As you map out your summer holidays you may want to consider holding back a few days for Ibiza much later in the season. Why? Because after the madding crowds have gone and temperatures have cooled slightly, the White Isle becomes a tranquil paradise, yet still offering festivals, fine dining, adventure sports and spa treatments galore.
When the summer-package crowds and party people are long gone, and the clubs (well, most of them) have closed, this is when Ibiza enters its most magical phase. By the time September has eased into October, a peaceful haze surrounds this beautiful Balearic spot. The sun and sea are still warm, so you can bask on the beaches and swim if you like, but there are still lots of other things to do.
Slightly cooler temperatures (often in the mid-20s) make autumn in Ibiza perfect for walking, hiking, kayaking and pretty much any other sport.
Restaurants, bars, museums and art galleries are still open and there are local arts and music festivals that carry on well into November. For a shopping fix, browse the chic boutiques and artisan shops in the whitewashed buildings lining the pretty cobbled streets of Ibiza’s medieval old town, which is also full of bijoux bars, cafes and restaurants.
The other side of Ibiza
All over Ibiza roads are quiet from October onwards so it’s a perfect time to explore the island by bike. If you do hire a car, you can drive out to some of the more secluded spots. And November is a great time to do it because that’s when the island comes alive with wild flowers, greenery and fauna kept away by the searing August heat.
If you don’t fancy a hotel, hire a private villa to really get away from it all. And because it gets colder at night in autumn, there’s no better way to end a relaxing day in Ibiza than sitting by an open fire sipping some local wine. The Can Maymo winery in San Mateo, in the north of the island, produces local wine as good as anything you’ll get from Can Rich, the major winery of the island – and you can visit both. Now read on for our suggestions of how to make the most of Ibiza in autumn.
1 The sporty adventure
If you like your holidays action packed, a mountain-biking trip might be the perfect way to experience the island. Ride Ibiza offers packages for groups, couples or solo travellers with everything from long epics for seasoned XC riders and tracks for new riders to enduro trails for dedicated all-mountain bikers.
Ride Ibiza’s beautiful villa offers guests fresh organic meals made from seasonal produce from their garden. Bring your own bike or hire one there and when you need a rest you can head back to the villa to chill on the roof terrace or relax in one of the wonderful hammocks that hang between the trees in the gorgeous gardens.
- Prices start from £212pp for three-day holidays, including bike rides and b&b accommodation. rideibiza.com
2 The party get-away
If you’d prefer to get a taste of Ibiza’s party scene after the wave of closing parties have ended, try Hotel Pacha, which offers free entry into the club if you stay there. While smaller, more intimate events take place in Ibiza year round, Pacha is the only one of the superclubs that’s open all year. Nibble breakfast by the pool before taking a stroll into Ibiza Town or to the pretty marina, both nearby. Then, later on, you can slip straight into a club without queuing. Perfect if you want to large it like P Diddy – not so much if you’re after a quiet night in.
- Doubles start from £170 a night, including breakfast. elhotelpacha.com
3 The hip escape
If you want a bit of excitement, but not too much, head inland to one of
Ibiza’s hip agroturismos, where the island’s cognoscenti like to wind down from a busy summer season. Es Cucons is a laid-back finca in the west of the island that was built in 1652 and transformed in the late Nineties into a rustic-chic hotel with 15 rooms. Interior-designer lovers will be inspired by this beautifully conceived haven that’s a ten-minute drive from Cala Salada and a short walk from the breathtaking cliffs of Sea Balandres. There’s on-site yoga, Pilates and massage, too.
- Doubles start from £152 a night, including breakfast. escucons.com
4 The townie trip
It’s the old town’s only five-star hotel and The Gran, Ibiza Town has an amazing spa, too, making it perfect for a detox. Stay here and you can make the most of exploring the cobbled streets. Go up to the Dalt Villa and take a look at the military base that offers views across the island before heading back to the hotel for a dip in the pool. After a siesta you can sip cocktails and enjoy live music in La Gaia bar before having dinner in the chic Costa Mara restaurant. Bliss.
- Doubles start from £216 a night, including breakfast. ibizagranhotel.com
5 The romantic spa break
Set in an idyllic spot over 650ft high, the Hacienda Na Xamema is the perfect place to witness one of Ibiza’s sunsets. This swish hotel has eight interconnecting pools filled with heated, skin-energising saltwater and its La Posidonia spa is renowned for its luxurious massages, scrubs, hammams and hot-stone treatments, as well as anti-ageing therapies and specialist men’s treatments. If you’re looking to dial up the romance for your island trip, stay in one of two suites that have their own private plunge pool set on a terrace looking out to sea.
- Doubles start from £283 per night, including breakfast and dinner. hotelhacienda-ibiza.com