An Insider’s Guide To The Lesser-Known Side Of Ibiza

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An Insider’s Guide To The Lesser-Known Side Of Ibiza

Ibiza aficionado and Sotheby’s events manager Marta Jaku shares her most treasured spots around the White Isle, from laid-back beach restaurants to hike and cocktail bars.

Kate Lough
May 31, 2022

I was about five years old the first time I went to Ibiza with my family. We used to go every summer for a month and would divide our time between a villa up in the north of the island and sailing on a boat. My father fell in love with the island and we quickly spent most of our days scouting properties to buy. In summer 2010 while sailing one day, our captain pointed out an empty plot of land above Cala Moli and my parents rushed to arrange a visit. We were completely charmed by the view and a few weeks later we bought the land. We spent close to three months there every year during summer, but now we go more often, especially off season and on weekends. I like to spend quiet time with my boyfriend and enjoy nature, and I also like going alone. I have many friends who live in Ibiza all year round, so I’m always happy to be there.

Ibiza is for everyone. People assume it is a small island, but it is big and diverse enough for anyone to find and do what they love — it doesn’t judge. There’s a unique mix of locals, expats, artists, musicians and tourists which I have never seen anywhere else. We are united by a spirit of both wilderness and bliss.

Where to stay

I always stay at my family home in Cali Moli, Sant Josep. Although it is a drive from the city centre — and anywhere else — I wouldn’t change it for anything. I love waking up to the view of Cala Tarida, the Conillera islands and the mountain of Sa Talaia.

My favourite hotel on the island, which I recommend to any dear friend who asks, is Las Brisas. It’s perched on the cliffs of Es Porroig, with spectacular views of the bay of Es Cubells and it’s very close to the best beach spots. It’s incredibly charming, relaxed and peaceful and feels like staying at someone’s villa — the French couple who run it couldn’t be more welcoming.

Morning coffee

Bar Costa in Santa Gertrudis is perfectly authentic and the hangout spot for true locals.

Breakfast spot

Passion Cafe, which is the go-to healthy spot in Ibiza. It’s in the centre of Sant Josep and everything they serve is 100% organic and so delicious. It’s a great choice after a night out when you’re craving some extra vitamins.

For a laid-back beach day

Es Torrent is where I go with my family on Saturdays. There’s a small rustic pebble beach with an excellent seafood restaurant nestled at the end. It never gets too busy and the clear blue water is perfect for swimming and snorkelling. At the restaurant, order the classic ‘bullit de peix’ and you’ll be served a delicious fish stew followed by a crispy paella you won’t forget.

Lunch by the sea

Ex Xarcu is tucked away in a small cove right on the water and offers the best fresh fish all baked traditionally. If you’re there off-season, ask for ‘Raons’, a sought after little fish which is considered a delicacy in Ibiza and can only be caught from September 1st.

For something a little different…

Moon Beach is an experience in itself and unlike anything you might see in Ibiza. Hidden on the northern coast, it’s on the road out of San Juan towards Portinatx. The walk down the rocky path is worthwhile and when you reach the idyllic beach, you will probably find spiritual healers and groups holding mushroom ceremonies with drums.

Pre-dinner drinks

I like going to Hostal La Torre, it’s one of the best spots to watch the sunset with great music and drinks.

Romantic dinner

Macao Cafe in Santa Gertrudis. It’s a charming, candlelit Italian restaurant serving the best scaloppine al limone and risotto.

A nightcap

If I’m in town, I go to Paradise Lost, a cocktail bar named after Milton’s epic poem where I always order the ‘Return to Eden’ cocktail. It has a unique character and eccentric interiors.

The shop

Vicente Ganesha, the oldest store in the Old Town. Vicente, the owner, might be the most special character I have ever come across. He sells his own designs made in India as well as a selection of treasures from trips to South America and vintage pieces. You’ll always find him outside his store looking to make new friends!

The hike

Hiking down to Atlantis (actually called Sa Pedrera de Cala D’Hort) is a great plan for cooler days. It’s an old sandstone quarry that was used to build, among other things, the walls of Dalt Vila. The cuts in the stone left crazy asymmetrical walls and deep gaps that become natural pools filled with seawater. Walking through the surreal landscape is like an interactive artwork that you discover as you wander.

Go off-radar

At a sound healing session at Crystal Mountain.

Follow Marta Jaku on Instagram @martajaku

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