A trip around Ibiza’s most famous beaches – and a few you may not have heard of before.
Written by: Daniel Badcock
We invite you to come on a tour of some of Ibiza’s best beaches with us – so pack your sun cream, your swimming gear, a snorkel and your bucket and spade and jump in the car.
Starting in San Antonio and travelling anti-clockwise around the island, we’re going to take you to some of the most famous stretches of sand on the island as well as letting you in on a few of our secrets as we uncover some of the treasures hidden around the coastline.
This itinerary makes a highly recommended one-day tour of the island but if it’s not possible for you to do it all in one day, at least you can escape to some of these locations for a much-needed break from all the partying whenever you feel the need to regain a little of your sanity.
Just one question – what do you want to listen to on the way? We hope it's Ibiza X Radio. You can tune in online - even in your car through your smartphone. Now that's what we call Ibiza radio of 2017!
Cala Conta (Platja de Comte)
Our first stop is a short fifteen-minute drive from San An. To reach it, we follow the road to the village of San Agustí de Vedrà, from where it is well signposted.
We’re starting our tour early as we need to make our way all around the island so if you’re still feeling sleepy, you can take an hour to dawdle here, have a coffee and maybe grab some breakfast in the famous Ashram bar and restaurant - and generally give yourself time to wake up.
This popular spot is actually a stretch of sandy beaches and rocky coves. Once you’ve had your caffeine, you can take time to explore the adjoining areas and have a quick dip.
Racód'es Puig d'es Fornàs is the name of the pier where ferries from San An arrive and here you will find a rocky inlet with perfect clear water which is great for your morning swim.
In the other direction lies the nudist beach of Racó d'en Xic which you can check out before we move on.
Cala Conta has a full complement of facilities and parking is available but it tends to fill up quickly in peak season.
There are also buses and ferries from San An, so you can make your way here even without your own vehicle.
If you come here in the evening, Ashram is a popular spot to chill while watching a classic Ibiza sunset.
Continuing down the coast, we come to Cala Vedella, another popular tourist beach with a full set of amenities and boasting crystal clear water in case you already want another swim – although we won’t stop here too long because we want to move on to the next beach.
Cala Vedella consists of a short stretch of sand and rocks set in a beautiful bay and it’s a good spot for snorkelling.
There are plenty of cafés and restaurants to choose from here and it’s a lively spot in the evening.
Bear in mind that this is a well-known beach and the car park can fill up quickly during the day. If you don’t have your own transport, you can reach here by bus from San Antonio.
Moving on from Cala Vedella, another 10-minute drive brings us to Cala d’Hort in the far south-west of the island, a laidback beach with some of the most picturesque vistas in Ibiza.
Here we find another popular stretch of rocks and sand looking out onto two small islets in the sea, the larger of which, Es Vedrà, is possibly the mythical island of Homer’s sirens (the Homer who wrote the ancient Greek epic Iliad, not Homer Simpson…).
There are many stories concerning this rock. One legend tells how two brothers had to defeat a giant who inhabited the island in order to bring back a cure for their father’s illness. Another story even claims it to be a secret UFO base. Whatever the truth of these tales, it is enough of a draw to bring many of Ibiza’s more curious visitors to this beach.
It’s late morning now so we’ll give you an hour to take in the scenery, have another swim and catch a few rays.
The El Carmen restaurant is well known for its traditional local food so this might be a good option if you come back in the evening – but we already know where we’re having lunch today so if you’re peckish, just grab a bag of crisps for now and wait till later.
Playa de Ses Salines (Platja de Ses Salines)
When you’re ready to continue, our next stop is Ses Salines beach on the far south-eastern tip of Ibiza, named for the extensive salt flats on this part of the island. This is one of the most famous beaches and is popular with the trendy crowd and celebrities alike.
The arc of sand here is among the longest on Ibiza, the sea is clear and there are many good bars – although expect to pay premium prices if you want a drink and we’re only going to stay long enough for a quick stroll and a bit of people watching.
As this is one of the most visited beaches, don’t come here expecting much peace and quiet.
This is not the place if you want to be left alone to relax, but it’s well worth a stop on the way just to see what it’s like.Parking here is not free but it still fills up quickly during peak season.
Playa d’en Bossa (Platja d’en Bossa)
Even longer than Ses Salines – in fact, the longest beach on the whole island – our next stop is Playa d’en Bossa.
Lying to the south of Ibiza Town, it has something for just about everyone and is popular with families - but due to the proximity of many clubbing attractions and the availability of relatively cheap accommodation, this beach has always been a favourite with the party crowd too.
