Just off Spain’s East coast, the island of Ibiza spread over 570 sq km, has an enviable reputation as a party destination dominated by lively nightlife and rollicking music. But its natural attributes are no less spectacular. Its 210 km coastline has water in various shades of blue – dominated by turquoise, and there are 56 designated and as many undesignated beaches. And no two are similar – they range from rocky, pebbly ones to manicured carpets, hidden unspoiled coves to buzzing promenades, from rugged cliffs to cityscapes. There’s something for every soul. Here are the best beaches for each kind of personality.
Ses Salines: for the nature lover
A little off Ibiza’s Southern coast, this beach, a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site sits amidst a natural park and is home to expansive meadows of Posidonia Oceanica, a seagrass. The beach itself is beautiful with pale sands and calm waters that are shallow, ideal for swimming. But there’s more for the nature lover. Ses Salines is surrounded by thick wilderness, made up of pine and juniper forests, and has plenty of hiking and trekking trails.
Cala Comte: for the adventure junkie Comte
it is not a single stretch but a group of small coves that sit next to each other fringed by the natural environment and extraordinary beauty. The shore is a combination of slightly darker sand and rocky cliffs. While lounging on the sands and treading water is rewarding, the thing to do here is snorkelling, which will reveal not only the famous seagrass but also a rich diversity of marine life including crabs, starfish, cuttlefish, octopus, sea urchins, eels, groupers, barracuda, and much more.
Playa d’en Bossa: for the party animal
Adjacent to Ibiza’s most happening place, this beach is an extension of the island’s party scene. The sand is a delicate soft shade, the beach is shallow and rocky in places, and the water is a spectacular blue that glitters in the evening lights. In addition to swimming, sunbathing and water sports, the surrounding promenades have pubs, bars, restaurants, and shopping. Or head to Ushuaia, the best place for clubbing.
Port San Miguel: for the thrill seeker
Surrounded by steep cliffs, San Miguel has a beautiful sandbank with a mix of soft sand and rocks and pale blue waters that reveal underwater vegetation. It is also considered to be a family beach with lots of facilities and activities on its shores. But more fascinating is the Cova de Can Marça, a natural set of caves that is accessed through sets of steep steps that hug the sides of the promontory. Inside are stunning stalagmites and stalactites.
Cala Gracio: for the lover of the dramatic
A small cove set amidst soft, rocky promontories, this is a triangular beach with a narrow strip of pale brown sand fringed by a thick forest. The waters are a spectacular turquoise colour. Nearby is the natural aquarium, Cap Blanc. This is the place for jaw-droppingly dramatic sunsets – crimson sun, orange-pink sky, and liquid gold reflected in the water. And the best place to watch it is at the Hostal La Torre perched on the rocks nearby.
Cala d’ hort: for the mystic
On Ibiza’s western shore, Cala d’hort has powdery white sands, transparent azure water, and steep cliffs behind. But it is the sight in front that is mesmerising – Es Vedra, an uninhabited islet rising more than 400 metres, which is steeped in myths and legends of supernatural beings, visions of UFOs, mystical powers that can open up the chakras, and stories of an alien base beneath the islet.