48 hours in Ibiza: Do the White Isle in a weekend

‘But… what’s the point?’

That was the general response when I revealed I was going to Ibiza for the weekend. A friend and I wanted a sunny getaway to escape rainy London and we only had two nights.

‘You’ll need that long to recover,’ they replied.

Well, actually no. Forget super clubs and all-nighters. I am not your traditional Ibiza raver. Ibiza for me has always been about sunshine, long boozy beach lunches, paddle boarding, the odd hike or yoga session, sunset dinners and roof-top drinking.

All of which you can do in two days, flying on Friday – after work for a 10pm arrival if you are really short on annual leave – and flying back at midnight on Sunday.

You can be at dinner by 11pm Friday, wake up in the sunshine to a full day on Saturday and have all of Sunday on the beach with dinner before an airport taxi at 10pm.

So, that’s exactly what I planned on doing on our speedy getaway.

Here’s how you too can do Ibiza for 48 hours and still come back refreshed.

1. Use a concierge service

You are in Ibiza for 48 hours – you do not have time to waste in the wrong bar, wishing you were in the right one.

It’s easy to miss out on the best parties / restaurants / beach experiences in Ibiza – so if time is tight, it’s worth recruiting the experts.

Self-proclaimed ‘manager of expectations’ Serena Cook of Deliciously Sorted has over 18 years of experience in the luxury sector and offers guidance and insider knowledge which is essential for whatever you are looking for your trip on the island. For us, that was paddle boarding, lounging and bars.

We were in good company: she has curated Ibiza agendas for clients that include George Clooney, Hugh Grant, Alice Temperley and Johnny Depp – plus they have been voted Conde Nast Travellers’ top travel specialists and we wanted only the hottest spots.

Concierge Packages start at €1500 per week and individual fees from €50 per booking. For more information visit deliciouslysortedibiza.com or call +34 971 197 867

2. Make your hotel part of the experience 

Choose one that is away from the crazy temptations of the party scene and near the places you want to go, if possible – taxis can get expensive here. We made our two-night stay at OD Talamanca count. This five-star boutique hotel is located at Talamanca Bay, conveniently only 15 minutes from the airport and close to one of our favourite lunch spots: Nobu Hotel. It’s also got the friendliest of staff members who were happy to oblige our every request and call up restaurants and yoga places on our behalf to check availability.

The hotel has a lovely rooftop so we had dinner and Laurent Perrier with a view there on the first night. With a coeliac to cater for, we were especially impressed with the quality and substitutes that were designed to suit her diet.

Standard room rates at OD Talamanca range from 270€ (approx. £233) to 420€ (approx. £362) per night, depending on the time of booking. Rates include wifi, breakfast and soft drinks in the minibar (first refill), service charges and VAT. For room upgrade and Smart car access, rates start from 310€ (approx. £300) per night.

OD Talamanca, C/ Jesús, 28, Playa Talamanca – 07800 Ibiza

 

3. Hippy market, Las Dalias

Home of the legendary Saturday hippy market which started out in 1954, Las Dalias, located between Santa Eulalia and San Carlos, has become somewhat iconic on the island. We love it for people watching –  it really does live up to the ‘hippy’ name. It can get very busy at times but there’s such a fun atmosphere it doesn’t seem to matter too much.

There are both indoor and outdoor bars, with an additional ‘sky-bar’ on the roof terrace and a small club on site. Las Dalias Cafe downstairs does a really good watermelon mojito (14 euros) and there’s a vegan falafel place upstairs run by a husband and wife team that lives up to the claim of one of the ‘best in the world’.

Be warned though: there’s usually a huge queue for these falafels.

The market has plenty on offer besides shopping – live music, dancing, eating, drinking – but if you are in the mood to shop, there’s something for everyone, from bespoke Balearic jewellery to leather goods, fashion, furniture and arts and crafts. It’s great for unique, bohemian-inspired finds. Personally, the jewellery stalls are a favourite: we left with a handmade ring and a bracelet.

While there are some places that will take card the smaller stalls and food stalls are cash only.

For more info and events go to the website 

 

4. Sunset dinner and cocktails at Hostal La Torre

Recommended by many Ibiza regulars for being one of the best spots for sunset dining, this relaxed hotel-restaurant is a must. We arrived just after the sunset as unfortunately cabs on the island have a mind of their own and you can’t book in advance.

The 30 minute drive to the Hostal La Torre from our hotel on the east coast to the most westerly tip near San Antonio will cost around 40 euros each way.

Sunset was around 9.30pm while we were there in July so depending on the time of year, book dinner an hour before – the sunset should not to be missed, despite us doing so.

The restaurant specialises in Mediterranean cuisine and their seafood is very fresh. Do try the delicious garlic prawns (18 euros), prawns, Iberico ham (30 euros) and the grilled octopus with smashed edamame, lemon, tomato chutney, peppers, sesame mayo and wasabi spheres (32 euros).

