Away from the nightclubs around Eivissa and San Antonio there are a number of family holiday resorts in Ibiza which offers the best of the Balearics. With glorious beaches, rocky coves, unspoilt forest and charming villages there’s a lot more tothe island than its nightlife.
Santa Eulalia (Santa Eularia de’es Riu) on the east coast is Ibiza’s third largest tourist destination which is a long established resort particularly popular with families and couples. It’s nightlife is considerably more laid back and there are some nice sandy beaches in the area such as the beautiful S’Argamassa.
The nearby resorts of Es Canar to the north and Cala Llonga to the south are also popular with families. Even further afield, on the rugged north coast, are the laid-back resorts of Portinatx and Puerto de San Miguel where families can find plenty activities to enjoy or can simply relax on any number of quiet beaches.
Santa Eulalia (Santa Eulària des Riu)
Santa Eulalia (Santa Eulària des Riu) lies 23km to the north-east of Ibiza Airport on the island’s east coast. It is one of Ibiza’s most popular resorts for family holidays. The main attraction of Santa Eulalia is its long sandy beach which is very child friendly and offers excellent watersports facilities. Running alongside it is a fine promenade which stretches the full length of the 300m long beach. This promenade is lined with hotels, apartments, beach bars and restaurants.
At the end look out for the beautiful Mariner’s Beach where the promenade meets the only river in the Balearic Islands. From here you can take a stroll along the river as far as an ancient Roman bridge and to the lovely beach of Calo De S’Alga.
Evenings in Santa Eulalia tend to be a relaxing affair where families can still visit a number of English-style pubs which serve food. Alternatively, you can enjoy some outdoor dining along the traffic-free Carrer de Sant Vicent or try some excellent Mediterranean cuisine down in the marina.
Family-Friendly Things to Do in Santa Eulalia
- Beyond the immediate vicinity of Santa Eulalia there are many more fine beaches which are easily accessible by bus and boat services. Es Cana and Cala Llonga are very popular options whilst S’Aigua Blanca on the northern headland is possibly the most beautiful beach in the area.
- For a 3 hour scenic tour of Santa Eulalia and the surrounding countryside jump aboard the Santa Eulalia Tourist Train which departs each morning at 10.30am from the promenade.
- Ferry journeys to Ibiza Town from Santa Eulalia harbour (45 minutes) are also extremely popular as are day trips across to the neighbouring island of Formentera.
- The nearby “hippy market” takes place every Wednesday attracting holidaymakers from all over the island.
The resort of Es Canar with its quaint little fishing port lies just 4km to the north-east of Santa Eulalia on Ibiza’s east coast. It’s a well established destination which is a popular choice for family holidays thanks largely to its white sandy beaches and shallow water which is ideal for young children. Adults and older children can enjoy some good watersports including windsurfing and parasailing.
The nightlife of Es Cana is fairly tame compared with the better known Ibiza resorts but this is an asset as far as the majority of holidaymakers here are concerned. There’s a good selection of bars including a fair few British pubs serving typical pub grub. There’s a selection of restaurants serving the usual Spanish, Italian or Chinese meals or if you prefer a little more choice you can take the bus into nearby Santa Eulalia which is only a few minutes away.
Family-Friendly Things to Do in Es Canar
- There are some lovely, secluded beaches just south of Es Canar such as Cala Martina and S’Argamassa which have golden sand and offer a selection of watersport activities.
- The mini road train known as the Ibiza Express takes passengers on leisurely tours of the northern coastline and countryside.
- There are boat trips from the little port in Es Canar which go across to the neighbouring island of Formentera or more locally to Santa Eulalia and Ibiza Town.
- The largest and most famous of Ibiza’s hippy markets takes place just on the outskirts of Es Canar every Wednesday. The market has been around for 50 years and attracts visitors from all over the island.
- Just 4km inland from Es Canar is the site of the Las Dalias Hippy Market which takes place every Saturday. There’s also a night market here on various evenings during the summer months.
Lying just 5km to the south of Santa Eulalia is the small but well established resort of Cala Llonga. Located in a beautiful bay with rocky cliffs, the main attraction of the resort is its fine sandy beach which is very child friendly making Cala Llonga another popular destination for family holidays.
Nightlife in Cala Llonga is fairly subdued with many visitors happy to rely on the family entertainment provided by hotels. All the facilities you’d expect of a Mediterranean resort are available and there are enough bars and restaurants to suit visitors. If the peace and quiet of the resort is appealing but the evenings seems a little too quiet then you can easily get to Ibiza Town or Santa Eulalia by bus or ferry.
San Antonio Bay
The well-known holiday destination of San Antonio Town (Sant Antoni De Portmany) lies 22km north-west of Ibiza Airport by road. It is home to some of the top nightclubs in Ibiza and has long been a favourite summer destination for young people who flock there to enjoy its notorious party scene. A typical night in San Antonio begins on the Sunset Strip which is lined with bars and restaurants and gets packed with the pre-nightclub crowd.
