At the end of the last blog, we’d had a wonderful day at the Hippy Market Punta Arabi, followed by the most stunning dinner at La Paloma with our friends Jk and Charlie. I stuck to being sensible and didn’t drink that night, so I could drive us back to the outskirts of San Antonio where we were staying. It’s always a great idea to hire a car in Ibiza, you get to see so much more of the island that way, and it saves on ferrying around in taxis everywhere. Plus – you can always have a nightcap when you get back to where you’re staying! Which, obviously, is what I did the second we walked in the door! A large glass of Red was heartily consumed followed by an early night, ahead of the next days activities.
I wanted a day off driving, and to be able to enjoy a few alcoholic beverages with lunch, so we pottered over to the San Antonio ferry port, and hopped on the boat to Cala Bassa. It’s SO worth it. The cost is just 8 Euros return per person, with the journey time less than 30 minutes.
Cala Bassa is a beauty of a beach. There’s several restaurants/bars to eat and drink at, and if you’re feeling flush you can hire a massive sunlounger for the day. If not, there’s plenty of beach left for you to pop your towels on, and rustle up a picnic! We treated ourselves, plumping for a lounger a a stones throw from the glorious, sparkling blue sea at the CBBC – Cala Bassa Beach Club.
We ordered Strawberry Mojito’s, and some healthy salads (with a side of not so healthy but oh so delicious bread, olives and aioli) and settled back for the afternoon. Literally all we did was eat, drink, lounge and have a splash about in the sea. Bliss.
The evening was then spent watching the sunset at one of my favourite spots, Kumharas over at Cala De Bou. A traditional defence tower acts as the bar, and a stunning driftwood structure presides over the main seating area. Pull up a chair, lounge back in the chillout area, or just sit on the rocks and watch the sun go down, with one of their signature cocktails in hand.
Afterwards, you can have a look around the on site hippy market, and perhaps enjoy a fantastic dinner in their restaurant. I’ve eaten here many times over the years, and everything – from their sushi to Ox steak, is excellent. Having had a rather expensive day at the beach, we chose to eat elsewhere on this occasion. Just over 5 minutes walk from Kumharas, back towards San Antonio Bay, is somewhere that I think is one of Ibiza’s hidden gems.
I first ate at El Kiosko over 10 years ago. From memory, it’s main structure was painted orange back then, and now it’s very much green in colour! One thing has remained the same though, and that’s the quality of their food. I always order pizza whenever there, as it’s fantastic.
The staff are LOVELY, the service quick, and the food is fresh, delicious and easy on the wallet! As an added bonus, you also get free monkey nuts on arrival, and there’s a resident cat called Patchy. He’s adorable, and likes to curl up on your lap should you be a willing recipient of a temporary feline incumbent.
After one too many jugs of Sangria and Vodka Fanta Limon’s the night before, we were in no fit state to do anything but find another beach to laze upon. It’s just SO hard being on holiday. Ha. So, back to the San An ferry port we went, and this time we hopped on the boat to Cala Conta. This beach is a little further out than Cala Bassa, and the cost of getting there and back is still a massive bargain at 9 Euros return per person. It’s also home to one of the most famous sunset and chillout spots on the island, Sunset Ashram.
It’s unspeakably stunning here. If Boho chic is your vibe, you’ll be in heaven. The beach itself is split either side of Sunset Ashram, the right side arguably quieter than the left. The sea here is magnificent. Sometimes, there’s nothing better than watching the waves, glittering in the sunlight, as they lap towards the coast. This is the perfect place to do it. As well as being a world famous sunset destination, Sunset Ashram is home to a boutique selling all sorts of pretty pieces, from floaty dresses to bags and handcrafted jewellery.
I’d recommend spending the day relaxing at the beach, then securing a table there, stuffing yourself silly with a selection of fine sushi, and watching the sunset as the resident DJ plays some chill out vibes. You might even get treated to a live performance, you just never know!
Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t on our side on this particular day, and it clouded over late afternoon. I chucked on my kaftan, slipped on the Havianas, and went for a wander. I’d heard that there was a secret route to a stunning vista of Es Vedra nearby, so what better to do, than go and find it?!
We came out of the main car park by Sunset Ashram, walked along the road for around 200m, then took a right down a dusty camino. We walked until we found a a walled compound. We continued around it, then to the left saw a small white graffitied building.
We followed the path towards it, then ambled up a slight hill and were greeted with exactly what we were looking for. The monumentous beauty of Es Vedra. Stood proudly jutting out from the sea. Despite the weather being cloudy, there was an eerie, peaceful serenity to the whole experience. Back to the beach we went, and hopped on the ferry back. Absolutely NOTHING could prepare us for what was about to happen.
About halfway through the journey back to dry land, the boat suddenly changed direction. Hearing a commotion, with other occupants, running towards the front of the beat, I feared the worst. Had someone fallen overboard? Was there inclement weather incoming? Nope. In fact, it was far happier, and utterly euphoric. The captain had spotted a pod of DOLPHINS in the water, swimming right next to us!
I’ll never forget the emotion felt just watching them play alongside the boat, joyfully jumping in and out of the sunshine speckled waves. Such a special, and totally unexpected moment.
