Ibiza boats: Sailing off into the sunset
Sailing off into the Ibiza sunset is one of the most romantic visions associated with boating on the white isle. For most day-trippers however, it’s only a fraction of the experience as most Formentera charters are required by law to return to port before sundown. It’s still nothing short of magical: sitting on the bow and watching the blazing ball of light slowly sink over the beautiful rolling hills of Ibiza as you ease closer and closer to the island, but for a true sunset sailing experience, you need to go straight to the source.
Ibiza features three main ports – Ibiza town, Santa Eulalia and San Antonio – and many charter boats moored in the west coast’s beautifully redeveloped harbour are given an additional 45 minutes after the sunset to return to their berths. This means you can spend the afternoon exploring the island’s most beautiful sunset locations before choosing your favourite spot to anchor up and watch the iconic Ibiza sunset in all its blazing glory from the ultimate front row seat.
There’s a sunset to suit everyone and no matter what type of experience you’re seeking, you’ll find it in Ibiza. From the west, you can head south to experience the magic of Es Vedra and Atlantis – the spectacular, otherworldly rock formations that are rumoured to be the source of Ibiza’s mysterious energy that truly light up as the sun goes down. The crystal-clear waters of Cala Tarida are another great place to anchor up, stopping off at the stylish Cotton Beach Club for sundowners should the mood for cocktails strike.
Sailing back towards the traditional sunset, there are plenty of cool cliffs and caves to be found between Cala Conta and Cala Bassa – ideal places to stop and play with grown up water toys such as Seabobs, wakeboards and even inflatables as the sun creeps closer to the sea beside you. At Cala Conta, the sunset hour is truly bewitching – a laidback, bohemian affair with the striking silhouette of Sunset Ashram perched on the cliff while the stunning rocky coastline reflects the burnt orange rays of the sun, perfectly complemented by water so turquoise it could be the Caribbean.
If you choose to head north of San Antonio, you’ll discover bays and beaches so quiet and tranquil, you’ll instantly forget the hustle and bustle of the nearby tourist town. The gorgeous coves of Cala Gracioneta and Cala Salada offer incredible snorkelling and swimming conditions: calm, clear and with plenty of underwater marine life to check out – great for family days out on the boat. Nearby, the incredible flat rock formations that jut out of the cliff face at Punta Galera provide the perfect diving and cliff jumping platforms plus places for quiet reflection. Sailing around this section of the west coast reminds you just how impressive Mother Nature really can be.
Undoubtedly the most famous sunset experience in Ibiza is the iconic San Antonio sunset strip. While the area – a short promenade connecting multiple restaurants and bars directly opposite the sunset – rose to fame in the late 80s as the birthplace of chillout music, these days it’s considered the island’s premier pre-party destination. Pop the champagne and pull up outside Café del Mar, Café Mambo or Savannah to listen to beats provided by the world’s best DJs (or your own music from onboard speakers) as you applaud the magical sunset moment. Just think of your boat as the ultimate VIP booth, with no queues to get drinks or pesky crowds blocking your sunset view.
Depending on your mood, after you disembark, you can keep the party going or float back blissfully to your hotel and villa – the sunset having been the perfect end to a perfect day. Better yet, why not book a charter that offers an overnight stay? Many of the boats available for charter feature a private cabin for a romantic overnight experience, while larger vessels offer multiple cabins for group holidays with a difference – your very own floating boutique hotel.
Dine on deck beneath the stars, then let the Mediterranean Sea gently rock you to sleep before waking up to an all-new island perspective each day. The longer you stay at sea, the more sunsets you can experience – in addition to the west coast of Ibiza, there are also the fabulous sunset views from Illetes or Cala Saona in Formentera. Minus the pressure of having to sail back to Ibiza on time, you can well and truly relax as you kick back on deck and soak up the sunset vibes in true Balearic style.