A week exploring the beautiful island of Ibiza
We woke up in time for breakfast after arriving late the following evening. No PCRs or lateral flow tests needed to enter Spain made the journey slightly less stressful.
We are staying for the first part of the week close to Ibiza Town and during the morning we explored the extremely cute capital starting at the top in the Dalt Vila (Upper Town) around the cathedral of Santa Maria d’Eivissa. There are great views along the coast and towards the nearby island of Formentera.
The winding streets lead down to the lower town around the harbour with its more grid-like urban structure. We stopped for lunch in one of the impressive squares which also gave the opportunity for a quick sketch before returning for a few hours to laze around the hotel pool.
During the morning I had noticed a great view of the town as it climbs up the hillside from the harbour. I was determined to sketch this view, so I decided to return before dinner to capture the bustling scene - too busy in fact at times, as my view kept getting blocked by the Formentera ferries continuously berthing along the quayside!
We then had a delicious meal in the old town followed by a wander around the lively waterfront before the walk back over the hillside to the hotel.
Today after a great breakfast at the hotel, we decided to explore the northern side of the harbour passing some of the super clubs (that were still closed due to Covid). This part of the town is more contemporary and the waterfront is dominated by a large marina with a number of expensive restaurants and retail outlets.
We returned to the more charismatic old town and found a cafe in Passeig de Vara de Rey and a seat with a great view to sketch. The wide street is a perfect location to sit and people watch.
In the afternoon we took a walk south along the coast to Playa d’en Bossa passing the ‘Ibiza Weekender’ hotel but no El Jefe today! We stopped at a beachside restaurant for a delicious light late lunch before a swim in the fabulously warm water before a bit of sunbathing and an opportunity to get the watercolours out - trying this time to represent the waves lapping on the beach.
More sangrias on the way back followed by a night out in the town visiting some interesting local bars and discussions of how early to get up the next day to catch the ferry to Formentera.
After a quick breakfast and a brisk walk to the harbour we found the first available ferry and booked bikes to explore Formentera. Within forty minutes we were approaching the harbour at La Savina and shortly afterwards we were on our cycles heading along the coastal path to Platja de Ses Illetes. We did stop at a beautiful little beach on the way for a swim in the crystal clear sea - the colours were truly amazing. Cycling was great option as it allowed us to find small coves that the noisy hire scooters and cars couldn’t get to.
Ses Illetes was situated in the very north of the island adjacent to the salt lakes. We enjoyed the views over a coffee before continuing along to Es Pujols for lunch and a sketch of the coastline and beach.
The dramatic bay at Cala en Baster was a highlight - a small bay that was reached by a somewhat torturous route down to the beach.
On the cycle back to La Savina, we stopped briefly at the capital San Francisco for a quick look around. Before the ferry departed we enjoyed more sangrias by the marina and provided another opportunity for me to sketch the interesting port building and surrounding activity.
Then back to Ibiza town to pick up our luggage as we were moving on to our second hotel situated around San Antonio Bay. After a bus trip and check-in at the the Axelbeach, we found a lovely local restaurant (Pyrenees) close by for a delicious late dinner.
Waking up and enjoying breakfast in the hotel overlooking the poolside, we were researching the best way to hire a car here. During the morning we explored the coast of the bay to the town itself stopping at car hire dealers and discovering that there was a real shortage of available cars in this part of the island - very strange as this is one of the main tourist centres.
Back sitting around the pool at the hotel we decided to hire a car from the airport tomorrow morning at we could keep it until our departure on Friday.
One that was sorted, we relaxed and I sketched the panorama of the bay from the sun terrace, remaining there until sunset.
We founded Thai restaurant (POM) on Trip Advisor which not only cooked amazing food but also provided a magical setting in a garden around a small pool. A great end to the day.
After researching ‘must see places’ in Ibiza, the day started by getting a bus to the airport to pick up our car and our trusty yet slightly dented Renault Clio took us to the first place on our list, Cala Tarida. A popular and pretty sandy bay, one of the longest and widest sandy beaches on the west coast.
We swam and I sketched being attracted to the contrast of the colorful parasols set against the pale sand and strong blues of the Mediterranean.
Then we travel a few mile further north to Cala Compte - a series of beaches with views of several small islands off the coast. The beach areas are quite cute with a ‘flintstones’ style cafe that forms an interesting backdrop. The beach was quite crowded however so we decided to move on after a short swim (and the quickest of sketches of the cafe structure).
We then traveled south to Es Cavellet, a magnificent beach situated adjacent to the salt flats of the Ses Saline and nature reserve. A leisurely carafe of sangria in the ‘Chiringay’ followed by a chilled relaxation on the beach at that perfect time of the evening when the sun starts to set - also a lovely time to paint a quick impression of scene.
Today our plan was to travel along the north coast starting at El Portitxol, a stunning small bay with a crescent pebble beach that required a half an hour hike to get to. We found ourselves not the only visitors who got slightly lost trying to find it - in the end a group of six of us who met hiking (made of up of French, Spanish, English and Portuguese) finally found the trail down the surrounding hillside.
The hike was certainly worth it - a stunning place and wonderfully peaceful. We swan, sketched, played with the drone and really enjoyed this special place on the dramatic northern coast.
After a tiring return hike back up the narrow trails, we headed further east eventually reaching Portinatx for lunch - an attractive bay lined with small restaurants and cafes. The crisp greens and blue of the view from our restaurant table formed the inspiration for my lunchtime sketch.
We stopped off at the picturesque Cala Salada on the return to San Antonio and then decided that to go to the famous Cafe Mambo to watch the final sunset of our trip.
The atmosphere was electric and the background music really added to the spectacle. Well worth the stop!
We decided to have a leisurely final day around the pool before the evening flight home. I did have one last walk along the bay to sketch - I’d particularly was fascinated by the waterside restaurant we had had lunch in a few days earlier, so armed with several cool drinks I sat in a shady part of the beach with my sketchbook. I sketched both the restaurant and the view of the town from across the bay.
After an hour or so, I packed my pens and watercolours for the final time on this trip and returned to the hotel for some last swims and sangrias.