The beautiful ‘White Isle’ is known for its high energy offer and a hedonistic crowd in the summer months, but with temperatures of 15-20 degrees and a long list of cultural highlights and foodie hot spots Ibiza has become the ‘best kept secret’ for a stylish, laid-back winter break.
The Best 5 Ways to Enjoy a Winter in Ibiza
1. Learn about the history of Ibiza without the crowds…
Explore the history of this unique island dating back to 654 BC and visit the Old Town (a World Heritage Site) and relish the panoramic views from the Dalt Villa. Follow the 16th century city walls and wander into the archaeological museum (Museo Puig des Molins) to discover why Ibiza is home to one of the world’s most impressive Roman museum collections. From key historical monuments and chapels to modern examples of architecture such as the Teatro Pereira, the island spoils its visitors with culture and beauty.
2. Discover the emerging art scene…
Take the time to visit the Eivissa Contemporary Art Museum (MACE), one of the oldest contemporary art museums in Spain now in two parts with the original Simon Poulet building renovated to maintain the Old Town architecture and the new building designed by Victor Beltran Roca, which celebrates the space. As well as the permanent collections, there is an archaeological site preserved underground allowing visitors to see the structural changes throughout the centuries from 6th Century Phoenician times to Roman times and through to the 10th-12th centuries.
Cirque De Soleil creator Guy Laliberte has recently launched his ‘Storyteller’ exhibition at the Lune Rouge gallery in Ibiza town. This collection of works, inspired by and named after philosopher Walter Benjamin’s 1936 essay, and encourages the audience to derive their own conclusions to the complex layers of the presented stories. Lalibertine also opened the concept ‘musical food theatre’ that is ‘Heart Ibiza’ with the Adria brothers of EsBulli fame. Inside the Ibiza Grand Hotel this summer bringing together food, music, and art through experience in one unique space.
3. Eat like a local…
As the UK begins to embrace the concept of peer to peer dining, the culinary wizards of Ibiza have been bringing people together to share incredible local food for generations. So many restaurants offer great value ‘menu del dias’ (set three-course set menus) in the winter months and diners are made to feel like members of a very secret club without the price tag. The opportunity for alfresco dining on the sand is a possibility or romantic visitors can relax by firelight on chillier evenings.
For many visitors a low season stay means less of the party headaches and instead making the most of lazy mornings, so brunch has also become a major part of the day. The much-loved Cotton Beach Club serve up a decadent Sunday brunch in winter months, complete with the very best Bloody Mary on the Island on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Our top 5 favourites restaurants for 2016 include:
Can Terra – amazing food and great service – lively and fun
Just a 10 minute walk from the Sol entrance to the Old Town this popular tapas restaurant that offers amazing food at reallyreasonable prices with impressive service and a relaxed, lively atmosphere.
Trattoria Del Mar – This stylish, high end restaurant is known for its passionate Italian cooking including incredible seafood and homemade pasta dishes as well as the stunning views of the old town from its position at Botafoc marina. This high end restaurant can be enjoyed all year round. The dining room is warm and inviting in winter and perfect for a romantic evening or a lively family lunch.
This countryside cafe positioned in San Lorenzo, a village in the middle of the Island, offers homemade breads, focaccias, fresh salads, delicious smoothies and vegetable juices. Many of the dishes on offer are created using fresh ingredients from the restaurant’s onsite organic vegetable garden surrounded by an orchard of orange and lemon trees. In winter the intimate dining room is warmed by the ambient firelight as has been a secret lunch spot for stars such as Sienna Miller and Jade Jagger.
This is the place to take the design and food savvy, it is run by Catalan couple Esther and Pere and is situated along the iconic Vara del Rey. This modern tapas bar (Ibiza’s very first gastro bar) aims to provide haute cuisine at affordable prices. The bright, contemporary interior is reflected in the menu, which twists and turns on traditional flavours creating new taste sensations. Even the dessert menu is served tapas style. One word of advice: go on an empty stomach!
Set 40 metres above sea level, on the cliffs overlooking the beautiful Cala Tarida on Ibiza’s southwest coast , the Cotton Beach Club includes a panoramic terrace restaurant, beautifully styled indoor dining area, divine rooftop sunset terrace and a very rare, sandy private beach. All material within the venue is 100% cotton, the venue is open through winter on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 – 21:00 plus all public holidays. The comforting fireplace is on during colder months with great live music, a fun vibe and wonderful food and wine. The team will also open new bar in Cala Tarida later this year.
4. Test the Market
For the people-watchers and the shopping-savvy, there is the hippy market of Las Dalias in San Carlo open 10-6pm from November to April with live mime acts and Moroccan tea tents. Or enjoy the tasty delights of the winter market at Agroturismo Atzaro with fashion, crafts, jewellery, art, live music along with activities for the children. Every Saturday morning, treasure hunters descend on the grounds of the San Jordi Hipódromo, the large second-hand flea market for plants, books, furniture, bicycles with a retro-styled bar to get the perfect winter cocktail or an amazing coffee blend.
5. Fiesta with the Family
Ibiza has more public holidays than any other town in Spain so live like a local and enjoy the 2016 festivities:
Early January sees the arrival of the happy hippie Flower Power Fiesta in San Antonio, a street party with a 60’s vibe and a family atmosphere.
17th January – Patron Saint’s day in San Antonio which is perhaps the biggest of Ibiza’s Saint’s Day celebrations with colourful processions, traditional folk dancing, live music and Ibizan feasting.
21st January – Patron Saint’s day in Santa Ines in the Almond Valley
12th February – Patron Saint’s day in Santa Eulalia means carnival season for the whole of Ibiza, with all of the island’s children dressing up in costume and parading through the streets of every town.
March 20-27th – Semana Santa is the celebration of Holy Week, the annual commemoration of the Passion of Jesus Christ celebrated by Catholic religious brotherhoods and fraternities that perform penance processions on the streets of almost every Spanish city and town during the last week of Lent, the week immediately before Easter.
Our Top 3 Dynamic Lives Villas for Winter:
This sophisticated 7 bedroom villa is perfectly positioned on a hill for breathtaking winter sunsets, close to the beaches of Cala Bassa and Cala Conte. With a large, heated stone swimming pool and covered dining area and internal heating this is an idea winter retreat. The ample space and open plan layout makes it the perfect place to relax into 2016.
This villa is a wonderful house for a winter stay with internal heating for chillier days, this modern home has with 7 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms and is incredibly private set in the hills of St Jose. It is filled with flexible spaces for entertaining guests or enjoying relaxing, peaceful sunsets and the decor is chic but natural in style and perfect for families or groups of friends.
The location of this villa is the envy of Ibiza, set in the hills above the St Jose road with sea views and less than 10 minutes drive from Ibiza town. The beautiful courtyard entrance gives access to the main part of the building. The villa is light and has internal heating, the pool area, garden and the sea beyond are visible from inside the villa (the pool measures 13 x 7 with a spill-over edge.). This modern stylish 7 bedroom villa has over 400m² of living areas, allowing privacy and space and the outdoor living space includes covered dining areas and the ultimate sound system, make this one of the best rental properties in Ibiza.