Ibiza is a Balearic Island off the coast of Spain, in the Mediterranean sea. You might know of it as the clubbing paradise of Europe, but it's so, so, so much more than that. I've been travelling to Ibiza since I was about 5 years old. Between the ages of 8 and 12, we would spend the entire two months of our summer holidays on the island, and I really do have the fondest memories of those hot, beautiful summers. I've never been big on clubbing. I don't drink, and I'm terrible at staying up late, so clubbing and Olivia really just don't get on. I know the Island well, and am lucky enough to have a lovely Godmother who lives there, so whenever I crave some time on the Island, I'm able to call her up and ask her for a bed to sleep in. Tom and I booked our tickets way back in November 2015, and it's safe to say that I'd been looking forward to our time there ever since we booked it. I was desperate for some time to switch off, lounge by the sea and read books (FYI, I read two whole books in a week! Woohoo!) More than anything though, I was excited to show Tom one of my favourite places on earth. While I was at it, I tried to snap as many photos as possible so that I'd also be able to share our experiences with you.
I want to share with everyone MY Ibiza. The Ibiza I love, and hold so dear to my heart. So, here I am, bringing you my non-clubbers guide to Ibiza!
This probably goes without saying, but there are so many incredible beaches to be enjoyed in Ibiza. Whether you're looking for beautiful, soft white sand, or to be surrounded by tall, rugged cliffs, you'll find it. There are also hundreds of "secret beaches" that you can trek to for a bit more alone time. While Tom and I were there last week, we stuck to the public ones.
Benirras: Benirras is a beach I've enjoyed for years, and it's one that I always seem to go back to whenever I'm not too sure where to go. It's a really wide beach, with rugged cliffs surrounding it, and at least three restaurants along it, so you're never stuck on where to eat. The sand can be a bit rough, so it's not necessarily the softest of beaches, but the views are amazing! You'll recognise Benirras thanks to the large rock out in the bay, which looks just like a queen sitting on a throne.
Aguas Blancas: Tom and I spent a gorgeous, sunny, hot afternoon at Aguas Blancas last week, and I really do think this might be my favourite beach on the island. You've got to walk down quite a steep hill to access it (don't worry, it's easy to walk down), but that does mean walking back up it again at the end of the day. Trust me, it's so worth it! Aguas Blancas translates to "white water," and that really does describe this place quite well. The water here is clear, bright turquoise (my favourite colour), and the sand is silky smooth. The restaurants along the beach are great as well, and being such a long beach, there's always space. If you're not interested in paying for deck chairs, but still want some shade, people set up camp next to the cliff faces which create a natural barrier against the sun. One little word of warning though, this is a nudest beach, so if you're shy about seeing other people nakey, I would avoid this beach!
Cala Vadella: I'd never been to Cala Vadella until this most recent trip, and it came about when we were turned away from a beach I normally used to attend a lot when I was younger due to lack of parking. A quick Google search, and we were heading down to the south of the Island. The drive is beautiful, and you'll get the best view ever of Es Vedra, the enormous and very famous rock out in the waters, so the drive alone is worth it. The beach itself is very family friendly, and not too wide. The waters were bright turquoise again, which always makes me squeal with excitement. The beach is also located at the bottom of the small village, so if you're looking for somewhere to stay with kids with access to a lovely beach by foot, I'd recommend looking here!
Other great beaches include: Es Cavallet, Cala Salada, Las Salinas
Everyone loves food, right?! Well, you're not going to be disappointed by the Ibicenco food, not one single bit.
The Fish Shack: If you're looking to eat like the locals do, then you're going to want to head to the Fich Shack in Sa Punta, opposite Ibiza Town. Victoria, my godmother, recommended this little restaurant to Tom and I, and we were immediately intrigued. We both quite like fish, and the way she described it made it sounds like loads of fun. Now, this really is nothing fancy. You sit on plastic chairs with tiny plastic tables and the food is simple, but it's incredibly good, the service was friendly, and the view was outstanding. We arrived just in time to watch the sun go down, and enjoyed what was probably one of the nicest pieces of fish I've ever had. The only thing I would recommend is if you have any food intolerances, look up the words for the foods you can't eat in Spanish before you head here, because the amount of English they spoke was a bit limited! Address: Es puet de Talamanca, Ibiza Town, Ibiza, Spain
Mikado: Thai food isn't something you would think would normally be recommended on a Spanish Island, but as someone with lots of food intolerances, Thai food is often a good place to head as they use limited amounts of dairy, and wheat. Mikado was another recommendation from my godmother, and she was bang on! Located in the centre of the island in the town of Santa Gertrudis, Mikado serves not only some of the best Thai food I've ever had, but also sushi, which I sadly didn't have room to try. Next time I'm on the island, we'll definitely be going back to give their sushi a try! Address: Carrer de la Vénda des Poble, 07814 Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera, Illes Balears, Spain
Le Monde: Now, here's where we can get a bit more traditional! Tom and I were recommended Le Monde, another Santa Gertrudis restaurant, by Victoria. When I looked it up online and saw that they offered a range of yummy sounding Tapas, we knew we had to try it out. When travelling somewhere, I do think that it's really nice to try and eat something "local." That being said, I would never eat something that doesn't agree with my tummy! Thankfully, Le Monde had a huge range of tapas to choose from, so we found some that Tom and I could both eat and enjoy without worrying about the ingredients inside. The food was really, really good, and the waiters were all adorable and extremely helpful. Address: Carrer Venda de Fruitera, 11, 07814 Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera, Illes Balears, Spain
Atzaro: Atzaro is an extremely old, but beautifully renovated orange farm located towards the North of the island. A holiday resort, it also offers a lovely restaurant open to the public, and a huge boutique on the grounds as well. Tom and I enjoyed a relaxed, but quite luxurious lunch here with a few friends, and it was lovely! If you're interested in heading somewhere that feels a bit more upmarket, and to be surrounded by some really beautiful scenery, I highly recommend taking some time off in Atzaro. Address: Carrer de l'Àngel, 07818 Aeroport d'Eivissa, Illes Balears, Spain
There is nothing more tempting than being in Ibiza and wanting to buy everything in sight. If you're a fan of all things bohemian (like me), it can be really hard to hold back. Thankfully for me (and my wallet), Tom and I shared a suitcase on this trip, so I didn't have much room to bring anything back!
