Sunset, in Cala Benirras or in Cala D’Hort? .Are you more interested in craft markets? Do you know Adlib fashion? Whatever the reason, Ibiza is your Mecca. If you're looking for quiet corners, deserted beaches and nature in its purest state, hop over to Formentera. Two islands a stone's throw away. Pack your case. We can offer you a package, with the boat and everything.
Arriving at Ibiza by boat makes a strong impression on you. The port and its surrounding area are a commercial melting pot with a human hustle and bustle that soon has you hooked: hustlers, street artisans, clowns and mime artists and ordinary people bustling about, all will leave you hypnotised. This is the Barrio de La Marina, next to the port. Stroll about the streets and enjoy watching what's going on. Simply watching. From here as far as the cathedral, the castle and the Dalt Vila.
All the options are there for relaxing. From five star conglomerates to a select range of rural hotels and farmhouse accommodation. Restored Ibizan villas with a wealth of nature, peace and quiet, impressive views and your own garden. Here's an idea: Santa Eulalia, 15 kilometres away, houses an excellent group of farmhouse accommodation. Particularly Atzaró, Ca N’Arabí and Can Domo.
Rice is a symbol in the local cuisine. If you're a carnivore, try the rice made with cuttlefish and pork from the slaughtering season. S’Illa des Bosc, in Cala Conta, has a wide variety of rice dishes. To enjoy the local meat you can go to Sa Carboneria, in Santa Eulalia. And, in the centre of Ibiza there is Ca’n Alfredo, very much a classic, and Sa Nansa, with spectacular seafood cuisine. If you opt for fish, you should go for arroz a la marinera, in broth, with rockfish. Nor should you miss the bullit de peix fish stew. And don't dismiss those beach bars: you're on an island, the fish is bound to be fresh. After your main course, the Ibizan desserts will put you to the test: leave a little room for some flaó (cream cheese tart), orelletes or buñuelos, the local pastries.
You'll be able to take some spectacular photos. On some beaches you will see bathers unrecognisably bathed in mud, standing up, waiting for it to dry. The fact is that mud is an excellent exfoliator. But don't wait for someone to come and cover you in it. You have to make it and apply it yourself. Where? For example, at Cala Xarraca, Sa Caleta and Aigües Blanques.
Ibiza is to nightlife what Las Vegas is to gaming. You're in the worldwide cradle of the most extravagant, wild and fun parties. This is the everlasting night. Entertainment and fun, no clocks involved. Amnesia, Pachá, Edén, Es Paradis, Moma Ibiza, Privilege… the clubs that compete with each other in terms of showmanship and innovation. The night shift Join the troupe. Keep an eye out during the day for the spectacular parades promoting the clubs. They announce events, which are always different, and they will help you to choose where to go that night.
A joyful whirl surrounds the markets. There are at least ten of them dedicated to crafts and so-called Adlib fashion, a combination of typical island dress and the hippy influence: it's practically obligatory to visit Las Dalias market, in the town of Sant Carles. Also in this town, in Cala Llenya, there's a second-hand market on Sundays. In Santa Eulalia, another hippy market is a reference on the island. The one in Punta Arabí. It has 400 stalls and a creche for children…
Just like with the clubs, the hard thing here is to decide which one. Fortunately. There is a spectacular variety, in terms of number and beauty. Cala d’Hort, 22 kilometres from Ibiza town, will surprise you with its cliffs and its sunsets, with the islet of Es Vedrà presiding over it all. Or Cala Benirras, also with an islet ( known as the “Finger of God”). Its sunsets are as famous as those of the Café del Mar in San Antonio. If you prefer a more family (and bustling) atmosphere, lay out your towel on Playa d’en Bossa, the longest on the island and one of the busiest. If you want to see and be seen, go to Ses Selines, the beach with the most celebrities per square metre. Drop in and spend a little time spying… Of course if you must have a drink at the chiringuitos Malibú or Sa Trinxa make sure you've plenty of money with you.
Here's another activity to underline in your travel diary. Ibiza and Formentera both belong to the magical Parque Natural de Ses Salines. This is 2,800 hectares containing the greatest treasures of Mediterranean biodiversity. Posidonia seagrass meadows, almost 80 plant species, over 200 bird species… Don't just hear about it. Guided tours are available on Saturdays. But call the park first (971 30 14 60, ext. 3).
If you prefer a quieter and more contemplative life, the fact that Formentera is only accessible by boat from Ibiza is good news for you at this time of year. And here's more good news: now, with Trasmapi, you can travel from Barcelona or Valencia for only €20 extra each way, and the ticket can be used for 48 hours. A natural screen has protected the smallest of the Balearic Islands from the excesses of mass tourism. It's time to escape from the madding crowd. A rice dish at the Juan y Andrea, restaurant on playa de Ses Illetas, is a great reward. You will fall in love with its terrace.
10.Accommodation, with time
Formentera doesn't have any big luxury hotels. For a lot of people, this is one of its great advantages. You should therefore expect hostels, tourist apartments and small hotels. No need to say that (very) early booking is essential. Hostal La Savina is an option that never disappoints. Another is to rent a house in a rural area. A popular alternative because of the independence it gives.
11.Bastion of nature
Nature and its careful conservation are the byword on Formentera. Most of its beaches do not have any buildings on them. An extreme example is Es Racó de S'Alga. It is on the Island of Espalmador, just a few metres away from Formentera. This is a private island, there are no beach bars, no shops, just an unspoilt beach. More accessible is Es Cavall d'en Borràs, the beach closest to the port. Cala Saona, smaller and with the cliffs rising above it, is another beautiful place that you should see. For panoramic views, head to Caló des Mort, another virtually untouched area.
Lighthouses. There are two , both beautiful. El Faro de la Mola is high on a cliff almost 200 metres above the sea. The best recommendation is that is was the inspiration for some of Jules Verne's work. At El Faro del Cap de Barbaria, in the midst of a rocky landscape, the dusk and the sunset are unrivalled. Its shadows saw the filming of Sex and Lucía. Windmills. Five windmills used to grind flour still remain in very good condition. They are in La Mola, Sant Ferrán and Sant Francesc. By the way, the shops in this town are more than enticing.
The ideal vehicle for exploring nature on Formentera is a bike. Or your own two feet if you still have any energy left. You will be taking some exercise and you will see the island's secret areas. There are around twenty green circuits in natural areas of special interest. Pick up a leaflet with descriptions. And don't be alarmed. The distance to be covered is very comfortable. Between one and three kilometres.
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