Ibiza is one of my favourite places in Europe. I first went when I was a lot younger (and definitely experienced a very different side to the island, in not the best of ways). Since going a few times in the recent years; last year when I was pregnant, and this year with Rio and my family, I have fallen in love with the place and seen a completely different side to it – having so many amazing experiences, from food, shopping, ultimate relaxation, and discovering some real magical spots (not to mention how family friendly it is!). Here are 10 of my favourite places on the white isle…
1. LA PALOMA
This is my all-time favourite restaurant on the island. The setting in the summer is so magical, set outside in a candlelit garden, surrounded by citrus trees and greenery. The food is delicious and full of flavour (a fusion of Italian, Middle East and Spanish – using mainly homegrown, local and organic produce), and the atmosphere is completely magic. It’s hard to explain before you try it yourself, and if it’s one place I recommend to people for atmosphere, amazing food and drinks (the cocktails are amazing too), it’s this place.
2. THE FISH SHACK
The second restaurant which is an absolute must-visit, is The Fish Shack on Talamanca Beach (10-15 min drive from Ibiza Town). Albeit not an actual restaurant, more some miss matched table and chairs scattered on the rocks on the water, with a little shack at the back. If you love fresh fish (probably the best on the island) and not fussed with a menu (you just get served whatever is caught that day), then this is the place for you. We loved it so much, we went back two nights in a row.
3. HIPPY MARKET LAS DALIAS
Located in the north of the island, this hippy market is one of my must-visits on a Saturday (the only day it’s open). It’s busy (in a good way), full of atmosphere, great stalls with bohemian fashion, jewellery, food, and lots of handmade artisan products from local designers and artist. Live music and great little spots for drinks and food also surrounds the streets off from the main market strip. If you’ve hired a car for your duration, I would definitely recommend a drive here!
4. TROPICANA BEACH CLUB
The island has lots of beach clubs, and I have been to a few during my visits. This is one of our go-to spots, which has a super relaxed vibe, located on Cala Jondal beach. Although this beach club is definitely a bit more up-market, with all-day lounge music, food, smoothies and cocktails on tap (pricey, but so good) – it’s super chilled (everything in Ibiza is relaxed), with a nice sophisticated atmosphere (great for people watching too). I went here when I was pregnant, and this year with Rio, and both times it was the perfect spot. Just make sure you book your sun lounger in advance during peak season, as with most popular places in Ibiza, it gets very busy!
5. SANTA GERTRUDIS VILLAGE
A super charming village in the heart of island, with lots of lovely cafés, restaurants and rustic local bars, along with the most gorgeous selection of boutiques – from bohemian and eclectic fashion to interior shops to-die-for… I also love that it’s (usually) not so busy, and you can easily walk around the picturesque and quaint little streets in peace and quiet, admiring all the traditional white-washed and pastel coloured stone houses… I love coming here when I want to escape the hustle and bustle, and have a change of scenery.
When I say Ibiza is one of my favourite places to visit, this is always taking into account Formentera – a little island outside from the main island, which is just the most incredible place. You’ve never seen water so clear and blue, and sand so soft and white like it in Europe. You can either get there by ferry from the main port, or hire a boat like we did this time, which was an amazing experience. Although the island is small, you need a car/bike/moped/boat to get around to all the different beaches/coves/restaurants and bars, so bear that in mind! We always go to Juan y Andrea, which is situated seconds from the water, right on the beach. With chill out music playing, your feet in the sand and the most sophisticated clientele you have ever seen (yet you can wear whatever you like, no one cares), this restaurant is always a highlight of ours every time we come…
7. EL CHIRINGUITO ES CAVALLET
Another great beach restaurant/bar, with the dreamiest decor, delicious food and wine. It’s pretty pricey, you have to book in advance and service is not always the best, yet it’s a place we keep coming back, so they must be doing something right! Situated on Es Cavallet beach, which although is a nice beach (we always get the sun loungers that belong to the restaurant), it has quite a lot of seaweed in the water front. If that doesn’t bother you, and you want to head to a pretty chic, yet chilled beach club (with lots of celeb spotting), this is definitely a place to visit.
8. CALA TARIDA
Locals might be horrified that I am recommending this beach, because it’s quite busy, with lots of families, shops and hotels in the back – yet it’s the nicest beach we came across in Ibiza, with the most incredible water and white sand. Sheltered by the hills behind, it’s set within lovely little bay. We always went to the far right (when looking out towards the sea), and always had a great little quiet spot for the days we were there. Even though we found more secluded and local beaches around the island, they were not as pure and nice looking as this, hence why this was one of our favourite spots this summer (and fortunately just a handy 5 minute drive from our villa).
9. IBIZA OLD TOWN
You can’t go to Ibiza without visiting the old town, Dalt Vila (which means ‘upper town’). Pop some good shoes on, and spend an afternoon exploring the charming, winding cobbled streets. There are so many lovely cafés, restaurants, boutiques and little treasures to discover, so set aside a few hours to take it all in… Make sure you venture all the way up to the fortress, which gives you the most breathtaking panoramic views down to the town and the ocean. It’s an absolute must-do!
10. EL PORTALON
Last, but not least, when you’re in the old town, make sure you make a booking at El Portalon, which serves all sustainable grown and sourced food. The food is good, but the location and setting is even better. Situated right below the fort in one of the most picturesque streets, make sure you get a table outside, order the house wine (the sangria is pretty good too) and take it all in! It’s one of those spots you will never want to leave.