Pretty much in the middle of the beach, you can find one of Ibiza’s best-known watering holes, the perennial beach party bar, Bora Bora, and this is the place to head if you feel like a bit of a boogie on the beach. Not far from here you will also find outdoor superclub Ushuaïa as well as the new HÏ Ibiza, the club that has taken over from Space.
In both directions along the sand there are plenty of other eating and drinking options and if you fancy a stroll, you can head in the direction of the watchtower at the end furthest from Ibiza Town.
This is also a good place to organise any water sports if you are feeling energetic.
It’s likely to be impossible to park close tod’en Bossa so prepare yourself for a bit of a walk.
Next, we head up the coast north of Ibiza Town and we’ll stop off at Cala Blanca. This is actually a small bay surrounded by rocks that is frequented by boats.
It’s a beautiful spot for a swim but the sea is only really accessible by water transport. You can content yourself with a quick selfie at the viewpoint – climbing down the rocks to the sea is not recommended as it can be a dangerous exercise and we’d prefer you stayed with us and in one piece – at least until the end of the day.
After the hordes of tourists on Ses Salines and d’en Bossa, we’ll take you in search of some more personal beaches hidden in the coves of the north, the perfect antidote to the commercial resorts further south.
One of the first we come to is Cala Mastella, a small sand and rock beach about 4km from the village of Sant Carles de Peralta.
Here you will be able to find the simple but highly recommended C'an Bigotis restaurant where you can try ‘bullit de peix’, the fish stew which is one of the local specialities – but not now as, finally, we’re about to take you to lunch elsewhere.
From Cala Mastella, we’re going to head inland to the village of Sant Carles. The village is a pleasant place to stop in its own right but we’re taking you there to hunt down Anita’s Bar.
Anita’s is Ibiza’s original hippy bar and you can fill up on great food in a perfect Mediterranean setting, decorated with artwork dating back to the sixties.
Cala d’en Serra (Caló d’en Serra)
Once you’ve eaten your fill and maybe had a glass of wine or two, we’re heading right to the far north of the island where we find another Ibiza beach gem, and we’ll let you pause for a bit to let your food go down.
2.5km from the resort of Portinatx, at Cala d’en Serra, you will discover two small areas of rock and sand divided by an outcrop.
There is a path running between the two beaches but the easiest means of access is by swimming.
This is a good spot for snorkelling too, so remember your mask.
If you come back another time, there’s the decent Don Quixote bar and restaurant where you should be able to find some refreshment. Maybe you might want another coffee to wake you up after your copious meal at Anita’s. Or maybe you just want to have a siesta on the sand. Up to you, you have an hour.
Oh, and don’t worry about the dodgy road. Trust us, we really can make it down there by car, we know what we’re doing...
Cala Xuclar (Cala Xuclà)
Moving on again, a short drive along the coast and we arrive at the nudist cove of Cala Xuclar.
Located around 2km from Portinatx, we find a tiny cove featuring sand and rocks with shallow sea perfect for another quick dip and the chance to escape the masses.
There’s not much here apart from a few fishermen’s huts and a little bit of shade to hide from the sun – but that’s the beauty of this place. Just a pretty place to chill for a bit to escape from some of the craziness.
After some quiet time to reflect at Xuclar, I’m afraid we’re taking you back to tourist land at Cala Benirràs.
Far busier than some of the coves we’ve just been visiting, this beach is located about 4km from the Port of Sant Miquel.
Here, we arrive at a sandy beach with sunbeds, bars and restaurants – and plenty of other people. Should you feel the need to visit something, there is the nearby C'an Marçà cave complex (with €5 entrance fee).
Because we’re such thoughtful guides, we’ve timed our tour perfectly so that we arrive here sometime before sunset on a Sunday evening, just in time for the weekly hippy drumming session.
Grab a beer or a cocktail and kick back to the sound of drums as you reflect on all the beautiful places we’ve been that you never even suspected were there.
And you thought Ibiza was all about clubs and dancing. Don’t worry, we’ll get you home so you can get your party gear on in time for whichever club you’ve got tickets for tonight.
Not technically part of our tour but we have to fit it in here somewhere.
This is not so much a beach as an isolated area of rocks with access to the sea.
Only a couple of kilometres from San An and easily reachable by car plus a short walk, it’s a great place to come for a bit of downtime if you want to escape the crowds, your friends, your husband or wife or anyone else who’s after you.
There are several caves to explore which afford a certain amount of privacy too, so if you decide you want to escape from your husband or wife with, um, someone else you’ve just met, this might be a good option too…
What are your favourite Ibiza beaches?
Which kind of beaches do you like most, busy beaches with lots to do or quiet ones where you can do your own thing?
Personally, I think there’s a time and a place for both. Either way, I can’t wait to hit the beach again this year.
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