Just over a year ago we shared a collection of tips for things to do in Ibiza during the day, dispelling the myth that this Balearic island only shines by night. Right now we’re going to take this a step further by giving you more reason to not only leave your dancing shoes at home, but to also bring the kids because with late summers and affordable accommodation on offer, it’s a great place for a holiday filled with family fun.
credit: Stuck in Customs
While the usual crowd-pleasers are available on Ibiza - there’s water park fun to be had at Aguamar near Ibiza Town and an indoor play park for young children at Piruleta Park in Santa Eulalia – it’s also easy to find less obvious ways to entertain children while also taking in some of the island’s best views.
Here are some of our recommendations:
Caves Can Marca in San Miguel
We mentioned this in our last post about Ibiza but it’s worth mentioning again to make absolutely sure you know about it and plan a visit, because children will love entering what feels like a secret world in these natural caves. A forty minute guided tour will include more stalactites and stalagmites than your kids can count and they’ll love spelunking and hearing about how the caves were used by pirates and smugglers over the centuries. The caves are open all year round and you can find out about visiting times on their website.
credit: by Ophelia photos
With a nod to the bohemian folk who made the island of Ibiza their own, there are still a number of hippy markets dotted around the island where handmade arts, crafts and goods are sold. The biggest hippy markets can be found on Saturday in San Carlos and at Es Caná on Wednesday. Girls (of all ages!) will love the handmade jewellery on sale and for something you don’t normally expect to see on holiday, Ibiza is home to a very popular car boot sale every Saturday morning in the Hippodromo horse racing arena near San Jordi. Find out about other smaller markets here.
Visit an Underground Cemetery
credit: Nicola M
Found where you least expect it – on a residential street in the centre of Ibiza Town – the Necropolis del Puig des Molins is an attraction that will speak to your kids if they like the spookier things in life. This necropolis is believed to date back to 600 BC and while just over 300 tombs have been excavated to date, it is believed that there are thousands of bodies buried beneath the city. Kids will love exploring the underground walkways – tell them “just like Indiana Jones” – and if they’re feeling brave they can even try inspecting an ancient stone coffin…
Aquarium in Cap Blanc
Think of aquariums and you probably think of large buildings full of man-made tanks. Right? Well, not in Ibiza. The Aquarium in Cap Blanc looks nothing like this, and the experience is all the more original for it. Crafted from a natural cave that was once used for catching lobsters and fish, this marine aquarium first opened to the public in 1989 and today is still home to numerous species of fish and marine life. Close to the beach at Cala Graciò, this is a great way to get out of the sun when it’s at its hottest. Please note the aquarium is only open in summer months until October. You can find out more here.
A day trip to Formentera
credit: Jokin BCN
If your little ones are big enough to appreciate an adventure to a whole other island, there are regular ferries from Ibiza Town to Formentera. Give your family the opportunity to explore a new island while also looking back at Ibiza, as you sail across the Balearic sea to what is often described as Ibiza’s more beautiful little sister. Thanks to idyllic white sand beaches. You can even get a glass-bottomed boat over there, though this may be slower and more expensive than the regular crossings.
One for families with young children, Minibiza is an outdoor play-zone slash childcare service running regular workshops. There is the option to either drop the kids off so adults can enjoy a little grown-up sight seeing (or lying on a beach in silence) or alternatively Mums and Dads can stay and enjoy watching their kids have the time of their lives under the Mediterranean sun, without having to do any organising or planning or picking up. You can find Minibiza close to IbizaTown and there’s more information here.
credit: Casita Verde
The beating heart of Ibiza’s ecological movement, which grew directly out of the hippie lifestyle the island is famous for, Casita Verde – The Green House – is a centre for ecological development and research. Its doors are open to visitors every Sunday so you can visit and learn more about “loving and respecting” planet Earth, on Ibiza and beyond. Children enjoy gazing at the innovative recycling projects on show and learning how solar and wind energy powers Casita Verde, and when they’re done learning there is a playground. Profits from these open days go towards their research and development. Find out how to get there here.
