Spain’s borders are currently open to visitors from a number of EU nations and countries outside Europe, including the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and more. A number of restaurants, bars, hotels, and other businesses are now open in Ibiza with hygiene measures in place.
If you travel to immerse yourself in nature, I’m guessing Ibiza probablyisn’t at the top of your wish list. After all, this notorious party island is where clubbers, sun-worshippers, and A-listers flock for over-the-top raves and a hefty dose of hedonism.
But this Balearic beauty is very much a multi-faceted destination, and if you venture away from pulsating beats of the DJs and dance floors, you’ll quickly discover the quieter side of Ibiza — one that includes untouched nature reserves, hiking trails, deserted beaches, and craggy coves.
So, swap your dancing shoes for a pair of comfortable trainers and read on for some of the best places to experience a totally new take on Ibiza’s wild side.
1. Ses Salines Natural Park
Stretching from the southern tip of Ibiza to the island of Formentera, this nature park is home to a diverse variety of landscapes — everything from wetlands to sand dunes and secluded beaches — along with an incredible array of biodiversity to boot.
The park’s salt flats are one of the main attractions, but there’s plenty more to see throughout the area. If you’re a bird enthusiast, you definitely don’t want to miss Ses Salines; hundreds of species of birds pass through this region every year, and viewing platforms are dotted throughout the park.
Whether you’re taking a scenic walk or hunkering down at a dedicated bird-watching site, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for wildlife like flamingos, plovers, and the Balearic shearwater.
2. Punta Galera
On the west coast of Ibiza, you’ll find Punta Galera, a beautiful bay flanked by unique rock formations jutting out at different heights over the sea. The rocks here are wide and flat and staggered like shelves, offering sunbathers a natural platform to throw down a towel and kick back in the sun.
These multi-layered rock “shelves” also act as a staircase of sorts, so it’s easy to climb down for a dip in the surrounding cerulean waters. It’s a fantastic place to while away an afternoon or catch a sensational Ibizan sunset.
3. Ses Feixes Wetlands
Located between Ibiza Town and Talamanca Beach, this wildlife haven is one of the only remaining wetlands in the Mediterranean. Much like Ses Salines Natural Park, Ses Feixes’ saltwater fed marshes serve as an important ecosystem for hundreds of species of migratory birds, as well as rare bats and reptiles.
This area is also significant from a cultural standpoint; historically, most of Ibiza’s fruits, vegetables, and grains were cultivated in Ses Feixes, and a network of ancient Moorish irrigation systems can still be seen here today.
4. Can Marça Caves
Walk in the footsteps of pirates at Can Marca Caves, a series of underground caverns located in Puerto de San Miguel. This hidden cave system was once used by smugglers to store contraband, and you can see the original entrance to the cave (which sits eight metres above sea level), along with the markings they used to navigate the narrow, dimly-lit tunnels inside.
Otherworldly stalactites and stalagmites, naturally neon-lit rock pools, and fossilised bird bones are a few more highlights you can explore in this subterranean attraction.
5. Sa Talaiassa mountain
If you want to explore the natural side of Ibiza and get a hit of endorphins in the process, head out on a hike to Sa Talaiassa, the highest peak in Ibiza.
The 2.4km walk takes roughly an hour along a signposted trail starting in Sant Josep, and — after a relatively easy uphill ascent — you’ll reach a vantage point with spectacular panoramic views of the island unfurling below.
6. Secluded beaches and coves
Ibiza has no shortage of jaw-dropping beaches, but you’ll have to travel a little further if you want to find stretches of sand that aren’t packed with party-goers and holidaymakers.
Head for the hidden rocky cove of Cala d’Albarca for a swimming spot tucked away behind sea-facing cliffs, or try Cala Llentrisca for a tiny and quiet stretch of beach surrounded by azure waters.
If you’re up for an adventure and really want to get away from it all, Cap d’es Jueu is the beach for you. Calm seas and a partly submerged grotto await, but you’ll have to swim 1.5km to reach this isolated spot.