Visiting Ibiza out of season offers a number of pleasant advantages, making it the ideal destination for a getaway where you can recharge your batteries in a highly attractive – and peaceful – location. You might be taken aback by the idea of it being peaceful, as Ibiza is internationally renowned for being studded with celebrities sailing off its coastline in fabulous yachts, crowded beaches for strutting your stuff and endless revelling in its world famous discos. But there is indeed another side to the island and it’s well worth discovering.
In that “other Ibiza” you can experience the island’s beaches and scenery in all their splendour, and soak up the unique magic emanating from some of its corners. One such surprise awaiting those who visit Ibiza this spring is its culinary offerings. Imagine savouring the island’s typical flavours in some of its prime restaurants at a very special price? It’s yours for the taking from 20 April to 28 May, when the island is due to proffer its gastronomic face to delight visitors (and locals, too, needless to say). Dubbed #IbizaSabor2017, this fair brings together 51 illustrious restaurants which for a few days will be offering haute cuisine at affordable prices, with house menus for 25 euros (wine and drinks apart).
Showcasing Ibizan Cuisine
One of the highlights of this initiative is the presence of Ibizan cuisine on the menus drawn up by the participating restaurants. So, you can taste popular fish dishes such as bullit de peix, or sofrit payés, featuring assorted meats combined with potato, vegetables and the two most popular cured meats on the island –sobrasada and butifarra. Other offerings include cuinat, a typical Holy Week dish seasoned with a herb characteristic of the place and time, borrida de ratjada, with ray fish as the centrepiece, pescado en salmorra (pickled fish), ensalada de crostes, a salad based on bread crusts and dried fish, and the ever juicy and tasty arroz de matanzas (a meat paella rice). Desserts are there, too, especially two island classics – flaó, an Ibizan cheesecake, and greixonera, a kind of steam pudding, which the sweet-toothed will adore.
The restaurants that have signed up for this fair are scattered about the island’s major towns – Ibiza, Santa Eulària, Sant Josep, Sant Antoni and Sant Jona, making this event the perfect excuse for including local cuisine on your itinerary across Ibiza. Of the venues that have joined the #IbizaSabor2017 initiative, you can enjoy haute cuisine at La Gaia, in the Ibiza Gran Hotel, the Aguas de Ibiza Hotel restaurant, Unic, Can Domo and Es Terral. You will be amazed by the long-standing experience in hospitality at Ca Na Ribes, an establishment that goes back ninety years, and Ca N’Alfredo, which can boast seventy-five. Savour the seafood at Sa Caleta or Sa Nansa and discover the charm of locales such as Ses Roques and La Veranda by Atzaró. The long list of eateries also features Ca N’Anneta, Café Montesol and Ibosim where tapas take pride of place (5 euros per tapa, with a glass of wine or beer included). Check out the full list of restaurants in the #IbizaSabor2017 initiative here.
Fire up, book your Vueling to Ibiza and taste the island’s most flavourful fare.
Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS
Ibiza the Wellness Island
In our last post about Ibiza we went in search of the island’s culinary delights, coinciding with the #IbizaSabor2017 event, and found that it features a whole world of flavours waiting to be discovered. On this occasion we delve into its facilities for promoting well-being and present them in the form of places and activities for nurturing our body and mind to the full, turning our visit to Ibiza into a restorative experience. Fancy discovering this with us?
Take it Slow
By this stage everyone knows that yoga is highly beneficial to both body and mind. A few asanas to tone our body, a good set of stretching exercises and a decent spell of meditation give a boost to our everyday well-being. If on top of that we do it in a setting in the heart of nature, the experience can be absolutely arresting. This is what you’ll get at YogaRosa Retreats, the ideal place to pamper yourself on a yoga retreat in a dream environment where you will also come across Austrian chef Philip Gandler, who adds a touch of experience to the wholesome cuisine. Another place to get rid of stress through yoga is Ibiza Retreats, a painstakingly renovated property located just 5 to 10 minutes from Santa Eulàlia, Santa Gertrudis, San Lorenzo and the turquoise waters of Cala Nova beach, where they schedule nearly 30 retreats between late February and the end of October.
