While the droves shunted in on low-cost airlines generally trail the electrifying party scenes found in the to-be-avoided touristy spots of San Antonio and Cala d’en Bossa, the upscale travel cognoscenti occupy the island’s finest villas in the super-prime hotspots and domains. Others arrive on mega yachts, which they moor offshore at some of the prettiest bays and coves, where the island’s most fashionable beach restaurants are to be found.
Private jets can fly straight into the dedicated terminal. With 24-hour operating hours and a runway accommodating long-range jets, both European and transatlantic requests can be facilitated.
For those not travelling privately, arrive at Ibiza’s commercial airport and you may well wonder where on earth you’ve landed. It’s big and brash with scores of budget airlines lining up to unload their invariably “tanked up” passengers. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d made a big mistake and landed at the gateway to an 18-30s booze cruise.
Don’t be fooled. There is another Ibiza. One as sophisticated and fashionable, in an unobvious way, as anywhere in the Mediterranean. Its beach restaurants easily match anything in St Tropez, just a little more laid back and with a more bohemian edge; super-prime villas rival the very best on the Greek Islands or St Barths; many of Europe’s finest superyachts arriving here are very well serviced.
Jondal, Es Cubells, Porroig, San Josep, and the area of the south and south-west of the island, is indented with gorgeous coves. Here, where there are distant views of neighbouring Formentera, or of offshore islets, most of Ibiza’s fashionable beach restaurants are located.
Up on the secluded northwest coast, pine forests overlook sparkling water, iridescent under the glow of sunshine. Sunsets are unforgettable. In fact, the islands of Ibiza and Formentera are also known as the Pitiusas, a name from the Greeks meaning “pine-covered island”. Almond, olive, and fig trees populate the countryside, with its quiet rural lanes, and whitewashed farmsteads.
This is an island to really know well. It takes time and comes with discernment and knowledge. Where to base oneself, what to avoid, where to spend the optimum days, and where to dine.