Ibiza has struck something in us: there’s a magic here, and the Ibiza sunset certainly proves it night after night.
There’s an energy on this island, and it’s got nothing to do with the clubs or the music. Although I won’t lie, those are cool too. However, this is a place where people have gathered for a very very long time, to pursue a spiritual calling.
Around the island you’ll find mementos of times gone by: the Romans were here; we took part in a sunrise Yoga class by an ancient Phoenician tower… It’s rumoured the lost city of Atlantis is under Es Vedra which is just across the water. Ancient stories, tradition, culture – they all reference the sun as a source of energy. Here, there really is something very beautiful about the light, and everyone must see the sunset.
As the sun hits the horizon, everyone cheers. It’s fabulous. We’ve seen proposals happen at that moment, and a roar of happy energy as thousands of people from all corners of the earth relish in one special moment.
Where to experience this for yourself?
3 areas where you can see the Ibiza sunset: our favourite spots
Restaurant el Carmen or beach areas opposite Es Vedra
Many people go to this area to meditate as the sun sets. That’s pretty special 🌞
Head for the beach areas opposite Es Vedra. Here you’ll witness the sun set over the mystical island. It’s one of the three most magnetic places on earth (alongside the North Pole and Bermuda Triangle).
Sirens, UFOs, and more mysteries surround it. This blog writes beautifully about sunset here – worth a quick read.
Sunset Ashram or Kumharas beach bars
Two excellent places listed in our round-up of best beach clubs Ibiza: Sunset Ashram and Kumharas are on the same side of the island. They’re not too far from each other, and you need to get over to this side of the island to explore all its lovely secret beaches, but you’re best to have a car to get to them.
Kumharas is set right on the beach. Sunset Ashram is stunning, surrounded by aqua and deep blue coloured waters! Enjoy non-stop music, great energy and a spectacle you won’t forget.
While there are plenty of great venues along Ibiza’s sunset strip, all the way from Wi Ki Woo, Cafe Del Mar, and Savannah to bars like Ibiza Rocks and Tulip around the other side of Sant Antonio Bay (Sant Antoni de Portmany), our very favourite is Cafe Mambo.
Here, a tradition has unfolded, where hundreds gather on the shoreline to watch the sun hit the horizon. There’s cheering, and the music kicks in. Live DJs (some very big names, I might add) do their stuff right there for all to enjoy.
It’s a brilliant experience if you want to be around people and are partial to a bit of dance music at its best (me!).
Have a tip or questions? Let us know in the comments.
The White Isle, a magical place on the Mediterranean. We love it 😃 Here’s our pick of the best beach clubs Ibiza you need to experience!
Cala Conta, San Josep
We wandered up to the front entrance not thinking too much of it. Of course, we guessed it might be kinda cool – we were standing on top of a small clifftop and ocean surrounded us, after all. But, we had no idea the spectacle we’d receive inside! Crystal blue and aqua ocean all around; diners, drinkers, beach-goers. And a DJ playing sweet house tunes. Blissful.
Sunset Ashram is a little out of the way so you’re best to get there in a car. But, you have to go at least once. The location is stunning. Just have a look in my Ibiza Insta Stories!
Not for the expensive part, but for the stylish bit.
This is your stereotypical up-market Ibiza beach club. Beautiful people laze about drinking Moet. The beach is sandy white and spectacular. Inside the decor is classy and breezy. A nice experience, if you’re into this scene.
Babylon Beach Bar
When you’re done at Wednesday’s huge hippy market in Es Canar, pop into Babylon. It’s about ten minutes drive away. We got there at lunch time and to our happy surprise there were places to sit, have a cool drink and enjoy the view. You do have to pay for the day beds though, which is where it gets pricey.
Babylon is more of a laid back yet stylish beach club in Ibiza, set in a peaceful cove. Definitely one of our favourites.
San Antonio Bay
In a fun little corner of Ibiza, not far from Sant Antonio, Kumharas is set right on the beach. It’s known for its hippy-chic vibe. Prices for food and drinks are comparatively better than other Ibiza beach clubs.
This is one for a ‘lil dance on the beach as the sun sets.
Stylish, secluded with serene ocean views – this one is set on a hot sandy beach ⛱ Start the day with Yoga at the far end of the beach, then settle in for a relaxed day filled with good vibes.