Discovering Rural Ibiza
You might be surprised to learn that there is life beyond Ibiza’s beaches and discos. Venturing inland reveals a host of beautiful rural areas where you can enjoy an alternative experience to the usual Ibizan sojourn. You could elect to stay in accommodation like Can Pardal, an exquisitely restored 16th-century Ibizan house in the north of the island set amid olive groves and fruit trees. Or else visit an organic farm, Can Obrador, located on the Camí des Pedrisset, on the main road between Ibiza and Santa Eulàlia, where you can learn the workings of environmentally-friendly farming systems, or see the Can Caus organic farm in operation up close.
My Life For a Spa!
Fast-paced modern living makes it well nigh impossible to pamper yourself so, why not use your getaway to Ibiza to treat yourself to a spa treatment in amenities where you will emerge feeling renewed? There are various hotels on the island which include a spa among their services, as at Migjorn Ibiza, featuring a spa where they apply geothermal, Thai, chocolate and essential oil techniques. Other venues include La Posidonia, with views of the Mediterranean from their spa which alone make the experience worthwhile, and the evocative spa at the Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza, where you will come out feeling like new.
“Mens sana in corpore sano”
Sports enthusiasts will find that Ibiza has myriad open-air spots, full of magic and charm, where they can engage in sporting activities. The beaches are one of the main draws, where you can dive in crystal-clear water, go on a kayak tour, have a whale of a time doing kite-surfing, sail around the coastline or while away the time doing paddle boarding. You can also sign up for a bicycle tour of the island, go rock climbing or simply enjoy the island’s natural beauty while hiking along its footpaths.
Book your Vueling to Ibiza and discover the wellness awaiting you there.
Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS
8 Cocktail Bars to Savour Ibiza
We decided to find out just what makes Ibiza so special and toured the island in search of the bars with the most amazing views. The unique lie of the land and natural surroundings make any cocktail taste just that much better at the edge of the Mediterranean. The fact is that the simplest things in life are often the best.
Blue Marlin Ibiza
If you’re the type that likes to have a cocktail right on the beach and extend your stay well into the night, then Blue Marlin is the place for you. After 13 years in commission, it has earned its fame as one of the cutting-edge beach clubs on the Ibizan scene. They offer a busy weekly programme of events, a gastro menu committed to local sourcing and haute cuisine, and a broad selection of in-house cocktails. Pick one of their comfortable sunloungers and pamper yourself for a day.
Nassau Beach Club
Nassau is the only beach club in Ibiza that has made it onto the coveted international list of “The World Finest Clubs”. Here, exclusiveness and entertainment are guaranteed all day long. Whether in the lounge or on the beach itself, a cocktail always comes in handy to while away a relaxing time at the water’s edge. So, lean back and treat yourself to an unforgettable experience in one of the island’s most fashionable enclaves.
Nikki Beach Ibiza
Imagine reclining on a Balinese lounger within reach of the pool and the beach, and a select assortment of cocktails to taste. Couldn’t be bad, could it? Nikki Beach Ibiza has found its niche among the island’s beach clubs thanks to their excellent service and a gourmet menu based on international dishes. The club’s leisure offerings are one of their major assets in summer, as they feature themed events throughout the week.
Guaraná Salinas Beach Club
Surrounded by the unspoiled environment of the Ses Salines Nature Reserve, Guaraná is set in an exceptional location. While lying back into your hammock, you can spot Formentera on the horizon as you switch off and relax to the ambient music. Service includes a Mediterranean-style restaurant with freshly caught fish, rices and meat which are paired to perfection with all their cocktails.
If you prefer to stay in town, but still want to catch the sea breeze on your skin, your best bet is to head for Cotton Lounge Club, an elegant, sophisticated establishment with an open-air terrace and panoramic views of the island of Formentera and Ibiza’s south coast. What more could you possibly want? Well, from a traditional Bloody Mary to a Margarita de Guayaba, there are lots of options to choose from. The decision is yours.
A crucial meeting point for anyone wanting to see the best sunsets on earth, Kumharas is a bar-restaurant on the beach with peerless charm. Their hippy essence and respect for and inclusiveness of alternative cultures, as attested by their schedule of performances, make this an alluring venue. One standout feature of their decor is the pirate defence tower, a symbol of Ibiza’s history, of which there are examples across the length and breadth of the island.
The orange hues of dusk stretch across the sky above the huge terrace of Golden Buddha. This highly inviting chill-out facing the sea, with Balinese sofas and loungers, affords a privileged vantage point for some beautiful sunsets and a place to savour their vast array of exotic dishes from all over the world. Together with one of their acclaimed mojitos, of course – holders of the accolade for the best in Ibiza.
