So outside of visiting the beautiful beaches (see Top 5 beaches) and enjoying meals at some of the wonderful restaurants (see Top 5 places to eat ) here are a few ideas to keep the whole family entertained, whilst discovering a little more of the island.
Ibizan artisans gather together to sell their arts, crafts, fashion and music in what are often quite beautiful settings. The markets are a great day out; a break from the beach for kids, and perfect retail therapy for mum. There are a few different markets around the island, but my favourite is Las Dalias on Saturday mornings in San Carlos. The layout here makes it quite interesting. The entrance has the sense of a souk, but it soon opens out to provide more space and room to explore, and even dance should the moment take you. It does get very busy and super-hot in high season so either get there early, or later in the evening (you can also go on Monday and Tuesday nights through high season, which are much cooler and quieter). Other than the market stalls selling arts, clothing other and essential Ibizan trinkets there is a bar, restaurant, juice bar and other food vendors meaning you can have grab a beer, have some food, listen to (and buy) some cool music, while the kids shop and acquire their much needed key rings and friendship bracelets for school friends.
There are many other smaller markets around the island, but the other larger market is the Hippy Market at Es Canar on a Wednesday which is a similar size to Las Dalias. This has a bit less of an authentic feel about it, but is a bit more open, cooler, and not as overwhelming as Las Dalias and so quite relaxing to wonder around. It does attract coach loads of tourists so again I would aim to go early or later on in the day. Once you are done here, and in antithesis to the retail vibe is a little shack on the beach just over the way from the entrance to the market called Café Chirincana. It is a welcoming and super relaxed self-service bar, in a very tranquil setting right next to the sea. They serve great pizza, and at a great price too.
Watch a sunset
Ibiza is notorious for its beautiful sunsets, and they have been celebrated on the Island for many years. There are several points around the north of the island to watch this is beautiful spectacle. San Antonio is a well-known sunset destination with the likes of Café del Mar playing a soothing soundtrack whilst the sun drops gracefully from the sky (and selling many a ‘Chillout’ album on the back of it). San Antonio is not a bad spot, but there are perhaps nicer places to enjoy it with children, such as Benirras Beach (Cala Benirras) on the north coast. This is a lovely place to spend the day and stay for sunset. (read top 5 beaches for more info). Sunday’s are particularly busy here. There is a great atmosphere, but I would recommend any other day for a more relaxed and zen experience. There is a fantastic take-away pizza place there that also serves drinks so you can picnic on the beach with little effort and enjoy the wonderful view. There are lots of other smaller beaches, between San Antonio, Benirras and San Miguel that are more off the beaten track and worth discovering, exploring and watching the sunset from. If you feel like indulging in a little luxury, then the Hacienda Hotel (Hotel Hacienda Na Hamena) welcomes non-residents to the terrace area to enjoy a drink and the spectacular view. Another bar/restaurant that I would recommend to watch from is the Experimental Beach at Cap D’es Falco. This is actually near Salinas Beach (Playa De ses Salinas) and the airport so perhaps easier to get to if you are staying in the south and don’t have a car. This has a magnificent view of the sea, is really tucked away and so feels quite exclusive, serves delicious food and drink and is all very laid back. You will need to get a taxi there if not driving as it follows a slip road through the salt flats. It can get quite windy due to its location so do go armed with a layer or two to keep warm as the sunsets and the temperature cools.
Boat trips/ trips to Formentera.
