Spain - Ibiza

by David Sutcliffe

   

Paella & chips? Check. Sunburnt clubbers? Check.  Union Jack & Bundesflagge shorts? Check.

Ok, that's the (not completely unwarranted) stereotypes covered.  If you can time a visit to Ibiza, however, before or after the onslaught of summer clubbers then you will discover another side to the island - dozy provincial towns, unspoilt beaches and remote rocky coves.

Ibiza leads the Mediterranean when it comes to restoring fincas (farm houses or country estates) into luxury ‘agro-tourism' boutique hotels.  Usually far from the madding crowds these tend to be in the centre of the island or on isolated cliff sides overlooking the sea.

If your preference is for a town or resort, then I would recommend either Ibiza Town or Santa Eulalia.  Ibiza Town (or Eivissa) is the capital and is famed for its walled old town and its nightlife.  It is more sophisticated than the other party town (the infamous San Antonio) and, as home to world famous clubs such as Pacha, Amnesia & Privilege, is a mecca for ‘true' clubbers.

Santa Eulalia is a quieter resort and ideal for couples or families.  It has a pretty harbour/beach area just seconds away from the main shopping/restaurant district.  It is also home to one of my favourite restaurants in the world - The Cardamom Club, beautiful Indian food in a wonderful setting, a must visit wherever you are staying on the island.

Much smaller than its neighbour, Mallorca, it is easy to get round by hire car and, as well as the above, it is worth visiting the hippie market near Es Canar and seeking out some of the remoter beach areas.  Another worthwhile daytrip is to the tiny island of Formentera with its world class beaches and crystal clear water.

Ibiza makes for a great week or two away, or even a hectic weekend if the mood takes you.  So, don't overlook the ‘white island' when making your travel plans.

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