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San Antonio is Ibiza's second largest beach resort

© Creative Commons / robertpaulyoung

San Antonio Bay beaches

San Antonio Bay (San Antonio Abad), together with San Antonio Town, makes up Ibiza's second largest resort. It was recently renamed in the Catalan style as Sant Antoni de Portmany. Densely developed high-rise San Antonio Town lies at the northern end of the bay of Portmany. It is famous for its nightlife but is also infamous for its binge-drinking culture. Stretching south around the bay, the rest of the resort is much quieter.

Beach

There are four town beaches. Caló D'es Moro and Cova Blanca are two small beaches of rocky coves and sand, Es Pueto is a larger beach, with fine white sand. Farther south is the main beach, S'Arenal/Sant Antoni (also known as Es Regueró), with some 800m of golden sands. In summer all are very crowded. To the northwest of the town centre are the sandy beaches of Cala Gració, Gracioneta, Cala Salada and Cala Saldeta. The best local beaches, Cala Bassa and Cala Conta, unmarred by hotel developments, are 8-10km (5-6 miles) west of town. Cala Bassa is particularly popular and offers most watersports.

Beyond the beach

Watersports and glass-bottom boat tours operate from the harbour. The Bungee Rocket, a type of reverse bungee catapult, is the resort's ultimate white-knuckle ride (Avenida Dr Sant Antoni). A tourist land-train makes the journey 12.5km (8 miles) to the pretty hillside village of Santa Ines/Santa Agnès to see the 'real Ibiza.' There are a number of horse-riding stables on the island. The closest is Can Cirer (Carretera San Antonio-Santa Ines), some 4km (2.5 miles) north.

Family fun

Soft play areas, small amusement parks and mini-golf courses are dotted around the resort. Karting San Antonio (Carretera Ibiza, San Antionio km 14) has karts for adults and children. At Cala Gració (Carretera de Cala Gració, 2km/1.25 miles northwest of the town centre) is the natural aquarium Aquarium Cap Blanc/Cova de ses Llagostes, set inside a cave with a large floodlit lake. The island's main water park is Aguamar at Platja d'en Bossa, 20km (12 miles) southeast.

Exploring further

A visit to beautiful Ibiza Town (15km/9.5 miles southeast), both by day and by night is a must, and the town is easily reached by public transport from San Antonio. The Dalt Vila (High Town/Old Town) is a striking atmospheric walled ensemble including a couple of museums and the cathedral. Below, the port offers some of the best and certainly the most cosmopolitan shopping, nightlife, bars and restaurants in the Balearics. The island is small so anywhere is within easy reach by car. Highlights include the Salines (saltpans) to the southeast and the Es Vedrà lookout to the southwest, as well as the resort of Santa Eulalia (Santa Eulària des Riu). A boat trip to peaceful Formentera is highly recommended. Ibiza's only golf club is 25km (15 miles) southeast of San Antonio at Roca Llisa, between Santa Eulalia and Ibiza Town.

Splashing out

Although some parts of the town are strictly for budget holidaymakers, there is no shortage of trendily expensive places to wine and dine. Sa Capella (www.ibiza-restaurants.com/sacapella) is a very atmospheric romantic restaurant in a 600-year-old chapel serving superb Mediterranean cuisine. Or go scruffy-chic at Can Pujol one of the island's most renowned fish and seafood restaurants.

Edited by Jane Duru
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