Despite being known as a party destination, Ibiza is one of the most beautiful and romantic islands of Europe. One of the four Spanish Balearic islands, located approximately 150 kms off the coast from Valencia, it is easily accessible by air from most major European cities, making it the ideal European island weekend getaway. So what is there to do on the island besides go to some of the top clubs of the continent? Grab your partner’s hand and explore these hidden beaches, cool cafes, romantic restaurants and unique activities to make up a perfect lover’s long weekend in Ibiza.
- Ibiza virtually closes down mid-October through end of March, while this means that there are very few tourists, many places are closed. This could be nice if you just want to chill and hang with the locals, just be sure to check openings of the suggestions below.
- Ibiza is tricky to navigate without a rental car (or scooter), though not impossible. The recommendations in this guide are with a car, though many of the calas (c0ves) on the west coast, and all activities in Ibiza Town are doable without a car.
- The island looks bigger than it is, it’s actually only 571 km² and thus to get many places it only takes 30-40 minutes… yet keep in mind roads can be winding and rustic.
- Ibiza makes for a great long weekend, preferably an extended one by staying at least four days, if not longer!
Day 1 Friday
5:00 pm Ibiza Introduction in the Old Town
Get your time in Ibiza off to on the right, tasty foot by discovering Ibiza Town on an Ibiza Food Tours evening tour. This is a delicious introduction to the history of the island and its gastronomic traditions. The tour visits a wide variety of venues from the city’s oldest bakery (where you get to tour the kitchens!) to a lively tapas bar. It’s a great way to get oriented and have a primer on the foods you should try over the course of your time here. Plus, the copious tastings add up to a generous meal with drinks. Read my full review of the tour here.
If you didn’t take the food tour, take a romantic stroll through the Dalt Vila, the Old Town, in search of La Torreta, a popular restaurant amongst Ibizans including our first “local lover,” Debbie Lulu, a Somatic Yoga Therapist and Sensual Liberator who shares her time between Ibiza and California (more info on Debbie below). Debbie adores this restaurant for the food, atmosphere and excellent service, which can be a rarity in Ibiza. Finding it through the dimly-lit, cobbled streets of the old town will be part of the fun. Add your name to the list, then Debbie suggests sipping on a drink while you wait at the nearby Mezcaleria Mexiterranea. Specialized in artisanal Mexican agave spirits, you’ll be entranced by their succulent cocktails… as well as your lover’s gaze.
However, if romantic ambiance reigns over quality, book a table at La Brasa. Set in restored stables at the foot of the old town, their garden is positively romantic with a tranquil, secretive garden draped in the island’s signature pink bougainvilleas. The food is satisfying if not the best in Ibiza town. You can expect some island classics like seafood paella, eggplant gratin with prawn and mussels or grilled meats.
Carry on your night with the best live music in Ibiza at the historic Teatro Pereyra, another suggestion by Debbie Lulu. Excellent local bands and stand-up comedians have been hitting the stage of this turn of the 20th century former theater since 1988. The energy is lively and the crowd a mix of islanders and visitors.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a quiet moment with your sweetheart with the backdrop of the twinkling town, drift (or drive) a little further around to the classy La Calma. This bistro and bar found in the Marina has a spectacular view of the picturesque Old Town at night, which you can take in over a cocktail snuggled up in one cozy outdoor seating areas.
Day 2 Saturday
10:00 AM Explore the Old Town
The stunning UNESCO World Heritage classified Old Town is well worth exploring by night and by day. Take a gradual, slow stroll as you cross the drawbridge and underneath the Portal de Ses Taules, whisking you back in time to when the town served as a medieval fortress. Some of this remains via the solid stone ramparts guarded by cannons. Your efforts exuded to scale the steep slopes will be rewarded with exceptional views of the bay, coast and interior of the island.
Peek into the cathedral or take some time to visit the area’s museums, many of which are free. You can span more than 2,000 years from the Archaeological Museum to the Contemporary Art Museum. Stop in at the Puget Museum, housed in a beautiful historic building, which offers insight into aristocratic Ibiza of through lovely paintings made by Narcís Puget Riquer, perfect for art and history lovers. As you wander, dare to go around hidden corners or down quiet alleyways, the perfect place to steal a kiss, the walls covered by vine and bougainvillea.
