18 to 27 March 2017
Calpe to San Antoni, Ibiza N38° 58.42′ E01° 18.10′, 60nm, 13 hours 45
to Puerto San Miquel N39° 05.06′ E01° 26.31′, 15nm, 2 hours 30
to Cala Portinatx N39° 06.63′ E01° 30.78′, 5nm, 1 hour 30
to San Antoni N38° 58.42′ E01° 18.10′, 20nm, 4 hours 15
to Cala Portinatx N39° 06.63′ E01° 30.78′, 20nm, 4 hours 15
After another window repair and another cup of coffee with Carol and Roger we set sail for Ibiza just as the sun was setting, giving us one final spectacle over Penon de Ifach and surrounding mountains. The dramatic coastline along the Costa Blanca has definitely been our favourite in Spain so far. With only light winds and little swell we had an uneventful night motoring towards Ibiza and had to slow down to ensure we arrived in daylight. Luckily Jackie had warned us about the airport lights which did indeed look like a huge tanker as we made our approach to the island!
On arrival in the bay at San Antoni we found a wonderfully sheltered anchorage dotted with other sailing boats so we spent our first two days and nights in Ibiza at anchor off all the resorts. It was a perfect place to watch Ibiza’s famous sunset and an equally beautiful sunrise.
We took advantage of another sunny day to reseal the third of our windows. Still no drips!
After a couple of days at anchor and wanting to explore the island we took Pintail into Es Nautic marina. With its clubhouse complete with water feature and underwater lights and piped music on the pontoons it certainly wins the award for swankiest marina we’ve stayed in so far. (Although its showers still can’t beat those at Plymouth Yacht Haven!). Whilst we could certainly not afford its high season fee of 300 Euros a night, 40 Euros a night was definitely manageable for a little low season luxury.
Having gone into the marina early we headed off on the bus as soon as possible to Ibiza Town, only a 25 minute ride away. Our friend Peter, who knows the island well, had recommended the hike up to Dalt Vila, the old town, so we did just that, climbing up the immense and steep ramparts to the top. Of course we had timed our visit on a Monday (nearly all museums seem to shut in Spain on Mondays) and at siesta, so its narrow streets were almost deserted as we wandered around.
The following day we hired a car to get inland, although we inevitably ended up drawn back to the coast! We started with breakfast in the tiny village of Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera and continued down to Puerto de Sant Miquel, where we found the beach completely deserted.
Above the bay we stopped at the Cova de Can Marca for a tour of the caves used by smugglers, even up until the 1970s to bring cigarettes and cheap booze for the tourists. As well as evidence of smugglers we found the fossilised bones of prehistoric seagulls!
We wound round the coastal road to reunite Stefan with the resort of Portinatx where he had stayed aged 22, seen a yacht anchored in the bay and vowed to return in a boat of his own one day. We stopped to eat our picnic on these very volcanic looking rocks.
Inland Ibiza is all rolling hills covered in pine. Here is none of the industrial scale agriculture we left behind around Almerimar. Instead we passed lots of small farms with ancient looking fruit orchards and at this time of year these tall yellow flowers everywhere.
Before returning to San Antoni, we stopped at the tiny village of Sant Llorenc and in Santa Eulalia to check out the marina there as a possible stop with Pintail.
Everywhere in Ibiza is evidence of its reputation as a place to party hard.
Visiting out of season meant we avoided the crowds of teenage clubbers but also just couldn’t find a beach bar open anywhere. This was as close as we got to watching sunset at the legendary Café del Mar in San Antoni.
Having checked them out from the land we spent a couple of nights at anchor in the bays at Puerto de San Miquel and Portinatx. In San Miquel we had a great view of the cliffside steps we had climber down to visit the caves and, in an as it turned out in vain attempt to stop the effects of swell, we put out a second anchor at the stern. It didn’t work and got tangled round the main anchor chain. We’re still getting the hang of this anchoring lark! In Portinatx we found a beautiful anchorage surrounded by an out of season ghost resort. On our trip ashore in the dinghy we saw barely a soul.
Although devoid of any human company, in each of our anchorages we were visited by these unusual seagulls with red beaks and black and white striped tail feathers. On our return to Portinatx for a second night they rushed to greet us. Nothing at all to do with the bread Stefan was throwing for them!
All in all, we were grateful that we got to enjoy Ibiza before the crowds descend upon it. It would have been nice to find just one beach bar open somewhere.
Selfie, as close as we got to recapturing Stefan’s youth outside Es Paradis.