In the previous part of our Ibiza guide we explored South Ibiza and its beautiful calas on the west of the island. Our next stop is Sant Antoni de Portmany (aka San Antonio), Ibiza’s clubbing capital according to Time Out and incidentally one of the most popular spots to hire a boat in Ibiza. If you are coming to San Antonio from another part of Ibiza you can dock in the town’s main port (Puerto de Sant Antoni de Portmany) where there is a large marina of 245 berths, taking yachts up to 30 meters, or the ‘Club Nautic’, preferable for luxury yachts.
Sant Antoni de Portmany is pure magic
Close to the harbour you will come across the city’s landmark, The Egg, an egg-shaped statue smack in the middle of a roundabout. This unusual piece of art commemorates Christopher Columbus who was allegedly born in Ibiza; if you get close enough you can discern in the centre of the statue a mini Santa Maria, Columbus’s ship when he sailed to the West Indies.
There is something special in Sant Antoni for all holidaymakers. Newlyweds who hire a boat in Ibiza for their honeymoon for example will enjoy a romantic walk on the promenade of Passeig de ses Fonts by the sea. Party animals on the other hand may go straight to the bars and clubs of Ibiza’s West End. If the name brings to mind the classy atmosphere of London’s West End with its theatres, bars and wide avenues, you should think again. This is a small area of typically Spanish narrow streets where the myth of Ibiza as the world capital of dance music was born. The bars serve sangria and the clubs are full of revellers from all over the world who have come to Ibiza to relish its unique chill-out vibes. The oldest and most prestigious club is Es Paradis, arguably the place where everything started back in the ’70s.
On the northern part of the bay of San Antonio is located the famous Sunset Strip, a narrow piece of land full of bars with a view to what the locals claim is the most beautiful sunset in the Med, and even more so in the hot summer nights of August. Don’t miss the opportunity to have a drink or two at Café del Mar, a bar-club famous around the world for its record label and its ambient music compilations. If you hire a boat in Ibiza in the end of August, make sure that you book a place somewhere at the Sunset Strip on 24 August to enjoy the view of the fireworks during the feast of Saint Barhtolomew.
Discover Cala d’Albarca, a hidden pearl
Avid sailors who hire a boat in Ibiza (or the nearby island of Formentera) may also want to explore its hidden side, starting from Illa Coniellera, a tiny uninhabited island of raw beauty, approximately 4 miles from San Antonio on the northwest of Ibiza. Its rugged cliffs and unexplored beaches will take your breath away, as well the view of the island’s landmark lighthouse from the sea. The island has many small coves where you can dock your boat at night.
From there you can sail straight to Cala Saladeta or to the northwest side of Ibiza where you will find a number of natural bays and small coves to explore. Holidaymakers who hire a boat in Ibiza will have the privilege to explore Cala d’Albarca, a cove in a secluded bay approachable only by boat. It’s a horseshoe-shaped bay flanked by rocky cliffs that shape an arch, while steep boulders surround the beach. The later is not the typical Mediterranean one. You won’t find sand or pine trees here as in other parts of the Balearics, but its turquoise waters will compensate you. Diving and snorkeling lovers will also love this hidden spot that only connoisseurs of the Balearic landscape are familiar with.
Your next stopover is a special one. The underground cavern of the Cova de Can Marca in Puerto San Miguel has a mystical ambience reminiscent of the Pirates of the Carribean. Not surprisingly, since this labyrinth of caves was used by smugglers and pirates centuries ago. With a boat hire in Ibiza you can approach Cova de Can Marca from the sea to admire a unique landscapre from a privileged vantage point. If you wish to explore the cave’s interior you have to take a guided tour, which includes a waterfall light show. The colours the light shapes as it enters the cavern, a mix of yellow and green, will take you to a different world, while the size and shapes of the stalagmites and stalagtites will enthuse nature buffs. Slots on the walls of the cavern will offer you a unique view of the sea. If you are careful, you might even be able to spot the marks pirates would use to find their way in the cavern.
Next stop? San Salines, to rub shoulders with celebrities!