IBIZA ~ WITH JODI PLUMBLEY
We’ve always thought of Spain’s Ibiza as a party island but the more we research, it seems idyllic for a family trip, too. With its rich history, great food, markets, whitewashed villages, beautiful beaches, free-spirited vibes and a bohemian lifestyle, the Balearic Isle is a favourite destination for photographer Jodi Plumbley, her partner Grant and their adorable bebe Lila, three. The Ibiza regulars have kindly shared their locals’ insights and tips with The Travelling Tribe for those travelling to Ibiza with their kids in tow. Gracias, Jodi!
We always thought of Ibiza as a clubber’s paradise but it seems as though if you get out of Playa d’en Bossa, there’s plenty for families to enjoy. Would you agree?
Absolutely! Our first trip to Ibiza was when we were in our twenties so went there for the partying. We had the best time doing that but also loved the old town and the free spirited energy of the island. We thought we'd fit in one more European adventure before we started a family but I fell pregnant just before we left so my next time in Ibiza, I was pregnant. This is when I really fell in love with the island as I saw it with new eyes and we have been going back ever since. There is such a beautiful, bohemian vibe in Ibiza and I love the rich history. It's so much more than a party island.
What is your favourite way to spend a day on Ibiza with your family?
You are almost guaranteed clear sunny skies every day in the summer so we would walk along the beach to a cute cafe and enjoy a leisurely breakfast - my favourite is Super Buono in Figeretes - and then either wander around the Old Town and Dalt Vila or get ready for a day at the beach. The hottest part of the day is around 3pm so on really hot days, we would work around that to make sure we wouldn't melt! Lila would have a siesta most days so we would catch up on work or relax at home until she was up again and then head out for dinner at Marina Botafoch or try somewhere new on the island.
We have heard from other locals that there's a fun, family-friendly beach called Benirras. Have you been there?
Yes, Benirras is amazing. It gets really busy in the summer but still has the most beautiful atmosphere. The drumming ritual started in 1991 as a protest against the Gulf War and attracted so many people as an annual event, it was eventually shut down due to health and safety concerns. I can see why after being there as it's one narrow road in and out to the cove. Since then, a dedicated group of drummers have kept it alive by meeting there every Sunday. It's such a cool atmosphere. We were dancing in the water until sunset to the sound of at least a dozen bongo players. Lila loved it!
Any other favourite beaches?
This list is long because Ibiza's coast is stunning! I prefer the 'calas,’ which are the coves/inlets. Cala Comte is paradise - crystal clear turquoise water where you are surrounded by fish and it has a super cool beach bar, Sunset Ashram. Sa Caleta is beautiful and reminds Lila of the Road Runner and Coyote because the cliffs surrounding the cala are a deep orange similar to the cartoon! Cala Xarraca, Cala Tarida, Cala Xuclar and all the little rock pools around Figueretes and are some of the favourites.
We hear Ibiza has several markets held weekly on the island. Any favourites?
There are so many markets; I wish I had made it to more! There is a massive 'Hippy Market' in Punta Arabi, which is definitely worth a visit. You could spend the whole day there, as it's so big. They have live music and children's workshops so it's a great day out for the family.
Friends of ours married on Formentera recently and had such a relaxing trip with their entire tribe. Do you guys go there?
Formentera is paradise! We have only been once but we would love to go back and spend more time there. Fomentera is only a half-hour ferry ride from Ibiza so definitely a must-do while you are there, even if only for a day! We also love Mallorca, which is the larger island north of Ibiza.
Weather-wise, when is the best time of year to visit Ibiza?
We have always been in the summer so we can escape the Australian 'winter' but I would love to go in their winter. The locals say it has such a cool vibe and is so different to the tourist-packed summer. I really noticed this year how busy Ibiza was getting each day we were there so if you do go in summer, just be prepared for crowds. August is the busiest so I really enjoy June and September there as it's still warm but not crazy busy.
Where do you usually stay and can you recommend any family-friendly areas?
We have always stayed in the south-west of the island around Playa d'en Bossa, Figueretes and Talamanca. We prefer this area as it's close to the Old Town of Eivissa and not as touristy as it is around San Antonio on the other side of the island. Playa d'en Bossa is a main party area so can get a little crazy at night but I always felt fine having Lila there during the day and early evening. There are certainly more chilled parts of the island if you would prefer to be away from the action.
I'd recommend hiring a car, as it’s the best way to see the island. Nothing is too far, and we would jump in the car and just go exploring. Everywhere is well signposted so we never used a GPS, which I loved as it reminded me of the old days.
Anything else you wish to share about your travels that likeminded families may love to read?
My biggest tip for travelling to Spain with children is to go with the flow! It's such a different lifestyle to ours in Australia and if you get caught up with staying in what may be a typical home routine, you might miss out on some of the fun! Lila is a night owl anyway but in Spain, she would go to bed late and sleep in late and we found that fit in better with Ibiza life. The sun doesn't set until 9.30ish in summer so the evenings are lovely to enjoy at the beach or outdoors. We enjoyed so many sunsets together which was really special.
Also encourage your children to try the local foods and learn the language. It's amazing how adventurous they can be and what knowledge they take in.
Follow Jodi's beautiful photography via Instagram, here.