The Baleares are one of the most popular tourist provinces of the Kingdom of Spain. This archipelago, located almost near the central eastern coast of mainland Spain, was already famous in the sixties, when hippie culture celebrated triumphs, and also in the following decades, especially in the nineties, when dance subgenres of electronic house music (and related to them hours-long parties outside), called rave and trance, became so burdensome for the Great Britain authorities that the young British found another oasis so as they could party in a relative peace.
Ibiza and St. Anthony’s Bay
Surprisingly, this place has not turned out to be the biggest or historically most important of the islands of the archipelago – Ibiza. However, already in VII century BC the Phoenicians set off from its shores for further trade trips to the furthest western corner of the Mediterranean, and both for them and other civilizations interested in exploring the Mediterranean routes, the largest Majorca was of greater significance.
However, Ibiza that is our interest here, is not lacking into tourist and entertainment values. Especially in these directions, the western part of the island has been developed for many decades, and water sports as well as nightlife cluster in the towns of St. Anthony’s Bay, with an emphasis put on the historical town, once called San Antanio Abad and now known as Sant Antoni de Portmany
For almost 2,000 years, St. Antonio was a quiet peaceful town of Balearic fishermen, so as in the second half of the 20th century become one of the biggest European entertainment centers where stunning sunsets blend with the best clubs, the beautiful promenade and the best conditions for water sports. San Antonio is known for its great yacht port, where nota bene begins the famous promenade set by the palms, running all the way to the city center.
On the other hand, we can go to the largest suburban beaches, including the largest and most popular S’Arenal. This, as well as other beaches, form the famous Ibiza Sunset Strip, which is the westernmost part of the city, which consists of a strip of the beaches with the purest sand (eg Calo des Moro, Cala Gracio, Cala Gracioneta) and a long line of bars, cafes and night clubs. Among them, the most important place is occupied by two: the famous for their DJ sets Cafe Mambo and Cafe Del Mar, known for its chill-out compilations, released as albums from the mid-90s. Although these two in season are always occupied by young fans of dance music from Germany and Great Britain, the evening stroll along the promenade choosing the “bar for the time of sunset” is almost an absolute must have/must see for everyone visiting western Ibiza.
Ibiza – cafes, restaurants, tapas and … sunset
Obviously, visiting Ibiza does not have to be limited just to admiring sunsets from the cafes’ terraces on the Sunset Strip. Also, daytime in San Antonio offers visitors many attractions. Those who want to party on the beach in the full sun should head over to one of the beach clubs, for example to the niche yet the biggest “ O Beach Ibiza” or “Ibiza Rocks Hotel.”
Beside that, the sheer center of the city, with its narrow, shady streets characteristic of Mediterranean towns, is full of various cafes and restaurants – it is a treat especially for those who want to try the famous southern Spanish snacks, called tapas. In these famous “chiringuitos” we will meet tourists from all over the world. Many of the restaurants, like Rio Ibiza, offer its customers not only delicious food, but also meals in a phenomenal atmosphere, because served on terraces overlooking the range of beaches and the bay. However, the “mecca” of tapas admirers is located on Calle San Mateo, where we can find small charming bistros and cafes, like the famous Rincon de Pepe.
Trips and water sports on the west coast of Ibiza
Staying in the area of San Antonio Bay, it is almost impossible to avoid the huge offer of water sports. Although you do not have to make extreme jumps from the cliff to feel the beauty of this region, you certainly must go for a catamaran cruise along the west coast of the island. Usually, such a trip begins in the port of Sant Antoni de Portmany, where already after leaving the port you will admire the above-mentioned beaches and what is more there will be stops on several of them, including: Cala Bassa, Cala Conta.
Well-equipped cruise ships usually have basic snorkeling equipment or “stand-up paddle”, or boards for standing swimming (with oars, pumped) on their decks. For expedient and small children there are small slides at the back of the boat. However, if you have enough fun in the water, you can take advantage of the sunbathing deck or enjoy drinks in the shaded catamaran, while waiting for the inimitable Ibiza sunset.