How do you beat the sizzling, sweltering summer months in Barcelona, Spain? Make it like a local and head straight to the isolated beaches or coves, away from the crowded city. Or join the endless summer festivals with refreshing drinks and cocktails.
I've got my summer getaway pretty much covered as early as spring taking advantage of the lowest flight deals, of course. Got a cheap getaway deal for a one-way 39.99 Euro value from a Spanish low-cost airline, Vueling (pronounced locally as bwelin), headed to the beautiful island — Ibiza.
The island may have gained a reputation for being the party capital of Europe, if not the entire world, but there's more to Ibiza than those big name clubs and A-list DJs. In my case, parties all done in my early 20's. Just the boring grown-up me, I guess. I ought to find a different tune this time.
The Balearic Islands have all the sun and sea to write from home about. Chocked full of secret coves, pristine beaches, and rich local culture; I could almost tell I was headed to a paradise.
Roughly an hour flight, we arrived at the Ibiza Aiport (Spanish: Aeropuerto de Ibiza; Catalan: Aeroport d'Eivissa) almost 10:00 in the morning. We headed straight to a cheap hotel called Hotel Figueretes. Perfectly located right by the sandy beach of Figueretas (Ibiza Town), Hotel Figueretes boasts a seafront promenade and an array of excellent cafes and restaurants close by.
Ibiza Town, locally referred to as Eivissa, is one of the biggest towns on the island along with San Antonio, also known as Sant Antoni or, more fully, Sant Antoni de Portmany. One could enjoy the pristine beaches from Ibiza town or head up north to Sant Antonio — haloed by some of the most beautiful coves with clear water over bright white or golden sands. As the hotel is right in the town proper, we could worry less about the nearby beaches so we decided to check out the calas up north first.
To go to the calas (cala is a spanish word for cove), we took the public bus (the cheapest option) to stop from one cala, and then head to the other coves on foot. The Eivissa Bus Station is located in Av. Isidoro Macabich which runs roughly parallel to the Figueretas seafront — just a walking distance from the hotel.
From Ibiza town, we took Bus #3 headed north to San Antonio to discover some of the tourist-famed and hidden calas. The trip just took about 25 minutes for a €2 value.
A popular beach near San Antonio, Cala Bassa is definitely one of the most beautiful beaches in Ibiza. We took Bus #7 from San Antonio to reach the cala, just a 15-minute ride. Without even leaving the bus, you could already see a spectacular view of calm turquoise waters across the horizon and the pale golden sand.
And what a relief from a long journey by bus, as my feet touches the fine sand so soft, not even a pebble! I rushed into the cool water with my feet bare and shoes in my hand, greeted by gentle waves slowly burying my feet on the silky sands.
I was also amazed by the uneven large rock formations and rock pools on each side of the cove, a reminder of the rocky and rustic terrain of Ibiza. It only means one thing — cliff jumping!
Although it's a relatively small height, it's a perfect start for the uninitiated (I did my fair share since I tried my first cliff jumping in Costa Brava). I just couldn't miss jumping off the cliff especially into the crystal clear waters of Cala Bassa. It. Was. Fun.
And just when you are as hungry as you are tired, there are some good snack stalls and posh beach clubs nearby. We tried a cheap snack bar on the far side of the bay, serving pre-prepared but good quality food plus a stunning vista of the cove.
Perhaps the only drawback is that Cala Bassa, in peak seasons (late July until early September), can be really busy. It's probably due to its popularity with tourists. But just in time after lunch and as the beach starts to get crowded, we headed to a perfect escape — hiking the vast terrain along the coastlines of the island and discovering the secluded cala treasures on foot!
It would take at least an hour to reach Cala Tarida from Cala Bassa by walking. That is, if you follow the trail. The goal is to reach the cove which means following the island's coastline. Believe me, we've got plenty of time to walk to each coves and then reach Cala Tarida where we could take the next available bus, just after Cala Bassa.
The journey begins from the lush vegetation starting from the pines and sabines leaving Cala Bassa. After leaving the forest, we got stunned by the beautiful coastline just halfway the trail.
A coastline no less dramatic with its paths clinging to the cliff sides. Got tempted to walk a few more distance until we reached the very first cove.
What a beautiful sight! Pure white sand and crystal waters. I just couldn't help but get into the cool water with the softest sand underneath my feet — a truly incredible relief from the heat of the day walking. After a dip into the paradise-like cove, walking down further, we found ourselves by the cliff in front of Illa des Bosc across the horizon — a small uninhabited island northwest seaboard of Ibiza.
We reached the next cove called Cala Comte (or locally known as Platges de Comte) with its shallow clear blue and turquoise waters. The coves of Ibiza just never fail to fascinate me. No doubt, Cala Comte is one of the best beaches on the island. Framed on two stretches of sand, one backed by a rocky coastline and the other by sand dunes. The waters are so inviting as it gives that sensation of a huge natural swimming pool.
We spent the last hours in Cala Comte. Definitely, worth the while. After indulging the waters of the cove, we checked out a fine restaurant just by the beach called S'Illa des Bosc boasting a nice front view of the Illa des Bosc island where it got its name. I couldn't be thankful enough for being able to enjoy a natural spot as Cala Comte.
Heading to another island next to Ibiza, I could already picture another day in a paradise. Next stop, Formentera!