Ibiza 2015

09:15 Leila Gunn 0 Comments

I'm back! And feeling the post-holiday blues in rainy Britain after a week spent in Ibiza, where, (surprise surprise) the WiFi connection in our hotel was... underwhelming. So I apologise for the lack of posts over the past week and a bit. However, as promised, here is a post about our trip. I thought I'd write short accounts of a few of the places we visited, all of which I highly recommend visiting if you get the chance to stay on the island. Nevertheless, please don't read this as a 'Top 10 list of places to visit in Ibiza' etc. - there are so many other locations/attractions in Ibiza I would've liked to explore, we just couldn't fit it all into a week! I guess that just means I'll have to go back - oh, if I have to....

But to start, let me just get a couple of airport moans off of my chest, perhaps simultaneously humoring you at my expense... We landed last Saturday morning, after getting up at 2:00AM to catch our flight at 5:00AM - exciting and horrific right? Even more horrific after burning my face on my curlers due to a combination of sleepiness/ general lack of skill with regards to hair-styling. Anyway, a nice granola and sausage roll at Jamie's Italian worked a treat in improving both my mood and energy levels. 

We thought we had quite a bit of time to spare, so my mum and I decided to do a little shopping in duty free (one of my favourite past times - I do love a good discount.) My younger brother then pointed out the words 'gate closed' next to our flight number - erm, panic! We still had over half an hour til our flight was scheduled to take off, thus, frantically bemused, we ran to our gate, only to find all other passengers on our flight waiting outside the gate... Phew! At least it allowed us to work off the sausage rolls....

The flight to the island takes about 2 hours 10 minutes, so not very long at all. We landed and collected our luggage, expecting to find our rent-a-car waiting for us in the car park. It was nowhere to be seen. And, just our luck, it started to rain! We saw this as a positive sign of course :) - the rain would have passed by the time we got to the hotel. It did. The car turned up. Thank God!

We stayed at the Club Bahamas hotel, which is situated right on the platja d'en Bossa beach strip, where you can find clubs such as Ushuaia and the Hard Rock hotel. The hotel was lovely, perfect location, friendly/helpful staff and all inclusive - what more could you ask for! After a quick dip in the pool and a relax after our exhausting morning, I was eager to explore the local area a bit.

I'm not very good at sitting down and relaxing all day on holiday. Don't get me wrong, I love reading and can easily sit down with a good book for a few hours. However, I tend to get itchy feet when I'm in another country, I just want to do as much as I possibly can . There are so many countries in the world - who knows, I might never visit again!

So I dragged my poor mother away from her sun lounger (agreeing to come with me in hope that I'd stop harping on at her for the rest of the afternoon!) to explore the beach. The beach in platja d'en Bossa is stunning, honestly, the kind of beach advertised on breakfast-time-TV competitions. Off-white sand, crystal clear water, clear skies, Palm trees, waves lapping at the edge of sun lounger beds on the shore. Beautiful. 

You can pretty much access everything along the strip in platja d'en Bossa by the beach. And the first place we visited was the Hard Rock hotel just next door. I say visit, I mean snuck in. The Hard Rock was holding the Radio 1 Creamfields Ibiza event in the evening, which you needed a wristband to get into. However, we didn't know this, and waltzed straight in without question whilst they were setting up. As you can see, it looked pretty cool. 

Sadly, we were only supposed to have popped out for a quick walk, so we had to get back to the hotel. However, we could still hear 'The Prodigy' set at night from the comfort of the sofas in the terrace area of our hotel. This was the perfect set up really, because we could listen to the Ushuaia and Hard Rock DJ sets from the likes of David Guetta, Afrojack, Tinie Tempah, Martin Garrix and Armin van Buuren, every night, without having the pay the €60 entrance fee. Plus, as it is a residential area, all loud music has to stop at 12:00AM - ideal for a baby like me who can't keep my eyes open later than 1:00AM!

Nevertheless, going to bed fairly early means I can be an early riser (when I want to be!) so I woke up at 5:30AM the next day to catch the sunrise, which I read on various TripAdvisor reviews as an unmissable sight when visiting Ibiza. The reviews didn't lie. 

Another unmissable trip in Ibiza is to the 'Old Town'. We visited Dalt Vila on the second day, a UNESCO world heritage site located on the top of a hill near the marina. There are a lot of steps, but trust me, the views at the top are well worth it. 

