As I stepped off the plane into the warm and inviting mid summers night in Ibiza I was filled with joy and excitement. For every holiday maker, season worker and traveller the journey to Ibiza is always a journey of bewilderment, anticipation and thrill. Ibiza, stood in its blazing glory, a notorious reputation of a glamorous island, filled with beautiful beaches, mouth-watering food and cocktails, and of course, the iconic super clubs visited by millions of people every year. Ibiza is the home to the finest underground electronic music, seeing the world’s best DJs play year after year. According to the BBC, out of two million, 700,000 British tourists visit this alluring island every year. Yet, many of these tourists (including myself) may not realise how much the island stretches out further than the dirty, run down beaches of San Antonio. Most holiday makers who only visit for a short time may not realise there are beautiful and intimate locations that are waiting to be discovered. Here are my top five places I loved visiting during my stay:
1. Atzaro Beach
An hour and half bus ride later (including the waiting around to sit on a humid and sticky bus) we arrived at what I can only describe to be paradise. The refreshing clean breeze lead us to a stunning view above a beautiful beach where the white sand reflected the dazzling sun rays. The clear blue waves kissed the sand ever so lightly as the miniature tide met with the beach simultaneously. The skies were of an ethereal blue, without a cloud in sight. It was truly bliss.
The beach was accompanied by their own special five-star restaurant, which was a special addition to the luxurious experience. Everything about the cuisine spoke glamorous and elegant. The service of the pristine waiting staff, the divine presentation of each individual table spoke style to its guests, the succulent aroma of the delicious and authentic food, and the beautiful bright coloured cocktails that were sipped in its eminence.
If you want to explore the true beauty of Ibiza, then I would suggest going to Atzaro. The prices may be dear, but the majority of Ibiza restaurants are overpriced, even the basic cuisine you would find in San Antonio. The menu at Atzaro Beach Restaurant ranged from 15-40 euros and the seafood paella is to die for!
2. Cala Gracio
A touch closer if you are staying in San Antonio, either ten minutes in a taxi or a half an hour walk, Cala Gracio is one of the nicer local beaches. You are greeted by the cultural nature of Ibiza, filled with hill top views (as there is a steep hill to walk down and back up), the sturdy rocks to hike through and many rustic trees. There are two beaches side by side each other which are quite jam packed during the day. But if you are looking for an intimate spot to indulge in the warmth of the sun and peacefully watch the Spanish horizon there are a number of secluded areas hidden through the steep rocks and trees. Just keep climbing and walking through the nature and find your perfect spot!
3. Es Vedra Rock
Now if you’re visiting Ibiza, Es Vedra Rock is a MUST! There are no words to describe the sheer beauty of this view at sun down, it left myself and those around me completely dazed at the cultural sight far beyond the sea. The mixture of luminous colours spread throughout the sky painting a unique picture forever imprinted in our minds. The deep dark blue blended with an orange, pink and purple created warmth in our hearts as the mysterious rock stood in its ambiance, showing off how spectacular it was in its existence. Many couples, friends, acquaintances embraced this gorgeous moment. This presented a romantic atmosphere in Ibiza, over the crazy party island reputation.
4. Sol House
I bet you’re wondering where my recommendations are for places to drink! Of course I would never leave this out. Sol House was probably one of the favourite bars I visited, because it stood out from the typical sit in bar with a generic DJ, nothing special about it type of bar. Sol House was a quirky roof top bar, filled with sun loungers, beds, and bean bags. If you’re looking for a place to have some delicious cocktails, good conversation with friends in a chilled atmosphere, then Sol House is the bar for you. I am a sucker for roof top bars, as I love a view. I came here for Doorly’s disco set, who was playing during the Cala Llonga Festival fireworks. We relished in the groovy vibes, and watched the beautiful sight of the sparkling fireworks being shot in the midnight sky. The sky was filled with vitality and colour, making the atmosphere that extra bit incredible. Drinks at only 5 euros a cocktail, it is a very affordable bar too! (In comparison to the 9 euro cocktails you get offered on the strip).
5. Café Mambo
Last but not least is the infamous Café Mambo. Always a vibrant and bustling atmosphere, Café Mambo is the complete epitome of what Ibiza represents. Mambo speaks glamour, luxury and vivacity. Serving high end cocktails and dinner, every time I have been to Mambo it has always been packed out. So if you intend to dine there definitely arrive early! Home to the pre party of many of the super clubs, popular artists grace the bars with lively sets to keep the atmosphere to its joyous essence. Every evening many visit the bar to sit on the rocks to watch the sunset in awe of its beauty. Although I cringe every time, as the sun sets the crowd applauds the sun, almost symbolising a thank you to the sun, for giving Ibiza the pleasure of good times and the future happiness of what is yet to come.