25 Best Beaches in Ibiza | Condé Nast Traveller
Published by cntraveller.com, July 2017. Updated August 2018.
The White Isle is known for hedonism, for spirituality and barefoot bohemia. But it also has an extraordinary number of sensational beaches, from wild-and-free bays to perfect little white-sand coves. Here's where to find the very best beaches in Ibiza.
Best for long, lazy days
Translucent water and pebbles in shades of fawn, oyster and cinnamon form the foundations of this idyllic inlet on the south-west coast, but it’s the unpretentious vibe that keeps locals coming back. Take a good book and lounge on sunbeds plumped up with mattresses under rakish raffia parasols, then sit down to pans of mouthwatering paella and ice-cold rosé – there’s no rush here.
Best for unspoilt sunbathing
Kept relatively hush-hush thanks to its location close to the gated community of Roca Llisa, Cala Olivera is one of those scarce Ibiza gems – a beach that’s never overcrowded. To reach it requires a drive down a dusty camino so you’ll need a car, but once there you’re met by a sticker-sized cove of golden sand ensconced in emerald water and contorted rocks that cry out to be used as a makeshift bed for the day.
SOL D’EN SERRA
Best for moonlight suppers
Beaches that sing as vociferously at night as they do by day are rare, but Sol d’en Serra is an exception – this secluded, shingly cove becomes even more enchanting at twilight. Soak up its subtle alchemy at Amante, a restaurant etched into the illuminated, towering cliffs. Here, time seeps away as you gaze out at an inky-black sea that shimmers like a silver-crested blanket, lost completely in the dancing light of lunar legerdemain.
Best for anchoring offshore
Cala Jondal is adored by the conker-coloured bobos who drift through endless summers sailing around the Med and a large proportion of its visitors arrive by superyacht before being ferried to shore. Days then whizz past in a hedonistic haze of Champagne and sun – at least, that is, if you’re at famed beach club Blue Marlin. For a more placid affair, try one of the many other restaurants or chiringuitos peppering the pebbled shore.
Best for treasure hunting
A soft, sandy bay with crystalline shallows perfect for toddlers to splash around in, on the surface San Miguel is merely a hotspot for carefree coastal lounging. But follow the crumbly, cliffside path around to the left of the main beach and you’ll unearth one of the island’s most charming chiringuitos, Utopia. Come here to laze on simple waterside sunbeds and feast on freshly barbecued sardines. This is Barefoot Ibiza at its best.
Best for the iconic Ibiza backdrop
Es Vedrà is the mystical rock that rises dramatically out of the sea at the island's south-west tip - supposedly the third most magnetic place on earth, as much an Ibiza legend as Carl Cox. Cala d'Hort has the best view of it - and the little beach also draws people with its gorgeous golden sand and the sensational seafood at nearby clifftop restaurant Es Boldado (+34 626 49 45 37).
Best little all-rounder
A perfect little white-sand cove with the some of the most beautiful turquoise waters for swimming in the Balearic Islands, this popular locals' hangout is small in size but has colossal appeal. At dawn, peace and quiet make it perfect for cool sunrise swimming. At dusk, psychedelic skies form the backdrop for a romantic feast at El Chiringuito, the beach's only restaurant. It's within walking distance, yet a world away from San Antonio's Sunset Strip.
Best for sunrise in the buff
A sweeping stretch of sand hugged by pale-blue waters and gentle little waves (hence 'aguas blancas), this beach is bathed in golden light at sunrise. Head south of the chiringuito to avoid the crowds, and don't trip over the naked sunbathers - this is one of Ibiza's few official naturist spots, and even the A-list crowd get their togs off on Aguas Blancas.
Best for party people
Widely considered one of the best beaches in Ibiza, Las Salinas is populated by a crowd of almost entirely hot young things, the lithe limbs bountiful, especially once the music cranks up at one of the buzzing beach bars. Jockey Club (jockeyclubibiza.com) is favoured for breakfast (by those who've been up all night, naturally), while the parties at Sa Trinxa (satrinxa.com) are a hedonist's heaven.
Best for seafood
This tiny coastal nook is home to El Bigotes (+34 650 79 76 33), where rumour has it the King of Spain was once turned away because he hadn't reserved a table. Come here at lunchtime to feast on freshly caught grilled fish, and remember, even royals need to book ahead.
