Whilst we always stay in Santa Eulalia, we make full use of the bus connections* to explore the other areas of the island.
We took the local L13 bus from the station which runs every 20 minutes and costs only 2 euros for a single, listening to the hum of Spanish conversations between the locals who seem to meet each other on their morning commute. The journey from Santa Eulalia to Ibiza Town is along a road with a plethora of gorgeous homeware stores and garden centres which we wanted to explore. I think we will rent a car one year and do some plant and home hauls!!The journey takes around half an hour depending on traffic, and stops by an amazing piece of street art which is also handy to recognise the stop for your return journey!We headed straight for the Old Town (via a Harinus Forn Artesa so we could indulge in another chocolate ensaimada!) which starts by walking up a slope and crossing a drawbridge. We were greeted by a man creating large bubbles in a cobbled courtyard, and passed by to explore further the narrow winding streets.There are different levels to explore which eventually lead to Ibiza Cathedral. We enjoyed taking in the beautiful house fronts adorned with plants and beautiful colours of old chipped plaster. I love finding the beauty in those imperfections, they make things so much more interesting. There is also an array of gift shops selling a treasure trove of works by local artists, and art galleries.Ibiza Old Town has quite a gothic feel about it, with a canopy of beautiful flowers and a picture opportunity around every corner!Ibiza Town has a huge port where you can book various trips. We took the Aquabus to Formentera from here which leads me to my next destination…!
I had never been to the island of Formentera until this year, it has been on my list to visit and so this year we booked an Aquabus for 10am via their website and our apartment host kindly printed the tickets for us.You are able to get a boat from Santa Eulalia to Formentera, however we worked out it would be cheaper to go from Ibiza Town (2 euro each way) as the Aquabus is available and was 20 euros for a return each.
The Aquabus takes around an hour, and we arrived at our destination around 11am. As we stepped off the boat (slightly wobbly due to the rocky seas), we glanced at the increasingly grey skies and the moody clouds and our planned beach day and picnic suddenly seemed distant!!
There is a bus system in Formentera connecting you to the different areas and also bikes available to rent. We wanted to explore the area around the port a little but then got stuck underneath a building entrance as the storm well and truly arrived!! It absolutely poured down! Slightly hungry we decided to have our picnic under shelter and wait for the rain to pass.Eventually we decided to go in search of the beaches, and whilst getting lost stumbled upon some stunning pink ponds. They are in the reserve of Ses Salines, and we were lucky with our timings as I believe they are this colour around late summer. This is because the process of crystallisation of the salt has begun and the pools take the strange pink colour due to the presence of micro-organisms, which are actually the favourite food of Flamingos and indeed gives them their pink feathers! Flamingos can be spotted on the island between August and October when they migrate to the waters of the Nature Reserve.We followed the path and eventually found our way back to the coast and followed this path towards Ses Illetes Beach. We stopped by at Beso Beach to dip our toes into the clear warm waters. We were extremely lucky when we approached Ses Illetes, the weather was finally on our side and then the sun shone and the clouds cleared. Ses Illetes is absolutely breath-taking and quite extraordinary to see. I have never seen such white sands, such clear water, even with that pink tinge from the salt. I had heard the beach gets extremely crowded but we were lucky as I think most people had avoided going due to the weather. We enjoyed an hour or so here and wish we had longer to swim and take in the view.
As soon as we left the beach, the clouds returned and so did the rain! We walked back in time to catch our boat back. We didn’t have enough time to explore the island further but plan to return one day. Our original Aquabus had been cancelled but another boat replaced it due to the rocky seas, and my goodness – it was similar to that scene in the Wolf of Wall Street – crashing waves around us! We arrived back in Ibiza Town to beaming sun and apparently, they hadn’t had any rain! Even though the weather hadn't been the best, we really enjoyed exploring Formentera and look forward to returning.
I am always looking for new areas to discover around Ibiza and decided to catch the bus to St Gertrudis. Drawn in from spotting pictures of beautiful homeware shops, we decided to catch the L25A from Ibiza Town and have a little explore. St Gertrudis is only small, but has a beautiful selection of shops, my particular favourite was Es Cucons, a maze of beautiful clothing and homeware items, I was lusting after all the wicker lampshades!Slightly further out from the main village is Sluiz, a huge concept store which I hope to visit next time, and also La Galeria Elefante, another concept store with all the boho-vibes for your home. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visit these but they are definitely on my radar for next time (makes note to bring a bigger suitcase…!).It also has a selection of cafes, we grabbed some lunch at B+café which was delicious and is positioned perfectly in the main square. We headed back to the bus stop and caught the L37 back to Santa Eulalia.
Es Canar is only a short bus ride away from Santa Eulalia (catch the L18), and is home to the hippy market Punta Arabi (click here to read more on these). It has a selection of bars and cafes, we have stopped by at the Jacaranda Lounge before which is a white-washed haven overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, with bali beds surrounding an azure pool. It is lovely to stop by after exploring the market on a Wednesday and cooling down in the water.
Cala Llonga is another nearby resort, with a beautiful wide sandy beach overlooked by pine clad hills on either side. Cala Llonga is only a small area, but is close by to Santa Eulalia (bus L41) and has some beautiful cafes. We enjoyed a smoothie at Il Marchese which drew us in with its brilliant pallet furniture (which we have since copied in our own gardens…!).
Now this one comes with a warning, as you probably know – San Antonio is party central and is to be avoided if that’s not your scene. Me and my mum did venture to San Antonio once to watch the famous sunset from Café del Mar. We felt we should do this at least once, and it was amazing. We enjoyed some gorgeous nachos to chill out music and it was all the chilled-out Ibiza vibes that I adore. Once the sun started setting we walked over to the famous sunset strip and joined the crowds to watch the sun descend. It was breath-taking and something I’m glad we experienced. Once night time hits, it was time for us to leave the clubbing streets of San Antonio and retreat back to our beloved Santa Eulalia on the L19 bus!
I hope you have enjoyed reading about one of my favourite places to escape to, Ibiza is so much more than clubs – it is a beautiful tranquil island to be explored and somewhere you will find you're drawn back to year after year. *For the Ibiza bus timetable:http://ibizabus.com/ibiza/lineas/