We’ve just returned from a week in Ibiza. We always stay in The Santa Eulalia area, which is the third largest resort on the island and has a lovely harbour, beach and warren of shops and restaurants, ranging from traditional spanish to European cuisine. It’s also got a busy bus depot with regular buses that can take you all over the island, if you don’t want to hire a car, so a very good place to be based.
The surrounding areas have some lovely beaches such as Cala Llonga S’Argamassa, Cala Pada & Nia Blau. These areas have a more relaxed vibe, with just a hand full of restaurants and bars where you can listen to balearic vibes mingling with the sounds of the cicada’s.
I recommend a trip to Cala Pada if you’re in the area. It’s a small beach with just three or four restaurants and a lovely bar called Rias, where you can sit virtually on the beach in the evening, watching the sunset. It is a lovely setting and they have an extensive cocktail list, what more could you want?
Cala Pada beach and Rias Bar.
Nia Blau is considered one of the best beaches on the island. It’s within walking distance of Santa Eulalia on the road to Es Cana. It’s a small cove with again only a handful of restaurants, the smartest being Pura, which pumps out Ibiza chill out mixes all day. There’s a real combination of people who use this beach, from trendy young things to families with small children. Its a lovely place to spend the day and if you have young children, as we still do and you can’t get to the clubs, you can still feel part of the vibe of Ibiza on this beach.
Nia Blau beach
Cala Martina beach in S’Argamassa is home to the recently opened Nikki Beach bar. Nikki beach has bars in all the worlds party locations and the bar in Ibiza has events throughout the summer. It’s very impressive with Bali style day beds around the pool and ice buckets full of grey goose and Champagne, DJ sets and live music and an amazing restaurant. Definitely a place to see and be seen.We didn’t go in as our 11 year old daughter was with us, but in a few years she will be begging us to take her. This year we were merely voyeurs as we swam past for a nosy but maybe soon, I’ll scrub up, make an effort and go and see what all the fuss is about?
Nikki Beach Ibiza
Further up this beach, towards Es cana, is La Playa Camping, a complete contrast to Nikki Beach. It is a community for travellers with such an amazing hippy vibe, I fell in love with it.
We have been camping in Ibiza before and if this is the lifestyle for you, then this is the campsite, full of colourful characters, teepees, mongolian tents that you can hire, gypsy caravans, converted into bars and yoga enthusiasts.
The first week in May is health week in this part of Ibiza, practically becoming a retreat for holistic activities and this place must be chocca blocked? It was a little too busy in August, resembling a refugee camp in some parts but in quieter months it must be amazing with so many interesting people staying there. Their beach bar is open every day and evening to all, with good food and live music, a great gathering place to meet like minded souls.
If you prefer something more luxurious in this area try Hotel Auguas De Ibiza in Santa Eulalia, a spa and family hotel only 100m from the town.
If you’re looking for some where good to eat, there are many many places in this area of ibiza but these I recommend for the atmosphere and ambience as well as the food. First up is Babylon Beach Bar which is next to the Grupotel in Santa Eulalia. It is a small bar and Chiringuito, with sun loungers for hire and DJ sets to complete the mood. You can spend the whole day and evening there for a minimum spend of 20 euros per person per day. We went last year in May when it was in its transition period from Mangos bar, but this year it has grown into quite the place to be in this part of Ibiza and a friend of mine spent the day there a few weeks ago and said the food was very good.
Amante Beach club, just above Cala Llonga beach is again a luxury destination for food lovers. The perfect romantic setting in the evening, the club is built into the rock face and atmospherically flood lit in the evening. Every tuesday, they host breakfast and yoga, tox and then de-tox?
Bambuddha is on the road to St Juan just above Es Cana. Again a laid back vibe, good food, atmosphere and DJ mixes. It sounds as though I’m repeating myself but Ibiza does this luxe hippy thing so well.
The shopping in this area of Ibiza is also some of the best on the island, if you discount Ibiza town, which of course is off the scale. The legendary Es cana hippy market, at club Punta Aribi, is on every Wednesday and although it hasn’t changed much over the years and still appeals more to the hippy types of this world, there is always something I come away with. The best stall, for me, is on the corner as you enter the market. The lady that runs this stall, buys and sells pre worn designer & vintage clothes. The cheaper, slightly damaged garments are on a huge pile on the floor but at 10 euros each, it is worth the rummage and I always find something. On the rails are more expensive garments, but when I say expensive I’m only talking 25 – 30 euros per garment. She specialises in white cotton and lace and there are some delightful pieces if this is your style? There is always live music and novelty entertainers and its a great place to people watch over a mojito in one of the many bars.
Las Dalias hippy market in the town of San Carlos just above Santa Eulalia and Es Cana runs throughout the high summer on a Sunday, Monday & Tuesday night and a Saturday morning. If you are visiting after August, check these days as they will change. The market celebrates its 60th Anniversary this year and although it is smaller than Punta Aribi, it is more select with many of the stall holders, selling hand crafted products. The products are mainly aimed at women, with lots of shoes, bags and jewellery but the live music keeps the atmosphere vibrant and again there are plenty of bars and a restaurant, so lots for all the family. It can get extremely hot and crowded though and not ideal if you have small children in a push chair.
I bought jewellery from Le Moulin Joly who are based in Barcelona, but have a stall on Las Dalias market. They sell vintage inspired pieces and beautiful delicate, crochet bracelets and necklaces.You can order online and they deliver worldwide.
As well as the markets there are many lovely shops selling Ibiza style hippy luxe clothes and jewellery. If you’re staying in the Santa Eulalia area, and are looking for something special to bring home from your travels, La Galeria Elefante, is a beautiful, lifestyle shop on the road to Santa Gertrudis. One of the lines they stock is Victoria Ibiza, a fashion collection that specialises in bohemian clothes and accessories, with fabrics sourced as far afield as india and the far East, many of the items reconstructed from vintage pieces. They are true investment pieces, with the added benefit of the profits going back to charities based in the countries that the fabrics originated from.
La galeria Elefante
Some of the designs from Victoria Ibiza
If you’ve never been to Ibiza for fear that it is all clubs and party people, go to this side of the Island for a more relaxed, holistic style holiday and you will be under the spell of The White Isle, I promise!