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Ibiza’s North West: Laid Back Charm and Style

by Paola Fiocchi Van den Brande

The secret has been out for a while that Ibiza is far more than the world’s premier clubbing island. Discerning couples, families and larger groups now recognise it as a stunning setting for a more private, peaceful break. Even so, the idyllic North West of the island remains relatively unexplored in many parts. Despite being within an easy half hour journey from the airport, many highlights of this region operate at a surprisingly gentle pace.

Cala Salada, by chiarabiasi.it

Cala Salada, by chiarabiasi.it

There are numerous beautiful beaches in this part of the island, often boasting tranquillity and seclusion unusual in this part of Europe. Cala Salada has sparkling blue waters and a stunning backdrop of pine forest. It’s unspoiled, relaxed and a good place to while away a day. Restaurante Cala Salada serves fresh local seafood. Cala Benirras is set within a lush nature reserve and is a good place to gain an acquaintance with the hippies and alternative crowd who call Ibiza home.

Tiny Cala Gracioneta has a charming rural feel and is popular with locals. Sandwiched between Cala Gracioneta and Cala Salada, Punta Galera is perhaps the perfect family beach. With large flat rocks perfect for sunning, there are also many rock pools in which children can tertian themselves snorkelling and exploring for hours.


Cala Gracioneta. Photo by Xescu Prats. Ibiza5sentidos.es

Port de Sant Miquel has gained a strong reputation for watersports and has a dramatic, photogenic setting with waves lapping against tall cliffs. For lovers of the outdoors, St Agnes is famous for its lovely Spring almond blossoms, and many make a February pilgrimage purely to admire them. All year round, St Agnes provides the perfect setting for admiring Ibiza’s distinctive red earth and lovely, scented citrus groves.

For those in search of the quintessential Ibizican village, little Sant Mateu d’Albarca is situated in the heart of the wine region. The village, little more than a pretty white chapel, Restaurante Can Cires and a bar, is a very appealing refreshment stop during a vinology tour. The North West houses many of Ibiza’s best vineyards. Can Rich de Buscastell blends ancient and modern traditions and techniques to produce a number of notable vintages. For those keen to keep up with culinary developments on the island, Giri Café in San Juan is an interesting and relatively recent entrant on the dining scene. Its innovative modern Mediterranean menu attracts a very diverse demographic.

Port de San Miquel, Shutterstock

Port de San Miquel, Shutterstock

Slightly farther afield there are plenty of attractions to entertain the family. San Antonio Bay has innumerable bars and restaurants as well as an appealing seafront to stroll along, but is not as frenetic as Playa d’en Bossa. The Aquarium Cap Blanc provides a memorable introduction to local marine life, including rays and octopus inside a former smuggler’s cave. It is possible to charter small boats from San Antonio which sail up to Cala Salada, taking in some breathtaking views along the way and signalling a welcome return to the magic of the North West.

Where to stay: Mariposa. A stunning property, whose 220 years old foundation walls have been transformed into a contemporary designer villa, immersed in 70,000 square metres of natural reserve.


By Phileas French, Travel Writer, Editor