If your kids are big and fit enough to master a day or more of mountain biking, this is a great way to literally get off the beaten track and see the island from a different point of view. In the south of Ibiza island there is a steady, scenic and child-friendly route that takes in magical views of the salt flats of Ses Salinas national park and the mystical Es Vedra – a striking uninhabited collection of limestone islands just out to sea that are believed to have had healing powers since ancient times. For more information about routes and hiring bikes contact the English speaking Ibiza MBT.
credit: Stuck in Customs
So, have we convinced you that Ibiza can be a family friendly holiday destination? Well, now’s the time to find out for yourself, because unlike the rest of Europe, it’s still wonderfully warm in the Balearics. You can find some great holiday villas across the island here. Happy holidays!
Featured image by LauGonz
Boom, boom, boom goes the bass in the clubs of Ibiza, which has long had one of the best clubbing scenes in the world. But how does the party island sound miles from a dance floor when the clubbers are sleeping off their hangovers? Surprisingly peaceful is the answer.
Image © Eric Holcomb
With Ibiza’s long hot summers not cooling off until October, there is plenty of time to hop on a plane for some sun, sea and relaxation – and yes you really can leave your dancing shoes at home if you want to.
Discovering the real Ibiza isn’t likely to happen in San Antonio: a haven for bars, clubs and too many bodies on one beach. That said, San Antonio is still a great place to stay, with excellent transport links across the island. Hop on a bus to Ibiza Old Town, a UNESCO Heritage Site with over 2000 years of history in its roots and stone buildings.
Ibiza old town – Image © Mick Gallagher
Climb to the top of the hill to either have a look at the old Santa Maria Cathedral or to simply marvel at the glorious views of the port and New Town.
Ibiza Town – Image © Jess Loughborough
To enjoy beaches which are unspoilt and spacious, try heading to Aguas Blancas, a favourite of the locals, more likely to host Spanish family picnics than young tourists participating in hair-of-the-dog drinking games. There’s also the “beach” at Punta Galera, which in actual fact isn’t a beach at all but a collection of flat rocks perfectly formed for sunbathing, hailed by locals as the best beach on the island. Another quiet beach worth visiting is S’Estanyol, reminiscent of the hippy Ibiza of days gone by before the super clubs took over. This small, authentic beach cove isn’t easy to find, but it is worth asking for directions from the locals as it remains a calm place to spend a few hours swimming or snorkelling.
Ibiza is also an island of hidden historic treasures like the secret cove of Atlantis. So called because it is believed by locals to have once been the location of the lost underwater kingdom of Atlantis, this mesmerizingly impressive rock formation can be found on the south west of the island. You’ll have to trek for up to an hour to get to the coast, but the walk, which takes in a pirate watch tower and hand drawn murals dating back to the swinging sixties and seventies, is worth it even if just to take a dip in the bath-like waters of a beautiful sea-filled swimming pool that nature has kindly carved out of the rock.
More marvels of nature can be found at Caves of C’an Marca, which used to be a hideout for pirates passing by or needing somewhere to stash their loot.
Image © Ivo Schwalbe
Believed to be over 100,000 years old, these caves are full of stalactites, stalagmites and fossils as well as serving as a nice break from the sun.
Image © Matthew Kirkland
Close by is Benirras, another family friendly beach which is more popular than S’Estanyol but still comparatively calm. It has however become known for its impromptu African drumming and dancing at sunset. Experience and rejoice in the primal ancestor to Ibiza’s modern superclubs, without the blaring and bustling and booming.
Image © Palencas
Image © Ivar Abrahamsen
Feel inspired? There is still plenty of time to book your own Ibiza escape. View the range of accommodation options, or why not share your own tips and favourite things to do in Ibiza in the comments below?