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Ibiza’s reputation for heady nights and hedonism has been well established for decades, so it’s no surprise that the island is widely considered the clubbing capital of the world. And yet, while that fact can’t be disputed – it does boast a selection of the planet’s best superclubs, after all – it’s not all debauchery and dancefloors. Scratch beneath the surface and it’s home to spectacular landscape, majestic sunsets and the kind of crystal clear waters that conjure deep states of relaxation. Indeed, this particular paradise has more than just one face to uncover, a fact that’s beginning to attract a different type of crowd.
More than six million tourists descend on Ibiza each summer and, increasingly, they’re not just there to party. Word of the island’s secret charms is slowly seeping into the mainstream and these days it’s just as famous for its laid-back, bohemian vibe as it is for glitz and glamour. It goes without saying, one of the best ways to experience this ‘other side’ of the island is aboard a Sunseeker yacht, on which you can see miles upon miles of pristine coastline surrounded by the great blue beyond, and there’s a wealth of packed out, popular beaches and abandoned coves and bays to explore.
Those who enjoy their relaxation served with a side of entertainment should make haste for the south coast and the pebbled shores of Cala Jondal. Arguably Ibiza’s most popular spot among boat owners, the steep, sheltered cliffs, sparkling seas and famous beach clubs make for an ideal combination. Drop anchor for the day and revel in the bustling atmosphere, or hail a tender and head for an idyllic lunch at Yemanja or nearby Tropicana. Those with a penchant for champagne-popping, get their kicks at Blue Marlin, where globally renowned DJs are often behind the decks.
"The old town of Ibiza is also a great venue to go shopping in plenty of little hippie-chic boutiques and with beautiful restaurants with amazing views over the marina," says Pia from Sunseeker Ibiza.
Head north and the connection to Ibiza’s hippie heritage is palpable. For a true taste of it, there’s nowhere better than Benirrás. Visit on Sundays, when there’s a market selling a selection of handmade clothes and accessories, and at dusk a crowd gathers on the beach to watch drummers bid farewell to the sun with improvised tribal beats. Further north still and there is Cala Xarraca, a large bay that’s fantastic for snorkelling, while Portinatx, on the island’s northernmost tip, is great for dropping anchor and heading inland, with plenty of restaurants, bars and shops to keep the entire family entertained.
As the day draws to a close, sail west for front-row seats of Ibiza’s stunning sunset. For the best views of sugary pink skies, anchor just offshore from Cala Conta, where gin-clear waters meet fine white sands and a free-spirited ambience surrounds the beach’s most famous restaurant, Sunset Ashram. For a more mystic experience, Cala d’Hort can’t be beaten. Situated in the shadow of Es Vedrà – a large limestone monolith said to be the third most magnetic spot in the world – the towering silhouette of rock against a kaleidoscope sky is a dazzling sight to behold.
And, of course, no trip to Ibiza is complete without visiting Ibiza's sister island, Formentera, home to some of the most breathtaking beaches in the Balearics. Ses Illetes is the most revered of all, with gently shelving crystalline water, brilliant white coral sand, and a slew of celebrities who linger over lunch at luxury beach clubs like Juan y Andrea and Es Moli de Sal. A more peaceful cove is Es Calo des Mort, a blissful hideaway where serenity descends and time seems to stands still. And all that’s left to do is soak up all that beautiful, salt-kissed perfection.