This option is more private – if you too love a secret beach, have a read here for more of the world’s best.
Playa d’en Bossa
Some may say it’s over-rated, but we had a brilliant time when we inadvertently stumbled into this beach club.
Bright colours, even brighter personalities, music, great cocktails and all set on the beach.
It’s easy to while away a few hours in bubbly bliss here.
These are 6 of our favourites. We’re aware there’s plenty more awesome beach clubs in Ibiza though. Ibiza Spotlight highlights a few more if you’re keen to look around.
Have other tips or questions? Let us know in the comments.
Wherever we travel, it’s always thrilling to find a secret spot: a cave, forest, ruins and especially a secret beach.
Secret beaches are particularly great during holiday high season when it’s hard to escape people. If privacy is something you crave, opt for beaches that are less well-known or only accessible by boat. Narrowing the search for us, the Samboat.com team has compiled a secret beach list of just this kind of escape!
Ten of the best from around the world 🙌
Secret beach top 10
Es Portixol beach, Ibiza, Spain
Surrounded by hills, this small cove is a hidden gem located in the north of Ibiza. It’s usually only frequented by fishermen of the boat huts.
Perfect for those looking for their own little private beach, Es Portitxol features amazing turquoise green waters, creating your own mini paradise. The serene cove is protected from the elements. It’s completely surrounded by hills covered in pine trees, making the hike to get there totally worth it.
Known for its sparkling white sands that gleam a shade of pink in patches thanks to the vast expanse of seashells on the shore, Palm Beach is one of the world’s most spectacular secret beaches.
The beach is only accessible by boat, meaning it acts as a quiet escape away from the hordes of tourists and with nothing but sand and sea for miles it’s important to bring a sun hat and sun cream.
Take a visit to Palm Beach as the prefect opportunity to go swimming or snorkelling in the dazzling apple-green water.
Koh Lanta, Thailand
An hour’s speedboat journey from Krabi airport, Koh Lanta is home to nine secret beaches, all surrounded by the beautiful Andaman Sea.
Head to Lek beach (also known as ‘secret beach’ to locals) for perhaps the most beautiful beach on this island. Away from tourist hotspots, this quaint spot is typically only visited by those tipped off by Thai residents, exaggerating its ‘secret’ status.
Although completely undeveloped, there is a small wooden shack beach bar named by the synonymous Lek and a spectacular view of the sunset, what more could you really need?
Featuring a distinct heart-shaped coastline, this island is also known as lover’s island and it is one of the most popular islands in the world right now.
With no man-made features or tourist facilities, there are countless secret beaches to be explored, and the best bit? Seclusion is guaranteed as the island is only accessible by boat.
With a terrain empty of commercial infrastructure, the beaches here are indeed the perfect lover’s paradise, setting the stage for an idyllic and uninterrupted getaway.
St. Peter’s Pool, Malta
With crystal clear waters offering incredible snorkelling opportunities, the sea at St. Peter’s Pool is one of Malta’s most spectacular natural swimming pools.
Okay we’re cheating a little here as it isn’t technically a beach; however it is an experience second to none.
The pool is so remote that you’ll never struggle to find a spot, no matter what time of year it is and the surrounding rocks are perfect for some secluded sunbathing.
Flamenco Beach, Puerto Rico
Only a brief journey from the mainland, Flamenco beach is constantly ranked amongst various lists of the World’s best beaches.
The rolling hills in the background combined with clear waters and gorgeous white sand make this one of the most memorable beaches you’ll ever experience.
Salema, Algarve, Portugal
With dinosaur footprints embedded into the limestone, this is a palaeontologist’s haven. The half-mile-long beach boasts fantastic golden sand and seas that are perfect for swimming thanks to the strong waves and strikingly clear waters.
Seaweed is replaced by a variety of small shells on this beach, emphasising clarity. Free from tourists, this is the perfect secret beach to dig your toes into.
Praia Do Penedo, Portugal
Take a break from the big city in Lisbon and chase secret beaches around the country.
Located on the small Portuguese island of Porto Santo, this beach is covered in a layer of sugar-fine golden sand that have alleged healing attributes.
Due to its location at the furthest southern point on the island, this is arguably the quietest and most secret beach on our list but it is definitely worth the journey.
