers, parasols, food and drinks to your sunbed, massage, beach boutiques, shop, lockers, showers and wc, lifeguard, live music on sundays by flamenco player Paco Fernandez.
BAYS AND BEACHES IN THE WEST
Cala Salada is a 80m long curve of fine tinted sand from which there are fabulous views of the well known promotory of Cap Nono and San Antonio. A ten minute drive from San Antonio and fifteen from San José you get to Cala Salada, a very popular yet never overcrowded family beach in the summer months.
The rocky formations on either side of the sand are ideal for fishing or jumping off into the crystal clear water. Scented pine forests run along the back of the beach offering a shady retreat from the heat. The sea here slopes gently over smooth sand and is ideal for messing about in the water and feeding the fish which will swim up to your hand!
Beach facilities: sunbeds and parasols, toilets and change-rooms, two snack bars.
One of Ibiza´s best kept open secrets in the west of the island is Cala Conta. A perfect and romantic place to enjoy your sunset on a lush summer evening. The views from one of the cafés and restaurants at this beach are just spectacular.
The sea at Cala des ses Comptes, how it is called in catalan, is shallow til far out, but a little pebbly to get into. So if you take small children with you, make sure they are always accompanied even in the shallow water. There are two stretches of sand, one back by a rocky coastline, the other by sand dunes.
The two main beaches are about 800 m long in total, but separated by a cafe bar serving snacks and cold drinks. Further round are three restaurants which are easily reached by foot. The small cove has a beach bar, too.
A ferry services Cala Conta regularly from San Antonio harbour and various hotels along the Bay. The bus can be caught at the bus station in San Antonio or along the bay road. Parking is good on the plateau just before going down to the beach.
Beach facilities: Loungers, parasols, restaurants, bars, toilets, lifeguards, pedaloes for hire.
Cala Tarida is the biggest sandy beach in the south of Ibiza. Located at 5 minutes’ drive from San José, 10 minutes’ drive from San Antonio it is 900 m long and about 30 m wide.
The clean, clear waters over a sandy bottom are shallow on the right, deeper and more rocky to the left, which makes Cala Tarida attractive for a family day out on the beach. The colors of the sea here are truly magnificent; turquoise, azure blue and emerald green.
There are lots of activities for you to test and get hungry for a snack in one of the beach restaurants. Or maybe you would like to treat yourself to some of the islands finest fish and seafood dishes at the traditional ibicencan “Cas Mila” fish restaurant, situated above the rocks.
There is always a little breeze going at Cala Tarida, just enough to not get too hot, which makes it quite dangerous if you are not pre-tanned, so make sure you hire an umbrella or bring your own.
Access to the beach is quite comfortable compared to other bays on the island. You can either park on the little road just beside the apartment block or just drive down to the beach and then leave your car in the dried out riverbed.
Beach Facilities: Sunbeds, parasols, pedaloes, diving school, volleyball, beachware shop.
Cala d'Aubarca is not an easy beach to reach and certainly not for beginners. It is a wild bay enclosed by a steep cliff with a long, winding dirt track leading down to it. The beach, which can either be reached driving up the west coast from San Antonio or coming from the village of San Mateo, is a perfect hideaway from the busy summer life in Ibiza.
You cannot drive down, so you may carefully want to check what are you going to need for a day out at Cala Aubarca - later you will have to bring it all up again! The small road leading down to it is frequented by mountain bikers to train their downhill skills or by hikers who come to enjoy the tranquil wild side of Ibiza which is very hard to be found in the summer months.
Once there unfold your beach towel on one of the rocks and just jump into the perfectly clear waters, an ideal spot for snorkeling and nude bathing.
This beautiful beach located at nine kilometers from San Antonio is characterized by being a sea inlet with an irregular coastline, surrounded by low cliffs and pine trees. The beach is big, the sand is fine-grained and golden, and the orientation is toward northwest. The wind blows gently from the sea, it has crystal clear quiet water and the slope is very gentle (at 50 meters from the coast there is a depth of only one and a half meters), as well as good touristy facilities.
