Island style: Ibiza

August 20, 2010

A good friend asked us recently if we had any great recommendations for staying and playing in Ibiza. We were ashamed to say no. This Spanish island has been on our "to do" list for a while now, but always seems to get bumped-off when we hear of the swathes of tourists and party-goers that flock there for the crazy night-life and the "lure" of not sleeping - yes, it's a foreign idea to us too. But, on further investigation, leave the tourist trail and you'll discover a hidden Ibiza of dozy provincial towns, restored farmhouses, unspoilt sandy beaches and remote rocky coves. Visit before or after the onslaught of summer clubbers (the weather is good from May to September) and it appears this partied-out island has a decidedly Zen side!

So, now that Ibiza is back on the "to do" list, here's our itinerary;

Staying?
Can Pardal, Carrer de Missa, 3, Sant Miquel de Balansat.
Conde Nast Traveller says: "When people speak of the "other side" of Ibiza, meaning lush greenery and unpretentious, heavenly serenity a world away from the frenetic beat of Ibiza Town, they mean all that Can Pardal is. Stunning views and wonderfully aromatic plants surround the hilltop swimming pool, while just outside the hotel gates is one of Ibiza's most beautiful churches and a scattering of local specialist shops. Just half an hour away from the party action should you wish to join in, it's a haven of unpretentious luxury." We're sold.

Eating?
La Paloma for Antipasto Misto and Tagliatelle with aromatic herbs picked from the organic vegetable garden. Can Pujol, reputedly the island's best fish restaurant, for the Espardenyes (sea cucumber), an Ibicenco speciality. C'an Domingo De C'an Botja for traditional Ibicenco and modern Mediterranean cuisine.

Playing?
Residents on the north of the island meet at Aura, a chilled bar/restaurant, for understated cool, sumptuous dining and fabulous cocktails. Sounds like our cup of tea (or Margarita).

Doing?
Making up the Illes PitiĆ¼ses with Ibiza, we'll be taking a day trip on the Island of Formentera. Boasting fine beaches, mud baths and great walking trails, relatively few tourists go here and Formentera's beaches are apparently quieter than its hedonistic sister Ibiza. See Conde Nast Traveller's guide to Formentera here.

Wearing?
Channelling Jade Jagger, Vogue UK have my Ibiza holiday wardrobe sorted.

Ibiza perfection
An aromatic terrace at Can Pardal

Restaurante La Paloma
Dreamy Ille Formentera

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