72hrs in Ibiza - Winter Secrets
Choosing the right time is important when travelling to Ibiza, as the island changes very much according to the months. Although in the winter it isn't beach weather, the mild temperatures lets you still enjoy the beach resorts normally catered for families. Such is the case for Cala Llonga and Es Caná, you can have these secluded beaches almost to yourself.
The walled enclosure part of Ibiza Old Town, Dalt Vila was declared a World Heritage site by Unesco in 1999. This declaration included also the necropolis of Puig des molins, the Phoenician settlement of Sa Caleta and the Posidonia meadows from The Ses Salines Natural Park. To celebrate this international recognition, the city of Ibiza organises every second weekend of May a large gala devoted to culture and leisure. In this white washed part of town you can visit the Cathedral of Ibiza, the Episcopal Palace, the Archaeological Museum and the Almudaina all in a day's visit. The military buildings at the top peak of Dalt Vila can be visited as is the case of Baluard, these towers act now as the perfect mirador (watch towers) to view Ibiza at what is the highest point from any building on the island. The views are promising and you can enjoy panoramic sights of the port all the way to the white sand beaches in the south-west point of the island.
You must visit the Museum of Contemporary Art (founded in 1959), consisting of a historic part and a new wing, displaying a large collection of international paintings, engravings and sculptures of many local & international artists. It is housed in a former warehouse in the old town, Dalt Vila. The Sant Ciriac chapel has a historical entrance, which legend has it that the Catalans used in 1235 to conquer the city. Keep an eye out for the L'Hospitalet, a former church which is now used as an exhibition hall. We enjoyed the Puget museum (Museu Puget), situated in a historical building dating back to the 18th century that was home to important and influential families and is still known by the name Can Comasema. It exhibits permanent collections of Narcís Puget Viñas (father) and Narcís Puget Riquer (son) and displays regular temporary exhibitions. Opened all year round, the works of art portrayed are impressive as is the courtyard in itself.
Many shops and restaurants do close in the winter months, only to reopen in Spring. Our favourite all-year round restaurant is La Brasa on C/Pere Sala nº3. This restaurant-garden does some of the finest Mediterranean food on the grill and offers a great variety of homemade desserts such as the crema catalana (catalan custard similar to crème brulee). Also on the Talamanca beach (30 minutes walk from the old town), you can enjoy a Spanish meal at Hostal Talamanca, where many locals like to unwind with their friends and families. Talamanca beach is only two minutes walking distance from our hotel Ocean Drive Ibiza, an art-deco boutique hotel with a buzzing atmosphere that promises to keep your summer spirit glowing even on winter days. In Ibiza's countryside, located between Santa Gertrudis and San Miguel km 9’9, you can enjoy organic food grown on the farm at Aubergine. There is a menu for juice, healthy food options, a local produce shop and a terrace. Closer to the action, at Es Cavallet beach, you can go to La Escollera beach restaurant, famous for its panoramic views across the sea and the highly recommended ‘Gallo San Pedro’, John Dory baked in salt and served with potatoes and their ‘Boquerones Mami’ (anchovies), all made from original recipes courtesy of owner Daniel Gonzalez’s mother that have stood the test of time.
From February 9th, the festival of Santa Eulalia is in full swing with a series of events and programmes that run until March. Local traditions, cuisines, family activities and music are on display throughout the two months. The Carnival Parade also begins on the 9th of February, beginning on the Calle San Jaime with the lively locals enjoying themselves some good music and wine. The actual Santa Eulalia day begins on February 12th, with the traditional mass in the pretty Puig de Missa church on the hill outside the town in the late morning. Traditional dancing is to be followed at the Plaza de España. Expect a lot of hippy-inspired, flower power indulged musicians to perform in the festival. For a full schedule of events (Spanish/Catalan texts only) click here.
When the big summer festivals finish, and the club goers begin returning home, is when the island is left for the locals and a few visitors. This occurs between the months of October and June, at which visitors can enjoy an island with peace and quiet and where they can go diving, cycling or yoga in natural areas. The good life is associated with its gastronomy, the island's rural escapes and its magical corners in front of the sea. #tandlbalearic