Fancy a cocktail made with fresh fruit inside the magical Dalt Vila, Ibiza’s walled precinct? S’Escalinata is worlds apart from what we have seen so far. It is more informal, casual and carefree than other bars and has something which exerts a pull on its guests. Possibly the fact that there are no chairs, as you have to sit on poufs and cushions that hug this structure, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The staircase affords views of the city at your feet.
Text by Maricarmen Cruz of Gastronomistas.commore info
Good Morning Ibiza and Good Night!
When it comes to lifestyle, Ibiza is unquestionably one of the world’s hotspots. All celebrities worth their salt make a point of visiting it in summer, but, what can you expect to find there other than between May and October? Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS dropped in on the Balearic pearl to see what brews out of season. We were amazed to discover that it is an ideal getaway for switching off. Ibiza offers the very best of slow tourism – idyllic scenery, trekking routes, fairy-tale villages and the constant friendliness of its inhabitants.
Good Morning, Ibiza!
If you have a penchant for welcoming the dawning day in the finest setting, we recommend you rise early – or stay up – and head for Cala s’Argamassa, very near Santa Eulària. This is definitely the key spot for for experiencing the Ibizan “awakening”.
Now that you’re on track, we suggest you go to the north-east, the most protected and sparsely inhabited part of the island. It is also the wildest, most rugged area and is a must for photography, if you’re looking to capture the essence of the genuine Ibiza. You will come across forests of pine and inaccessible coves. A stroll through the minute – and very quaint – villages would be in order, notably Santa Agnès. On the edge of the village you take the Camí Plade Corona which leads to a fascinating field of almond trees – preferably, in February, when the almond blossom is spectacular.
If you happen to be on the island on a Sunday, a good option for day-tripping is to visit the Sant Joan de Labritja street market with its craft wares. The hippy atmosphere so redolent a few decades ago stills lingers here. The stalls are stocked with goods for all tastes, from Moroccan leather to designer fabrics. We recommend taking a seat in the Restaurante San Juan, as it affords views over all the goings-on in this picturesque street market, which opens from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The view also takes in the charming Church of San Juan, built in 1770.
From here, you can drive to Portinatx, the island’s northernmost point. On arrival, make sure you have a walk around Punta Galera, Punta des Moscarter, Punta d’en Gat and Cala d’en Serra. Then, the best thing is to return in an eastward direction, which takes you through such charming villages as Sant Miquel de Balansat and Sant Mateu d’Albarca. Their churches are the epitome of Ibizan religious architecture, which harmonises with the traditional stone and lime constructions. The churches are inviting, yet characteristically sober.
Good Night, Ibiza!
One of the most magical moments is dusk. There are sites for all tastes, but the best spot on the island – or, at least, the favourite among the islanders – is Cala d’Hort, a mere 11 km from Sant Josep de sa Talaia. From that point on the coast you can make out the beautiful and enigmatic islets of Es Vedrà, Es Vedranell and Sa Galera, which are said to give off a special energy – UFO sightings have been reported here. This V-shaped inlet is flanked by an open, uneven, rugged coastline with tall surrounding cliffs carpeted with pine and scrub. The beach has medium-grain white sand and mild breezes. The slope is gentle and the waters are crystal-clear, with a sandy seabed. There are three excellent seafood restaurants in the area. Cala d’HortRestaurant and Restaurante El Carmen are on the beach itself, while Es Boldado is accessed via the road running from Sant Josep. Don’t forget to bring along your camera or smartphone to capture the sunset. Here you will find that elusive desktop wallpaper that looks so good on your computer screen.
The other splendid sunset is to be had in Cala Comte. It provides a moving spectacle. People start massing silently along the coast at the prescribed time, generating a sort of ceremonial trance-like atmosphere in which everyone concurs in contemplation and introspection. The picture will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark in your memory.
Once the sun has gone down, it’s time to return to the built-up area for dinner. And, to round off the day, one of the best places to spend the night is the Hotel Simbad, which was completely refurbished in 2007. It’s a 10 minutes’ drive from Ibiza’s historic centre. One of its boons is the panoramic views of the sea and the castle to be had from its rooms. In high season you can also use the swimming pool adjoining the beach, but all year around they have a solarium and wellness centre which includes a heated indoor pool with a waterfall, a jacuzzi, gym, sauna and massage showers.
Ready to discover “the other” Ibiza? Check out our flights here.
Text by Los Viajes de ISABELYLUIS