Celebrity spotters heading to the white sands of Ibiza should look no further than Cala Jondal, a beautiful a little cove that is home to the famous Blue Marlin beach club. This is a small and classier version of Marbella’s blingtastic Nikki Beach and is popular amongst well-heeled locals as well as stars from the worlds of sport, cinema and music. Kick back on one of the white leather beds, order your favourite cocktail and admire the lush hills that surround the bay’s clear, still waters. You never know who might set up camp next to you.
For the best views of the uninhabited, 400-metre-tall El Vedra rock-island, head to Cala d’Hort. This gorgeous stretch of sand is lapped by some of the most picture-perfect waters in Ibiza and backs onto a cluster of great chiringuitos. Like many of the island’s must-visit beaches, d’Hort is not huge, so arrive early for a decent spot; once settled, you can enjoy the views and bathing as well as some of Ibiza’s best snorkelling. And when it gets too hot, simply wander into one of the beach bars for a cold one and a plate of fresh prawns.
Consistently rated as one of the world’s most attractive beaches, Ses Salines (also referred to as Las Salinas) is usually the first stop for sun seekers visiting Ibiza. Part of a natural park bearing the same name, this idyllic stretch of fine sand offers beautiful views of the inland countryside as well as the typically relaxing Ibiza bathing experience (there are no waves here). A scattering of cool beach bars offer all the extras that you need for a perfect day at the beach: good food – including wonderfully fresh fish – cold beers, tasty cocktails and decent tunes.
Talamanca beach – a 900-metre curve of pale yellow sand giving onto tranquil turquoise waters – enjoys a superb location just a couple of miles outside Ibiza town. As you’d expect, then, this is a touristy beach and is packed during the summer months with visitors from all over the world. But locals come here, too, as much for the lively chiringuitos as for the bathing. Talamanca boasts a fantastic range of beach bars along its length, from Flotante – the Ibizans’ hangout of choice – to the upmarket Harbour Club and the Club Talamanca, the latter of which does a mean pizza.
Cala Xuclá is one of the smallest and most secluded beaches on Ibiza. You won’t find flashy beach bars, washrooms or watersports in this tiny cove, which backs onto a dense and aromatic pine forest instead of a busy promenade. Fishermen still store their boats in little enclaves carved into the pink and red rocks that surround the beach, providing a rustic contrast to the fancy vessels seen moored off Ibiza’s more mainstream beaches. The underwater landscapes at Xuclá are just as rugged as its countryside, making it excellent for snorkelling.
Sheltered by red cliffs that look as if they’ve been carved straight out of the Grand Canyon, Sa Caleta is situated just a fifteen-minute drive from Ibiza town. Its shallow, gentle waters make it a great beach for a family day out, especially as the paella served at the acclaimed La Caleta restaurant is meant to be some of the best in Ibiza – which is saying something on an island renowned for its seafood. This is a popular beach, but its cliffs lend it an exclusive, private feel as well as providing spots of shade in which to take a break from tanning.
If you like a little live music while you sunbathe and swim, head to Cala Benirras, one of the best party beaches on Ibiza. Every Sunday, local musicians set up on this cosy, friendly beach and play all day. A group of drummers are often found performing, which is worth bearing in mind if banging on tubs doesn’t quite fit your definition of music. Weather-beaten wooden shelters for fishing boats are scattered around the crescent-moon shaped beach, and some cool chiringuitos can be found a little further inland.
On an island where most of the beaches are fairly small, Comte stands out for its size as well as for the beauty of its setting. Overlooking a smattering of little islands (and the not-so-little Illa des Bosc) that rise out of its perfectly clear waters, the beach is 800 metres long and is divided up into three sections, two of which are sandy and one of which is slightly more rocky and just for nudists. It is lined by some slightly weird looking bars which offer incomparable views of the much-vaunted Ibiza sunset as well as decently priced food and drinks.
Cala Saladeta is one of the many stretches of sand on Ibiza that proves size isn’t everything when it comes to beaches. Small and beautiful, this is one of the most popular beaches on the island amongst both tourists and locals – and after just a few minutes here, you’ll understand why. Saladeta’s perfectly transparent waters give a whole new sense to the word ‘turquoise’ and are shallow and calm as well, making it a great beach for a family day out (arrive early to claim your space, though).
Situated next door to Saladeta, just a 20-minute drive out of San Antoni, is Cala Salda, one of the most visited beaches in this part of Ibiza. It’s more rocky than sandy, but the waters are so beautiful that no one is put off by this: indeed, Salada gives you a feeling of being in some remote tropical paradise rather than just a few kilometres from one of Ibiza’s largest towns. Its superb location, the tranquility of the bathing and the clarity of underwater vision for snorkellers mean this should be on the itinerary of every beach junkie visiting Ibiza.