Ibiza boats: Northern exposure

In recent years, chartering a boat has become one of the most essential elements of an Ibiza holiday – for many modern-day holiday makers, it even eclipses the desire for VIP clubbing experiences. And while the typical and most requested route is, of course, the famed day-trip to Formentera, in the height of August the sea is congested with boat traffic and the beaches of Es Palmador and Illetes become enormous parking lots for yachts. What was once an extremely desirable way to escape the hustle and bustle of Ibiza has evolved into a hustle of its own.

Unbeknownst to many, there is another, equally as beautiful sailing route around the island that is blissfully traffic free in peak season. Exposing a coastline where the water is crystal clear and the beaches completely unspoilt, with some of Ibiza’s best kept secret dining destinations tucked away in hidden coves and secret bays. The north of the island is the place to be during August, far away from the madding crowds…

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The north coast can be accessed from any of the island’s main marinas and no matter which way you sail, the view is quite simply spectacular. As you glide across the calm, turquoise water in the morning, the rugged red cliffs and lush pine-clad hills of Ibiza make for a beautiful sight, peppered with the all-white façades of luxury villas and ancient fincas alike. Rustic fishing huts sit at the shore’s edge, looking as though they’d been lifted straight off a postcard from the 1970s. The island’s north remains one of the last undiscovered bastions of Ibiza beach life and the overall sense of peace is undeniable.

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It’s easy to cove-hop your way across the north in the course of one day – sailing in and out of some of the most beautiful and bohemian beaches including Cala Xarraca, Cala Xuclar, Cala d’en Serra and S’Illot Des Rencli. There are also a handful of tiny, pretty pebble beaches that are inaccessible to cars and foot traffic, meaning when you anchor up in the bay, your group may well be the only people in sight. Whether you prefer to sunbathe on the deck of your yacht, to stretch out and bask on dry land or to swim and snorkel amongst the abundant marine life, there’s something so special about feeling as though you’ve stumbled onto a deserted island.

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When the time comes to seek sustenance, the restaurants of Ibiza’s northern beaches are just a Zodiac ride away. Tuck into the freshest catch of the day baked in salt at Cala Xuclar’s charming chiringuito; revel in the retro vibes of Restaurante Cala Xarraca over a paella, opt for a burger from the kiosko at Cala d’en Serra or be amazed by the culinary magic on offer at Los Enamorados in Portinatx; the latter also being a wonderful place to catch the sunset. When it comes to northern sunsets, Benirras is the place to anchor up and watch the sky turn red to the sounds of the bongo drummers on the shore before heading back into port – sans sea traffic – for the night.

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