Las Dalias: Las Dalias is THE hippie market of Ibiza. I've been attending (and loving) this weekly market since I was little, and every year there are more new, amazing things to look at (and lust over). This time around, I only bought myself two rings, but I really adore them both so much. One is a simple dark blue and silver ring, the other is also silver, but holds a moonstone in it. Las Dalias is really unlike any other market I've ever been to in my life. Don't think of it like a street market, it's self contained, and each stall is beautifully decorated. You'll always find really funky, original pieces, be it for yourself, friends, family, or even your home. The market is on every Saturday throughout the year, apart from a few months in the year in the Winter, as well as on Monday evenings. Address: Ctra. Sant Carles, Km.12, 07850 Sant Carles de Peralta, Illes Balears, Spain
La Galeria Elefante: Right, I'm not just saying this because my godmother owns and runs this shop, but La Galeria Elefante is one of the most BEAUTIFUL shops you'll ever go to in your entire life. If you do one thing in Ibiza that's in this blog post, make it a visit to this shop. The store is located just outside of Santa Gertrudis, and takes up and entire house. It's filled to the brim with homewear, jewellery, clothes, books, perfume, everything you could possibly think of, but in the most stunning and curated way possible. You feel like you're walking around a home that you can buy everything in. Address: Carretera San Miguel, Km 3.2, 07814 Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera, Illes Balears, Spain
Es Cucons La Tienda: Es Cucons is actually a boutique hotel located in Santa Agnes, which I've stayed in once before, and is beautiful. Whilst Tom and I were walking around Santa Gertrudis on our last day on the island, we spotted this shop, and I recognised the name immediately. Knowing how nice the hotel was, I knew I had to have a peak. If you're looking for a bit more a classic shop, which still captures that Mediterranean vibe, the Es Cucons La Tienda is for you. They carry a huge range of homeware, clothing and jewellery, and is a really great place to find gifts! I saw many items that I wish I could have brought home with me. Address: Es Cucons La Tienda – Venda de Parada, 19 – Santa Gertrudis
If you're looking to take a holiday where you do nothing but lay on a beach, Ibiza can very much be the place for you. However, if you're inclined to be more active, there's also plenty to get up to.
Ibiza Old Town: Ibiza town is the biggest city on the island of Ibiza. It's where the main port is, where the airport is, but most importantly, where the old town is. The Old Town of Ibiza is actually an ancient fortress, which is a world heritage site. It's absolutely stunning from a far, and even more stunning up close. Tom and I started right from the bottom, and slowly made our way right to the top, where the cathedral is, and the views. You can see the whole of Ibiza town from up there, and for a boat lover like Tom, it was perfect. The streets are windy, narrow and cobbled, so they were my photographers dream. I highly recommend giving this a go, but try to do it later on in the day, as it can get very hot, and it's quite a steep walk!
A Trip to Formentera: This isn't something we got up to on this trip, but Formentera is a tiny island roughly 30 minute's away from Ibiza on a ferry. I won't lie, I haven't been back to Formentera since I was little, so I can't remember much, but I do remember the beaches being gorgeous, sandy and white, with turquoise blue waters. We were recommended to head over there by many people, and we wish we had had more time, as if we could have made a day over there, we definitely would have. But hey, even more of an excuse to make our way back, right?!
Walking/Hiking: Tom and I love going for long walks, especially in Cornwall during the summer on a sunny and warm day. Although we didn't do much hiking in Ibiza, we did head out one evening to a sunset spot in Santa Agnes, called Las Puertas Del Cielo, aka the doors to the sky. If you follow me on Instagram, then you will have seen that we weren't very lucky, and when we got to the point we wanted to watch the sun from, we were greeted by thick, dark, sea mist. No sunset for us, but it was a lovely walk, and had we arrived earlier, we would have explored much further. Address: Cami Des Pla de Corona, Km. 2, 07828 Santa Agnès de Corona, Illes Balears, Spain
Dolphin Watching: Getting on the water in Ibiza is a must. If you're lucky enough to know someone who has a sail boat, ask them to take you out for an afternoon. If you don't, there are plenty of companies on the island which will take you out. One of my fondest memories of Ibiza is my very first time seeing dolphins. And I didn't just see a couple, I saw loads! Dolphins love the seas around the island, and they're regularly spotted, so if you're as much a fan of dolphins as I am, I highly recommend getting on to the water to spot a few!
So there you have it, my complete non-clubbers guide to Ibiza. Don't get me wrong, I don't think there's anything wrong with heading out for a big night out, and if you're going to do that, Ibiza is probably the place to do so. But there's so much information out there already about clubbing, that I felt strongly about sharing another side of Ibiza that so few people know. I hope this has helped you if you're planning a trip to the island soon, and if you have any questions you'd like to ask about it, please don't hesitate to comment below!