Explore the secret, party-free sides of Ibiza, Spain: Wellness, cuisine, family-friendly and more

Jun 11, 2022

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Many think Ibiza is a party destination, an exotic Spanish isle where bronzed, carefree youth dressed in white dance the night away to EDM beats.

And it is.

But it’s also a luxury wellness destination, a family-friendly beach island,  a boho-chic yoga and meditation escape and a hub for foodie and oenophile travellers that want to indulge in farm-fresh food and organic wine.

A beach cove in Ibiza. (Photo by Helena GH/Getty Images)

Here are the secret sides to Ibiza you may not have known existed, all the more reason to add this sunny Spanish island to your bucket list — even if you hate electronic music and would never wear white.

Ibiza’s party scene is contained to specific parts of the island

If you’re going to Ibiza to party (or specifically not to party), it’s important to understand the lay of the land. The (in)famous area of San Antonio is one of the largest party areas on Ibizas. Known for its pubs, sunset lounges and bars, this is one of the largest areas for the notorious ‘Brits abroad’ to drink, dance and be merry.

Playa d’en Bossa is another area, known to Av Geeks as an incredible spot to plane watch (it’s moments away from the Ibiza Airport) and home to some of the island’s larger clubs like Ushuaia. There are a few clubs just outside of Ibiza Town and around the island, too, but most exist within these areas.

If you’re in the market for boat parties, they typically depart from either San Antonio or Playa d’en Bossa. LGBT partiers should head to Calle de la Virgen (also known as Carrer de la Mare de Déu) in Ibiza Town for nightlife.

Ibiza town. (Photo by Benjamin De Jonge/ EyeEm/Getty Images)

But outside of these ‘party’ areas, the rest of Ibiza is relatively chill, home to woodsy hiking spots, secret beach coves, gorgeous hideaway villa rentals and beautiful hotel spas, perfect for visitors looking to enjoy the island outside of its famed party scene.

Ibiza’s hotels take luxury wellness seriously

Ibiza’s iconic pool parties in party hotels like Ibiza Rocks Hotel or O Beach Club are what might come to mind when you think about Ibiza’s pools. But these parties are limited to a few select hotels in, and the island’s other pools are tranquil infinity pool rooftops and spa-inspired hydrotherapy havens for travellers that want to relax in a high-end, restorative setting.

Take the brand new Six Senses Ibiza, a BREEAM-certified resort that features accommodation offerings like pool suites and beach caves on its 20-acre slice of paradise. The hotel focuses on offering seasonal cuisine, Ibiza-inspired wellness treatments like longevity programs, sound healing and spa treatments using products created using herbs from the onsite organic garden. Guests can even participate in the Longevity by Rosebar programme, designed to restore energy by using biohacking, sleep therapy and healing energy, among other bespoke treatments. Whether it’s sipping on CBD-infused refreshments or getting a spa treatment in the massage catacombs, the Six Senses Ibiza feels joyfully hedonistic, yet sophisticated and stylish at the same time — the definition of Ibiza itself.

And opulent resort spas are popping up all over the island. The 1500-square-metre Revival Spa by Clarins at the Aguas de Ibiza Hotel is all about bringing sea and nature elements into the treatment rooms so guests can experience true Mediterranean-inspired wellness. Using both plant science and hydrotherapy, treatments aim to both relax and energise guests, from services like sweet and salt exfoliations to wood therapy massages.

The Clarins Revival Spa at Aguas de Ibiza. (Photo by Aguas de Ibiza/Facebook)

7Pines Ibiza‘s (a Destination by Hyatt Resort) Pure Seven Holistic Spa offers a special ‘relax’ tour that guides guests through the ultimate spa circuit rejuvenation, including stops at the spa’s two saunas, an ice cave, a steam room, a pediluvium and a special shower circuit. From nourishing body wraps to unique Ibiceno rituals such as the Fig Essence, a body and mind treatment that includes lunch to relaxing in the spa’s chic indoor and outdoor waterbeds or spa whirlpools, you may head in feeling rushed or tired, but you’ll come out feeling anew.

Yoga and meditation retreats abound on the island

Ibiza is becoming a wellness superstar, offering not just luxury spa wellness, but also yoga and meditation retreats. Many hotels on the island from budget to luxe also include daily yoga and pilates classes, such as the adults-only Sol Beach House in Santa Eulalia and the trendy OKU Ibiza. But yogis that want to really dig into their practice, or even just frazzled mums or stressed-out professionals that need a more yoga or mediation-focused escape should consider a holiday centered specifically around yoga and meditation.

At Mikasa Hotel, a 16-room boutique hotel and yoga center, guests can dedicate time and energy to their own health and wellness by syncing with specific moon harmonies during daily yoga and pranayama sessions. Ibiza Yoga is another retreat that offers daily yoga 365 days a year as well as no-frills accommodation, like open-air pagodas and garden casitas. For those that prefer drop-in classes, Amante Yoga offers seafront yoga and breakfast daily.

A woman doing a yoga pose in Ibiza. (Photo by Luca Sage/Getty Images)

If it’s deep meditation you’re after, Ashram Ibiza offers retreats at its San Miguel Villa in the Ibiza Hills several times a year, focusing on meditation, sound healing and yoga. Conscious Being retreats focus on both yoga and mindfulness, located in an Ibiceno villa overlooking the ocean.

