SOME people go to Ibiza to party, others to relax on one of the island’s spectacular beaches. Finding a party couldn’t be easier; finding a quiet cove is considerably harder, especially in August. Here are eight places where you can escape the crowds – partly because getting to them can be a bit of an adventure. Try Wikiloc for hiking directions to the more remote.
Punta de Ses Portes, Sant Josep
THIS is a quarry – but it’s 500 years old and the hollows left by extraction, now make shallow, smooth-walled designer pools with spectacular views. It lies inside the Ses Salines Natural Park on the southern tip of the island. You’ll need to park at Es Cavallet beach, and follow the wooden walkways south over dunes or through pine forest for about 1.5 km. Take water, mosquito repellant and some form of shade, because you won’t find them there – though there are a few buildings, including an interpretation centre which is sometimes open.
Cala Llentrisca, Sant Josep
THIS is everyone’s favourite ‘secret’ beach, but visitor numbers are still relatively low. Backed by pine forests, with slipways and a jetty to lie on – rather than the pebbly shore – it’s a world away from the party beaches. Buy water in Es Cubells, park where the road ends in Urbanización Es Cubells, then follow the path about 700 metres along the top of the cliff and down to the beach. Wikiloc will be your friend.
Cala Tarida, Sant Josep
AN easy choice on the west coast, you just take the steps down from the car park beside the Hotel Club Cala Tarida. The rocky areas at the end of the beach are the quietest. Go back up the steps by the Can Yucas bar, and down a track accessed from the no-entry road beside them, and you’ll find a nice cove. Beyond it, there’s Es Pujolets, a great spot with white sand and turquoise water.
S’Illot des Renclí, Sant Joan de Labritja
NOT far from Xarraca, this lovely, small beach also has a restaurant, and also has quieter areas if you want to swim or snorkel round the little headland or hike the trail that starts at the right of the first parking area (if looking at the sea) which ends up at Cala Xuclar. If driving along the C-733 from Sant Joan to Portinatx, the beach is signposted at KM 25.3.
Cala Xarraca, Sant Joan de Labritja
USE this beach at the north end of the island as a base for exploring smaller, quieter neighbouring coves, starting with Sa Cova de Xarraca, just around the rocks to the right (100m). Swim or rent a kayak to find your private paradise. Alternately stay at Cala Xarraca; the area of flat rocks to the far left is generally quietish – and there’s a restaurant.
C-733 Sant Joan to Portinatx, signposted at 17km.
Cala Saladeta, Sant Antoni de Portmany
THIS is a little beach beyond a more popular one, and quiet with gently shelving sand. Leave the car in the big pine-shaded car park at Cala Salada about 5 km from Sant Antoni, then follow the signposted trail down to the beach and up and over a low rocky headland to Saladeta. The main beach has a decent restaurant and it’s tempting not to stray too far from it.
YOU’LL have to walk and scramble 1.5 km to get here, but the effort is worth it. The circular beach is shingly, with crystal clear water over the patches of seagrass for snorkelling over, and just a few fishermen’s huts and fellow peace-seekers. To get to the arrow pointing down the trail, take the turning for Urbanización Illa Blanca off the Sant Miquel to Sant Mateu road. One kilometre down a twisting road, go right at the fork and, after 350 metres, park by the stone wall. At this point, there will be an arrow indicating the trail. Good luck finding it!
Cala Mastella, Santa Eulalia
NORTHEAST of Sant Carles de Peralta, the island feels sleepy and rural. A dirt road through cane and pine forests takes you to this cove with clear water, rocks and seagrass, making it one of the easiest options. If you cross over the rocks the left end of the beach you’ll find El Bigotes (+34 650 797 633, call 11am-1pm only), a rickety rustic restaurant on a tiny harbour service either fish or stew. You’ll need to book way, way in advance to secure a table on the harbour’s edge.
CAUTION: Access to some of these coves is challenging; wear good shoes, grip onto whatever you can, and go slow. Although some lie beyond a beach with a restaurant, none have any services so take the shade and water you need. Most importantly, as none have lifeguards, don’t swim alone, don’t swim in bad weather, and don’t take risks.