Anyone with hazy memories of a riotous pre-kids trip to Ibiza taking in a few clubs and a lot of daytime recovery on the sun loungers might not think of the island as a suitable place for a family holiday. It’s definitely time to think again. Having just returned from a trip to the White Isle, Junior can firmly say that Ibiza is a fantastic place to holiday en famille. Yes, the clubbing scene is still thriving in San Antonio and IbizaTown but further north on the East of the Island, an area called Santa Eularia des Riu (also known as Santa Eulalia) is attracting families who want the stunning beaches, delicious food and laid back vibe of of Ibiza combined with a warm welcome that has absolutely nothing to do with glowsticks or podiums. In fact, Santa Eularia has been working hard over the past few years to help build up it’s reputation for being a family friendly destination. It boasts the first beach on the island to go totally smoke free and many of the local businesses have been looking at ways that they can improve their spaces and facilities for families, including signing up to a local programme called “Family Moments” which ensures that all its members adhere to a check list of family requirements.
The region does have a bit of a head start when it comes to being family friendly as it was officially designated as a child-friendly city by UNICEF in 2012 and hosts a Festival of Children’s theatre in the last weekend of every May.
With camping and hotels to suit every budget from the modest to the A-list, there is something for everyone on the island and if you do feel like reliving your youth for just one night, all the Family Moments listed hotels will offer a babysitting service. Here’s our round-up of family friendly places to stay and visit on the gentle side of the island…
This organic small holding is the perfect place to take the kids to explore. Feed the farm animals, marvel at the incredibly lush crops, shop the produce in a picture book market stall and then eat the produce cooked to perfection in the outdoor cafe.
Santa Eulalia Beach
The first stretch of coastline in Ibiza to become smoke free, this sandy beach with beautiful clear water and shallows is perfect for young families who want a happy, healthy beach experience with the bonus of great restaurants and shopping just over the promenade.
Shopaholics beware. This treasure trove of hippie chic clothes, accessories, food and interiors pieces will keep you occupied for hours. Take your time to discover your favourite stalls – Junior came across the best vintage clothing stall right at the last minute when all the euros were spent! The perfect place to find bohemian kids clothes and jewellery.
Older kids (14 plus) will love this electric assist bike tour supervised by two expert guides who will take you along the coastline and show you the beautiful, hard to reach beaches that only the locals know about. The electric powered bikes mean no sweating up steep hills and the guides are always on hand if you need to be coaxed over rougher terrain.
Forget burgers and chips on the seafront. This beachside cafe serves the best tapas and cocktails ever and watch out for the supersize desserts. Very child friendly, it’s the perfect place for light bites in between playing on the beach.
This traditional Ibizan restaurant will give families an extra warm welcome and its brightly painted chairs, fairy lights and lantern strewn outdoor eating area makes the perfect setting for restless kids who might want to go for a walk about in between meals. The food here is excellent and carnivores should definitely check out the incredible wood fired meat grill. The staff here are super attentive and warm.
Junior stayed at the Hotel ME which is a very slick 4 star hotel with all the bells and whistles you would expect from an Ibizan retreat including an in-house DJ, stunning pool with the sea just beyond and the most incredible breakfast buffet. There is a separate pool complete with flamingo and unicorn inflatables for kids plus a creche and plenty of babysitters on hand to help out if you want to attend a yoga class or head to the spa. The hotel also offers interconnecting apartments for anyone wanting to book for large family groups.
This is hands down one of the most beautiful hotels Junior has ever visited. With mountain views, bougainvillea clad lime wash buildings, a stunning lap pool and ponds crowded with lily pads and frogs, your instagram account may well explode with joy. The hotel offers a child friendly pool where kids can splash about without offending the beautiful people draped over their canopied double sun loungers. If you can’t stretch to staying in the hotel, head here for dinner in the restaurant, which is pretty reasonably priced and is set in the beautiful rose festooned gardens.
For a more extensive list of family friendly activities and a calendar of family friendly events in Santa Eularia visitsantaeulalia.com