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On the road: Ibiza's northwest

Roadtrip revelations: Uncovering hidden gems and majestic vistas

The itinerary: starting from the beach of S'Arenal Petit at Portinatx, first heading inland before following the coast heading west, stopping at beaches like Benirrás and Puerto de San Miguel, with points of interest in between.

What you'll get: stunning coastline, winding country roads, turquoise-coloured waters, landmarks and pitstops for food.

Essential take items: drinks, snacks, a good camera, beach gear, music such as our Ibiza Spotlight Selects playlist, cash for bar drinks, sunscreen, paper map/map app (take a phone charger if using the latter).

The Route

There’s no question that the northwest of Ibiza is home to some of its most impressive scenery. From beautiful, secluded coves and beaches, shimmering seas and pine-covered hills to natural landmarks and picture-perfect villages with white-washed fincas and churches, it’s a lesser-known part of the island that just has to be explored. 

Ibiza Spotlight’s intrepid road trippers set out to discover the area’s many delights and bring you its highlights in an easy-to-use format that you can follow yourselves.

We did our road trip from Portinatx beach to the village of Santa Agnès in a single afternoon, but you could easily spend longer as there is simply so much to take in. Thus, we suggest you go at your own pace and linger at those spots that deserve more of your time. 

We hope you enjoy our guide to the treasures of Ibiza’s northwest; read on to get our take and feel inspired to design your own journey through this magical landscape.

Lunch by the beach

Having picked up our shiny Jeep convertible from the friendly guys at Autos Senna, we started our road trip from the nearby bustling resort of Portinatx, in the municipality of San Juan. Before getting underway, though, we checked out one of the newest additions to the resort’s gastro scene, La Boca Junta

This newly opened eatery showcases cuisine from Asturias in the north of Spain (famed for its spicy sausages, bean stews and cider). Promising to bring the flavours of the Cantabrian Coast to the shores of Ibiza, the restaurant offers traditional seafood gastronomy with a distinctly Asturian touch and international influences.  

Stomachs sated and spirits high, we set off on our road trip. From Portinatx we took the old road to the village of San Juan. This wonderful, windy road takes you up and over the mountains, passing through dense pine forests. 

En route, you can see the impressive dry stone walls that created the terraces for cultivating fruit and vegetables in earlier times. There are magnificent views of the sea on the way.

Beachtime, “the finger of God” and Ibiza’s most famous cave

Leaving San Juan, without stopping, we went right by the petrol station, taking the road to San Miguel. Within a few minutes, we reached a crossroads where we took another right to the beach of Benirrás. Another spectacular drive ensued as we wound our way down to this iconic beach. 

By the beach there are several big car parks with a fair amount of shade. There’s quite a lot going on at Benirrás beach, with parasol and sun lounger concessions, a daily hippy market and a number of beach bars and restaurants. Lots of holidaymakers - families mostly - thronged the sands and brilliant blue waters. 

Out to sea, you can see the rock jutting out locally known as “el dedo de Dios” or “the finger of God”. You can swim to it and back if you’re a confident swimmer; if not, stick to the wide area directly in front of the beach that is cordoned off from the moored boats. 

Mesmerising vistas and a smugglers’ cave

Pleasantly refreshed by our dip in the azure waters of the Med, we hit the road once more, this time taking the narrow road to San Miguel that hugs the coast. Again, the sea views from here are awesome - you’ll definitely stop more than once to take pictures. 

As we descended to the Port of San Miguel, we passed the entrance to Cueva Can Marça, a huge underground cave once used by smugglers; catch the music and light show to find out more about this unique spectacle. Though we didn’t go in on this occasion, we did have a pit stop for a quick refreshment at its cafe and to soak up the view.  

From the resort of Port of San Miguel you can take a detour, by car, scooter or on foot, to the lookout tower Torre des Molar perched on a hillside above.

The island’s most celebrated pine tree

In transit to our next destination, the tiny hamlet of San Mateo, we simply had to check out this local landmark, Pi ver d’en Besuró. A magnificent Royal Pine, it stands in a field on a tiny back road just a couple of kms outside San Miguel. 

Reputedly the oldest tree on the island, it stands twelve metres high, its crown measures 25 metres in diameter. It would take three men - arm to arm - to embrace its huge trunk. Each year, local traditional dances known as ballada pagesa are held beneath it as part of the patron saint festivities of the village.

We continued along the road to San Mateo for a km or so before taking a right at the junction towards Es Portitxol. Just before the road rises to the right, we turned left onto the little road to San Mateo. Only metres after the turn we passed Can Sulayetas, a popular countryside restaurant (closed on Mondays).

Scenic sojourn

Continuing to San Mateo, we passed through some of the island’s most picturesque farming land. This rich red soil is very fertile hence all the vineyards and olive tree plantations around. 

A tiny village with an imposing whitewashed church (when you see it, you can understand its secondary purpose as a fortress for the villagers when under attack by pirates in the past), San Mateo has little to see for visitors although it is home to one of our favourite restaurants, Juntos House.

The little road to Santa Agnès from San Mateo is another stunner, winding through some of Ibiza’s finest countryside, far from the hustle and bustle of the coast. This is what locals refer to as “la Ibiza profunda”, deep Ibiza, its most authentic, untouched side. 

We arrived in Santa Agnès on one of those scorching late afternoons typical of midsummer on the white island. Fortunately, one of the village’s two restaurants Sa Palmera was open, so we stepped in for a refreshment and to chat with the locals. 

The Gates to Heaven and ancient ruins

Suitably refreshed, we set off along the tiny lane that goes around the glorious valley of Santa Agnès, home to Ibiza’s iconic almond trees. However, on the way we just had to stop to admire the spectacular views at Las Puertas del Cielo (the gates to heaven). 

There are the remains of an ancient settlement here that dates back to the time when the island was ruled by the Moors. Though there are only the remains of some walls now, it’s a reminder of Ibiza’s long past and the different civilisations that have taken root here. 

The End of the Road

As the evening drew in, we progressed on the last leg of our journey to our final destination, the stylish agro-tourism hotel Es Cucons, where non-guests are very welcome to drop by to have a drink or something to eat. Here we enjoyed its beautifully kept grounds in the company of guests as we sipped on some exquisite cocktails (a mocktail for the driver, naturally!) whipped up by its friendly mixologist.

We hope you enjoy reading about our road trip through the northwest of Ibiza and that it inspires you to do likewise.

If that is the case, do check out our selection of local Ibiza car hire companies where you can find the right vehicle for your needs. 


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