Kauapea Beach, Hawaii
You’d think tourists would flock here thanks to its breath taking beauty, however, with no public roads leading to it; Kauapea Beach is often referred to as ‘secret beach’.
Privacy is easy on this beach as it’s so vast that you often feel like you have the entire beach to yourself; however be aware that if you walk too far down you may encounter the unofficial part of the beach where clothing is considered ‘optional’.
Navagio Beach, Greece
An exposed cove surrounded by towering limestone cliffs, Navagio beach is located north of the Greek island of Zakynthos. The cove is more commonly known as ‘Smugglers cove’ as it is said to be the location of the shipwreck of an alleged smugglers ship many years ago.
Adding to its secluded status, the beach is only accessible by boat and the silvery white sand and clear waters are a must see if you’re on the island.
I write this from grey old London, in a space where I’m subjected to rap music that doesn’t impress me much. Take me back to the Ibiza sunset and energy of my new favourite spot in the world.
I thought Ibiza, Spain had shaken its party-hard reputation.Yet that’s all anyone back at work knows of it. Well, except one colleague who I happened to see from a distance during my time on the White Isle. …7 months pregnant, mind you. She proves Ibiza isn’t just for raving.
Ibiza sunset and magic moments
I felt Ibiza’s secret allure the very first time I got to visit. It was back in the winter of 2016. I had always always wanted to go. Now I want to stay.
Admittedly the place was on my radar in my 20s because of the dance music scene. If you’re into the genre like I am, this is the destination for you. Just like each season’s style is previewed at the four big Fashion Weeks of the world, New York, London, Paris and Milan, every year the best in dance starts right here.
The biggest-selling music genre in the world launches here each year. Every summer, on this stunning island in the Mediterranean, you’ll find out what’s ‘next’ in dance.
I was in Australia back when I first wished I could come. A very long way from Ushuaia’s day raves. Or the Ibiza sunset in front of Café Mambo, and the superstar DJ sets of Hï.
Music (and the rest) gets the best of me
I talk about the music, because yeah, it’s everywhere. It’s just so excellent. But don’t be fooled, Ibiza isan island for everyone. Dry-warm 30-degree August days. Sunlight sparkling as it bounces across clear blue ocean.
Surrounding islands lure the curious. Take a day trip from the marina or San Antonio.
Quaint traditional villages and cathedrals, and the most stylish bars and restaurants you’ll find in the world are open right here, right now. There’s experiences you can book: sustainable farming, cooking classes, meditation and Yoga.
Then there’s the divine Old Town on a hill keeping watch of it all.
Secret paths unravel along the coast, surprising at the end of the road with shabby-chic cafes or lone restaurants boasting the most romantic views. It’s truly a creative’s dream, inspiring, peaceful and freeing. I strongly suspect I’m not the only one to feel this way.
While the ‘white island’ is known for being a haven for hippies back in the 60s and 70s, it was already popular with artists and writers from the 1930s.
Their hearts melted like mine has, in this exquisite little paradise. Each of us dwelling in the tranquillity of it all.
My friend described this experience – the Ibiza sunsets and the sparkling energy of the place – as influencing personal transformation.
‘I just want to buy a bunch of shell bracelets and lounge around in my Yoga pants. I want to be a hippy’, she laughs.
I agree, in the most affectionate of ways.
The hippy influence is still alive and well, especially in the summer months when the island swells to five times its population.
The famous hippy market at Santa Eulalia (open every Wednesday in summer) offer a huge collection of stalls, handmade wares and goodies representing love and harmony.
Another amazing experience during the summer months, inspired by these local hippies, is drumming at Benirrás beach (10 minutes’ drive from San Miguel). It happens each Sunday. This all started on Sunday 18 August 1991, when a large gathering of anti-war (first Gulf war in Iraq) activists gathered for what became known as ‘the day of the drums’. The ‘day’ itself has been toned down, but if you get in early (by boat or car) you can sit and listen to the rhythmic beat of drums on the beach as the sun sets on another week past.
It all feels very magical, and many do seek spiritual experiences on the island. Ibiza Spotlight shares that:
“The early Phoenicians believed Ibiza to be a magic isle blessed by the Gods, because the rich, red soil is non-volcanic and the island forbids survival to any reptile, animal, insect or plant that can harm humans.
To this day many people wear amulets and pendants containing the sacred soil to protect the wearer from harm”.
