Mention you’re off to the island of Ibiza for a holiday and assumptions of wild nights which bleed into mornings and ears bleeding louder from relentless beats will naturally be made. Phew, we’re exhausted just writing that.
Indeed, as the old saying probably goes, after a holiday in Ibiza, you usually need another one to recover from it. But that’s not to say that the island’s entirety is dedicated to such exploits. In fact, the Ibiza’s north is known for its bohemian vibes and laidback lifestyle which feel so far removed from the pace and volume of Ibiza’s most stereotypical strips. If you’re seeking that kind of solace, then here are 6 IDEAL things to do in North Ibiza.
The traditional village of Sant Llorenc, 12 miles north east of Eivissa (Ibiza Town) is about as slow paced and laid back as you’ll find in Ibiza. It’s defined mainly by an attractive, whitewashed 18th century church and stunning views into rural Ibiza, and is well worth a visit if you’re looking to take things low and slow. Just a few minutes beyond the village is the Can Pere Mosson Country Park, an area of woodland boasting tangled footpaths and picnic areas perfect for decompressing.
SAN JUAN MARKET
Though nightclubs define southern Ibiza, as with so many Spanish towns and villages, much of the rural life here revolves around markets. San Juan market, open every Sunday from 10am to 6pm in the village of San Juan is no exception. Every week the village’s streets are taken over by stallholders selling trinkets, handmade crafts and snacks, as well as live music and a buzz of a more serene bent than the island’s usual associations.
The market is particularly popular for its plethora of eco-friendly products and organic, home-made food and drinks. Do keep your eye out for local artists and sculptors showing off their work, especially. The charming local art gallery onsite serves up a delicious, seafood heavy paella.
In the relatively secluded and peaceful north eastern side of Ibiza sits Cala Xuclar, a horseshoe-shaped bay which is said to be the last vestige of proper sand-based solitude to be found on the White Island. Something to savour, then.
Should you be looking to escape the tourist throngs and enjoy some respite from the 24 hour madness of Ibiza Town (it’s about as far from here as geographically possible within the island), then it’s to Cala Xuclar you should head. Here, rocks and fishing huts surround white sand and clear, shallow waters just perfect for a dip.
Around 7 miles north of Ibiza Town is the fishing village of San Miguel, which boasts dramatic cliffs, and dense forest, both of which open out onto gorgeous azure waters perfect for swimming. It’s no surprise that San Miguel is a popular tourist resort, particularly when considering its proximity to beautiful Benirras beach – which sees a popular weekly drumming session – but that statement doesn’t mean it’s overly crowded or obnoxious; there’s a good energy in the air, sure, but it’s still laid back and charming.
What’s more, there are some wonderful, simple fish restaurants to be found here; don’t leave without trying the island’s speciality, Bullit de Peix, a garlicky fish stew baked in a clay pot and flavoured with saffron. You’ll find it – and many other spankingly fresh fish dishes – on the menu at Port Balansat, arguably the island’s best fish restaurant with views over the water to match.
The area surrounding San Miguel has some gorgeous luxury villas with pools and as such, it’s the ideal place to base yourself if you’re looking to explore Ibiza’s more chilled out side.
If you’re seeking something seriously secluded, then the bay and beach of Es Portixol are for you. To reach this isolated, serene spot, you have to take a thirty minute hike along a rugged coastal path with stunning views of the water and rocks which characterise Ibiza’s north. Once there, the pebble beach and crystal clear waters are your reward, ideal for swimming and soaking up the silence.
PLAYA CALA XARRACA
Another beautiful bay that is a must visit is Cala Xarraca; famous for it’s warm crystalline waters and popular amongst snorkellers. Unique to this bay is a natural mud bath which is said to have anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties – ideal for soothing your skin, unwinding and relaxing. A lush green landscape surrounds the bay with rugged pathways for walking and exploring. There is one family run restaurant here, named after the bay and serving up fresh fish and other local delicacies.
CANAL D’EN MARTI
Finally, the compact port and cove named Canal D’en Marti is where you’ll find us seeing out our holiday, reclining on the rustic jetty which dips into the shallow (though rocky) waters. Close by there’s a cute restaurant serving fresh fish grilled simply, and a short walk away you’ll find an attractive watchtower, Torre d’en Valls. At this laid back, leisurely place, you could be as far away from Amnesia, Pacha et al as can be.