The marine and underwater conditions for anchoring boats result good as well as for diving. There are two anchorages, one in the west, at two hectometers from the sandy area, on a seaweed ground with a 12 meters depht, as well as in the east, in a rocky bay, on a ground of rocks and seaweed, there the depth ranges from eight to 15 meters.
The accessibility by car is quite easy following the signs and the deviations. The vehicle can be left on a free parking area in the surroundings.
Beach Facilities: Sunbeds, parasols, pedaloes, beachware shop, bar, restaurant, shower.
Both Cala Gracioneta and Cala Gració, situated at 1,5 kilometers from Sant Antoni de Portmany, between the caps Negret and Blanc, belong to the narrow u-shaped sea inlet which is the origin of them. The coves are characterized by their small size, they are triangular with fine-grained white sand, and they are surrounded by pine woods with some buildings. There is normally no wind, the water is crystal clear and calm inviting you to dive. The slope is very gentle (in Cala Gracioneta, at 25 metres from the coast there is a depth of 50 cm. and in Cala Gració, at 40 meters from the coast there is just one meter of depth).
They are exposed to the wind from the southwest-west-northwest and are sheltered from the air currents, except from those blowing from the west. The marine and underwater conditions for anchoring boats are good in this sea inlet, on a sandy ground with seaweed, at a depth that ranges from four to six meters.
The accessibility by car is easy following the signs and the deviations. The private car can be left on a free parking area in the surroundings.
Beach Facilities: Sunbeds, parasols, bar, restaurant.
In Ibiza the land is widely held, and there are very few land barons. Almost every family has a little plot of land in the countryside as well as by the sea. Nowadays some of the richest Ibicencan land owners are women, a curiosity due to the fact that historically the more fruitful land in the centre of the island was given to the sons of a family, whereas the females were given a plot more closer to the shore. Since the whole island is privately owned, there is a great deal of independence among Ibicencos. In fact, there is an old saying that: “Where you have three Ibicencos, you have two political parties and a dissident.”
The residencial construction of almost all traditional Ibicencan houses follows the same master plan which dates back to Phoenician times two thousand years ago. All Ibiza houses share the common characteristic of a main, frontal facade, whose typological and formal structure can be ascertained through examination of the exterior and its location. First, you have to find gently sloping ground with the hill or moutain at your back. The slope should be south facing, with the north winds blocked by the hill thus protecting your fields and your house. The front of the house faces south.
The “porxo” (porch) is the central interior space around which the house is arranged, and may be an open portico, a “long room”, or the addition of both elements. Thus with a reduced repertoire of compositional elements, the Ibiza peasant could construct his house (”casament”) with a simple system of additions. Double stone walls of sometimes up to one metre thickness are made with the space between them filled with stone rubble and mortar (small rocks and mud). An immense fireplace located in the main porxo warms the house in winter and is used for cooking and family gatherings.The bedrooms are usually distributed in line in the back of the porxo and are austerely furnished with a simple wooden bed and a closet or foot-locker. The small windows serve a defensive function in case of pirate attack, as well as help to retain the inside temperature.
The whiteness of Ibiza houses has a unifying effect which reveals the formal relationship between different component elements and is achieved by calcium carbonate extracted from boiling rocks. This strongly alkaline mixture has both bacteriacidal and insecticidal properties and dries to a brilliant white which aids the reflection of light inwards despite the small windows, which are another characteristic. The roofs are flat to collect as much rain water as possible.
Built in layers of carbon cinders to absorb humidity over bamboo or pine and supported with the almost eternal ‘Sabina Pine’ beams, and topped with a mixture of cal and mud. The outside porch is a shaded area of one or two floors where fruits are dried and work can be done shaded from high summer heat. Some of the country villas which you can rent with Villa Rental Ibiza are historic so-called ”casas payesas” - country houses, which date back more than 400 years, like Villa Sa Paissa in the south of Ibiza. They have been carefully renovated using only original and organic materials, such as the authentic cal to whitewash the walls or original Sabina beams treated with beeswax or natural oils.