San Lorenzo is under the radar, quietly humming, hugely appealing and totally outside the mainstream. The homes in this area range from reformed farmhouses to sleek, architectural masterpieces. It’s more like a gathering of ancient buildings tucked into a gently sloping wooded landscape than a village. A medieval church presides over a scattering of houses, a bar, a little school and famous café, La Paloma. Behind the tiny village is an expansive picnic area with public barbecues and a kids’ adventure playground. Tranquil and serene, San Lorenzo is the perfect location for people who love to escape but still want the option to dip into the social scene whenever they like.
For its secluded location, San Lorenzo boasts an extraordinary selection of top eateries. La Paloma Cafe and Restaurant, in the centre of the village, provides delicious homemade breakfasts and lunches. Come evening, it transforms into a romantic Italian-inspired dining destination. At the other end of the spectrum is the island stalwart Balafia, serving up mixed grills barbecued over olive, almond and carob branches accompanied by crispy potatoes and a juicy tomato salad. It’s simple fare full of flavour and atmosphere. For authentic Ibicenco Sunday lunch, head to Es Pins for paella and arroz de la matanza. Only minutes away is the foodie stretch of San Juan road where you’ll find Japanese delights at Nagai, plus farm-fresh Italian at A Mi Manerat, trendsetting global dishes at Bambuddha, pure culinary artistry at Markus Chef’s Kitchen and high-end tradition at Oleoteca Ses Escoles.
The picturesque village of San Juan hosts a weekend market that harks back to the true hippie heritage of Ibiza. Stroll around the cute village and pick up a few handicrafts, stop in at The Giri Café for lunch and soak up the live music. The surrounding landscape is rugged and provides spectacular views. In the other direction is the cosmpolitan village of Santa Gertrudis, with an international buzz, lively cafe scene and cute boutiques. San Carlos hosts the famous Las Dalias market, full to the brim with trinkets from all over the world plus an impressive array of local characters.
San Lorenzo is an inland hamlet but beautiful beaches are not too far away. Head out of San Carlos towards the east and you’ll come to the diminutive and divine Cala Mastella. For more of a buzz, head to Cala Llenya with its soft golden sands and family friendly ambience. Further north is Playa Es Figueral where you can laze on silky sand or partake in stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, water-skiing, diving and, if you’re brave enough, a banana boat.