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Ibiza Virgins' Guide: beaches

Party beach to nudist beach.

Ibiza is often lauded as having a much-admired array of beaches to suit any mood or orientation. Allegedly, there's a beach for every day of the year and we are inclined to believe it. Around the coast, you can find a cove, bay or stretch of white sand upon which to relax and take a dip in the crystal-clear azure seas for any occasion. Here's our definitive guide to the beaches of this magical White Isle.

Party beach

Yes, we know, you're here to party. And you've come to the right place. If you want to keep going during the day, then there are a number of places you can go to carry on well into the afternoon and until the sun goes down again.

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Playa d'en Bossa and San Antonio are the immediate go-to beaches to sate for pure pleasure on the sand. And with their fantastic choices of beachside bars, you can do so with a sangria in hand. The Ibiza dream.

Hidden beach

Oh, there are so many hidden beaches, it would be criminal not to reveal at least a couple. Located mainly down barely-accessible dirt tracks, a little bit of exploring can reward you so very well.

The areas around San Antonio and the north of the island on the way to Benirrás and San Miguel are favourite beaches of the locals. Get off the beaten track and find one of these elusive sandy coves where there may be a shack selling ice cream and beer if you're lucky. Or you may be one of the privileged ones who find a beach in the height of the summer with no one else on it. Imagine.

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You really don't have to go far to discover some of these secluded bays. Often just a clamber over the rocks on the periphery of a commonly frequented beach will do the trick. Be brave and run the gauntlet. It is so worth it. Local favourites include S'Estanyol, Cala Saladeta, Es Pou des Lleo, Cala Xuclar and Cala Xarraca.

Snorkelling beach

Ibiza's rugged coastline lends itself perfectly to snorkelling, where you can swim with the fish in the peaceful waters of an underwater paradise. Snorkels are pretty much available from many shops around Ibiza.

Find a beach that is surrounded by cliffs and you are almost guaranteed to be able to find a whole underwater microcosm of activity. Starfish, sea urchins and octopuses are also common to see. Ibiza's waters are home to the protected Posidonia meadows - vast expanses of rare seaweed where an abundance of marine life makes its home. Snorkelling is a really inexpensive way to be at one with this colourful sub-aqua world.

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The area around Sa Caleta in the south of the island and around the beach of Portinatx in the north are some of our favourite snorkelling spots, where gently sloping beaches reach out into the depths surrounded by rocky enclaves.

Sandy beach

Beaches on Ibiza have been likened to those of the Caribbean due to their fine white sands and stunningly transparent blue waters. Long expanses of sweeping beach for you to chill on. And they are not difficult to find!

You will always have the choice of simply spreading your towel, hiring a parasol and sun lounger to while away the day, or if you're feeling posh, why not splash out on a daybed at one of the island's famous beach clubs where you will get table service all day?

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The iconic beach of Las Salinas has got to be one of our top destinations for beautiful vistas and the cream of the island's beach restaurants. On the west coast you'll find Cala Vadella where the beach's edge borders a small road with a delightful smattering of lovely restaurants and rustic beach bars.

And finally, the ultimate sandy paradise lies just across the water on Ibiza's sister island of Formentera. Make the short ferry trip over for the day, head to the long beaches of Playa Illetes or Playa Migjorn or find a secret beach. There are many - you won't regret it!

Rocky beach

If sand in your sandwich is not your thing, or you find lying on a towel only to be covered in grit a bit of a bind, then Ibiza still has a top beach for you. A lot of the beaches are hemmed in by rocks and cliffs, and with a touch of ingenuity, you can find yourself a less grainy place for relaxation.

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The ultimate rocky backdrop has to be Punta Galera on the outskirts of San Antonio, a striking bay consisting of amber rocks jutting out from the cliff face. You have a natural spread of perfectly comfortable ledges upon which to lay out in the sun. Recline in the sun or plunge into the sparkling waters from nature's diving boards. Punta Galera also is a favourite spot for nudists, which leads us to our next category.

Nudist beach

So, you want to be at one with nature and be free from your clothes? Well, you're not the only one and Ibiza is home to a number of nudist beaches where you can go au naturel without feeling out of place.

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Aguas Blancas on the north-east coast is one of the official nudist beaches of Ibiza, it is particularly good for a morning bathe up till early afternoon, after which the sun starts to set behind the cliffs. The nuder sections are the ones at the far right looking out onto the sea, and the small bay at the far left, where you have to climb a few rocks to access it.

Es Cavallet is the second official nudist beach, on the long stretch of sand you'll surely find a place to go nudist undisturbed. The south end is a popular spot for gays and their friends. Please don't venture into the dunes, as these are protected and home to many birds.

Though not official nudist beaches, there are many places where people enjoy to get this much desired all-over tan, for example in the small bays towards the watchtower at the end of Las Salinas beach or at the small bay far left of Cala Leña. At the far ends or in little bays around the corner, you can let go of your clothes on many of the small beaches on Ibiza without anyone minding.

Sunset beach

Ibiza sunsets are legendary. So where are the best places to watch them? (See the Ibiza Virgins' Guide | Sunsets). Viewing the sun go down as the prelude to your night out is a must-do if you're on the island. So what are you waiting for? Grab a cocktail and settle yourself in.

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For the most glorious vista, studded with pretty islands, the view from Cala Conta is impossible to beat. Or, if you want to get away from the crowds of the San Antonio Sunset Strip, then why not try the peaceful Cala Gracio or its pretty little sister Cala Gracioneta? Nearby, the wonderful Hostal La Torre offers spectacular views, DJs and a real Ibiza feeling.

Sunrise beach

Just as spectacular are the Ibiza sunrises. There's no excuse not to catch one, as many of you will be leaving a club just in time to see this wondrous natural show. A great way to start the day.

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Locals congregate in the bars of Talamanca beach for an early morning sunrise coffee (or hierbas, the typical Ibizan herb liqueur) where the sun rises directly out of the sea. Amazing scenes. Further up the east coast just north of Santa Eulalia, Es Caná is where the hippies used to flock for their dose of sunrise magic.

Family beach

Ibiza isn't just for party people you know. Many Ibiza resorts are geared towards family holidays and fun for the kids, with a number of activities organised by reputable companies and with on-site coast guards.

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Cala Bassa sports a number of child-friendly activities including pedalos, banana boats and jet skis. It also has a stylish beach bar so you can recline on your sun lounger, beer in hand, while the kids go off and have some fun. Up the east coast, Santa Eulalia, Es Caná and Cala Llonga are family-friendly resorts containing every form of entertainment for any age - kiddies to grandparents, and also reasonably priced for food and activities.

Gay-friendly beach

Ibiza has always been at the forefront of embracing any kind of people, and we pride ourselves on welcoming everyone with open arms. So if you want to meet like-minded and same-sex orientated crowds, there's a beach for you.

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Es Cavallet is one of our favourite beaches for many reasons - the spotless, white sand, the stunning beach restaurants and the beautifully clean waters. It also boasts a gay-accepting attitude and El Chiringay at the south end of the beach is a fabulously flamboyant beach bar where you can feel at home whether you are gay or not.

Ibiza Virgins' Guide: Sunsets

WORDS | Leena Sharma

Article revised in December 2019

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