A rugged, sparkling paradise in the middle of the Med, Ibiza is a magnetic destination for those seeking an idyllic escape, with everything from local low-key eateries and beaches to world-renowned restaurants and beach clubs. Our super-stylish editor-at-large has been visiting the island for over 15 years. Deborah grew up spending her summers on the neighbouring island of Mallorca, but fell in love with the rustic charm of Ibiza. After buying a plot of land there 11 years ago, she recently renovated her home-away-from-home on the south-west of the island. Here, she shares her favourite spots to shop, dine, swim, chill out and, for when you hear the siren call, where to party too.
I love Los Jardines de Palerm, a small boutique hotel in our local village of Sant Josep – it’s beautifully designed but very low-key, with an elegant travertine swimming pool, wonderful terrace and in walking distance of our favourite restaurant, Destino.
Another small boutique hotel we love is Les Terrasses, on the other side of the island, near Santa Eulalia. It’s more Provençal in feel, with white-washed walls and painted shutters, a walled garden and the prettiest garden terrace.
You can’t beat breakfast at the Jockey Club on Salinas beach. It’s the best time to head to these long sand-dune beaches before the crowds arrive. After breakfast, walk along the shore to the old stone watchtower and take in the views across to the island of Formentera.
Lunch time is always about fish restaurants, and the best ones are always found on the beach. Es Boldadó is a favourite with locals as well as tourists. It’s situated on the side of a cliff overlooking the magical rock of Es Vedra; the food is simple, yet the flavours are outstanding.
Our favourite place for dinner is Destino, a tapas restaurant off the town square in Sant Josep. The food is delicious, fusing Spanish-style cuisine with that of the owner Claudio’s Moroccan ancestry. It’s great for families and won’t break the bank.
A new addition to our list is the restaurant El Portalon. Situated in Dalt Villa, the old city of Ibiza Town, it has a charming courtyard, and the food – a modern interpretation of Spanish classics – is a taste sensation.
You can’t visit Ibiza without stopping at the shopping mecca that is Sluiz. Housed in a vast airplane hangar on the outskirts of Santa Gertrudis, it’s filled to the brim with everything from embroidered cushions and throws, to flamingo lamps, the perfect kaftans, Panama hats and a table full of golden buddhas. There’s something for everyone.
Te Cuero is always on my hit list. A small leather shop in the heart of Santa Gertrudis, it’s filled with tooled leather belts and beautifully crafted artisanal handbags and leather accessories, all made there in the workshop.
Every beach has a shop. Whether you’re visiting Cala Bonita for their amazing restaurant, Benirrás for sunset drumming, or Es Torrent, you will always find some gems hanging from the tent-like structures. Look for summer dresses, beaded bracelets, kaftans and clutches, all with that bohemian Ibizan vibe.
The amazing thing about Ibiza is that bay after bay after bay, there are different beaches. Each one is unique. Some are pebbled, others have fine white sand, some are wide stretches of dunes, and some just sheer rockfaces with a fish shack perched on the end.
My favourites are… Cala Mastella: tiny, pretty and with the best fish shack, El Bigotes.
Cala Bonita: only a few sunbeds and the chiringuito there serves the perfect long lunch.
Cala Gracioneta: my favourite for kids. It’s sandy with a shallow turquoise sea, perfect for snorkelling and with rocks for climbing.
Cala D’Hort: rent a small dingy and pootle out to see Es Vedrà up close.
If clubbing isn’t quite your thing, head to Sunset Ashram at Cala Conta for cocktails, or to the hot new spot La Granja. A hotel hideaway, it also has low-key DJ nights and musicians. It’s a members’ club, so sign up before you go.
Bar 1805 in Ibiza Town is the place for the perfect cocktail – try the Green Beast, which is served in a birdcage punchbowl.
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