Clubs usually open around midnight but don’t tend to get busy until after 1am and stay open until after sunrise. The two main nightclubs on San Antonio’s waterfront are Es Paradis and Eden whilst others such as Amnesia in San Rafael, Ushuaïa in Playa d’en Bossa and Pacha in Ibiza Town can be reached on the Discobus.
Just to the south of the main resort is San Antonio Bay which extends to the neighbouring resorts of Port d’es Torrent and Cala Bassa. This bay area has its own fine beach and in spite of its proximity to San Antonio town, it is a popular choice for family holidays in Ibiza.
Things To Do Around San Antonio Bay
- There are some great beaches along this stretch of the Ibizan coastline which are easily reached by means of a short bus or ferry ride. Highlights include Cala Vadella and Cala Tarida to the south of San Antonio Town and Cala Gració and Cala Salada to the north.
- There are a number of ferry companies which offer day trips along the west coast of Ibiza providing stunning views of the coastline.
- Another great mini-excursion is to jump aboard the San Antonio Express. This is a little road train which shuttles visitors out to the nearby Santa Ines valley and continues on to El Mirador which is a great viewpoint overlooking the whole island.
- There are many great restaurants catering to all tastes but which deserves a special mention is Sa Capella (Carrer Capella, 26) which lies on the northern side of San Antonio. This venue is housed in a former monastery where great seafood dishes are served on a charming outdoor terrace.
- If you have your own hire car you should take a drive to the inland town of Sant Miquel de Balansat in the north travelling through typical Ibizan countryside. From there you can visit Port de Sant Miquel and the quaint northern beach resort of Portinatx.
The small, family resort of Portinatx lies on the rugged north coast of Ibiza, some 40km from the airport. It is located amongst countless small coves and provides easy access to some of the island’s most charming beaches. The main beaches of S’Arenal Gross and S’Arenal Petite are both child-friendly and provide the opportunity to try out numerous watersports. A couple of nearby coves that are worth a visit include Cala Xarraca to the south-west and Cala d’en Serra to the east. Both are renowned for their excellent snorkeling. A good way to explore the coastline is on one of the glass bottom boat rides which operate along this part of the island.
If your family is interested in hiking then Portinatx will serve as a great base from where you can enjoy a wide variety of terrain from cliffs to beach. The truly adventurous can walk the 10km from Portinatx to Punta de Xarraca, a hike over rocky terrain known to be one of the most difficult treks on the island.
Life after dark is very tranquil in Portinatx with most families enjoying a quiet meal at one of the resort’s restaurants which are well-known for their variety of fresh fish. The open-air market on Sundays attracts visitors from all around.
Puerto de San Miguel (Port de Sant Miquel)
Another small resort on this north-west coast which is suited to a relaxing family holiday is Puerto San Miguel which lies 18km south-west of Portinatx by road. The resort is home to a lovely, sandy beach with shallow water which is very safe for young children. Older kids can try out a range of watersports including scuba diving. The town is best known for its Cueva de Can Marçà which attracts tourists from all over the island and for the Port de Balansat Restaurant which has a reputation as one of the island’s best seafood venues.
Frequently Asked Questions About Ibiza
When Is The Best Time To Visit Ibiza?
A lovely time to visit pretty much anywhere on the island is during the months of May, June and September when you get all the advantages of the lovely climate but without the hords of people. Temperatures tend to be only slightly lower during these months with lovely blue skies all day long and little chance of rain.
What’s The Weather Like In Ibiza?
Summers here are hot, hot, hot with very little likelihood of any rain. Daytime temperatures in July and August will frequently surpass the 30ºC mark with lovely warm evenings lasting late into the night.
Winters are a different matter and can be quite unpredictable. In a good winter temperatures usually remain mild for most of the daytime with clear blue skies but with chilly evenings. October tends to be the wettest month but on average the winter months are usually fairly dry. Accurate predictions for the winter months aren’t as easy as they used to be since the issue of climate change raised its ugly head. Just pack accordingly and you can enjoy visits to Ibiza during many months of the year.
How To Get From Ibiza Airport To Your Holiday Resort?
Ibiza Airport is located just 7km southwest of the island’s capital, Ibiza Town. Frequent bus services operate throughout the day from outside the arrivals terminal . Line 10 just goes to the the main bus station in Ibiza Town (Eivissa) whilst line 9 goes to San Antonio. If you’re going anywhere else by bus then you’ll need to go to the main bus station where you can take other buses to destinations all over the island.
Realistically the bus option is only feasible if you’re carrying little luggage and isn’t a good move if travelling with children as it does get packed. In this case your other options are to take a taxi from outside the arrivals area of the airport or pre-book a shuttle transfer to your resort.
For many families the best option is to collect a rental car at Ibiza Airport which provides you with transfers to your accommodation and transport for day trips around the island. Driving around Ibiza is really quite straightforward and car hire prices tend to be very reasonable when pre-booked from the airport.