There is even an artillery museum located within Dalt Vila, which at €2/person entry is one of the cheaper tourist activities on the island. You even have the opportunity to try on military armour. Nevertheless, when you visit, I recommend wearing flat, grippy shoes - we found the cobbled, sloping streets to be very slippery in flip flops!

When walking down the hill back towards the 'Old Town', you will encounter a couple of tapas bars, my favourite of which is 'Plaza del Sol.' Although we didn't try the tapas (we had plans for lunch) the freshly squeezed juices were scrumptious!

You can find adorable little shops in the 'Old Town', selling the quirkiest of things. As I say, we had planned to have lunch in a small tapas restaurant called 'La Bodega', which my mum and I were dying to visit after reading The Frugality's Ibiza blog post. Disappointingly, the first time we tried to go there, it was shut. The second time, it was shut (apparently it only opens between the hours of 6PM-3AM) so after this we gave up. However, it does sound both delicious and reasonably priced, so I'll make sure to go if I ever return to Ibiza. Nevertheless, a lunch in the port didn't go amiss - the  boats/ships/yachts we watched docking whilst having lunch were incredible. Many had large crews on board, helicopter pads, speed boats... - alright for some!

The next day we decided the visit the Telegraph's 'best beach in Ibiza' - Cala Jondal. It is a beautiful beach surrounded by cliffs, however it's natural beauty and serenity were slightly ruined by the fact that it was soooo packed. Apparently everybody else on the island had the same idea as us, meaning it was impossible to get a sun lounger or even a patch of sand to lay down a towel. Again, I'd visit again in the future, but much, much earlier next time in order to nab a sun lounger quick!

Nevertheless, luckily Ibiza is inundated with other pretty little coves to explore. The photos don't really do the coves justice, they truly are stunning. 

We then went for a drink at 'La Brasa', a tiny little cafe/restaurant in the 'Old Town'. You could easily miss it walking along the street outside, however inside, it's almost like entering a miniature rainforest! Surrounded by vines and wind chimes on the ceiling, it's a magical setting. I have to admit, the food is quite expensive, however the open oven is very authentic and gives a nice 'garden' feel to the place. 

Another cafe we visited in the old town was 'Porto Salé' a quick and convenient place to eat, which isn't too pricey. The menu is massive, with a wide range of fish, meat and vegetable tapas. I tend to worry when menus have a lot of items on offer, because it gives the impression of many dishes which can easily be taken out of the refrigerator and wacked in the microwave.... You know what they say, 'quality, not quantity'.  This wasn't the case at all at 'Porto Salé'. The tapas was mouth wateringly fresh. We hadn't planned to eat there, but I'm glad we did - that's kind of the way it seems to go in Ibiza, you just stumble upon cute little places you hadn't planned to. 

Another interesting place we stumbled upon in platja d'en Bossa was the hippy market. This is a small-scale version of the infamous 'Las Dalias' and Punta Arabí hippy markets, where locals come to sell their hand-made crafts.

And of course, who could go on holiday with two younger brothers without going to a water park? Not me, that's for sure! Which meant a morning spent at the only water park on the island, 'Aquamar' - such fun!

We then traveled to 'la Paloma' in San Lorenzo, a family-run cafe serving healthy, homemade Mediterranean cuisine using produce grown in their private gardens or locally sourced. The food was really yummy, even if we were attacked by a swarm of wasps wanting to join in on the feast. Apparently burning coffee beans does the trick at keeping them at bay - they do say you learn something new everyday! There is also the opportunity to have a rummage round the vintage shop just next door, owned by other relatives. The shop specialises in hippy pieces, meaning they are fairly pricey, but very pretty!

We finished our trip with a visit to the caves of Can Marca in San Miguel. Again, breathtaking views at the top of the mountains and I even tried my hand at some Lizard photography.

We then descended the steps to the caves where we joined a tour explaining the purpose of the caves in the past, used by the pirates to smuggle tobacco and alcohol. The routes they used are outlined by the crosses they left regularly on the rock surface to guide them. Of course this provided the perfect photo opportunity, and a very interesting trip, which for €10.50 euros each was a 40 minutes well spent.

So another marathon post I know - sorry about that. But I hope this gives you an idea of a few places worth visiting on the island if you get the chance. Ibiza has a reputation as a party island (don't get me wrong, it can certainly live up to that reputation at night!) however I would argue that it also caters for those who are interested in exploring a quieter, more cultural side of Ibiza during the day. An all-rounder island. It was a brilliant trip, and I do hope to return in the future to explore the Western side of the island a bit more, as we didn't really get round to it this time - ¡Hasta luego Ibiza!