Written by Christina West | Photography by Infinity Ibiza
For many years when people asked where I lived, I said “Ibiza” and was faced with the kind of blank expression and lack of recognition that one would expect when mentioning a small, remote and as yet undiscovered island. But certainly not one with over 2 million tourist visits per year. So I often just said I lived “ in Spain, near Barcelona “ and left it at that.
But in recent years the secret is out about Ibiza. Not only do people know where Ibiza is, but depending on their exposure it often sparks an animated response and genuine interest in visiting…and soon!
As the island’s notoriety as a dance music and party favorite spread like wildfire on social media and it’s global reputation as a jet set destination for luxury travel increased so did a broader knowledge of it’s beauty and allure.
Alas long gone are the days of explaining where Ibiza is. But with it’s new found celebrity comes a desire to escape to the more secret and lesser known places that exist all over the island. Here are a few of the hidden gems that we would like to keep secret, but know you would love.
1. Beaches and the coast: Ibiza’s coastline is a sand and rock necklace dotted with secret coves. One of my favorites is “the pools” and sandstone carvings at Ses Salinas beach in the nature reserve. The old stone quarries found there built the Old Town of Dalt Vila and now serve natural baths or “pools” for island locals and lovers.
Islanders love hiking the coast near Sa Caletta past the fishermen’s shacks to the Punic ruins and over the cliffs down to Sa Caletta beach and restaurant. The restaurant is known for it’s famous fish, lobster and Coffee Caletta, a fabulous brew of coffee, cinnamon and alcohol that is set alight for an afternoon kick.
Seafood Paella at Sa Caletta via Minube
2. The Campo: The island’s internal countryside is heart of Ibiza and it’s agricultural treasures of almonds, olives, oranges and lemons provide a delicious and colorful background to Ibiza life throughout the year. We love gorgeous country lunches at one of the many agritourismos like Atzaro or Es Cucons and restaurants like La Paloma.
3. Our Sister Island: Formentera is my not so secret crush and escape from the madness of summer in Ibiza. Even if I only have the day or 24hrs I will run away to this little piece of heaven in the sea. It’s like going to the Caribbean for the day and it only takes 30 minutes by ferry. Rent bikes or mopeds and explore the island, you won’t be disappointed.
4. And the ultimate gem is… The timing of your visit: While most visitors come in the summer those “in the know” now frequent the island outside peak season for it’s relaxed vibe, sunshine and unharied pace. Locals squeeze out a couple more months of summer and reclaim the beaches and warm water when the island starts to slow down. Some of the best weather is on offer in September and October when flights and accommodation are inexpensive and beaches and ‘chiringuitos’ (beach restaurants) are still serving the best fish on the island. We love El Chiringuito in Es Cavallet for its stunning Sea Bass baked in a crust of local salt, rosemary and lemon.
No matter when you visit or where you go in Ibiza you will find your own hidden gems. And surely the next time you visit you will find more. That’s the thing I love the most about the island. Even after many years, I never stop discovering new and beautiful places that I didn’t imagine existed.
Written by Christina West. Christina has called Ibiza home for 7 years and has been discovering its new hidden gems for 17 years. Her real estate company INFINITY IBIZA sells and rents luxury properties in Ibiza. Visit her website at: www.infinityibiza.com.