The Guide to Ibiza – Santa Eulalia del Río
The area of Santa Eulalia is one of contrasts offering the perfect mix of vibrant coastal charm and tranquil inland villages. The three parishes that make up the municipality are Jesús, Santa Gertrudis and San Carlos.
Below is the LFStyle Guide to Santa Eulalia’s best beaches, villages and restaurants:
Cala Pada is a lovely little beach in a picturesque setting of pines and junipers, offering Ibiza’s typical turquoise waters. Perfect for both families and water sports enthusiasts, as it is basically a sandy beach, with just a few rocks. It offers a good selection of activities such as snorkelling, and has a separate swimming area, It is also fairly empty in springtime so ideal for those who want a bit of escapism.
Just 15 minutes’ drive from the town of Santa Eulalia is the unspoilt Es Figueral beach, measuring around 350 metres with beautiful shallow waters and dominated by the views of the privately owned islet of Tagomago. Facilities include sun loungers, showers, lifeguards and also restaurants and there are plenty of activities including Stand Up Paddle (SUP), waterskiing, diving and banana boats.
Cala Nova appeals to a younger crowd thanks to its popular campsite and good surf. It boasts crystal clear waters ideal for paddling or swimming. If you are after long walks over hills with great views, then you can take the walk around to the smaller cove of Cala Lena or in the opposite direction Es Caná.
This long pine-fringed crescent of golden sand boasts crystal clear shallow waters. It offers plenty of watersports including waterskiing and parasailing, banana boats and there are regular boat trips leaving from its small harbour. Beyond the beach, you can find the Punta Arabí Hippy Market, which is the largest and oldest on the island. Opened in 1973 there are around 500 stalls and it is held every Wednesday throughout the summer.
One of Ibiza’s first resorts in the 1960s, this beautiful, wide, sandy beach and sailor’s haven is surrounded by pine forests and boasts crystal clear waters. It was once a cove that sheltered the boats of local fishermen who discovered a stream of fresh water coming down directly from the forest. It’s also a great family beach thanks to its shallow waters and good services such as showers, toilets, sunbed hire and water sports activities. There are numerous restaurants along the promenade and parking nearby is free.
Towns & Villages
Sant Eulària des Riu
The port of Santa Eulària des Riu was once regarded as a local’s town and historically was chosen as a place to live by painters, artists and intellectuals. Culturally it has a lot to offer including live music venues, exhibition spaces and even a small municipal cinema. 15 kilometres from Ibiza Town, Santa Eulària is the most important town in the north of the island and is renowned as being a year-round destination. Santa Eulària is also the perfect gateway to some of Ibiza’s most beautiful beaches, prettiest villages and best restaurants. Its urban beach was the first to be officially smoke free and its sidewalk cafés and restaurants are a great way to wile away the afternoon. Alternatively, you can take a trip along Ibiza’s only river whose waters used to irrigate fields and orchards as well as powering the island’s inland flour mills.
Sant Carles de Peralta
The quaint 19th Century village of Sant Carles de Peralta is around 5 kilometres from Santa Eulària des Riu. In bygone days the village served as a meeting point for those who lived across the island’s valleys and so there are just a few buildings within the centre itself. The Ibiza hippy movement emanated from Sant Carles in the 1960s when the area became a Mecca for artists and intellectuals. Many of them chose to live in farmhouses in the area and gave rise to the hippy markets where they would sell their works. Nearby you can find the hippy markets of Punta Arabí in Es Canar and Las Dalias. Sant Carles also has direct access to beaches such as Cala Llenya, Cala de Boix and Es Canar.
Like many Ibiza inhabitants up until the end of the 20th Century, residents of Santa Gertrudis lived in the countryside, close to the village as they worked on the land, so there was little in the town centre itself aside from a few scattered homes and a grocery shop. By the 1970s artists gravitated to the village specifically towards the mythical Bar Costa, where they could sell their paintings by exhibiting them on the walls. Since then, Santa Gertrudis has become another favourite haunt for artists. Nowadays you’ll find vibrant bars, cafés and restaurants as well as craft shops that are hugely popular during the summer months. Biddings take place at an auction house a couple of times a month for a selection of one-off artefacts.
A charming village just 3 kilometres from the island’s capital, Jesús is particularly popular among locals. In days gone by it was home to fishermen and farmers who provided the island with freshly caught fish caught from Talamanca Bay and with fresh produce. Among the cultural highlights are the recently restored 15th Century altarpiece at the village church, Nuestra Señora de Jesús, seen as the most exceptional piece of religious art on the island. There are also the medieval (10th Century) farming plots at Ses Feixes, a legacy from Ibiza’s Moorish period. You can walk through these medieval plots at Prat de ses Monges, where you can discover the interworking of its water deposits, canals, cisterns and watermills.
One of a few Passion branches on Ibiza, this outlet has a sea-facing terrace and a very healthy menu specialising in an array of fresh, vegan and vegetarian food. Ideal for breakfast, brunch or a light lunch, it’s well priced, has a super relaxed vibe and is open throughout the year.
Organically sourced cuisine (some ingredients from its own farm). Diners can choose between the relaxed chiringuito (beach bar) or sophisticated restaurant. Babylon Beach has a typical Ibiza vibe with beanbags and wooden tables where you can sip a cocktail by the waves. Located 1 kilometre from Santa Eulària, just off the coast road. Open April to October.
Highly rated seafood restaurant in a great setting. This husband and wife team use only organic ingredients. Try one of the standout meat dishes, the Périgord duck breast, or Fish of the Day. A truly exceptional experience. Closed in January and February.
El Naranjo (‘The Orange Tree’) is hidden away on a pretty bougainvillea-draped courtyard. Delicious fresh fish, seafood spaghetti and entrecôte in three-pepper sauce are just some of the highlights. Ideal also for a “menu del día” that is always well priced.
Located on the seafront around 1 kilometre east of Santa Eulària, this lounge-restaurant boasts exceptional views alongside exquisite dishes such as cod with miso and asparagus or breaded chicken with tzatziki. Open April to October.