Attraction, but not as you know it
With its clubbing culture so famous, if you’ve not been to Ibiza you may not guess that it’s the perfect place to rest and recuperate. The island is becoming ever-more popular for wellness and creative travel options, including retreats. Hiking as well as water or land fitness escapes are the types of trips on the rise too.
What really piques my interest here (outside of having the chance to shake hands with my fave DJ Armin Van Burren) is the mysteries that surround this old island. Particularly the stories of Es Vedra.
It’s a rocky limestone island off the coast which we took a boat ride and swim around. Watching the sunset across Es Vedra is highly recommended. No one lives on Es Vedra, it’s a nature reserve. You’ll need a car to get to the part of the island that overlooks Es Vedra, and there are plenty of half day or day boat trips that will take you near to it. Just ask when on Ibiza.
Es Vedra is apparently one of the world’s three most magnetic spots, outside of the North Pole and the Bermuda Triangle (another hot-spot for seekers of mysteries).
Many visitors choose a place overlooking Es Vedra to meditate and seek spiritual experiences for its ‘energy’, especially at sunrise and sunset.
It’s reported that vessels have many problems with navigational equipment when near the rock, and it’s the location of many UFO sightings. Sadly I had no such experience, but I’ve seen enough X-Files (all of them) to certainly believe.
A popular myth in these parts is that Es Vedra is the tip of the lost city of Atlantis. Atlantis Ibiza, what a suggestion.
Legend has it that the Atlanteans wanted to control the world but faced the wrath of the Gods for their arrogance.
A tsunami allegedly sunk this advanced city of Atlantis, and although there is no evidence that it even existed, Athenian philosopher Plato weighed in saying that he thought it was close to Gibraltar in the south of Spain, which is how this legend around this particular location was sparked.
Greek mythology also spells a story of the Sirens. Apparently Es Vedra was where these half human, half bird-like creatures lived.
Sirens were known for beautiful singing voices that captivated sailors but led them to their graves. Before the Sirens, perhaps, Es Vedra was considered the home of Tanit, the Phoenician lunar goddess and many sacrifices were made here during the full moon in her honour.
Shrouded in stories and mysteries, and far away from the clubs and people, its secrets of Ibiza like this that have me hooked.
Rave, rest, roam, repeat
Back on land, you can drive a car around Ibiza to explore its many lovely beaches and varied landscape that include forests of pine trees and salt flats. Book a day bed in a swanky beach club, go shopping, wander markets, sleep, sun-bathe, chill or hire a bike.
Buses are convenient and inexpensive here, although sometimes as infrequent as one or two hours, so plan your journeys.
You need some change to get around, or a note that’s under €10.
There are marinas at San Antonio and in Eivissa (main city area) where you can catch aqua ferries to various beaches, or the sublime island of Formentera.
We’ve stayed in San Antonio which is great for nightly visits to Café Mambo. On the other side of the island, Figueretas, is where we stayed one December. It’s a perfect spot for being able to walk to the Old Town and marina.
From this area you can easily catch a bus to the hippy market, beaches Es Caná or Santa Eulalia beach, and or to the opposite direction, Platja d’en Bossa home to big resorts and day clubs like UshuaÏa.
Culture Trip has published a round-up of the best places to catch the Ibiza sunset. But your sunset Ibiza experience isn’t complete until you find a spot down by the waterfront in the vicinity of Café Mambo.
Crowds wait in anticipation as the sun gradually and with control shifts towards the horizon. The moment it touches down, everyone cheers, marriage proposals are made and the music is raised.
As we raise one to the White Isle – salute! Te veo pronto!
The past few weeks in London had been cold – colder than I care for, but I had Christmas in Mallorca to look forward to! Work days at a top of 3 degrees, and when you top that off with a daily ride to work full of sniffly, coughing commuters, well, you can appreciate that we all need a little break come Christmastime.
I’d been very good [hello Santa] coming up to the festive period. One who enjoys the sparkly allure of a Christmas party, this year the late nights were kept in check, that is, until 22 December when a slew of happy events led me to being in a state not at all fit for a 4.30am rise.
We got through Stansted airport, fending off the rest of the Saturday morning school holiday rush. I thought I was doing well, despite the brain fog and living on the edge of severe grumpiness, only to get to security and realise my computer and liquids were inside my carry-on suitcase. I slid the laptop out through the side and attempted a very cunning manoeuvre to remove my plastic bag full of liquids, only for the entire suitcase to flip over on itself and for all the contents to scatter along the floor.
