Review of "Ibiza (Spain)"
You have probably heard of San Antonio, Ibiza? Some of you may have even been there, it has had a lot of bad publicity over the years, which has encouraged more and more younger people to go, and by so doing has put quite a lot of families and older people off, Please don’t let all you hear put you off of such a beautiful place.I am not actually talking about San Antonio Town, where all the night life, famous night clubs, like Es Paradise where they are open all night and have water parties, or Eden which is another favourite of the youngsters,
No I’m talking about the bay, about a mile around the bend from all this, or 10 mins across the water by boat.
Let me tell you a bit about my experience of the bay and you decide then what you think.!
My first encounter with Ibiza was 5 years ago, my friend, her Husband, Daughter (then 21) and Son then (18) were going and asked if my youngest Daughter, then (18) and myself would like to go as they were renting a 6-8 berth apartment, all we had to do was pay our fare, put in towards food and find some spending money, which we did.
We arrived in Ibiza at midnight, the heat was unbelievable even at that time, a Thompson Rep found us, and led us, and about 20 others to our coach, we had a 25 min journey to where we were staying, dropping off a few others en route.
We decided to give it a go, we flew from London Gatwick (south terminal) to Ibiza’s only Airport, on September 19th 1997 for 10 days we booked through Thompson, and flew with Britannia airlines, which was a very comfortable journey, flights on time and no hitches,
We were all so tired so we just crashed for the night.
At the apartments (Playa Bella we were greeted and shown to our rooms on the second floor, we actually had a very nice pad with 3 bedrooms and another bed in dinning room, large lounge, fitted kitchen with cooker/fridge/microwave, there were two balconies one with sea view, the other over looking the pools and play area, a bath, shower and toilet. it was well furnished, with plenty of wardrobe space for all 6 of us, there were two restaurants on the ground floor, or you could cook your own food or eat anywhere you liked.
Next day was something else, we went out to check everything out.
Ibiza is one of the Balearic Islands, It is only 45km long and 25km wide, off the coast of Spain, with Spanish being the National language, although most people speak very good English, the people are all very friendly, the currency is now Euros
we were smack bang on one of them, With two pools, games room, café’s restaurants, little shops a laundry, kiddies play area and much more, there was a large café on the sea facing side of the Playa Bella, with a large veranda that reached down to the beach, with tables and chairs, that served as a café/restaurant during the day and as a bar for the evening entertainment, of which there certainly was plenty, with children’s entertainment early evening, going on to adult entertainment well into the night usually past 1pm for anyone who wished to stay up that long, “must admit we did most nights" as the cabarets, comedians, DJ’s rep shows fun and games and karaoke were too good to miss.~~~~~~~THE REST OF THE BAY~~~~~
San Antonio Bay, (which I will from here on refer to just as the Bay) is on the west side of the Island of Ibiza, it actually joins S A town, but is just across the water, the Bay stretches for about 1 ½ miles, with hotels and apartments dotted about along the sea front, some of the coast is a bit rocky but there are 5 beautiful little beaches,
Coming out of the other side of our apartment, onto Cala de Bou, led you straight onto the main stretch of road, 1 ½ miles of quaint little shops, also 2 Spar mini supermarkets and a small Co op, turning left took you by foot, bus, or taxi to S A town about a mile past arrays of English pubs, little Spanish pubs, café’s, restaurant’s, cocktail bars, kiddie’s playgrounds, small fairgrounds, and family bars flowing out onto the sidewalk with bucking bronco’s, mini bungee’s and go karts, with a wonderful aroma of different smells. As you walk nearer toward the town things get slightly busier and noisier,
Which pleased the young ones in our party.
On turning right out of our apartment you had about ½ mile of more little shops, including hypermarkets, department stores, café bars, pubs, etc.
The pace gradually got slower and quieter as you went, this end of the Bay is called Port des Torrent, dwindling to just a few quiet café’s and bar’s and then nothing but breath taking scenery, looking out over the bay and toward S A town.
~~~~~~~A BIT OF HISTORY~~~~~~~
San Antonio bay is said to be one of the most beautiful bays in the med, and I think I agree with that even though I have seen many, as you enter the town from the bay there is a large roundabout, on this roundabout is a large sculptured egg, with a hole cut out in the centre and a ship set in it, (the Santa Maria) After Christopher Columbus came here saying about his voyages, everyone said it couldn’t be done, Christopher said can an egg stand up on it’s own? The people said no of course not so he took an egg tapped the bottom to crack it gently and proceeded to stand it upright.
Past the egg on the roundabout lies a brilliant wide Harbour and jetty, you can walk along this magnificent tree lined Harbour, which the Romans called Portus Magnus, and is said to be one of the most beautiful natural harbours in Europe, I can’t vouch for that as I haven’t seen an awful lot of Harbours, but it is rather spectacular,.Ferries go back and forth from here to the bay calling at most of the hotels along the 5 sandy beaches about every 15 mins, and costs about 60p return. also many big ships, and catamaran’s leave here to go on their journeys, Behind the Harbour is the town itself known as the West end, here you will find all the night life you want, we stayed away at night, but saw it by day, when all the clubbers were sleeping, there are some lovely fountains, which are light up at night, there is a very nice children’s play area, and a large amount of café’s bars, shops, and market stalls.
St Bartholomew’s day is the 24th Aug where they have a huge fire work display here, the town is closed to traffic at night but bustling during the day, there is a most spectacular Hippy market here, a few evenings a week where you can pick up some bargains or just watch the hustle and bustle.
