A simple guide to Ibiza

Ibiza for me is such a special island. The moment I step off the plane, it has a feeling like no other, an inner calm and peace where I feel instantly at home. Head North and you will see the side of the island that has a multitude of innate beauty, natural habitats and beautiful nature and breath taking panoramic landscapes.

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Exploring these parts of the island every time I return is one of my favourite things to do. Finding out what’s at the end of the dirt track that looks like it might lead to a quiet beach cove, walking around the rocks and swimming around the bay to find out what is out of plain sight, taking peoples recommendations and following very vague directions of where things are and how to get to them hoping that they really are the beautiful quiet spots I’ve been told about. The feeling of finding these places when they turn out to be the kind of spot I’ve been searching for is one that is personally for me hard to beat, calm clear seas to have a dip in, sitting on a blanket on the sand whilst taking in the Mediterranean sun and reading or writing down my thoughts, a quiet cove to sit and reflect and a small restaurant to have a small bite to eat. Luckily this summer, on my latest trip to Ibiza, I found some of these spots so I wanted to share them with you to explore and enjoy. 

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El Bigotes, Cala Mastella.

It’s excellence is in its simplicity.

How it works: served daily 12-2pm catch of the day and salad | 2-4pm Fish soup made from catch of the day.

Access to the restaurant is part of the experience and adventure, simply climb round the rocks, swim round the Bay or drive down the mountain path. Call ahead to avoid disappointment. 

Telephone: +34 650 79 76 33

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Benirras beach 

Benirras is a beach for everyday, for every person and family. It’s the kind of beach that makes it easy for you to spend the day and return day after day here. The beach itself is beautiful, sandy making it easy to relax, inviting clear waters making it perfect for swimming, a pick of restaurants for lunch and dinner, a sunset to beat and on Sunday night it comes in to its own as one of the most spiritual spots on the island.

The bay itself is hard to beat for sunsets, the beach is family friendly but manages to hold a perfect balance between relaxing, sun drenching and playing in the sand and clear waters. There are pedalos and canoes too if you fancy some time on the water to explore the bay.

If you are looking for a moment of peace and time to reflect whilst soaking in the Ibizan rays, then venture further around the rocks on either side of the bay and you will find yourself a by a few boat shacks where you can lay your blanket out and just be.

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Here for lunch? Head to Roca Y Mar. Go straight to the waiter and ask for a table looking on to the sea and he’ll move heaven and earth or table and chair to make this happen for you. The seafood and salads are the pick here, the paella is delicious and overflowing with daily local catches at a decent price. It’s often the case with places situated in a location like this that you’ll pay for the view and the food comes second but here you get the view for free.

Telephone: +34 971 33 35 32

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Sunday evenings make Benirras one of the most special places on the island. If you are into sunsets, pizza and exploring Ibiza’s slightly more spiritual side, then this is definitely somewhere for you to check out. If you’re not spending the day here and are planning on driving, arrive early to ensure you can park, otherwise you might be in for a long walk to the beach.

Around 7pm you’ll start to hear the rhythm carry on the breeze from the local drummers who help to make this beach one of the most relaxed and free places on the island. 

You can eat at a restaurant, best to pre-book, or my preference is to grab a takeaway pizza from one of the beach side restaurants, bring some wine and beers and walk round the boat runways to find the perfect spot to watch the sunset and experience the rhythm of true Ibizan spirituality. Don’t be fooled by the jetty, we had prime location set up for our pizza and wine feeling incredibly lucky to have this spot with an ever growing crowd of people behind us only to be asked ‘do you know what time the boat is coming?’.

It’s the only way to spend a Sunday evening on the island. 

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Cal de Serra

To reach this secluded beach, keep driving north through Sant Joan de Labritja, to the east of Portinax, you’ll see some cars parked on the side of the road (these were the instructions given to me and I found it). It’s a 15 minute walk down through the winding mountainous path, you can drive down (just about) but the walk allows you to take in the breath taking views of the bay and the almost birds eye view of the sea water. (the pictures portray the beauty of the view more than words can do here). The beach is small but people here understand space and always find room to allow their fellow sun catchers the freedom to relax. 

To the left of the bay are boat shacks and slipways often found in smaller coves like this that can often provide secluded areas to hang out. To the right there is an open cove which can be reached by swimming but the water was a little wavey when I was here.

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The food and drink at Cal de Serra is served from a small quaint beach shack, it’s perfect, it’s tasty and simple. Fresh tuna sandwiches, salads and cerveza for around €7. It’s a shack run purely out of love and is the ideal pairing for this secluded beach.

Payment here is by cash only so bring some €. 

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La Paloma 

Hardly a secret anymore but every bit worth the visit. The surrounding and setting of the restaurant is hard to beat. It’s setting is beautiful and the food is organic, authentic and locally produced and is second to none on the island. Book ahead for a garden table in the evening, the lighting perfectly creates the mood of the restaurant, the service and attention while dining are the perfect balance. Arrive a little early for a cocktail at the tiki bar situated in the garden. The food and drink choices are perfect for everyones dining needs with every base covered in equal deliciousness and by the time the bill comes it’s worth every cent.

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I was here with my family, we ordered a mix of meat, salads, pastas and fish (almost everything on the menu) where after first taste, forks were loaded and being passed around the table with words of ‘try this’ ‘try this’. Plenty of Hierbas follows the meal.

Embrace the fact that the rich and famous eat here, they do it for a reason and at a price you can afford.

My pictures, or lack of, are so far away from doing this Restaurant the adulation it deserves. My only excuse here is that we arrived, I had a drink in my hand, the food was so spectacular and the company was perfect. It provides the perfect surrounding and setting for a night full of food and friends. 

Always book well in advance!

Website: palomaibiza.com | Instagram: lapalomaibiza

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Playa Cala Xarraca

The Mediterranean seas are often clear and the perfect temperature for those long hot Balearic summer days. Playa Cala Xarraca is the perfect example of this. It provides the perfect bay for snorkelling, easy access to the water, shallow enough to acclimatise to the water temperature, a secluded cove around to the right of the bay with a depth and an island approximately 100 meters out to sea that’s easy to reach and provides a peaceful and perfect home for wildlife and sea creatures for you to explore. Bring a picnic or pop into the restaurant in the bay for fresh sea food or a light bite.

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A few more favourite spots:

Sant Joan de Labritja

Local market every Sunday between 10am & 4pm.

The Giri Cafe | Website | Instagram

San Carlos

The hippy markets & Las Dalias restaurant | Website | Instagram

Anita Bar Restaurante | +34 971 33 50 90

Cala Llenya

Beach days, white sand and swimming.

 Ibiza Town

Late afternoon strolls, cobbled streets, pretty views from the fort and delicious food & wine.

Santa Gertrudis

Meander around the streets, dine in the square at one of the local restaurants for lunch or dinner.

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