its been  many years since I have visited ibiza – when alice was little I use to go every year to stay with my friend Lorena, who has the same age daughter and a house there – so I got to know it quite well.   but somehow through having children, busy lives, I just never seemed to find the time;  so now that the girls have all grown up, it was lovely to visit again without that responsibility of young children and rediscover the island.   ibiza has the reputation of nightclubs and raves, but it is actually quite family orientated with lots of Spanish families visiting at weekends, its the ‘cotswolds of Barcelona and Madrid, being only an hours flight away.    Lorena has been going there for over 30 years and so she really knows the island inside out and always tries to take me to the more authentic parts of the island.  she does her food shopping in the local food markets rather than the big sprawling supermarkets which seem to have sprung up everywhere.  the food market in Ibiza town is very good quality and has a great selection of meat, fish, fruit, veg and other local products.

Santa Getrudis is a lovely inland village with interesting shops and restaurants – there’s even a lovely book shop there;  we ate in Macao restaurant which had very good pizza and Italian cuisine.   its a good place to visit in the evenings.  we also stopped in Sluiz, just outside of the village – a strange and eclectic mix of homewares and clothes, set in a quite mad warehouse decorated quite kitch.   ibiza has a strange mix of hippy and flamboyant – but you can definitely find something you may like, whether it be the basket ware, the espadrilles or the Indian prints. prices in ibiza are not cheap – london prices – and compared to Andalusia, the shops offer a higher quality product all round, whether it be the supermarket or the gift shops.

Talamanca is a little beach close to  Ibiza old town with a boarded walkway path along the beach, lined with restaurants and hotels, its a little less built up than some of the coastal towns.  Bellamar restaurant looked popular and is recommended.   but the loveliest unspoilt beaches are las Salinas and Es Cavallet  – be aware that nude bathing is very popular in ibiza;  even this week whilst I was sporting a jumper and jeans, there are lots of nude germans walking around the beaches.   Las Dahlias is a Saturday market, quite hippy, but great to find that souvenir;  I found a lovely woven basket and floral print summer dress.   its definitely for girls, but if your partner joins you, he can at least sit and enjoy a drink.

ibiza old town is still charismatic, winding streets with its traditional housing, little squares and lots of restaurants and shops. I also visited one of those super modernists houses for a lunch – the ones with the infinity pools that reach out to the amazing sea views;  I was shocked at how many modern houses there were around the island – its like ‘Wallpaper magazine ‘;  you pass them as you drive around the island, emerging from the hilltops, all looking like James Bond houses.    march is definitely a lovely time to visit, less crowds, but pleasant weather;  although it was breezy, it was still sunny and around 18C.

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