If there’s one European holiday destination that tends to suffer a bit from its reputation, it’s Ibiza. Over the last few years, the clubbers have loomed large whenever the island gets mentioned, and you may be forgiven for thinking its whole surface area is dominated by thumping basslines, eager partygoers and the overspill from bars filling the streets. But here’s an interesting fact: Ibiza is ten times the size of Manhattan, and much of the clubbing is relegated to Ibiza Town and San Antonio of the island’s southern and western shores.
While it’s undeniably Europe’s premiere partying destination, visitors who wouldn’t be seen dead wrapped in glowsticks and listening to Trance are still flocking to the island thanks to its culture, countryside, and an ever-expanding range of family friendly holiday activities. The nights may be belong to the party people, but there’s still plenty to do when the sun’s out.
1. Discover your own private beach!
There are certain beaches on Ibiza – we will name no names! – that are going to be packed with annoyingly young and toned flash no matter the time of day. If you’re looking to get away from the bustle, beach-bars and all-pervasive whiff of bronzer, Ibiza’s got plenty of hidden coastal gems if you’re happy to head out and explore.
Try Cala Llentrisca (on the south-west side of the island, just past Es Cubells) for a spot of off-the-beaten-track tranquillity, or stake a claim on your very own bay at the secluded Sol d’en Serra, which can be found near the far more popular beach of Cala Llonga. Of course, you could always just hop in the car (if you’re holidaying in Ibiza, chances are you’ll hire one) and strike off to find your own stretch of sun-soaked shoreline, or there’s the popular and family-friendly beaches of Portinatx if you’re happy to be closer to shops and amenities with the trade-off of having more people about. More info on the full range of Ibiza’s beaches can be found here.
Many kids are fascinated by the strangeness of undersea life. Even if they haven’t got aspirations to be a marine biologist when they’re older, kids of any age will doubtless be fascinated by a visit to the Cap Blanc Aquarium. Found just outside of San Antonio, the aquarium is unique in that its main exhibit is a gigantic natural cave topped by a series of walkways – visitors can get a unique look at a huge range of Mediterranean wildlife in their natural environment!
Better yet, there’s a terraced bar outside for the kids to take a breather from all that excitement while the grown-ups enjoy a well-earned drink and the fantastic views.
3. Get pedaling!
Another fact about Ibiza you may find surprising – it’s a great destination if you enjoy strapping on your helmet and taking to the byways by bike. Thanks to its relatively small size, it’s a great way to see more of the island and grab yourself a bit of exercise too (all the better for justifying that huge dish of bullet de piex at the end of your ride). There’s a range of difficulties if you’re more serious about your cycling, with the island offering a good choice of calculated routes – or of course, you could just hop on, ride off, and see where your journey takes you!
Thanks to the increasingly popular presence of cycling across Ibiza, the major towns have a burgeoning industry in hiring out bikes to visitors. Whether your kids are happy to just sit in the kid’s seat and enjoy the ride or tackle the excursion themselves, it’s a great way to get to the heart of the island in the open air.
4. Visit the birthplace of myths and legends
Es Vedrà is, without doubt, the most impressive natural landmark in Ibiza. Rising out of the sea some 1.5 miles off the south-westerly coast, the best views of this uninhabited islet can be found at Cala D’Hort beach (time your visit carefully though – it can get a bit busy!) and it makes for a wonderful place to watch the sunset if you can keep the kids up that long.
Still, at any time of day you can have the kids enthralled by all the stories and legends associated with Es Vedrà. It reputedly has weird magnetic properties (science has proved otherwise, but it’s still a good story) and is widely believed to be the home of the Sirens that attempted to dash Odysseus’s ship on the rocks. It’s the setting for one of Ibiza’s most famous folk tales concerning a giant, two brothers and a host of friendly sea urchins, and over the years has picked up a bit of a reputation for being a UFO hotspot – so keep an eye on the skies!
5. Grab something groovy at Es Cana’s hippy market
The Johnny-come-latelys with their dance music and Ray-Bans are just the latest in a long line of pilgrims to Ibiza’s shores. Since the early 1960s, the island has been a popular destination with artists and free thinkers, and it’s a legacy expressed perfectly by Es Cana’s weekly hippy market.
Each Wednesday in El Cana (on Ibiza’s eastern shoreline), the Punta Arabí district of town is taken up by hundreds of stalls selling a range of home-made clothes, art and gifts, often accompanied by the strains of live music. Full of hustle, bustle, life and bargains, it’s a great place to kill and hour or two eyeing up eclectic wares, and kids will be mesmerised by the huge range of eye-catching trinkets and clothes on offer.
And if you need a family-friendly place to stay, don’t forget we’ve got a huge range of luxury villas in Ibiza to choose from! Too busy for a leisurely browse? Give us a call on 0800 133 7999 or head to our site and contact our dedicated concierge team, who are happy to do the legwork for you!