Oh yes, I was that person.
It would have been hilarious if only it wasn’t me. I’m sure for the hoards of holiday-goers trying to cope pre-caffeine it was hysterical. I didn’t look. I still can’t think too much about it.
Fortunately, just over two hours later, I was in Spain where I would happily take the sun and breezy 17 degrees by the marina – a pleasurable escape from the grey that has been my adopted home of the UK (I’m its biggest fan but even I need a little sunshine every now and then).
Thank the Universe for Christmas in Mallorca (sometimes spelled Majorca).
Then there was Spain
There really is something about Spain, for us at least.
We love the language and the accents and the culture. The sun and beaches are pretty nice too.
Last Christmas we defied tradition and visited Ibiza, a long-time dream destination of ours. It certainly did not disappoint and remains one of our favourite places. I’m looking forward to returning to that blissful, melodic island – probably in summer when everything is open!
We couldn’t get as far as home (Queensland), so wanted an Ibiza-esque Christmas experience in 2017. That is, sunshine, beautiful scenery and travel experiences, but with a little more actually happening over the festive break. After a long discussion where the list of possibilities became impossible (we just want to go everywhere!), one weekend in September we literally closed our eyes and put a virtual pin on Google Maps.
Mallorca (or Majorca) was the winner.
Is anything open at Christmas in Mallorca?
At Christmastime for most around the world, we all encounter the same thing which is a lack of activities, shopping and travel options on offer late December. Fair enough, this is a time for families and if you’re lucky enough to not be working, then so be it (you deserve it!).
As a visitor to a region though, we want to be able to take in a couple of new experiences, and my research indicated that while much of the island of Mallorca may not be open (some beach clubs operate seasonally across the summer months), the capital of Palma promised to be abuzz with plenty to do.
As it turns out, this is very true. Even London totally (totally!) shuts down on Christmas day, but in Mallorca the local buses were operating, as was City Sightseeing (hop on hop off bus tour) and many bars and restaurants opened their doors.
Winter in Mallorca – travel tips, transport and best-of
The weather in December averages a top of about 15 or 16 degrees. It’s warm in the sun but can be a little chilly if there’s a breeze, and the temperature does drop at night. It’s quite pleasant though.
The capital, Palma, is buzzing with plenty going on, so in the first instance wander the back streets, visit art galleries, take a look inside the old churches and try some tapas.
The Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma (or La Seu) is unmissable, its Gothic structure standing tall over the city. Work on this cathedral began in the 13 Century, and famous architect Antoni Gaudí (who has left his stamp all over Barcelona) even spent time working on this structure between 1904 and 1914.
Another Gothic structure that’s well worth the trip to the top of a hill overlooking the city, is Bellver Castle. The only circular castle in all of Spain, this 14th Century structure is really interesting to explore, and with a huge bonus in that it boasts the best views across Mallorca.
Hire a bike and ride along the extensive promenade, explore the marinas and along the coast.
You could ride to, or take bus number 25 to nearby beach s’Arenal. Many beaches and beach clubs around the island are closed over winter but this is a nice area and some eateries and shops are open.
The bus system is quite easy to use, but you’ll need cash. A single fare is currently €1.50, and the driver can change up to a €10 note.
If you have spare time and in need of retail therapy, there’s plenty of stores and a mall in the city, and a large shopping destination called Porto Pi which you can take a bus or a cab to.
Another experience that was mentioned to us a few times was a steamtrain that runs between Palma and Soller on the other side of Mallorca.
The whole trip is about an hour and a half one way, and you can’t pre-book tickets. The line was closed for maintenance when we were there, but this seems like it would be a lovely thing to do. Do keep an eye on the timetable though, because return trip would need to be planned.
Christmas in Palma – dining ideas
To be honest, we didn’t have a bad meal here! I remember being concerned about what may not be open at Christmas in Mallorca but there’s no need to worry, you’ll have plenty to choose from even on 25 December.
Notable venues we found:
– Lennox the Pub, for €2.50 glasses of wine and gorgeous bar ambience.
– Cafeteria Tropic (opposite the marina and next to the Auditorium), for delicious tapas.
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