If you’d managed to see some of the Old Town on your first day, get a head start on today’s south and west beach crawl by adding in Cala Llarga, the first hidden coves west of the pretty, sandy Las Salinas Beach or add in the morning or get a lounge chair at lunch stop Es Torrent (see below) for a few hours of rest and relaxation before grabbing a bite.
1:00 pm Lunch and Cove Hopping
Stop in for lunch at Es Torrent, a recommendation of Chef Erick Abrams of Ibiza Food Tours, our second local lover. Erick recommends this restaurant for its sublime location in the quiet Es Torrent cove and for its excellent seafood feasts. Or if it’s a flashing but succulent bite you’re after it’s destination Jondal Beach and Yemanja. Recommended by Debbie, at this Ibiza institution you could have what might be the island’s best paella and rubbing elbows with stars, all the while having your toes in the sand. As Debbie puts it “such a sensual experience.”
Sufficiently sated, spend the rest of the afternoon exploring some of this part of the island’s spectacular calas. Take in the breathtaking views from the top of the tiny village of Es Cubells and see its adorable church. You can take a lounge chair or some Sangria down by the water at its beach restaurant and bar Ses Boques. Or you can keep moving west to discover Cala Llentrisca, a nearby tiny hidden cove with turquoise waters.
After some leisure time at one of those, venture northwest up to Cala D’Hort, where you can take in some of the best views of the one of Ibiza’s main landmarks, Es Vedra, an impressive rocky outcrop at sea. Onsite, the more adventurous can try to get to “Atlantis”, romantic and mysterious rock formations which create pools of water. It’s reached through the Cala d’Hort wildlife park, tricky to reach, it’s for the more adventurous lovers. If you can squeeze in Cala Bassa (either today or tomorrow – it’s not far from Cala Conta and San Antonio), it’s worth it! One of my favorite coves I visited, though not so private, it’s really pretty.
7:00 pm Ibiza’s famous sunsets
Journey a little further north to one of the island’s best sunset spots at Cala Conta. Here you can either book a table in advance at the Sunset Ashram, a favorite of Debbie Lulu, or bring a bottle of wine and some snacks (perhaps that you picked last night if you attended the food tour) to be enjoyed nestled in one of the cozy alcoves found in the cliff wall just under the parking lot (there are pathways down).
9:00 pm Dinner, Drinks, Music (and possibly more sunsets)
For a rustic romantic ambiance make your way slightly inland to Sa Soca. Meaning “tree trunk’ in Ibicencan, you can dine under the canopied terrace of this family-run restaurant on some delicious local cuisine, like Ibizan style fish stew, rural eggs fried with potatoes and ham and many fresh seafood dishes. Be sure to save room for some greixonera, a traditional balearic egg-based dessert.
Though if you’re eager to discover more of the island on this night out, drive ten minutes south to Cala Tarida. This is where Debbie Lulu is based, so she gives us the insider lowdown. Depending on the time of year, the sunsets here rival Cala Conta. For a posh dinner or drinks, reserve in at the stylish Cotton Club, where you can soak up fabulous for sunsets, refined food and cool lounge music. For a more chilled Saturday night, make your way to the ChillOut (also called AiSea Bar). It has a great local vibe, salsa nights, fire dancer evenings and the like. They’ve got daybeds and couches to lounge on and watch the sunset. The food is inexpensive but very good, plus the ambiance is perfect for lovers.
Day 3 Sunday
9:30 am – Hidden Coves of the Southeast
Ibiza is all about natural beauty and its beaches, so today you should carry on with your beachcombing, this time to the east, where you can seek out some gorgeous beaches and coves towards Santa Eulalia. Start with S’Estanyol only a ten minute drive from Ibiza town. This curved pebble beach bordered by rocky outcrops, attracts mostly locals. You can take a dip in its turquoise waters via a wooden walkway jutting out into the sea or kick start your day with a café con leche at its nice cafe the Cala Bonita.
