By Katie Wilson
Ibiza is famed for its super clubs, but did you know it’s also home to some of the world’s best restaurants, many of which are in the resort of Santa Eulalia.
From seafront hideaways serving traditional Ibizan food to haute cuisine from Spain’s only 12 Michelin star chef, this foodie hotspot is not to be missed.
Although quieter than the party resorts of San Antonio and Playa d’en Bossa, this is the bohemian side of the island, where hippies originally settled in the 1960s.
These days it is famed for its hippy markets, which take place throughout the week, so even if you’re only there a few days you should catch one.
A visit to Bar Anita, or as locals know it Can n’Anneta, is a must. One of the most legendary hangouts on the island, it is just as traditional today as when it opened back in 1942. It even has wooden mailboxes inside where locals still collect their post.
It’s also the perfect spot for a day trip to the neighbouring island of Formentera, popular with the A-list set (Kate Moss is a regular and Bob Dylan used to live in a lighthouse there). Boats leave several times a day between May and October and take around an hour.
Here’s what else we discovered when we visited Ibiza’s third biggest resort…
Where to stay in Santa Eulalia
One of the best hotels in Santa Eulalia is the W, where we stayed, which just managed to open before lockdown hit so still feels very shiny and new. This five-star luxury boutique hotel is part of the Marriott group and its location on the palm-fringed main beach of Santa Eulalia couldn’t be better.
There are 162 rooms, most of which have pool or beach facing balconies and rainbow coloured parasols. Fabulous Rooms come with king-size beds, a separate lounge area, next-level rainfall showers, quirky artworks and boho furnishings. There are also fully stocked minibars with an impressive selection of glassware (we need to buy those green martini glasses).
For an all-out stay, book a Spectacular Room with its own private plunge pool. While the EWOW Suite has a round bed, freestanding bath and huge roof terrace with direct sea views.
There are three restaurants at the W Ibiza – the vegetarian Ve Cafe, La Llama steakhouse and Chiringuito Blue, set on the golden sands of Santa Eulalia bay. The food here is excellent and meant to be shared. In the summer months check out the adults-only Glow bar on the roof.
Treatments can be booked at the downstairs spa, plus there is a state-of-the-art gym and classes on offer such as yoga and pilates, some of which are complimentary.
Rooms start from £126 a night
Other places worth staying in Santa Eulalia include Aguas de Ibiza Grand Luxe hotel, a five-star hotel with rooftop swimming pool that looks even more spectacular lit up at night.
Discover your inner hedonist at the luxury Bless Hotel in Es Cana where you’ll find a premium beach club, suites with Jacuzzis on the terrace and Etxeko, the restaurant from chef Martín Berasategui, who has no less than 12 Michelin stars.
For something a little different try Agroturisme Can Guillem Ibiza, a stylish converted farmhouse with a swimming pool set in the Ibizan countryside amongst an olive grove.
Where to eat and drink in Santa Eulalia
Santa Eulalia is the place for foodies in Ibiza. It even has a road dubbed ‘Restaurant Street’ (San Jaime is Calle San Vicente) which closes to traffic in the evenings so people can dine alfresco.
The Michelin-approved Can Curreu is easily one of the best restaurants on the island, serving traditional farm-to-table dishes from its mediterranean dining room. Tables on the covered terrace are next to a 1,000-year-old olive tree. Visit at sunset for the best views. Those who want to stay longer can book a room at the adjoining hotel and spa.
Maymanta is a rooftop restaurant serving incredible Peruvian food. Visit in the evening to see the most amazing views and don’t forget to try one of their Pisco cocktails.
Es Pou des Lleó is a beachside restaurant and hotel famous for its paellas and Bullit de peix, an authentic Ibizan fish stew. It’s the perfect lunch spot, as you can take a dip in the secret cove nearby or grab a drink at the beach bar afterwards.
For a cheap but tasty lunch or dinner, head to Bar Costa in the charming village of Santa Gertrudis for the most incredible cheese and cured meat sandwiches that are perfect for sharing. This area is great for shopping as its full of boutiques, plus we stumbled across a great cocktail bar called Overall.
A particular highlight when we visited Santa Eulalia was La’Era restaurant at Can Toni Xumeu, run by chef Samuel G. Galdón. Set in the grounds of a white-washed Ibizan farmhouse, the four-course tasting menu was out-of-this-world and costs around 60 euros per person.
You must make a special visit to Bar Anita, or Can n’Anneta, the original and oldest hippy bar of Ibiza. Open since 1942, it gained popularity with the flower power movement of the Sixties and to this day remains a family-run establishment.
It has a courtyard terrace surrounded by fig and carob trees and quirky features like antique wooden mailboxes that still collect post for the locals today. The bar also serves food, but it’s more of a stop for a snack and a drink kind of vibe. Try the traditional Hierbas Ibicencas liquor, which has been made by the family for over 100 years.
None of the big clubs like Amnesia or Pacha are in Santa Eulalia, but if you want to party, they are only a 20-minute taxi ride away. One local nightspot worth a visit is Akasha in hippy hangout Las Dalias. Expect live music, late night dancing and guest visits from star DJs. Tip: Buy a ticket through Ibiza Spotlight to get five euros off the door price. You get free entry if you dine at the Las Dalias Café beforehand.
Things to do in Santa Eulalia
A visit to Ibiza is always going to guarantee sun, sea and sand, but there are plenty of other things to do in Santa Eulalia should you want to.
One of the best things to do, which is unique to the area, is pay a visit to the hippy markets. Punta Arabi, the oldest and biggest hippy market in Ibiza, takes place every Wednesday. While Las Dalias runs a market on Saturdays and Sundays. There is also a night market on Saturdays in summer.
Those wanting a luxury pool party experience should head to Nikki Beach Ibiza. Think balinese day beds, poolside cocktails and resident DJs. Stop by for their Amazing Sundays Champagne Brunch.
Take a stroll down the palm-lined promenade alongside Santa Eulalia Bay, the only smoke-free beach on the island. It is also accessible.
In addition to the main stretch, there are more than 20 beaches in Santa Eulalia, perfect for every type of beachgoer. It also has its own luxury marina. Es Figueral beach is one of the finest on the whole island. Ideal for families, it has shallow waters and offers a range of watersports. Cala Mestella, S’Estanyol, Es Pou des Lleó and S’olivera are secret coves great for snorkelling. The latter two have beach bars.
Elsewhere, there is a pretty river walk you can follow that leads up to a stone bridge from the 18th century. In the centre of town, a flower-lined rambla runs from the town hall to the sea. Climb the hill to see the Puig de Missa (Hill of the Mass), a 16th century church offering panoramic views over the town.
Thinking of hiring a car? Have some fun and hire a Mini Moke instead, a soft top buggy-style car popular on the island in the 1960s. Prices start from 88 euros a day and cars seat four.
Boat trips to the neighbouring island of Formentera, famed for its white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, regularly leave from Santa Eulalia Bay. Journey times take around an hour and cost 42 euros return. Book ahead via Santa Eulalia Ferry.
*Note many hotels and restaurants in Santa Eulalia are only open from May to October, so check before booking flights
The Boutique Handbook visited as part of a press trip with Visit Santa Eulalia. Find more information at visitsantaeulalia.com
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