For cocktails, Javier’s Margarita (17 euros) is a must: tequila, orange syrup, rosemary and lime, what’s not to love?

As you’ll end the night in San Antonio, you might want to move on to the nearby Pikes Ibiza, which is legendary for its party scene. Interesting fact: it was featured in Wham’s Club Tropicano video.

Visit latorreibiza.com for more information.

 

5. Paddleboard with Paddle Ibiza

For an active addition to the itinerary that is is still super chilled, I can’t recommend this enough.

Guide Luke left the rat race of London to move to Ibiza a few years ago and set up Paddle Ibiza. He leads the fun session and is the perfect host – it’s like chatting away with an old friend as you paddle away enjoying the most scenic views.

He gauges your level pretty quickly and will only challenge you as far as you’d like. We went to Sol Den Serra beach as we were having lunch at Amante beach club after our session, but Luke will work out the best place and will either meet you at the agreed beach or pick you up from your hotel if convenient. An absolute superstar all round.

For details and bookings with Luke go to the website Paddle Ibiza

6. Lunch at Chambao at Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay 

Chambao is Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay’s laidback chiringuito beach restaurant and was a stone’s throw away from our hotel.

Located in the picturesque bay of Talamanca, a 15-minute walk along the marina from Ibiza Town, Chambao is possibly one of our favourite places to book for lunch on the island. You can dine on the beach as we did. Booking is easy – we walked past one day and just popped our names down while sipping one of the hotel bar’s special pina coladas (30 euros, and special because it arrives in a whole pineapple).

The food is perfect. If you’re feeling adventurous, let your waiter order for you, as we did. Chambao specialises in freshly caught fish and Balearic specialities so it comes as no surprise that the first dish to arrive was pil pil red prawns (24 euros) – fresh and smothered in a lovely, garlicky red sauce.

The green avocado salad (19 euros) with cucumber, wild rocket, mint and home-made mustard dressing was one of the best we’ve had. Delicious, fresh and a divine dressing. More than once we tried to extract the recipe for this ‘simple honey and mustard’ dressing from our waiter – but he was having none of it.

Their signature dish, seafood paella, is made up of a lovely mix of mussels, clams and squid and is priced at 39 euros per person.

It arrives in its own skillet and is more than enough for two.

Their summery cocktail list is good, too. We liked the Sensation (19 euros) – refreshing kumquat – and White Fresh (19 euros) – spiced gin and white wine with a touch of elderflower. Lunch for two was around 200 euros.

Nobu have just recently launched their Bali beds which are good for a different kind of indulgence – you can fit up to 3 people and they are like gold dust but if you are lucky you can book in advance for 300 euros.

Included in the price is water, a bottle of Laurent Perrier Rose or bottle of Rose Wine, fruit platter and service to your beds all day.

7. Sunbathe at Amante Beach Club

Amante beach club is situated above Sol Den Serra beach in Santa Eulalia and is good option for a whole day session. Get there early to book a bed, as it’s difficult to book in advance. This place is uber popular and you have to cough up 70 euros for a double, as we did. The cost includes service to your very comfortable bed. It’s a great way to to relax, read a book, chit chat with your pal and be waited on all day (it’s also dangerous as it’s so easy to keep ordering).

We loved the beetroot and avocado salad, but the blue fin tuna fillet tartare with watermelon was the one to get.

The full day – food, drinks and the bed between two of us – was around 250 euros for two.

The beach club also does ‘yoga and breakfast’ classes but these are near impossible to get into, especially on weekends, so book in advance if you are planning on including fitness in your itinerary.

Book yoga and breakfast at Amante here for 30 euros.

More details available on their website, Amante Ibiza, 07849 Cala Llonga, Spain

 

8.  Patchwork in the Sa Punta, trio of restaurants

We had spotted Patchwork from our hotel balcony and were curious to see what this place was. A quick investigation revealed we had stumbled upon a very chic celebrity hangout. The bar-restaurant is a beautiful, colourful setting beside the sea and boasts the most beautiful Dalt Vila view.

Patchwork is the rooftop restaurant and bar, which also happens to be the island’s first and only Lebanese restaurant and possibly the inspiration behind the eclectic décor. We went for after-dinner drinks, missing out on the food this time, but did find reasonably priced Ruinart at 19 euros a glass.

In the garden of Sa Punta (the fine dining restaurant on site) is Ginger, the venue’s Asian food bar with its animated ambience and delicate gastronomic treats of tuna sashimi, tempura or dim sum.

There’s also a chic interiors shop within the space that had a very Graham & Green feel. The shop featured animal-shaped furniture – such as a flamingo or giraffe lamp – as well as bohemian-style prints and nautical place mats.

 

Metro.co.uk was hosted by OD Talamanca.

Flights from British Airways are around £300 return from London City Airport depending on when you book. 

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