Next drive further up the coast to Cala Olivera, reachable through the Roca Llisa estate. A small sandy bay, once again popular mostly with locals, here you can chill on the beach and grab a cool drink from the laidback chiringuito.
When you’re ready to move on, drive ten minutes north to Cala d’en Serra, an intimate horseshoe bay hidden amongst the pine trees and rugged cliffs. It’s so pretty, you may want to stay a while, so rent lounge chairs or get some refreshments or even a light lunch from the classy Amante bar and restaurant (save room for later though!).
1:30 pm – Santa Gertrudis
For an afternoon away from the beach, start heading inland and make a stop in at the lovely village of Santa Gertrudis. A nice example of local life outside Ibiza town, its charming streets are lined with historic buildings, eclectic boutiques and art galleries. Stop in for some jamon, snacks or sangria at the famous Bar Costa, where struggling artists used to be able to exchange their art for food. Or get a little more local with Debbie’s suggestion of Le Momento. Tucked away a little off the square, this romantic gem has outstanding, original food and excellent service.
3:30 pm – Wine Tasting & Tapas
One of the best non-beach things to do on Ibiza is a tour and tasting at Sa Cova Winery. Located in the north near Sant Mateu and surrounded by small farms and almond groves, a visit here allows you to see another side of Ibiza far from tourist masses which cling to the beaches. It was opened in 1990 by Joan Bonet with the aim of creating quality wines from the island’s oenological traditions, a goal at which he has succeeded beautifully. The small winery produces around 20,000 bottles per year and you can sample a variety of these after having a personal tour of the facilities, with luck, led by Joan himself. On a full tasting for 18 euros, each wine is accompanied by a tapa pairing which may include olives, spanish tortilla, local meats and cheese, served on their terrace overlooking the vineyards. It’s recommended to call in advance if you would like to do the tour, but you can just drop in for a tasting without a reservation.
5:30 pm – The Sun Setting on Your Ibiza Weekend
There are several ways you can finish off your Ibizan escape, all involving a sunset… but with quite different vibes. Since you’ll already be up in the north part of the island, you could drive twenty minutes further north where you can take in some impressive views at Na Xamena. Here you can base yourself for the sunset by settling into one of the seductive seats at the Edén Lounge of the Hacienda Na Xamena. Open to outside guests, you can work on a pitcher of thirst quenching white sangria (and potentially some tapas if you didn’t get some with the wine tasting) as you the take in the gorgeous sunset or come a little early to savor the spa and the thermal pools which literally give you the impression that you’re on top of the world.
Afterwards, in the area an ambient and delicious dinner can be enjoyed at La Luna Nell’Orto, situated in Sant Miquel de Balansat. An ancient port, it has some beautiful historic buildings and an imposing church, the perfect romantic setting for this enchanting restaurant. Located in a historic house, here you’ll dine on some great mediterranean cuisine on their terribly romantic terrace. Some nights you might even be treated to some live music.
Or, La Paloma, which is also near San Miguel and thus not far from the Hacienda Na Xamena and the Sa Cova Winery, is a personal big time favorite of Debbie Lulu and very popular with people who live on the island. It has a relaxed atmosphere and a varied menu of Mediterranean cuisine made with “love,” as they put it, therefore made for a lovers’ dinner.
If it’s a seaside table you’re looking for on your last night, drive west to the coast at the end of the afternoon and setting in at a table at El Chiringuito. Overlooking the pretty little Cala Gracioneta (above the more touristy San Antonio), its shady terrace provides the perfect location for admiring the setting sun. They also serve some delicious local seafood and are have a killer paella.
Or along this part of the coast, Debbie Lulu really loves Hostal La Torre, Situated in a lovely hotel, the restaurant has intimate sunset and great food, there’s a totally chill vibe and a mix of locals and tourists.
If you didn’t grab dinner at one of the above and care more about food than sunsets (or come here afterwards), you can have a dinner of very authentic Ibizan cuisine nearby in San Antonio at the Es Rebost de Can Prats, another suggestion of chef Erick of Ibiza Food Tours. While less “romantic” in ambiance, you’ll feel like you’re dining at your own local friend’s home, and indeed, it’s been in the hands of the same family since 1994. Your palate will fall in love with their delicious traditional specialties such as garlic prawns, mixed grill of fish, leg of lamb or their own “Es Rebost pintxos tapas.
