Ibiza is usually not the vacation destination associated with a great culinary culture or a laid back way of living, but with enormous parties, flashy beach clubs and world-famous DJ’s. Yet, places like Ibiza town (old centre), portinax, the hidden gastronomic tapas places and the many idyllic white beaches scattered around the island show a more quieter side. In this breakdown you’ll find the top 5 things to do on one of the Balearic islands.
First; the essentials
In order to have the complete Ibiza weekender experience while moving around the island you must have a way to travel. Calling a cab every time you need to move places is not most romantic and ideal form of travel on the island. You could rather rent a scooter to roam around on the idyllic dirt roads surrounded by greenery on your way to beaches like Cala Xuclar and Cala Xarraca. Or, if you want to travel in the true Ibiza way, you must rent a Deux Chevaux (Citroën 2CV). This French car was imported to island in the 80’s with the nickname ‘ugly duck’. This car provides everything you need on the island with its removeable top, the vintage experience and room for up to 4 people.
You can rent scooters locally at almost any village, but be aware to make copies of your ID or passport so that you do not have to give your real ID or passport as a deposit or down-payment. If you want to rent the Deux Chevaux press the button below and put in a reservation.
Change out your party shoes for flip flops, or even better, let your bare feet sink in the white sand and roam around on Ibiza’s natural beauties. Most costal area’s on the island have been commercialised with massive resorts and hotel corporations. Luckily, Cala D’hort has not been apart of this trend, the wonderful retreat located in a hidden national park has been able to keep the masses away and maintained the quiet vibe. During peak season it could get somewhat busy but there is always a spot for you on the beach. Leave your own beverages at home and enjoy some of the best home-made soft drinks, milkshakes and cocktails at one of the two tapas places on the beach. The bay is also known for its views and sunsets, from the beach you look on to the mythical cliffs of Es Verda.
The small island is about 400 meters high and due to its high concentration of minerals and metals Es Vedra has an extremely high magnetic field. According to the legend surrounded by the little island, the magnetic field is noticeable all over Ibiza which gives the magical feeling on the island.
Maybe not what you expect, but Ibiza has quite the country side and many twisty mountain like roads. Most visitors never take the time to go in-land and only move via the coastal and main roads, but the island offers beautiful olive tree fields, oak wood forests and sudden steep roads leading towards hidden villa’s and campsites. Taking a road trip from the south to the north (or the other way around) is a personal recommendation, especially in one of the ugly ducks I told you about earlier.
On route you will find many great restaurants and bars offering the best coffees, lunches, diners, snacks, drinks and of course, amazing tapas. In the food paragraph you will find the places you have to stop to enjoy the great culinary culture of the Spanish island population.
The culinary culture on Ibiza is something special if you find the right places, the best ingredients are used by the locals to create many amazing foods. In my opinion there are a few places you NEED to visit, the food is absolutely amazing ranging from Mediterranean to vegan and some locations are pure magical.
- Ses boques: “A beautiful hidden and authentic chiringuito on the south-west coast of the island near Es Cubells.” (Sesboques.com) The restaurant has been run by the same people for decades, showing an amazing service and polite personnel. The fish place has mainly been visited by locals due to the remote location and a very steep, adventurous drive. The restaurant has been discovered by some tourists, but most of the time you will hear the locals moan over how great the food is. I personally recommend the fish in salt crust, or seashell paella. Ses Boques is opened every day of the week from 13.00 till 20.00. during high season I recommend to call up front the see if they have some seats left to prevent disappointment.
Aubergine: “Aubergine by Atzaró is the beautiful country-chic Farm-to-Table Ibiza restaurant, with healthy dishes and wholesome food made with fresh produce in the heart of Ibiza’s countryside.” (aubergineibiza.com) The place is a quiet slow placed cosy dining restaurant with romantic terraces in a chic rural outside environment. Aubergine has become one of the must do’s on the island for people looking to shift back a gear and enjoy farm-to-table foods. Located on the northern front of the island close the NI-400. If I were you I’d choose the Greek Buddha Bowl with fresh radish, chives, mint, quinoa and feta cheese. If you visit their website you can see some beautiful pictures of the place, put in a reservation if you want to be sure you of a spot. For the quality of the food the average price for mains quite reasonable at €19.
- Elements: A little more popular then the last two places but with very hippy vibes. Located on the north coast of the island on Cala Benirràs near Sant Miquel the venue offers a great variety of foods, events and items. You can have a great lunch with many local products, take a swim from the pebble beach, shop hippy items at the store or even host your wedding. Elements is a bit more expensive but all worth it if you notice your seating, order one of their salads and feel as relaxed as ever.
- La paloma: One of my favourites, located on the middle of the island only reachable if you drive over a dusty road for a while. La Paloma offers amazing foods from many different cuisines, taking a seat in the wonderful garden with the amazing atmosphere gives of a magical feeling. Maybe it is one of my favourite places on the island because I met a great artist/musician, but the vibe, food and nice people is absolutely something must experience.
If you are craving the ultimate island life, you should take a look on Formentera. A tiny island just of the coast of Ibiza that is home to white beaches and a true hippy vibe. Formentera is known as the Spanish Bahamas and I can’t say otherwise, white sand and Caribbean like waters. The 30 minute ferry commute is all worth it if you want to get away from the crowds. Spend your day(s) going from beach to beach consuming fresh beverages at the local vendors, with Playa Ses Illetes and Playa Mijorn being the highlights. It is possible to visit Formentera on almost every day of the week with the ferries going 27 times a day, at €12,- per ticket for a return trip.
So, hopefully you have learned something about my favourites places to visit on the most beautiful Balearic Island. There are to many nice things to do so if you are looking for something specific you can always get in touch with me via E-mail, I would love to talk to you! Or if you think I might have missed something, please let me know. I would like to end by saying, have a nice stay, it’s worth it.