As the party-chasing masses retreat home, an overwhelming sense of calm slowly but surely creeps back to the island. That’s not to say there’s no fun to be had on the White Isle during the cooler months. In fact, this is when locals reclaim their island to party, albeit with fewer pounding Balearic beats. With balmy temperatures until November and a clement winter, visit Ibiza out of summer and you’ll be blessed with emptier beaches, a sleepier, less frenetic Ibiza Town and verdant green landscapes. Here’s how to get the best out of Ibiza off-season.
Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Salinas National Park, Boutique Hotel Casa Munich makes a heavenly retreat. With a 30-year history, it’s grown exponentially from its original 400-year old finca to a sprawling yet ultra-intimate estate. Despite the estate’s size, each room is its own private, secluded bungalow, interconnected by meandering pathways. Rooms have been appointed in understated tones, with resolutely Ibizan flourishes and quirks like rustic handcrafted furniture and local art. There’s a seriously mind-blowing minibar to be raided, too. For shaking off the previous night’s excesses, head to Casa Munich’s new spa, which flanks the stylish adults-only pool (the hotel is family friendly, but couples and groups of friends can remain separated from whippersnappers). A long stretch of bronze that glows in the sun, the spa has a sauna, steam room and serene treatment room where you can bring yourself back to life with a massage or facial. Afternoons are best spent flopping about the pool, which is lent a Balearic-Bali vibe with statues and palms.
As tourism is on the wane off-season, eschew upscale eateries (most of which are closed) and make like the locals by choosing an unpretentious spot for an authentically Ibicencan meal. On the San Josep road, Cas Costas is always filled with islanders. Wrap up and sit out in their pretty courtyard under the trees. Traditional grilled meats are the order of the day; you’ll get your own personal grill, upon which you can char your meat of choice to perfection. Pick up a bottle of local spirit, hierbas from the organic market next door. It’s considered medicinal, so indulge with a clean conscience.
Take advantage of a relatively tourist-free Ibiza Town and get lost meandering around its streets, boutiques and cafes. Brave the polished cobbles of Dalt Vila and wander around its higgledy-piggledy alleyways, making sure you drink in the view from its summit. In autumn, there’ll be a wonderful array of local fruits and vegetable available to buy at the market at the base of Dalt Vila. Pick some up on your way back down. For an afternoon dip with a side order of flamingo-spotting, head south to Ses Salinas beach. In autumn, the flamingos feed from the salt flats. Wander up to the end of the beach and pitch up with a cava sangria at Ibiza institution, Sa Trinxa for the blissed-out Balearic mood. If you fancy a dip, thanks to a long hot summer, the waters are still enticingly dip-worthy until the start of December.
Post-September closing parties, most of Ibiza’s clubs will be hibernating. Pacha is the only super club that stays open perennially, and you can get a true flavour of this iconic club sans crazy door prices – and irksome, bucket-list tourists. At Playa d’en Bossa, Nassau Beach Club and its sister eatery next door, Tanit Beach Ibiza, are some of the last to close on the island and remain open all through October. Tanit has a slinky-sexy Polynesian vibe (with a great Asian-inspired menu) while Nassau is a sophisticated spot by day and party destination after dark.
Words: Ellen Grace Jones