Best for handmade mojitos
The precarious jaunt over slippery rocks to Cala Saladeta is soon forgotten once you lay eyes on the sensational crystalline water that laps the pink-gold sand. Claim a spot among the predominantly adult crowd, then wait for the mojito to come to you. Made fresh on the beach - summer in a plastic cup for a zippy €5.
Best for families
This deep-set arc of soft sand is met by safe, shallow waters, making it one of the best beaches in Ibiza for families. It's brimming with activities to keep young children busy all day long, so you can kick back and make the most of the picture-postcard views. And the cocktails.
RACO DE SES DONES
Best for solitude
A secret cove hidden at the far end of tourist-friendly Es Figueral. Look for a circular gateway in the cliff to the left and clamber through using the rope ladder to reach a peaceful, sandy, little beach and calm waters. Stripping right off is expected and encouraged.
Best for spiritualists
Zen-seekers often settle on this northern slice of sand. On Sundays, crowds gather for sunset and a tribal drumming session, when fires are lit and souls are stirred. The more secular escape to the nearby boho-chic market for a different kind of therapy.
Best for snorkelling
A sheltered bay surrounded by rickety paths and pine forest; on hot days immersing yourself beneath the irridescent topaz water is bliss. Explore the subaquatic world before setting off in search of naturally-occurring mud baths that lie to the right of the main beach. Free facials!
CALA CONTA & CALA BASSA
Best beaches by boat
Neighbouring bays Conta and Bassa are two of Ibiza's most celebrated beaches, and rightly so - the water here is gin-clear with a pale aqua glow, and the sand is fine and white. Arrive by boat, past little islets dotted along the coastline. They're good beaches for those without a car - and for those who like a party crowd; the easy access from San Antonio (across the Bay on a ferry) makes them extremely popular in high season, so go early to avoid the crowds and stay til sunset.
Best for sunset
No sand here - 'punta galera' means 'flat rocks' - but still thought of by islanders as one of the best beaches in Ibiza for its spiritual vibe, fun daytime cliff-jumping, and sensational sunset views. The towering cliffs glow burnt ochre as day draws to a close, and they provide perfect viewing platforms for admiring a multicoloured sky. Sun salutations at dusk are common, so bring a yoga mat for some open-air downward-dogging.
Best for the hike
With a path that snakes through pine forests on the side of a towering cliff edge and astonishing views out to sea, the walk to Es Portitxol is a journey through vivid colour. Allow an hour to reach the dewdrop-shaped bay and savour every second of the descent.
POU DES LLEÓ
Best for serenity in high season
This stunning little bay is a favourite with locals yet remains an undiscovered secret outside in-the-know regulars. Even in high season it emanates a certain stillness, while always exuding an erstwhile charm thanks to the typical wooden fishermen's huts that surround it.
Best for the scenic drive
Winding roads through pine-clad hills epitomise the route to this tranquil bay. As you ascend the final headland the beach suddenly comes into view below, its silvery sand and glistening cerulean water beckoning you closer.
Best for beautiful boys
Silhouetted by sand dunes and with a rugged coastline to match the torsos that adorn it, Es Cavallet is all about pomp, posturing and tan maximisation. Head south to be immersed in a fusion of sexualities and naked bodies. Chiringay is where the oiled-up and sunned-out convene.
Best for those without a car
Only a 15-minute walk from Ibiza Town, this long stretch of beach is flanked by several top-notch restaurants. It's also good for people-watching - Talamanca is a favourite beach of the island's club dancers.
Best for naturists
It's a lengthy trek to the shores of Cala Blanca, but perseverance pays off - this is a secluded, hidden treasure, rocky and untamed; the desolation means you'll almost always be the only people here, making this one of best beaches in Ibiza to kick back and relax in total privacy. Bring food and water; and skinnydip with wild abandon.
Best for adventurous types
Wonky walkways, a vertical descent down a rockface and a rickety ladder that looks like it's seen better days are all part of this hike - the route to Ses Balandres is a bona fide assault course. Still, the explorer within you will relish the challenge and the views once you're down are staggering. Wear trainers.