The north of Ibiza has long been considered to be ‘the other side’ of the island, famous for its laidback, bohemian atmosphere and attitudes, rustic restaurants and rural getaways plus yoga and wellness retreats, not to mention pristine, unspoiled beaches. It should come as no surprise then, that the locals want to keep the north of the island as their own little secret… We recommend booking your own northern getaway, and discovering your own hidden gems – but here’s some quick tips for inspiration!
Benirras – Head to the much-loved bay of Benirras and help support local business owners after this year’s tragic forest fires… despite the devastation to the surrounding areas, the beach itself is still as beautiful as ever. Popular with families, the most famous aspect of Benirras is its sunset – looking out at a striking rock, you can watch the sun say its goodnight as you listen to the sound of the hippy drummers bid it farewell – a Sunday sunset ritual in Ibiza.
Aguas Blancas – Stop in at the rustic chic beach restaurant at this unspoiled northern beach for the famous paella, daily from 2.30pm or a takeaway hot sandwich to snack on the sand. Set beneath lush hillside foliage with the dramatic rocky coastline below, this quaint blue shack has been the only structure presiding over the beautiful beach of Aguas Blancas for almost 20 years. However in 2006 British-born Justin Mallett – who originally came to Ibiza as a stylist – began to nurture and grow what was once a small kiosk into the now thriving beach restaurant serving up to 700 diners a day and also available for private hire.
Aura – For a modern twist on tapas, the island’s finest cocktails and a super cool roster of intimate parties, this San Llorenzo hotspot is the local’s choice when it comes to partying in the north. Five years into its tenure as one of the coolest lounge bars and restaurants in Ibiza, Aura has taken the ‘It bar status up a notch by undergoing one of the biggest makeovers the island has ever seen, shuffling its outdoor carpark across the street to make way for a magical garden restaurant space and swanky cocktail terrace…
Agroturismo Atzaro – From exquisite food and drink, fabulous fashion shows and a world-class Balinese spa, this famous rural hotel showcases the very best of the north. What was once a century old farmhouse has become a luxurious country-side retreat for island visitors and locals alike, achieving nothing short of blissfulness from its hand-crafted temples of pampering and wellbeing to its individually and artfully designed accommodation. Atzaro is where east and west unite – fusing African, Arabic and Asian influences with a modern Ibiza twist.
Hacienda Na Xamena – Offering a view of the famous sunset like no other, Ibiza’s original five-star hotel also houses an amazing spa and cliff top restaurant. Set upon seven acres and built into a striking cliff face, the hotel – which is renovated and updated annually – is designed to be in total harmony with its breathtaking natural surroundings. Streams, rocks and olive trees combine with traditional Ibicencan architecture and exotic furnishings to create the surprising sensation of being in a far away land from the moment of arrival.
Buddha House – Retreat to the north and go on a journey of self-discovery… with stunning views of the north! Set far away from urbanisation, in the hills of northern Ibiza with stunning, panoramic views of the island and its sunsets, Buddha House – the vision of German born, globally trained fasting expert Ilona Pantel – is an oasis of tranquil tropical gardens, a beautiful infinity pool and watchful-eyed Buddhas protecting occupants as they undertake life-changing retreats which purify, renew and refresh the body and soul.
The Giri Residence – A gorgeously intimate new boutique hotel in the heart of the village of San Juan, the perfect home-away-from-home northern base. Dramatic black stone floors contrast against glossy marble mosaics and recycled coloured wooden doors while airy skylights and striking fireplaces serve to accentuate exotic and eclectic artefacts and furnishings sourced from all over the globe. Luxe bathrooms – fitted with either a large, deep stone tub or powerful double showerhead – give the feeling of a five-star spa in your very own room. And then there’s the actual Spa Suite…
Natasha Collis Shop + Studio – A true northern gem in more than one sense of the word, this fine jewellery boutique offers the ultimate momentos of your Ibiza holiday. A picture of rural tranquility from the 300-year old white exterior, the showroom – which opened in September 2009 – retains original Ibicenco elements like wooden beamed ceilings and cool, stone floors, creating the perfect combination of antique chic, boudoir-style ambience and tradition. It is the fine handmade jewellery however – created with gold and an array of precious and semi-precious stones – that truly shines within the stylish space, displayed like objets d’art in custom-made wooden cabinets lining the walls.
Fashion designer Gisela G – Fabulously feminine handmade collections made from the finest materials such as silk, cashmere, bamboo and cotton, by appointment only in her San Juan studio. Each creation is one hundred per cent unique – you’ll never see someone else wearing your outfit at a special event. And when it comes to the ultimate in one-off designs? Gisela offers a bespoke wedding dress service, to ensure you look a million dollars on your special day. Finish off your ensemble with Gisela’s distinctive accessories – necklaces, chokers, bracelets and even headpieces, all made from high tech yarn and to your specifications.