Ibiza’s secret beaches: It’s not just the bars and clubs which get rammed in the party island’s high season, many of the beaches are packed too. To find a peaceful spot away from the madness, try one of these hidden gems from Secret Beaches: Ibiza
Cala Llentrisca beach,
In the middle of the crescent-shaped Cala Llentrisca sits a rickety old timber jetty protruding out into the bay that makes a perfect diving platform. This slim stretch of beach can be enjoyed in full sunshine until late in the afternoon and will often be deserted. The waters here are so blue that they colour the sand and sea grass with a subtle fluorescence, something that makes a vivid impression when you see this cove for the first time. Cala Llentrisca is a place that invites repose and reflection, with only the fishing boats bobbing far out to sea offering much in the way of distraction. Keep a sleepy eye on them as they make their lazy journeys home – some of them are stowed away by their owners in the little shacks lining the back of the beach.
Pitstop Es Cubells is a small village nestled among the orange, lemon and olive groves on precipitous terraces. Occupying an enviable location on the uppermost terrace, Bar Llumbi‘s uninterrupted view across to Formentera is almost as compelling as the typically Spanish menu. You’ll find all the usual suspects here – fresh fish, paella, copious salads – and the quick, friendly service means you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the extraordinary vista over your coffee. • +34 971 802128 Further information, directions and map
Hidden among the rocks and cliffs, away from the sprawling tourist hotels that encircle the white sands of Cala Tarida, are several tiny little coves, one of which can be enjoyed only by those willing to get their feet wet. With perfect southerly aspects, these beaches are picture-postcard locations where pure unpolluted waters reflect the sun, making the entire scene resemble the interior of a giant bottle of Bombay Sapphire. Given the popularity of these spots, they are usually occupied by locals brazenly sunbathing in their birthday suits, but they still seem a world away from the crowded main beach in high summer.
Pitstop There are plenty of restaurants serving higher quality food in or around Cala Tarida but Ses Eufabies, family owned and run, occupies by far the best position. The entire restaurant has been built atop a vast rock in the middle of the beach with its dining terraces cut directly into the stone, making it feel as though you have hardly left the sand. The menu is typical beach cafe fare: cheap and cheerful with a couple of fresh grilled fish thrown in among the burgers and hot dogs. Book a table here for lunch and you’ll have a base for the afternoon from which to survey the comings and goings all about you. Try to stay for the sunset as the westerly orientation means incredible views out to sea. • +34 971 806328 Further information, directions and map
Ibiza‘s natural beauty is present in all its glory at this perfect teardrop-shaped beach, dramatically sliced from the cliffs to form a natural harbour of translucent azure water. You reach this tiny stretch of protected shoreline by descending a precarious, rickety path, which adds to the thrill of the location. Once there, it is easy to understand why the beach is so important to local fishermen, who use it as a social focal point as well as a place to store and launch their boats. Our recommended access to the bay allows you to experience the historical rhythm of the island’s spellbinding coast by following the same route used by fishermen, pirates and invaders for hundreds of years. Like them, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of cliffs plunging into fathomless cerulean waters.
Pitstop Ignore the deceptively residential frontage, Can Cires opens up to reveal a wonderfully atmospheric alfresco dining area. The place is run by an eccentric owner who likes to wander around with a parrot on his shoulder. He’s from Alsace and his Gallic roots are well in evidence, from the house speciality – a thin and crispy tarte flambée – to the outdoor pétanque area. The interior is decorated with a restored classic French motorbike and large print photographs of the island’s coastline. The wine list includes an Alsace Gewurztraminer and as many as seven Ibicenco riojas and crianzas. • +34 971 805551, cancires.com Further information, directions and map
The distinctive uninhabited island of Es Vedrà is framed behind the craggy cliffs that overhang this small bay. Cala Llentia is known to a few locals as a place to escape the madness that takes over the island during the high season. The slightly tricky access will put off any fair weather explorers, but those that do make the effort will always find somewhere to lie and enjoy the tranquility.
Pitstop It’s a short stroll over the headland to the classic Ibiza chiringuito at Cala Codolar, and it’s a lively contrast to the sandy solitude of Cala Llentia. First set up in 1974 and still owned and run by the same Ibicencan local, it is the type of simple wooden shack that is rarely seen today. Before beach bars and restaurants became ubiquitous, nearly every beach on the island had one or two chiringuitos like this one. They would be set up to serve drinks and simple snacks during the summer months, before being dismantled and taken away at the end of each season. Perhaps their days are numbered, but thanks to the restrictive building laws protecting Cala Codolar, this one is safe for the time being. Bog-standard plastic chairs and tables are shaded by promotional parasols giving the bar an unpretentious, friendly atmosphere. • No telephone Further information, directions and map
Cala Llarga is the most southerly beach on Ibiza, and one of the most perfectly formed. A deep pebbled area, linking the shoreline to the woodland of Punta de la Rama, stretches out behind you while you contemplate the views. And as with many of Ibiza’s secret beaches, there is a springy mattress of dried sea grass along the foreshore to keep you comfortable while you snooze. For those in search of more energetic activities, the rocks and platforms lining the bay are so perfect for diving and jumping that they could have been specifically designed for just that purpose. Our chosen approach is equally spectacular, taking you south along the coast from Ses Salines beach and over the headland to enjoy some distant views of Formentera and the satellite islands of s’Espalmador and s’Espardell.
Pitstop Set back slightly from the actual beach, Can Masia is a welcome alternative to the sandy dancefloors of the identikit beach bars at nearby Ses Salines beach. As a result, the bougainvillea-shaded terrace gets packed out with locals seeking shelter from the midday sun. The cooking is simple, constantly changing and marked up on the chalkboard. A menú del día is a generous and reasonably priced option, however it won’t feature some of the more interesting à la carte offerings such as jellied octopus. • +34 697 457082 Further information, directions and map
Discovering Agua Blanca’s secret satellite beach will require a short swim or a wade through gin-clear Mediterranean waters to a world of stone stacks and rune-like shells. This is a particularly calm and peaceful place, where the sound of waves drumming into miniature caves will lull you into a peaceful siesta. Just make sure you save enough energy for that watery stroll to the chiringuito for lunch or cocktails.
Pitstop Once a chiringuito shack selling cold drinks and snacks to a small crowd of tourists, Restaurante Aguas Blancas has grown gradually over the years, with a little bit of timber here and a few planks of decking there, into today’s fully fledged beach restaurant. Thankfully, it hasn’t lost the charm and friendly welcome that has always marked it out, and the menu is still all-encompassing and uncommonly reasonable. Early birds should come here for a coffee (and or night owls for a nightcap) at sunrise – the blankets of warm colour as the sun appears are spectacular, arguably one of the most impressive sights on the island. • +34 971 326862 Further information, directions and map