We know what you’re thinking—quiet places in Ibiza? That can’t be right. But believe it or not, you can still find parts of the island where you won’t come across thumping music. Ibiza is so much more than its party scene, and if you look past the super-clubs, you’ll come across culture, history, delicious cuisine and splendid beaches. It would be a shame to miss this just because of its rowdy reputation.
Narrow pedestrian streets in Ibiza old town centre
One of the best places to stay in Ibiza to escape the party crowds is the centre of the island. This is where tranquil villages are dotted amongst olive groves with vineyards growing in the hot sun. Once you’re here, you’ll want to disconnect from your gadgets—it’s where you come to enjoy a slower pace of life. Your days will be spent cycling along sleepy country lanes, walking through the pastoral countryside and visiting quaint, whitewashed churches. There are plenty of day trips to be had, whether you want to sample the wine around the village of Sant Mateu d’Albarca or browse through the art galleries of Santa Gertrudis. Although staying in the centre of the island means you won’t have the beach on your doorstep, you’re only ever a 30-minute drive to the coast.
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Sant Josep de sa Talaia
The Sant Josep Church in Ibiza
If you’re searching for where to stay in Ibiza that’s quiet, head west, where you’ll find a more serene and authentic experience. Sant Josep de sa Talaia is known for its beautiful natural landscapes, and there are several hiking trails that you can take. For the best views, hike up to Sa Talaia, the highest point in Ibiza at 475 metres above sea level. The village exemplifies the traditional heart of Ibiza, holding on to its local feel. Wander the cobbled alleyways past whitewashed buildings and al fresco cafes. There’s also a weekly local craft market where you can pick up unique souvenirs. You have a great choice of beaches here, including Cala Jondal, Sa Caleta, Cala Tarida and Cala Moli.
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White church on square in Es Cubells village, Ibiza, Spain
Just outside of Sant Josep de sa Talaia is the wonderful village of Es Cubells. Surrounded by rural farmland and olive and orange groves, time seems to stand still here. Enjoy views of Formentera, Ibiza’s sister island and the smallest of the Balearics, known for its pristine beaches. Visit the gorgeous whitewashed church before heading down a bumpy road to the beach, where you can snorkel in empty coves. You’ll only find two restaurants in the village (Bar Llumbi Restaurante and Bar Restaurante Es Cubells), the perfect spot to soak up the tranquil atmosphere.
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Aerial view of Cala Tarida beach
Also a short drive from Sant Josep de sa Talaia is Cala Tarida. This resort is tucked away in a sandy bay, enclosed by verdant, pine-covered hills. Thanks to its south-facing position, its fine white sands are blessed with sunshine from morning until evening. The sparkling turquoise waters will draw you in, and you can even swim out to the various flat rock formations sprinkled around the bay. Enjoy a solitary sunbathe here, or snorkel to see colourful fish flitting about. There are no nightclubs in Cala Tarida, but you will find a good selection of restaurants overlooking the sea—the perfect spot for a cocktail at sunset.
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Beach at Cala Vadella, Ibiza
Elsewhere on the island’s west coast is Cala Vadella. This small bay is protected by pine-clad hills, creating calm and shallow waters ideal for swimming and water sports like kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and snorkelling. But the best part about it is that it’s never too busy or noisy here, even in high season. Just behind the beach are a lovely selection of restaurants and bars—with its west coast position, these are great spots for a sundowner. The surrounding hills also serve as vantage points, and you can walk along the main road, which winds its way up to the top for magical sea views.
Small pier and view of azure blue sea in Cala Portinatx bay, Ibiza, Spain
Make your way to the north of the island, and you’ll find the laid-back resort of Portinatx. Although all the essential services are here, the place hasn’t forgotten its roots as a small fishing village. Stretch your legs with a walk through the lovely surrounding nature—one of the most popular trails is the hike up to the highest lighthouse in the Balearics, which boasts incredible 360-degree views. Those in need of some R&R can choose from three superb beaches: S’Arenal Gros, Playa Porto and the more secluded S’Arenal Petit. Each one has restaurants, bars and sunbeds, so you won’t lose your spot on the sand. Should you fancy a change from sunbathing, grab your mask and fins and go snorkelling off the coast. Alternatively, venture deeper into the ocean with scuba diving or skim the surface on a paddleboard. To explore further afield, take a ferry ride to San Antonio and Puerto de San Miguel.
Cala San Vicente
Cala de Sant Vicent beach in Ibiza, Spain
Also on Ibiza’s north coast is the picturesque Cala San Vicente. The resort is built along a curve of golden sand, its crystal-clear waters lapping at the shore. There are plenty of water activities should you need a break from sunbathing and swimming—ride the waves on a banana boat or kayak around the headland. Behind the beach is a palm-lined promenade, perfect for enjoying an al fresco lunch with sea views. When it comes to sundown, take a walk up the cliff-top look-out point for magnificent views.
Puerto de San Miguel
When it comes to where to stay in Ibiza that’s quiet, you can’t miss Puerto de San Miguel. It may be small, but that’s part of its appeal—you won’t find any party crowds in this northern resort. Nestled in a cove and sheltered by greenery-topped hills on either side, the sea is shallow and flat, like a large paddling pool. The resort itself is home to a handful of shops, bars and restaurants like Port Balansat, widely regarded as one of Ibiza’s best fish restaurants (ask for bullit de peix, a traditional Ibizan fish stew). Come late afternoon, take a hike through the hills to the left of the beach to find a hidden bay and an old pirate tower.
Head northeast to the village of San Carlos. Although the hippies of the 60s and 70s may be gone, the village has retained its bohemian feel. Today, you’ll come across many yoga studios, health food stores and vintage shops lining the main street. When in San Carlos, you can’t miss a visit to Anita’s Bar, a popular hangout for decades. This was once the only place in the village that had a telephone, and you can still see the original phone booth and a wall covered with mailboxes where people used to get their post sent. Be sure to check out the nearby Las Dalias to experience the original hippy markets—find everything from fashion and jewellery to paintings and handicrafts. Agua Blanca beach is just a short drive away should you need to cool down on a hot day.
The Cala Llonga bay in Ibiza, Spain
Ibiza’s east coast is home to the delightful Cala Llonga, a stunning bay surrounded by lush green hills. Being enveloped in nature gives the resort a secluded feel, and you won’t find any of the island’s mega-clubs here. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find any amenities here—there is a good selection of bars and restaurants, with more low-key entertainment come nightfall. Stretching for 200 metres, the resort’s long beach is ideal for sunbathing and swimming in calm waters. To switch things up, you can even take a boat trip to Formentera.