Aside from the popular beaches, you’ll find the quaint, traditional villages of Ibiza just as appealing. From the crafters paradise of San Rafael to the chic petite resort of Santa Eulalia, bohemian Santa Gertrudis and the natural beauty of San Miguel, there’s something for everyone.
Foodies will delight in the plethora of seafood this region has to offer, with Santa Eulalia hailed as the gastronomic centre of the island, and anyone who loves to shop will find themselves lost amongst the art stalls and fantastic markets including the famous Ibiza ‘hippy’ markets. Then there’s of course the stunning churches, and history of the pottery industry for those who like to indulge themselves in a spot of culture.
Still want to visit a beach? You’re never far away from the stunning coastline. The turquoise waters, golden sands and amazing sunsets beckon. Now you just need to decide on what whitewashed villa or traditional rural escape you’re going to choose to make the most of your Ibizan experience.
Declared the only artisan zone (Zona de Interes Artesanal) in Ibiza, San Rafael is famed for its inspiring pottery and although it is known by many as the Pottery village, you will see the pottery sold everywhere in Ibiza. The ceramic is still made in the same way it was when introduced to the island by Mediterranean invaders thousands of years ago.
Foodies will feel very at home here in San Rafael as there’s a plethora of culinary delights on offer. With a string of eateries which serve both typical local cuisine and more exotic concoctions from the Mediterranean, the two most famous restaurants in the area are L’Eléphant and El Ayoun not just because of their delicious food but their great atmosphere.
After indulging in the delicious regional cuisine why not take a walk to see the beautiful 18th century white church located at the peaceful Placa Joan Mari Cardona. Sitting here on the benches surrounded by flowers offers a wonderful view all the way to Ibiza Town.
For something slightly different take your family just outside of town to the Hippodrome. Home to the trotting races - an equestrian delight, this popular sport takes place on balmy summer Saturday evenings.
At the heart of the island sits the charming village of Santa Gertrudis. Steeped in tradition, the main square, which has recently had a makeover, houses a whitewashed church and a cluster of bars, restaurants, shops and new hip café bars. All around is rich agricultural landscape. It’s no wonder that many artists, musicians and sculptors have made their home here. Their work is ubiquitous in the area and it’s certainly given Santa Gertrudis a relaxed bohemian vibe that has meant this little village growing considerably in popularity.
With arts and crafts shops, galleries, and an eclectic mix of clothing and accessories, there's plenty to do, and after all that retail therapy you’re sure to have built up a healthy appetite.
Here you’ll find food to suit any budget. There’s cafes to enjoy your morning coffee and freshly baked bread or a delicious lunch of manchego cheese, and as many eateries for traditional hearty evening food.
The relaxed vibe of this wonderful village makes it an ideal place for families and couples who want some peace away from the Ibiza party scene.
San Miguel offers a slice of tradition. Less developed than some other areas in the region, the village boasts a wonderful fortress church that dominates the valley leading to some magnificent rural landscapes. Keep an eye out for the traditional folk dancing early on a Thursday evening.
Apart from the several small bars and typical restaurants serving fantastic tapas and local cuisine, you’ll find a bustling arts and crafts market every Thursday in the main square where you’re sure to pick up a delightful souvenir – fresh honey, bamboo carvings, watercolours and of course the Island’s famous pottery.
It may be Ibiza’s third largest resort, but Santa Eulalia it is a popular destination for those seeking a more peaceful holiday. A picturesque, palm-lined promenade runs the length of the sandy beach, which is perfectly safe for the kids, there’s some excellent restaurants, exclusive shopping, a yacht marina and whilst there is some nightlife, the vibe is most definitely more relaxed.
There are two main streets - the tree-lined Calle San Jaime where many gather to watch the world go by from their café seats, and Calle San Vicente, known as the Street of Restaurants. This atmospheric street is full of diners, light music, strolling musicians and lots of laughter and chatter.
As if that wasn’t reason enough to go, there’s also a stylish yacht marina, which is popular with all ages. With its wonderful dining options, exclusive shopping, light entertainment and of course splendid yachts to look at, it really is an experience for the whole family.
Finally, the fortified 16th century church of Puig de Missa is a must-see. Situated on a hill above the town, it’s a perfect spot to take in the stunning surroundings of this wonderful place.
From rural traditional villas in the Santa Gertrudis area to contemporary havens of style in San Rafael and San Miguel, the choice of places to stay in this region is endless and Sun-hat villas are on hand to help you pick the perfect abode for your holiday. All villas have private pools in which to while away the hours when you’re not out and about enjoying the nearby beaches and villages.
Despite its reputation as a party island, Ibiza actually offers a fantastic holiday experience for the whole family. For slightly older children there’s lots of interesting walks to take around the villages, amazing places for children of all ages to eat and the nearby beaches offer endless hours of fun.
And it’s not all about the beach, the nearby towns provide a great place to stroll around and marvel at the riches of an historic past, or even do some light shopping, if you can persuade the little ones.
Not to be missed
The Icardi ceramic workshop in San Rafael has a wide selection of pottery and is one of the places you can see pottery made in exactly the same way it was when first introduced to the island by Mediterranean invaders thousands of years ago.