Explore Ibiza’s beautiful, natural scenery

From golden sand beach coves to rocky cliffs to wooded pine forests, Ibiza’s scenery is stunning — and goes much further than just a DJ booth or hotel infinity pool. The north is dense and wooded, perfect for those that want to get out into nature. Here, hike down to serene beach coves like Es Portitxol, featuring turquoise waters flanked by rocky hills. Other spots for a scenic trek include the Punta Grossa lighthouse — those with vertigo shouldn’t attempt this one — and the rocky beach cove Caló de’n Jaume.

Cala Es Portixol in Ibiza. (Photo by Balate Dorin/Getty Images)

For those staying south that still want to add on some nature, consider a sunset overlooking the mystical Es Vedra rock. Admire the rock from down below at the Cala d’Hort beach, or walk up to the Torre des Savinar, known as the pirate tower, to enjoy the views from higher up.

Or, hike up to Ibiza’s highest put, Sa Talaia, close to 500 metres above sea level. Start off in the main square in the Sant Josep de Sa Talaia villages, then follow the road as it becomes a hiking path. And if you want to see the famous pink birds that reside in Ibiza, visit the Ses Salines Natural Park, home to marsh-like salt ponds home and a colony of over 800 flamingos.

Travellers can also enjoy Ibiza’s beauty from the water. Skip the booze cruise and charter your own boat, with or without a captain, cruising around Ibiza and Formentera, stopping in beautiful beach coves and taking in all the varied landscapes the island offers.

Ibiza is more family-friendly than you think

The island of Ibiza has numerous vacation rentals perfect for families. In fact, VRBO offers close to 300 ‘family-friendly’ houses on the island, which can sleep groups of four to groups of 20. Airbnb offers more than 400 homes on the island that can sleep groups from small to large.

Ibiza’s many beach coves are home to sandy beaches and shallow waters ideal for families with small children. Cala Longa is a favourite among families as it has a small playground directly in the sand and quiet waters ideal for kids, plus amenities like shops, restaurants and beach chairs for rent. And early risers get the worm in Ibiza — some of the best beaches and coves are near-empty until midday when the partiers stagger out of bed and get moving.

Many of Ibiza’s beach coves have shallow waters perfect for children. (Photo by Gonzalo Azumendi/Getty Images)

Children and adults alike can marvel at marine life at the Cap Blanc Aquarium, which is located inside a natural cave. And for more family cave fun, the Can Marça Caves are the perfect respite for any sunburned families that need a cooling, child-friendly activity.

When travelling to Ibiza with your family, consider visiting in the quieter shoulder seasons like May or September, when things like hotels/rentals are more affordable and the majority of the tourists have gone home but you’ll still have pleasant weather and sunshine.

Dine and drink your way through Ibiza

Ibiza’s dining scene ranges from vegan smoothies and farm-fresh, organic fare to Michelin-star gourmet cuisine. For farm-to-table bites, Aubergine by Atzaró offers a rural, countryside-inspired dining experience that feels both rustic and modern at the same time. Featuring seasonal offerings, a healthy kids menu and even kombucha, this is where you should go to sample the best of Ibiza’s homegrown gastronomy scene. For lunchtime farm food, visit Numero 74 L’Atelier, which has a menu chock-full of locally-sourced items like tapenade made with Ibiza’s olives, farmer’s chicken and fresh salads, also a hub for creative workshops like weaving, cooking, flower crows or macrame.

Farm-fresh dining at Aubergine by Atzaro. (Photo by Aubergine by Atzaro/Facebook)

ASAL, located in the Ibiza Gran Hotel will soon be a newcomer to Ibiza’s trendy dining scene, where Michelin-star chef Mario Sandoval creates a menu of Mediterranean delights diners can enjoy from inside a sophisticated, David Alayeto-designed white cave or outdoors on a garden terrace. And, the newly-renovated Amalur is the TPG top pick for a romantic dinner in the countryside, infusing timeless Italian fare with Ibiceno culinary details.

Vegan or gluten-free? Ibiza is the island for you. An island haven for plant-based diners, many of Ibiza’s restaurants from fine dining to take out cater to those with dietary restrictions. Check out Ve Cafe, part of the newly opened W Hotel, which offers options like vegan muesli, sugar-free wine and plant-based Buddha Bowls. And the ‘flexitarian’ dining hub Natural Pau allows diners to munch on vegan pizza on the restaurant’s charming garden patio.

Travellers can even tour and taste at the island’s only organic winery, Can Rich, which offers products from crisp Rosé to vermouth to extra virgin olive oil.

Bottom line

The iconic Es Vedra rock and Torre des Savinar. (Photo by David Navarro Azurmendi/Getty Images)

Ibiza is an island that offers so much more than just nightlife. From delicious cuisine to stunning natural wonders, the island’s intrigue appeals to families, solo travellers, yogis, vegans and beyond. So consider visiting this summer — just book a hotel or home rental outside of San Antonio if you’d prefer a more tranquil holiday.

(Featured image by amoklv/Getty Images)

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