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Ibiza Island Tours - around the villages and beaches of the West

Follow Ibiza Spotlight's recommended day trip around the West of Ibiza, with tips for stopovers, beach-breaks and sightseeing.

This month our recommended self drive island tour takes you from San Antonio to San Rafael, famous for it's pottery, up through Santa Gertrudis and San Miguel, before taking some of the most beautiful roads on the island which lead to the tiny villages of San Mateu and Santa Ines. The return to San Antonio takes in the beach at Cala Salada and some lovely views out across the West coast.

It should take between 4 and 6 hours in a hire car, depending on how much you wish to see and do. Remember to take your camera, swimming costume and your biggest smile.

San Antonio - San Rafael

Take the main road out of San Antonio towards San Rafael. Turn left into the village from the slip road to the right of the new tunnel.

San Rafael is the centre of the island pottery trade - ideal for souvenirs and presents. Most shops will be shut between the hours of 1.30 pm and 5 pm. There are some excellent 'Tapas' bars in the village for a little refreshment.

San Rafael - Santa Gertrudis

Turn left out of San Rafael and drive past the Hipodromo (horse-racing track) towards Santa Gertrudis - the geographical centre of the island. This is a very quaint little village with a charming main square ('plaza'). Here you should stop for some 'jamon serrano'. This cured ham is a speciality of the island, and there is no finer place to enjoy it than the Bar Costa, which serves the tastiest 'Bocadillos' (sandwiches) on the island. Do go inside the bar, which serves as a gallery for the most amazing art.

Santa Gertrudis - San Miguel

The village of San Miguel is a typical Ibicenco village: built on a hill, with the church at the very top. In times of danger from marauding pirates, the villagers would rush to the church and barricade the doors.

On Thursday evenings there is a lively craft market and much traditional folk dancing in the church courtyard at San Miguel.

San Miguel - San Mateu

Take the road left out of San Miguel to San Mateu, one of the smallest villages you will find in the Balearics - blink and you'll miss it! Don't be afraid to stop off for a coffee in the new bar, before taking the left turn just behind it towards Santa Ines (Catalan: Santa Agnes) - this is the real country road.

San Mateu - Santa Inés (Santa Agnès)

The road to Santa Inés is simply stunning. It meanders through Es Pla de Corona - the fertile plain or plateau of this region of the North - through vineyards, the famous almond tree orchards, orange plantations and slowly undulating hills. Great for photos, and perfect for showing those doubting Thomases at home that Ibiza is more than just Pacha, Space and topless beaches!

Enjoy a coffee or a snack in Can Cosmi, the bar opposite the end of the road leading to Santa Inés, with fabulous views from the terrace.

San Mateu - Cala Salada

Driving down southward towards Cala Salada, look out for the spectacular cliffs and sea views. on a clear day you can sometimes see mainland Spain! The best time is towards sunset, when the cliffs of the mainland are backlit by the setting sun. Please note that in summer, the access by car to the beach is limited during daytime, find more information under the link.

Cala Salada is quite beautiful. Go on, jump in, you deserve it!

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