Make a splash at the best beaches in Ibiza
Ibiza may be a small Balearic Island but when it comes to beaches it’s certainly not lacking. From white sandy coves ideal for catching the sunset, to abandoned bays steeped in fabled myth, The White Isle has something to suit the needs of every devoted beach lover. Here to prove that there’s more to Ibiza than just nightlife, we present the best beaches in Ibiza so you can dive in and get exploring.
1. Cala Gracioneta
Tucked away on Ibiza’s west coast, Cala Gracioneta is a cute-as-a-button little cove just north of San Antonio. A horseshoe-shaped inlet popular with couples and families, its diminutive size doesn’t dampen its appeal as a popular hangout. Those in the know come early to avoid the crowds and to take advantage of the still, turquoise waters as they gently lap against the shore. Come evening, it’s the perfect spot for watching the sunset when El Chiringuito – the beach’s only restaurant – dials up the romance with the help of some fairylights and chilled out tunes. To get there, follow the promenade that snakes around the coastline from sunset strip. It’s rocky at points, but nothing some nimble footing can’t handle.
Best for: getting out of San Antonio on foot
2. Cala Saladeta
Head north of Cala Gracioneta and eventually you stumble on Cala Saladeta, undoubtedly one of the jewels in Ibiza’s glistening beach crown. To reach it requires a relatively precarious clamber over a rocky headland, so bring trainers, but once you’ve slipped, slid, and skidded your way over them you realise it’s well worth the effort. Why? Because with diamond-clear water and pinky-gold sand, this is pretty much paradise. The good news is there’s an adult-heavy crowd so screaming kids are a rarity, plus there’s a guy who whips up fresh mojitos for 5€ and delivers them directly to your beach towel, on repeat.
Best for: drinking mojitos, obviously
3. Cala Tarida & Ibiza Henge
Another west coast wonder, Cala Tarida is a colossal stretch of sand favoured by families. But don’t let that put you off, it’s still a great all-rounder and a worthy spot for a few hours of sun-worshipping. Tan topped up and towel dusted, head north in search of Cala Llentia and Ibiza’s own version of Stonehenge – the audaciously named Ibiza Henge, sigh. This open-air, clifftop monument consists of 13 stone columns majestically reaching 10m into the sky. En route, you’ll know you’re heading in the right direction when you pass through a pair of ancient, wooden doors inscribed with Arabic perfectly framing the famous island of Es Vedrà in the distance, now’s the time to capture those quintessential sunset shots.
Best for: Insta-worthy snaps
4. Punta Galera
A favourite among the free-spirited crowd, Punta Galera is less a beach, more a succession of terracotta-hued rocks that tumble into the Med below. It’s impressive at sunrise, when the world is stirring and the stones have yet to warm, but it’s particularly magical at sunset, when the rocks glow brightly and the yogis arrive to perform daily worship. Nevertheless, it’s worth sticking around all day because the snorkelling’s great, there’s often a makeshift drink stand (mojitos served here, too), and if you’re lucky you might get to chat to Alex – resident vagabond who’s shacked up in one of the caves – who’s full of entertaining anecdotes.
Best for: an authentic Ibiza experience
Right on the northern tip of Ibiza, Benirràs isn’t the easiest beach to reach, but if you like your sunsets accompanied by the spellbinding sound of drumming and rousing bonfires, this one’s not to be missed. A gentle arc of pebbly sand enclosed by pine-covered clifftops – by day it’s lined by sunbeds but by night it comes alive, especially on Sundays, when drummers arrive to soundtrack the departure of the sun as it sinks beneath the horizon. Arrive early and you’ll have plenty of time to browse the hippie market, which is bursting with clothes, accessories and all kinds of stuff you never even knew you wanted. Taxis are expensive and the traffic is always terrible, so the best way to arrive is by bus. You can catch one directly from San Antonio and Ibiza town.
Best for: a ceremonial sunset
6. Cala Conta
Despite being Ibiza’s most popular, and consequently crowded beach, Cala Conta has bucketloads of charm. In peak summer season, arrive early so you’re not picking your way between towels to find space, or just come at sunset when you can pull up a sandy pew and admire the greatest show on earth as it unfolds before you. The plucky amongst you may still want to spend an entire day here, and who can blame you when the water’s as clear as gin and the sand as fine as fairydust. You can arrive from San Antonio by bus or boat, and here’s a little insider tip: hop over the rocks to the left of the car park and grab a drink from Cala Escondida, a rustic chiringuito that’s way cheaper than Sunset Ashram on the main beach.
Best for: showing courage in the face of big crowds. Fuerza
7. Playa d’en Bossa
Not the most picturesque of beaches, but a bucketlist addition regardless, Playa d’en Bossa is where everyone goes to continue the sesh, primarily because it’s on the doorstep of most of the island’s super clubs. The idea is to head to a club (DC-10, Ushuaïa and HÏ are all nearby), dance until your feet ache and then as the sun’s coming up, make a beeline for the beach, where you can marvel with your mates about the beauty of life and dissect the shenanigans from the night before. It’s actually the longest stretch of sand on the entire island, and if you walk to the southern end of it, you’ll find one of the Ibiza’s seven original watch towers, which is an even more impressive find at 6am.
Best for: keeping the dream alive
Once a well-kept secret but now on the radar of most clued up visitors, Atlantis still sits comfortably within the realms of mystical. In part that’s because reaching it is tricky – you have to scramble down a steep cliffside covered in loose scree, but it’s also because over the centuries sculptors and stone masons have carved the ancient rocks into a series of spectacular monuments, giving the place an almost otherworldly appeal. Lumber down and soak up the vibes while sunbathing on a platformed rock, just make sure to leave enough energy (and water) for the hefty ascent. It’s located on the south west of the island, and that’s all you’re getting – finding it is part of the experience.
Best for: an adventure
9. Aguas Blancas
A sweeping stretch of sand with red-tinged cliffs as a backdrop, Aguas Blancas is a favourite among locals for a few reasons. 1. Its position on the east of the island makes it a cracking spot for catching daybreak. 2. It’s one of the only places in the Balearics that on windy days gets waves of any sort. 3. It’s officially a nudist beach, so clothes are abandoned in favour of running around in the buff. And you mustn’t scoff, naysayers, because trust us when we say you haven’t lived till you’ve experienced naked sunrise swimming at least once in your life. Trust us, you won’t regret it.
Best for: stripping off
10. Es Portitxol
For those of you who like a little effort before turning up on the shores of Utopia, Es Portitxol is a must. Up on Ibiza’s northern coast, it involves a 1.5km trek and a keen eye for a secret pathway, lest you miss it. Once down there, you’re met by a semi-circle of deserted shingle, a smattering of fishermen’s huts, and turquoise water so clear it’s practically transparent. The best bit? There’s hardly anyone here, ever, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to have the entire beach to yourselves. Plus there’s a rope swing of sorts on the way down, perfect for acting out your Indiana Jones inspired fantasies.
Best for: total solitude / Harrison Ford impersonations