As a party hot spot, San Antonio or to give it its full name Sant Antoni de Portmany has a bit of a reputation most people holidaying on Ibiza would think it’s the last place to stay once you reach a certain age. However, we would disagree.
We are a middle-aged couple and have been staying in the resort for the last few years with and without our little ones.
Yes it still has the party areas, notably a few streets just off the waterfront called the West End and of course two Super Clubs near the famous Egg but apart from these areas and associated hotels San Antonio holds its own as a holiday destination suitable for all.
The town itself is beautiful and contains many bars and restaurants new and old. A true mishmash of architecture ranging from high rise holiday apartments to quaint hostels and everything in-between some covered in street art which is a sight to behold. Being the second largest town on the island it has great transport links, be it by bus (our preferred travel method see this app for essential bus info) taxi’s and water taxis all essential for getting around the island.
It is also home to the Sunset Strip, a group of bars which is a must place visit when coming to Ibiza, if only once, to sit back and enjoy the world’s most incredible sunset, experience the atmosphere of the bars with modern DJ’s playing sets to their customers, the thousands of people gathering on the rocks, the boats bobbing up and down offshore all gathered together watching mother nature at her finest waiting for the moment the sun disappears beneath the horizon followed by great cheers and clapping before all heading off with their own nightly plans.
The bars here are more expensive and we tend to grab a few beers from the local supermarkets (a couple are just off the sunset strip and before the strip) and gather with others sat on the rocks beside the bars listening to the music carried on the breeze, watching people and especially their reactions to the perfect sunset.
Being an island and away from the partying, Ibiza is all about the sun, sea and sand and staying in San Antonio is ideal as next to the harbour is a huge well maintained beach ideal for sun bathing. But you can also take a relatively inexpensive ferryboat to one of the nearby beaches where you can swim, snorkel and sunbathe to your heart’s content.
To the north of San Antonio, just up from the sunset strip is Caló des Moro. It’s a very small beach but great for swimming and snorkeling and if you are there at the right time is highly amusing watching sunbathers getting soaked as the daily car ferry from mainland Spain arrives (normally early afternoon) and sends in some huge waves which roll in a fair way up the beach. (so make sure you put your towel at least half way back).
We would recommend getting the earlier ferries from the waterfront as the beaches do become very busy especially in peak season and our top beaches to check out are Cala Bassa, Cala Conta and Cala Salada to name but a few. All the ferry companies have little cabins along the waterfront displaying timetables and locations along with cabins where you can book watersports and trips along the coast.
Boat trips are a great way to see more of the island be it a trip all the way round or when going to a specific place (aquarium, hippy market, Es Vedra) however one of the nicer and more relaxing ways is just to take a boat trip, be it in the afternoon or to watch the sun setting from a different vantage point.
We highly recommend Chilli Pepper Charters (Sofi the sailor and Vicente the captain) who run trips from the waterfront with a maximum of 20 people on board they include drinks (suitable for all) snorkeling gear and floats etc. They take you to some of the lesser known spots to enjoy Ibiza at its best. We have seen and swum with octopus, shoals and shoals of fish, seen swordfish jumping, taken part in cliff jumping and experienced some of the most spectacular and unique sunsets Ibiza has to offer.
As evening falls we love to take a walk along the harbour front and check out the market stalls selling handmade crafts, mementos and stunning artwork, or take a bus into Ibiza Town to check out the more edgy bars and boutiques in the old town. It’s also a great way to explore Dalt Villa and its narrow streets full of surprises round every corner.
Eating out can be as cheap and expensive as you like with some very exclusive restaurants dotted across the island to your everyday fast food restaurants. However in San Antonio one restaurant not to be missed is Tapas Ibiza located 300 meters from the main beach. (from the beach front go past Ibiza rocks bar and turn left past Linekers bar and Burger King, cross the road and head down the road with the sea directly behind you Tapas is just round the bend on the right hand side).
They serve the tastiest food by far, under the premise you all order a tapas or two and then all share finding your favorites and trying new things. We have had many a lovely evening here and a mojito or two afterwards wandering back along the front watching all those party people heading out to the super clubs as we aim for our hostel for a well earned sleep.
Where to stay is completely up to you but I would suggest a little research goes a long way to avoid the noisier party hotels such as Piscis Park, or the family filled Hotel Tanit.
Our particular favorite is the San Marino Hostel about 10 minutes walk from everywhere, it’s a great price with well proportioned rooms a bar and swimming pool and the staff are always cheerful and happy to chat while serving great priced food and drinks to tourists and locals alike.
As for the question is San Antonio suitable for the middle aged, of course it is and you never know you may want to relive your youth and visit one of the super clubs (we have and it’s a close your eyes at the ticket / drink prices but another experience to tick off the bucket list)
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Tristan Bacon has a great passion for the island of Ibiza and although found the island later in life, he enjoys writing and passing on his knowledge and thoughts of the beautiful White Isle.