Ibiza is an Island surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, which is a calm, clean and beautifully blue set of waters to explore. There are plenty of organised group boat trips to take in the attractions such as exploring the caves or seeing Es Vedra from the sea or even watching the sunset on the water, and lots of opportunity for private charter should your budget allow. (Please of course avoid the ‘boat parties’ as you may get more of an experience than you bargained for). My favourite place to travel to by boat is Formentera. This is the even smaller neighboring island to Ibiza, and smallest island of the Balearic’s. Formentera is yet another step towards horizontal in regards to it’s laid-back nature. There is not so much in terms of tourist activity, but it is worth hiring a bike for a few hours and cycling around. If you are feeling slightly less adventurous I would just head to one of the lovely beach restaurants, eat and flop on the gorgeous beaches here. There is a sandy shelf that extends quite far out into the sea, making the waters shallow and turquoise blue to resemble a Caribbean paradise. I have had great food and service here at a restaurant called Beso Beach on Playa Illetes, although there are quite a few options to choose from in fairly close proximity, I would head to that beach first and walk down towards Playa Es Pujols if arriving by the ferry service. There are a lot of private charters that head over for the day for lunch so I would advise booking ahead, that is if you travel independently. The main ferry service is run by Transmapi. This is quite expensive, and actually is not the fastest journey, but you do have the luxury of hoping back to Ibiza whenever you feel like it. If you are planning to spend the whole day I would recommend one of the organised day trips instead which are cheaper and have a quicker transfer time, and some can include lunch, drinks, and use of snorkelling gear.
Visit Ibiza Town/ Old Town
Ibiza Town (Eivissa) is great for shopping in the day, and fantastic for people watching at night. In high season it can be super busy in the evening, but not really until 11pm onwards, so dinner at 8 or 9pm and a walk around afterwards is a good time to enjoy with the children before the crowds gather. The shops and restaurants stay open late and there is always a street market with stalls selling music souvenirs and clothes, and music. There are of course some grown-ups around who are perhaps seeking a livelier evening but it’s all quite civilized. If you have managed to get some pushchair sleeping time in or caved and let the kids have that holiday fizzy drink and are still going at 12am, then you will see the major night club’s parades which are quite a spectacle in themselves, and fun to watch although you may start to mourn for your pre-baby body and liberation…
Make sure you head in to the Old Town (Dalt Vila), up the cobbles stones and across the old draw bridge and through the old fortress archway. The kids will enjoy the idea of heading through and old castle style entrance. There are some nice restaurants here too, and a family friendly atmosphere. Make sure you book ahead for the evening as the restaurants can get very busy here in high season. I would recommend La Olivia. The food is great, and they are super friendly and it is in a great location. If you keep following the path upwards, you will also reach a cool little bar called S’Escalinata. It has very comfy beanbags to lounge on, cascading down a set of steps that all face a beautiful view of the town and port. They serve delicious cocktails and tapas here. It is perfect for a pre, or post dinner drinks, nibbles and just taking time to relax.
If you keep going to the top of the fort you will see another spectacular view, this time more sea facing. On route you will also pass the luxurious Hotel Mirador de Dalt Vila. This is one to note for that future romantic escape for two.
Hit the waterpark.
Aguamar Water Park (Playa d’en Bossa) is very basic, and can get super busy high season but actually is quite good fun for the kids (old and young). I last went here with my 5 year old daughter, her same age school friend, her parents, my two step daughters 11 and 13, and my partner and I, and can honestly say that we all had a blast. I wouldn’t have usually ventured here other than the fact is was one of the children’s birthdays, as from the outside and in it looks like it is in need on some much need TLC, but I have the say the slides are great and there is enough to keep them entertained for about 3 to 4 hours. All of the adults had a go on everything too. I will say that they have lots of sunbeds but very few parasols so shade is an issue, so either take your own or ask the life guard as we did as they seem to have a hidden stash that they are reluctant to share (despite the tortured cries of many a pink child). They serve the usual selection of unhealthy snacks (hot dogs, French fries etc.) To avoid consuming these, we headed there for a few hours in the morning and left in time to go and have a nice late lunch, with only a few ice cream purchases made in between.
I do hope that this list helps to get you started. Please share if you think that this may be of interest to another family. Everyone of course has their own journey and makes their own discoveries, and I would love to know about your favourite things to do in Ibiza with your family too, and if you enjoyed any of these on your visit.
Please check out my other related blogs:
- A guide to travelling to Ibiza with kids
- Where to stay in Ibiza with kids
- My Top 5 places to eat with kids in Ibiza
- My top 5 beaches to go to with kids in Ibiza
Thank you for reading!