Last but not least, you can get even closer to that breath-taking sunset by hopping aboard a Sunset Cruise, many of which depart directly from San Antonio. Reasonable group cruises can be booked through Nautilis or splurge on a private cruise via one of the many private charter services at the port.
Day 4 Formentera
There’s so much natural beauty on Ibiza itself, it might be worth staying on the main island itself for shorter trips, however, if you can stay four (or even five) days, take the ferry over to stunning Formentera. With regular ferry service during daylight hours (and various same-day round trip ticket offerings), the 45 minute journey over to this gorgeous, flat neighboring island makes for a lovely day. Make the most of your time by renting some bikes, pick up some snacks at the local supermarket and cruise along to the island’s various spectacular beaches.
With fine white sand (unlike some of Ibiza’s pebbly beaches, and amazingly turquoise waters, you’ll feel like you’re in the tropics. Long and wide Playa Illetes attracts many sunbathers, but there are some more intimate coves and nooks found on your way out to the tip, so if you have a bike, you can stop in and discover several.
If you are making more of a longer holiday out of your trip to Ibiza, consider staying the night on Formentera. Less of a party island, it’s offers a more laidback environment for romancing, plus the sunsets along Migjorn beach are to die for! On this beach Debbie Lulu urges you to scarf down some phenomenal paella at La Fragata before cruising over to the super fun PirataBus where you can you take in the spectacular sunsets and dance til dawn.
For picking up snacks in Ibiza town Debbie Lulu highly recommend Gastr-oh, found in the Marina. They are a gourmet deli with cheeses, wines and local products as well as hand carved Ibecinco ham. Asked for Alberto and tell him Debbie Lulu sent you and they will give you a glass of wine while you shop “una copa de vino por favor”! You can get everything you need for an outdoor picnic or a sexy romantic indoor food fest. How perfect would that be! Or Debbie also suggests going by the Marina on Sunday as they have oyster and vino happy hour starting at 1:00 pm. Gorgeous people, gorgeous music and gorgeous food. Highly recommended.
Or if you’re looking to explore more of Ibiza’s exceptional nature, beaches and coves on foot, you can do so on the various walks by Walking Ibiza. This first company of Toby Clarke, before starting Ibiza Food Tours, organizing private and group walks and kayaking. Learn more about these here.
Where to Stay
Hotel Las Brisas
There are plenty of big beach hotels on Ibiza, but if you’re looking for a romantic love nest in an heavenly setting, than reserve at the Hotel Las Brisas. Clinging to a cliff on one of the island’s most beautiful coves, this small boutique hotel offers completely privacy while remaining a short drive to all the main sites, beaches and attractions of the island. With hits of Andalusian Arabesque design, the hotel’s rooms and suites overlook a well manicured garden with pool… and jaw dropping sea views. Their restaurant and bar are also open to the public and make for a beautiful rest stop while exploring the southern coast. Read the full review at this link.
Our Ibiza Local Lovers
Debbie Lulu is a native Californian who shares her time between California and Ibiza. She’s a Somatic Yoga Therapist and Sensual Liberator and has recently started up her own business Juicy Heart Yoga Therapy, which “juices” the heartache through somatic yoga therapy. There is beauty in the breakdown. She’s planning a retreat in Ibiza in October 2017, so stay tuned for news.
Erick Abrams is a private chef and food tour guide with Ibiza Food Tours. He discovered his passion for food in his childhood watching his mother prepare exquisite Lebanese confections and running her own pastry shop. He pursued official culinary training at the prestigious Ecole de Gastronomie Française Ritz-Escoffier in Paris and private sessions at “Ecole du Vins de Bordeaux” and other courses in pastry and chocolates. His professional experience includes the kitchens of Hôtel Ritz in Paris and the Alain Ducasse Formation, a training laboratory and “think tank” of Alain Ducasse opened in 1999 as well as working for a number of years in the US. He’s now come back to his Phoenician roots by moving to Ibiza three years ago, attracted by its natural beauty, cosmopolitan atmosphere and quality of life.