Ibiza was first settled in by the Phoenicians in 654 BC, the Romans and the Moors in 990 who then expelled when King Sigurd I of Norway reclaimed them on his way to the Crusades 130 years later. We were told that the Balearics, and Ibiza in particular, would be too busy in the summer to be able to anchor and the marinas too expensive. In reality, the anchorages were busy we were able to anchor once the Spanish went into the marinas for the evening. Consequently, after a few days, we tended to arrive at spots in the late afternoon and stay over to the early afternoon when we would move onto the next anchorage. The marinas were expensive (anything between €100 – €150 per night) so we only went in once during our whole stay in the Balearics. A number of anchorages are now part of the Posidonia (seagrass) Conservation areas so mooring buoys have been laid to prevent any more damage to the sea bed. Whilst these are fairly well patrolled, we did see a number of Spanish flagged boats anchored in the seagrass. There was no charge for the mooring and they seemed well secured but it also meant that we weren’t swimming in turquoise blue water! Pictures below of the beach at Ses Salinas.
Having changed crew (we now had non-sailors on board who were definitely there for the weather!), we started our tour of Ibiza. The winds were either light or on the nose as we motored the 20+nm to San Antonio. This is a large natural harbour where you can anchor (for free) and get ashore easily to the dinghy dock by the seafront. It is a party town with many British teenagers who go to the clubs at night and sleep their hangovers off on the beach during the day. However, away from the seafront San Antonio has some nice back streets with good restaurants (where the locals eat) and street entertainment.
San Antonio is also famous for its sunsets, particularly at the Cafe del Mar. It has become an institution with hundreds of people flocking to the shoreline to watch and, for those who are feeling flush, an opportunity to do so with a sundowner. The town had good supermarkets within walking distance of the seafront and also had a good chandlery so we stayed for a few days and used it as a good changeover spot for friends coming out to visit.
The next interesting stop was Cala Benirras. During the day, large boats would anchor there but it was also a bit of a hippy place as people would gather at sunset to drum and watch the sun slowly sink. There is a rock in the entrance that looks like Queen Victoria in profile.
Our next stop was the exclusive resort of Jondal where the beach bars provide beds and fridges for the champagne! They even provide a taxi service to ferry guests from the superyachts onto the beach as well as an ice cram rib that serves the yachts. We had great fun being part of it all without spending any money. We even managed to pick up free wi-fi!