San Antonio spent the first 2,000 years of its existence as a small, quiet fishing village on the west coast of Ibiza. Calm, quaint and conventional, the town was the picture of Spanish simplicity. Then – enter the Brits: destroyers of all that is good and pure in the Med. Part of the mass tourism initiative, which took place across all of Spain (see Benidorm for starters), San Antonio Ibiza soon came to be known as the clubbing capital of the world.
Despite its football hooligan stigma, San Antonio gained even more popularity in the mid 1990s, when the rave scene was at its highest. Even today, young British clubbers make up the vast majority of visitors to the area, along with stag ‘n’ hens and an increasing number of German, Italian, Scandinavian and Dutch guests.
When to visit San Antonio Ibiza?
Couples and families The pre-season months of May and June, and the later months of September and October are the times for you to enjoy the new promenade, the sea and the fantastic beaches, just a short ferry ride away.
Young people and groups The high season months of July, August and the beginning of September are the best time to come if you are looking for buzzing nightlife.
In San Antonio, you’re never far from a beach. Each of the five small beaches within walking distance of the bay has its own character and atmosphere, so it’s best to try a couple of them before deciding which is your favourite. Playa Port de’s Torrent is a deep inlet into the coast, so the waters are tranquil and safe for swimming. S’Arenal de San Antonio is San Antonio’s main beach and stretches 500 metres along the coast, eventually joining up with the Bay. This is a beach for the active (not surprising really given its location) and there’s a wide range of water sports available to keep you busy, including sailing, windsurfing, water-skiing and diving. If you prefer something a little quieter, Cala Gracionetta is a beautiful, secret beach little just outside San Antonio. It’s a sister beach of Cala Gracio, located near the Stella Maris and Fiesta Tanit Hotels. You can also take a ferry boat to one of the nearby beaches, such as Cala Conta or Cala Bassa. They depart hourly from many landing points along the bay and from San Antonio marina.
Where to eat in San Antonio?
Sa Flama | Idyllic beach restaurant serving up Mexican favourites.
Tapas Bar Restaurant | Peaceful, water front restaurant with an open terrace, serving modern tapas, wines and cocktails, alongside chilled music and a laid back atmosphere.
Kasbah | Modern bistro, offering incomparable sunset views.
S’Avaradero | Come here for the best Spanish and Ibicenco cuisine, including fresh fish, paellas, pastas, pizzas, and a daily menu.
Sa Capella | Dine inside this old converted church – the ideal venue for grand wedding receptions or those special celebrations – for excellent quality Spanish and International cuisine.
Rincon de Pepe | This famous Tapas bar is one of San Antonio’s main attractions. From its rustic interior, to its street side patio to the street side patio it’s a true taste of Spain and a must for seekers of authentic flavours.
Take a day trip | Ferries leave regularly from sign-posted points along the main promenade. Generally, they go out to the idyllic beaches of Cala Conta, Cala Bassa and Cala Tarida, but there are also daylong cruises to Es Palmador and Formentera (Ibiza’s sister island).
Fiesta | The fabulous Fireworks Display, which celebrates the fiesta of Saint Bartholomew on the 24th August, is best viewed from the main Square in San Antonio Bay. With it exotic flowering trees, children’s play park and cascading, musical fountains, is the focal point of the resort.
Go Clubbing | San Antonio is home to myriad bars, clubs and restaurants, as well as waterfront clubs, Eden and Es Paradis. Eden has been known to attract the BBC’s top Radio One DJs – Pete Tong, Judge Jules and Dave Pearce – while the pyramid-shaped Es Paradis is famous for its Water & Foam parties, where the whole central section of the dance floor becomes flooded.
San Antonio also offers the famous sunset bars on Caló des Moro, a.k.a. Sunset Strip, including the original sunset bar, Café del Mar, which has a yacht-like design. Its neighbours are equally plush; including Café Mambo, Savannah, Mint and Golden Buddha.
However, while an evening watching the sunset whilst sipping a strawberry Daiquiri may sound like a dream; this is generally not why tourists flock to Ibiza each year. Super clubs like Amnesia, Pacha, Space, Ushuaía Ibiza Beach Hotel and Privilege (the largest club in the world) are all about 15-25 minutes away in a taxi (or about 15-30 Euro’s a trip). Alternatively, you can catch the Disco Bus (!) from the main bus station – behind the egg roundabout. This runs every half an hour from midnight onwards and costs only a few Euros per journey.
Aside from being a bizarre attraction, the egg does have some historical significance. This is the egg of Christopher Columbus and the ship represents his ship, the Santa Maria. When Columbus was hoping to finance his trip to the Far East, he was told it was impossible. So, he took an egg, and said, “Would you say it was impossible to stand this egg upright?” Of course, everyone agreed it was impossible. Columbus then lightly cracked the base, so that the egg could stand upright and said (a little over-dramatically if you ask us), “Nothing is impossible.” He then obtained the confidence of his financial backer.
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