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An Ibiza “voyage of the beaches”  

Take the Beach Hop Cruise catamaran for a thrilling beach and sea excursion.

Would you like to visit some of Ibiza's best beaches, most stunning coastline and pretty outlying islands and what if all that was within one trip? Well it is, with the excellent Beach Hop Cruise and we went to find out why it's really taken off this year.

It is, as it sounds, a boat and beach hop on/hop off cruise where you will travel around the west coast, with two beach stops and on our trip, the sight of the glorious San Antonio sunset at the end.

This is the five-hour “sunset tour” that starts in the afternoon and is a fantastic way to see great beaches, nature and the special spectacle of Ibiza's setting sun. We met at the harbour, around half an hour before the tour began and got on board to a welcome of big smiles from the staff and were proffered a flute of cava with strawberries.

In the mix

All aboard the Beach Hop Cruise

We had a diverse selection of people from all over the world on the cruise with couples, groups of friends, clubbers and families - that's quite an Ibiza mix. We all head up to the top deck to grab some rays and take in the sublime views that this tour offers.

Once we get sailing, I overhear that sangria, beer and soft drinks are included in the tour price. My friend knew, though I hadn't seen it, so it comes as a happy surprise. We decide to do our booze in moderation and just get loosened up a bit with a couple of drinks to start. We want to enjoy the trip and not be wasted.

Setting sail from San Antonio is a magnificent way to start a trip: its huge natural bay was called Portus Magnus (Great Port) by the Romans and seeing its full scale, it's easy to see why it was chosen by them as a main point of entry to Ibiza.

Stopping over

One of the first landmarks we spot, is one of the famous defence towers built to protect local inhabitants during the pirate raids of the 17th and 18th centuries. This one is the Torre d'en Rovira and marks the entry point for the beaches of Cala Conta.

Our first stop is at Cala Conta's Ses Roques, a stunning inlet of water, surounded by rocks that was calling our name loud and clear to jump in. After a refreshing swim there, it was on to a small hippy-style beach that also forms part of the beaches of Cala Conta.

At Ses Roques in Cala Conta

Looking over the water, it seems that everyone now loves Stand Up Paddle boards. We have them included on the tour, along with snorkelling gear, so we join in. If getting onto or into the water isn't your thing, never fear as you can see the marine life below through the glass bottom of the boat. No excuses not to get involved here.

Time's up for this particular stop and we set sail for the second beach on our tour, Cala Bassa, passing the small islands of Ses Bosques and Conejera, with the captain explaining some of the history and legends associated with them.

On the wild side

On the Stand Up Paddle - this time seated for three

An interesting possibility is that the famous General Hannibal may have been on Conejera, though we doubt he kept his elephants there. Both islands are now nature reserves with the only construction on them being lighthouses. Travelling around, one notices a new, unseen (for us) wild side to Ibiza.

As we sailed, the crew prepared a simple buffet of fresh pizza and fruit to keep us going. Cala Bassa is like a beautiful and wide natural swimming pool with pine forest at the back. In high summer, the beach club is where you are more than likely to spot the odd celebrity.

Off our rockers at Cala Bassa

We were here to see the beach's vivid beauty. When we arrived, we could see that the sun had started its descent and the atmosphere there was also was chilling down in favour of a relaxed evening tempo. After a short and pleasant walk on the soft white sand, we got back to the boat just as the engine sounded, signalling that we were nearing the end of this wonderful trip and headed for the famous Sunset Strip in San Antonio.

We are going there especially to see the sunset, which in this beautiful bay is absolutely spectacular, filling the entire area with bright late evening bursts of oranges, yellows and the odd tinge of violet.

Approaching the shoreline of the Strip, we could make out the excited crowds filling Cafe Mambo and Café del Mar, with the sounds of chill-out music wafting along over the wind, a perfect way to end the day.

As the sun sets, we hear people cheer over on the Strip and from the boats around us, so we join in, with an end-of-day elation feeling coming over us all in waves. Then it was just a short trip to the harbour to disembark and end our day at sea.

We loved the Beach Hop Cruise and one thing's for sure, if you thought you didn't like boat excursions, this one will change your mind for good.

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