The atmosphere in Ibiza right now is like nothing we’ve ever experienced before. Perhaps if you grew up on the island in the 60s, you may remember a time like this but for all millennials and many Gen-Xers – not to mention the thousands of expats who call Ibiza home – scenes of blissfully clean and serene beaches are completely foreign to us. We’re used to traffic in beach parking lots, jostling for a space on the sand, booking restaurant tables a week in advance and seeing the sea filled with luxury yachts. And now, well, it’s just completely the opposite. We know this time is limited and special – our first international visitors will arrive within days. With that in mind, our team of island experts have listed the best Ibiza beach restaurants open during Phase Three of the de-escalation process below. Remember, the national state of alarm will be lifted at midnight on June 21, 2020, so if you want make the most of this time and experience some true Ibiza magic, this weekend is your chance!
The secluded cove of S’Estanyol, set just outside the village of Jesús, has long been considered a local’s secret though over the years and with the addition of popular beach restaurant Cala Bonita, it’s no surprise the secret got out. Right now however, the atmosphere on this little cove is reminiscent of those days gone by, when you’d trek down the long and bumpy camino to find just a few friends, acquaintances or recognisable island faces scattered about the sand or jumping off the little plank into the crystal clear sea. There’s plenty of parking, the sea is more clear than ever, and DJs are spinning laid-back Balearic beats from the terrace of Cala Bonita – the one and only restaurant in the bay, serving up a high-end grill style menu plus holiday favourites like paella and fish baked in salt. Open 1pm to 6pm daily – reservations recommended.
You’d be hard pressed to find a cove in Ibiza with turquoise waters that match the beauty of Cala Gracioneta – this tiny west coast inlet has long been loved by locals, who’d trek over from neighbouring Cala Gracio to beat the crowds. These days, the word is out and thanks to a world-class restaurant, Cala Gracioneta Chiringuito – expertly run by the Mambo Group who know this part of the island better than anyone – the little beach is often quite busy and the wait for a table can be lengthy if you hadn’t pre-reserved. Right now however, Cala Gracioneta Chiringuito is primed and ready to welcome the island’s locals – it’s been in high demand since the very first day it reopened. All your Mediterranean favourite dishes appear on the menu, made using local produce and cooked with love, and the views are a money-can’t-buy bonus. Open daily from 9am to 5pm.
This chic and stylish seafront eatery breathed new life into the south end of Santa Eulalia when it first opened two years ago, thanks to a creative, Mediterranean menu scattered with Middle Eastern delights. The fact that it was right on the sand with uninterrupted views out to sea didn’t hurt either! Fortunately, for island foodies, for Ibiza families and for those who love a classic beach club ambience, the Chiringuito Blue reopened its doors today, complete with its kids’ club and full decadent menu. Now open seven days a week from 12pm to 8pm, with special Family Weekend events held every Saturday and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm, reservations are recommended to ensure you score a spot, as social distancing measures are in place for the safety of all guests.
Beautiful Benirrás has always been a dream destination, for those seeking a taste of Ibiza’s authentic hippie soul. Even right up until the 1980s, this beach was a place where people came together as one, camped in caravans or on the sand, and danced late into the night in celebration of their freedom. Today’s version of freedom is a little more limited, we’ll admit, but there’s no denying the feeling of bohemianism when you arrive at this pebbly cove. Tastefully spread out along the right hand side of the beach is Elements Ibiza, a feet-in-the-sand beach restaurant that incorporates a juice bar, a boutique, a pizza joint, a massage and treatment room, and of course its signature Mediterranean restaurant. It’s easy to spend the day on Benirrás and visit Elements Ibiza more than once: a healthy juice on arrival, a late lunch, sunset cocktails or perhaps a massage and some retail therapy. Due to the popularity of this beach, there is limted access to Benirrás to ensure safety, so reservations are essential to guarantee access to the beach.
If you were to Google ‘Mediterranean chic’, there’s no doubt the results would bring up Experimental Beach Ibiza. The stylish beach club on the rocky shore of Cap d’es Falco on the island’s south east coast is part of the French-owned, world renowned Experimental Cocktail Club, and its elegant aqua and royal blue décor pays testament to the owners’ eye for style. The Ibiza outpost was the brand’s first foray into beach clubs and its popularity in high summer speaks volumes to its success – this is definitely a place you need to plan ahead and reserve, however right now residents have the pleasure of walking in and enjoying the space at their leisure. Open daily (excluding Tuesdays), it’s the quintessential European beach club experience – chic sunloungers, an amazing menu, incredible cocktails and DJs spinning tunes that keep your toes tapping all day. Sunsets here are out of this world, with the tip of Es Vedra visible in the distance.