Today was our final full day, and, determined to make the most of it, I leapt out of bed at 9am, and started planning our day. Situated in the middle of the island, so essentially less than 30 minutes drive from wherever you’re staying, is the quaint little town of Santa Gertrudis.
Our first stop was at Wild Beets, a brilliant place serving up the best of raw, vegan and plant based cuisine. It’s situated on the main road heading into the town, and there’s ample parking right outside.
We popped in for a freshly made Superfood Smoothie, and it was SO good, like the elixir of life in a power packed juice. I’m yet to eat there, but have heard nothing but glowing reviews from my friends who have been lucky enough to sample their dishes.
Santa Getrudis has a great selection of local restaurants, one of my favourites is Le Monde – they serve up seriously decent tapas. If it’s a more rustic type of dish you fancy, you must check out Bar Costa. It’s well known as a place where hippies used to exchange their paintings in return for food, and alongside the art, there’s whole legs of Jamon hanging up inside around the bar. I’d recommend ordering a plate of Manchego and the delicious pan con tomate, alongside the essential Jamon Iberico and a cold, refreshing beer. Then, just watch the world go by. Sometimes, keeping it simple really is the best way to enjoy a day.
We also checked out the local boutiques, of which there are several selling beautiful clothes and homeware. I picked up a stunning long pink and blue tie dye dress at Angels Ibiza. The church in Santa Gertrudis is a beauty, with a bronze statue of Manuel Abad y LaSierra (the first Bishop of Ibiza) sitting outside. We were lucky enough to visit on the same day the local auctioneers, Casi Todo were open. This is a treasure chest of true Ibicencan souvenirs. Selling everything from old church doors to giant glass Hierbas decanters, we just had to have a look around!
Our next destination was La Galeria Elefante, on the road from Santa Gertrudis to San Mateu. Possibly one of the THE most beautiful boutiques I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. It has to be seen to be believed. I just hope that my photos do it some kind of justice. From woven beach bags to glittery hanging signs, and intricately designed clothing to a giant metal carousel horse, it’s an Aladdins cave of fantastic curiosities. A must visit.
By now we were ready for a lie down after a morning of gallivanting. And for me, no trip to Ibiza would be complete without stopping by at the picturesque paradise that is Raco Ibiza. I stayed here a few years ago, and have kept returning ever since. Out in the sticks, past the old hippodrome, you’re greeted in the car park by a giant sign, which at night, is gloriously lit up in red neon, with the words GOD BLESS IBIZA.
It’s chill out central here. You walk in to beautiful gardens, surrounded by orange trees, bourganvillea, hammocks, and giant beds on which to lounge. The rooms are decorated in a traditional, rustic, Ibicenican style, overlooking a lovely pool, which is decorated with the prettiest tiles.
Hospitality is at it’s finest, nothing is too much for the lovely folk who work here. Whether it’s a freshly squeezed orange juice, or a delicious lunch you’re after, you’ll be well looked after. If you’re staying, you might even get a slice of home baked cheesecake with your breakfast! I can’t recommend the food at Raco enough. Never had a bad meal there. A particular favourite of mine is the Seared Tuna Loin with mushroom rice, served perfectly pink and packed full of flavour. On this particular day, we got really lucky. They sometimes have BBQ’s on a Sunday at Raco, but a party of 35 had been in touch with the owners and asked if they might be able to do it on a Saturday instead. They did, and as we were there, we also got to tuck in! It was out of this world!
We had wonderfully tender lamb cutlets and pork, plus thick slices of chorizo (and this was the real deal!), all served with roast potatoes and a rocket salad. We didn’t even have to move our lazy behinds off the giant sun lounger. Nope, it was all served on a massive vintage, well worn silver platter. Heavenly.
After a day of relaxing at Raco, we drove back to the apartment, and got ourselves ready for the final sunset of the holiday.
Hostal La Torre is a incredibly special place. Acquired a couple of years ago by the Mambo group (owners of Cafe Mambo, El Chiringuito and more…), it’s been lovingly restored from an old hostel, to an absolutely stunning beauty of a place. The rooms have been given a makeover, the menu is a tapas lovers nirvana, and the one thing that needed no work doing whatsoever? The INSANE view of the famous Ibiza sunset.
You can watch it from the front of the restaurant, overlooking the cliffs, or if you’re feeling especially romantic, ask for a table a little further down on the cliffs. That’s a top notch marriage proposal hotspot right there! We settled in, ordered a jug of their signature Cava Sangria (it’s delicious), and enjoyed a splendid tapas selection, with my dear friend Sunny. We feasted upon the small fried Calamari, Ibicencan Garlic Red Prawns, the Iberian Ham Croquettes, and a green salad, with the obligatory bread, olives and aioli alongside it all.
We then looked out to the twinkling sun drenched blue sea, listening to THE most chilled out of soundtracks, and took in the natural wonder of the Ibiza sunset. We watched as the sun dipped further down towards the ocean, hit the water and said adios for another day, followed by a ripple of respectful applause from it’s captive audience. The sky then turned a incredible colour, a mixture of the brightest hues of orange and pink staining the clouds, and we chinked glasses, and had a moment to think about what a fantastic week we’d had.