~~~~~~~~~BACK TO THE BAY AND SURROUNDING AREA’S~~~~~~~
It's very cheap to eat out in the bay, and there certainly is a wide choice of places to eat, most café’s, restaurant’s and bars are open from 8.30 am to well into the night with some staying open until 2-3 am, you can get a large all day English breakfast at most of them for about £1.50, which includes tea/coffee and toast, we ate out most nights, and sampled all different restaurants, I had a 10oz steak with jacket potato and salad one night, costing just under £5, We also tried a family run quaint Spanish restaurant, I had a magnificent paella with side salad, costing about £3.50.Another night we decided on Chinese, and the 6 of us ordered a selection, (a meal for 6) plus 4 other dishes, because we are greedy, the whole lot only came to £42 and that included 3 big bowls of strawberries and ice cream.
Drinks are also very cheap here, they are very expensive in the town and in the big nightclubs but you expect that. Most bars and pubs along the bay were touting for customers, and doing special offers like 2 Budweiser’s for £1. Bitter wasn’t so popular hence it was not much cheaper than in England, but we found an Irish bar selling Guinness at £1.50 a pint, my friend and I found a little cocktail bar with some lovely English 60s 70s music playing,
Here they did the most scrummy cocktails, the one we both liked was 2 measures of Baileys, 2 of Tia maria and one of brandy all mixed together in what looked like a pint vase, with chocolate milk shake, and topped with cream, these were £1 50 each, the best thing was before 11pm they were buy one get one free, (that was in the days when I could drink alcohol)
There is so much to see and do in the bay, with their lovely clean sandy beaches, play area’s dotted about, arcades here and there, but we wanted to go a little further a field, so one day we took a small bus ride to some other nearby beaches, Cala bassa, Cala contra, Cala longa, all very pretty.
We went one day on a glass bottom boat around the beautiful islands, on a champagne cruise, which was a great day out and one not to be missed,
We also went across to near the town, one night to Cala de moro, to the “Café de mar” to watch the Sunset, most of you have probably heard of this which was built in 1980, or the café Mamba, the Savannah or the brand new coastline café, these are the places to be, to see the most spectacular of sunsets, the café mamba was rather over flowing with younger people, and was a bit loud, the café de mar on the other hand had a selection of all ages, and the DJ played some lovely chill out music, just right for watching the sun set
Gold and Silver were very cheap out here, as was food, beer and spirit, I bought a bottle of Jack Daniels whisky for a relative it cost £9 for a litre bottle, I also bought 3 bottles of sangria about 80p each, tobacco was very cheap and we bought Mayfair cigarettes 200 were £11 that by my reckoning is £1.10p for 20.
Souvenirs were plentiful with lots of cheap nick knacks. and local made goods, clothes were not much cheaper than back home, although they did have a few Brand name shops selling Rebook, Adidas, trainers and t shirts that (I’m told by the three younger ones) were really good value.~~~~~~~MY CONCLUSION~~~~
The bay is by no means boring, but on the other hand it isn’t wild, dangerous, too loud or thumping, it is by my experience a good friendly place for families and people of all ages, there are many hotels that cater for disabled people, the hotel next but one to ours had lots of guests in wheel chairs, which is where we stayed on our second visit to the bay, it is one of the Fiesta group and called the Fiesta Milord.
In all I have been 4 times now to the bay, each time trying out a different hotel/apartment, I would certainly go back again, as there is still so much of this small friendly island I would like to see, and what better place to base yourself than the bay,
Watch the heat! It didn’t feel that hot at times, but it was 90 deg most of the time, going into the 100s part of the week, and there were lots of very burnt people in agony there, mostly very pale Brits, who probably never strip off at home, arrive there and lay out on their first day for about 4 hours in the midday sun until they look like lobsters.
~~~~~~BE AWARE OF~~~~~~
A few things to watch out for, to make sure your Holiday is a safe and happy one,
The only thing that disappointed me a little, with the bay and most of Ibiza, is the water, you shouldn’t really drink the water in most other countries, but where ever I have been before all over Europe you can usually boil it to make tea or coffee with, NOT here in Ibiza it is so salty, at least it is in the bay, it is unbelievable, not realising this on my first trip, we made a well deserved cuppa when we arrived, it was undrinkable, the Thompson rep did in fact tell us the next day though, salt baths and showers weren’t bad,
I was worried as to the effect it would have on my hair, but I had no need to worry, as it caused no problem, we did in fact get through about 12 x 4 litre bottles of water, luckily it was quite cheap to buy.
Also on the beaches you are permitted to go topless, “don’t burn your bits” but if you decide to abandon all, you will be arrested, naked sunbathing is not allowed on the public beaches so take notice,
Thank you for reading this and if you do decide to go, don’t let the last few points put you off,
The other thing that was more annoying than anything was all the Guys selling stuff like watches, lighters, sunglasses, melons, sea food, along the beaches, we just ignored them in the end and pretended to be asleep on the beach or just not see them, they soon got fed up and went away,
Lastly watch the road as they drive on the other side to us, like most other countries, but they aren’t very good at stopping at zebra crossings, I saw many a tourist run for their life on the crossings, as cars, (taxi’s being the worst) just kept going.
I am hoping to post some of my holiday snaps with this, if I can work it out, if not I will add them at a later date. Thanks, Heatherxxxx
Product Information : Ibiza (Spain)
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Listed on Ciao since: 23/06/2000