It was a sad day for Ibiza when La Escollera was forced to close its doors due to the lockdown – the family run Es Cavallet dining destination has been open 365 days a year for decades – but thankfully, they have had a triumphant return to form. The sun-drenched terrace with panoramic views over the sparkling Med has long been a meeting point for locals and expats of all nationalities – the warm and welcoming service, combined with amazing fresh seafood, grilled meats, sushi, paella and vegan dishes makes it an easy choice for a big group, however quiet corners can be found for those seeking romance. Now open from Thursdays through to Monday from 1pm to 6pm, reservations are essential as its loyal legion of followers are making up for lost time.
‘No hay Verano sin Beso’ reads the Insta-ready bench seat outside Beso Beach on the iconic sands of Las Salinas. Translating to ‘there’s no summer without Beso’ (or ‘there’s no summer without a kiss’ depending on what you’re looking for!), Ibiza residents were happy when the beachfront restaurant was one of the first to open its doors when the lockdown restrictions were lifted. It felt like an omen – if we have Beso, we’ll have a summer. The sister restaurant to the iconic Formentera Beso Beach Club has been open but a mere two seasons, and is already one of the most popular restaurants on Ibiza’s most famous beach. Long and lazy lunches are the order of the day, followed by mojitos at the bar as the sun starts to set – in years gone by, this was followed by dancing but it looks like we’ll have to wait a few more weeks for that. Open from 1pm to 9.30pm.
Those who are old enough to remember, or those who’ve done their research, will know that Jockey Club was one of the very first chiringuitos to successfully transform into what we know today as a beach club. The evolution was organic – it was never about being the biggest or attracting VIPs. The appeal of Jockey Club has always come via its people, from the family behind the brand (now run by the second generation of Lanzoni family) to the long-serving familiar-faced staff, the DJs who provide the soundtrack and the loyal customers who return year, after year, after year. Its location at the heart of the iconic Las Salinas is second to none, and its Mediterranean menu of the highest quality. Most holidaymakers can’t help but snap up some Jockey-emblazoned merchandise on their way out to commemorate such a great experience, but island residents simply tip their hats and know that they can come back whenever they like. Well, technically from Thursday through to Monday, from9.30am to 8.30pm – but you get the gist!
Cala Jondal has always been one of Ibiza’s coolest beaches – even before the rise of mammoth beach club institution Blue Marlin. While it remains to be seen if the iconic club will reopen in 2020 (our sources suggest not), its iconic neighbour and sister restaurant, Yemanja Ibiza, is already back in business and doing what it does best – serving up traditional Ibicenco and Mediterranean fare, made from family recipes that date back decades. Situated on the pebbled part of the beach, it’s one of the few restaurants fortunate enough to be able to provide sunbeds at the moment (since they are situated on its terrace, not on public property) which means getting in early is essential if you want a luxury beach day. And without the constant throb of the music from Blue Marlin, a day at Yemanja during Phase Three feels like stepping back in time – enjoy it while it lasts!
Ask any islander where to go in Ibiza for the best seafood lunch on the beach and the answer is a resounding Es Torrent. This old school seafood restaurant, tucked into the pine trees surrounding the tiny pebbly beach of the same name on the south east coast, opened in 1984 (just one year after Jockey Club) and was founded on the principles of good fresh food, cooked using timeless recipes and made with love, in a location that simply couldn’t be rivalled. Es Torrent has never been tempted to meddle with this winning combination – while other restaurants undergo major renovations or revamp their menus, this island stalwart remains almost the same as the day it opened. Simplicity is the key to its success, and what attracts the world’s jetset – who usually arrive by boat – to its charming, white-tableclothed tables. Of course, you don’t need to arrive by boat – right now there’s plenty of parking and all locals are welcome (as they always are). Es Torrent has always been a place where billionaires dine beside bus drivers – the very essence of the Ibiza spirit.