Unwind on the Quieter Side of Ibiza
Swap super clubs for crystalline beach coves and delicious food
If the idea of booking a “relaxing” trip to Ibiza sounds oxymoronic –bare with me. Iconic super clubs like Pacha, Space and Amnesia might dominate the West coast of the Spanish island in San Antonio, but a short drive to the North Eastern part of the island will unravel an entirely different, breathtakingly picturesque and ultimately quieter side of Ibiza.
If you’re in search of white sandy beaches, crystalline waters that resemble the Caribbean, endless lilac sunsets and mouth-watering seafood – then a few days spent in the sleepy coastal town of Santa Eulalia is perfect for you.
Perched on a cliffside overlooking the golden sandy bay of Sol d’en Serra, Amante is a secluded beach club that’s perfect for a morning of yoga (yes, yoga in Ibiza is a thing – and it’s not to be missed). Or if a sunset dinner is more your vibe, wait for that golden hour light and hit the boardwalk outside Amante for the perfect insta pic.
Located a 10-minute drive away, in the small town of Talamanca, Sa Punta is not to be missed. Comprised of three elegant restaurants (offering Lebanese, Asian or Mediterranean cuisine), Sa Punta is fine dining done the Ibiza way. Head there for a moon-lit dinner and be sure to book in advance as the ocean front tables get snapped up in minutes.
Nestled in a breezy cover overlooking the turquoise waters of Cala Nova bay, Aiyanna is the laidback luxurious big sister of Amante. With sleek modernist furniture and a menu that’s brimming with stripped-back but mouth-watering classics like naked lobster served with bulgar wheat tabbouleh and Peruvian sautéed seitan with mediterranean vegetables; Aiyanna is a healthy eaters’ paradise.
Situated in the centre of Santa Eulalia, Cala Nova is a beach that’s easy to access but hard to forget. With blissfully shallow crystal clear waters and baby pink sand – it’ll be difficult to remember that you’re on a Spanish isle and not in Aruba.
Cala Nova is only accessible by car. Follow the signs from the resort town of Es Canar until you hit a dirt country road. Keep going until you read the small parking lot.
Famed for its hippie roots (and market), Benirràs is a sheltered bay located in the North of the island. The drive down to the beach is reason enough to visit this spectacular slither of beach, but once it comes to sunset – you’ll be in a prime location to watch the sun melt into the ocean. Do try the little beachside cafés but be sure to drive, as getting (and finding) a taxi home can take a long time.
Benirràs Beach is accessible by car, bus or taxi. If you decide to drive, be sure to head there early, as parking lots get full very quickly.
If you’re not into sandy beaches and are more of a dive-off-of-rocks-into-water kind of person, then Cala Salada is perfect for you. A short walk up the rocky hill unveils a series of rocky coves and caves that are perfect for sunbathing. There is no clearer or bluer water in Ibiza than at Cala Salada. This is the local’s go-to swim spot so you won’t find many (if any) tourists at this beach. The beachside restaurant is cute but doesn’t serve the best food so be sure to bring snacks with you or eat beforehand.
Cala Salada is accessible by car, bus or taxi. If you decide to drive, be sure to head there early, as parking lots get full very quickly.
ME Ibiza Santa Eulalia
There are few hotels in Ibiza where the service and design always goes above and beyond – but ME Ibiza sets a standard that all contemporary luxury hotels should look to. The 205-room property located in the heart of Santa Eulalia is a slickly modernist building that has considerately thought through every part of your holiday so that you don’t have to.
Don’t want to wait it out in the monstrous taxi queue outside Ibiza airport? They’ll send you a Range Rover complete with driver, and most importantly WiFi, so you can start organising your trip as soon as you land.
Upon arrival, your designated ‘aura manager’ will offer you a glass of champagne or cold-pressed juice before helping you up to your room and booking any dinner or beach club reservations on your behalf. Be sure to book both in advance, especially during peak season. Want to skip unpacking and hit the pool straight away? Not a problem. They’ll take your luggage straight to the room, offer you a coffee or a fresh coconut and bring you a towel, sunblock and a lounger.
With two pools, finding a sunbed or a spot to swim in is never a problem. The ground floor pool is perfect for swimming a few lengths (and working off last night’s over indulgence), while the rooftop infinity pool—that seemingly melts straight in to the ocean and in to the candyfloss coloured sky—is the perfect spot for a sunset swim. Golden hour here is a must. Think 360-degree views of the sun disappearing behind the mountains and leaving a trail of burnt oranges and violet hues behind it while you swim a few lengths and sip a few drinks. Perfection.
Do indulge in a star-lit dinner at the hotel’s outstanding pop-up, helmed by four Michelin star chef Ángel León. Think ground breaking dishes like plankton risotto served with melt-in-the-mouth tuna steaks. The restaurant is a reflection of the island’s rich sea life and the avant-garde chef’s culinary skills. Nothing on this menu is to be missed. If you fancy a dance after dinner, the hotel hosts a series of stellar international DJs on the rooftop on a nightly basis. Check out some Ibiza legends with the comfort of being able to head back to your room whenever you fancy. Dreamy.
If you’re not looking to leave the hotel, you can still take in some of the pristine landscape beneath the property. Take a walk down to the sleepy port below the hotel and sit on the rocks or one of the two private bays. The water is crystal clear, the sand is speckled with volcanic rocks (perfect for a subtle body scrub) and the surrounding coves are practically desolate. If you’re looking for a small break, ask the concierge to arrange a private boat trip to the neighbouring island of Formentera for sunset.