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Party island or chill zone, Ibiza has earned a bit of a reputation as a place to wild out just like Kate Moss and her posse have on occasion but far from the parties there is so much more to do on the island, believe it or not its family friendly and not a bad place to solo travel. Santa Eulalia is the third largest resort in Ibiza, quieter still with an active night life but also less harried. Here’s my take on what to see, do, stay, play… a long weekend should just about do you good.
Day 1- Arrive and unwind
Arrival into Aeropto d’Evissa @ noonish. I always find arriving in the day time to any foreign country best because it helps you navigate your bearings and get familiar with the surroundings as you head away from the airport into the town.
Stay: ME Hotel, right on the beach with the most beautiful views of the mediterranean sea as one can imagine. It also happens to be the ONLY restaurant you can access for a particular fish shack. I’m gutted I missed out thanks to my busted ankle but its on my list to go back someday. It’s about 20 kilometres from the airport which amounts to about 40 EUR taxi ride. The staff are super friendly, its one of those places that manages to be both sexy and casual, run by the young and hip, throw in the beach right on your door step, you cannot go wrong.
Alternative: Aguas de Ibiza
Day: Spend the day unwinding on the beach after travel you have two nights to enjoy the island, there are bars along the beach where you can order food, and they do a really good pizza at the ME hotel. Enjoy a walk along the smoke free, palm tree-lined seafront promenade, with its pretty little gardens and pleasurable ambience.
Watersports rent a jet ski for a thrill, hire a speed boat for island hopping, there is plenty to do for the thrill seeker on the island.
Night: Your first night, hit a beach club. There are several neighbouring beach clubs to the ME that will tickle your fancy, but if you happen to be at the ME hotel in peak season, they have a really good resident DJ and a pool side bar opened up to the beach.
Have an early night your first night for you have a big day the next day.
Day 2- Explore Santa Eulalia proper, head to the market
Rise and shine and make breakfast at nine… make sure you book a room with breakfast at the ME, they have the most epic breakfast complete with champagne and cake!! Once fed and watered its time to head out for a ramble.
Day: go to a local market. I love a good market when I am travelling, there is no end to the treasures one can find. Twenty minutes away from the hotel and bang on the yacht marina is an eclectic and pretty fantastic market for shopping, eating, people watching, yacht ogling. Filled with all manners of wares, pretty dresses, tapas bars, local restaurants and all sorts and some great views of the town up on the fort you’ll likely spend all day there, we did, there is plenty to keep you entertained.
Lunch should be in one of the many excellent tapas bars you’ll find or a particularly fine paella stand near the exit, everything is good here so take a seat, eat and savour the moment as the world goes on around you.
Night: at least one night in your trip have a special dinner, and it couldn’t be more special than Sa Finca. Perched atop a hill overlooking all of Santa Eulalia, it opens only for dinner between at 7pm to 11pm and reservation and is houses in a 400 year old farm-house so dining there is an absolute MUST if you can, you should. The food is incredible and the owners even more so. I dined with a large group and every single whim was catered to and then some.
Day 3- Day trip; Pack a picnic and head to the beach
All day to early evening: Start early, grab breakfast at the hotel to sustain you for the journey. The most frequent ferries leave from Es Cana but there are some ferries out of Ibiza town which is closer but timings are tricky, the bellhop will be able to provide you with more information. Get on a shuttle or meander to the Marina to hop on a ferry to Formentera peaceful, perfect and pretty Formentera. You could travel by bus but it is not quite as lovely and you miss the thing. Enjoy the cruise along the clear blue waters, fresh breeze, take in the other islands you pass by and simply get lost in the moment. Formentera is akin to a sleepy town, but with a cool kind of vibe, the yachts are bigger, the ambience is slicker and its got charm for days…and a nudist beach, if you are down for that but people pay you no mind at all. You can hire bikes and mopeds to get around, but its a small island that can be done by foot you are up for it. Spend the day in one of the most tranquil locations in a place not known for its tranquility, a little time shopping for souvenirs, if you don’t have a picnic there are several shack restaurants that line the beach where you can grab a bite.
Note: the times for the ferries heading back to Es Caná.
Once back at your hotel, as a treat, get some champagne and a steak meal to celebrate your last night in paradise and watch the starry sky.
Welcome to the other side of Ibiza.
What to pack:
- Walking shoes; converse are pretty ideal for many kinds of travel, so come ready with them
- Non walking shoes; flat sandals, shoes with good grips.
- Dresses: even in September, its warm so pack pretty dresses. For three nights; two black dresses for nights out, and three pretty day dresses should do. I make a point of never packing jeans and tees on holiday, too much bulk in the suitcase, just my personal opinion.
- A brolly; the weather is unpredictable, yes even outside the UK and sometimes the rain in Spain… you know the rest.
- Sunglasses, I know its contrary to the above, but always pack your sunnies.
- sunscreen; Nothing less than factor 50.
- Travel wallet; invest in a good travel wallet where you can store your tickets, passports and other travel document all together. Trivial as this might sound, you can never underestimate the advantages of having all your important documents in one space.
- Travel journal, for the many memories; with every travel I am on the lookout for the best journal… still.
- RESEARCH! RESEARCH!! RESEARCH!! the local area, entry fees into places, transportation costs, routes. The laws of the land; when you travel you are a guest of the country behave as you would expect a guest to behave when they come to your home.
- Get your money right: have an emergency stash, and always carry cash as well as credit card.
- Download relevant apps: Rome2Rio is a good one for logistics; Visit a city is another for tips on what to do in and around a city. Tripadvisor as always. The Fork for restaurant recommendations in close proximity. Google maps is a lifesaver, don’t travel without it on your phone.
- Home: always let someone back home know your itinerary.
Have a lovely trip!