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Ibiza: The Sassy Mama Guide by Jane Gottschalk

TravelPost Category - TravelTravel

Describe Ibiza in 3 words

Despite popular belief Ibiza is very rustic, traditional and rural.

Best hotel in Ibiza when travelling with kids:
Can XuXu is a fun little boutique hotel in an old Ibizan villa that is family owned and has a relaxed atmosphere. Las Brisas is also well liked and small overlooking the bay at Porroig. The only 5 star hotel in Ibiza is the Ibiza Gran in the centre of town.

Your favourite place to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner?
La Paloma restaurant in San Lorenzo is fabulous and my favourite. It’s relaxed, easy, family owned and run, and has amazing home cooked food.  There is a small rustic courtyard where you can have breakfast and lunch and a cosy, homey interior for dinners by the fireplace for the winter. Plus children are welcomed with open arms. While restaurants on the beaches tend to look like ‘shacks’ they serve the most delicious food. Formentera also has some great places to eat, 10 Point 7 is our favourite and Juan Y Andrea is hugely popular. You can only reach Formentera island by boat and tickets can be bought at the Estación Marítima de Formentera in Ibiza Town.

What is your favourite thing to do with your kids in Ibiza?
We love taking trips to the hippie market Las Dalias which is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The  Aguamar Water Park near Playa D’en Bossa beach is also a firm favourite and surprisingly clean and efficient. Boat trips to Formentera are a must as the sea is crystal clear so it’s good for snorkelling and the beaches are just beautiful. You can also hire bicycles and tour the island.

Best places to eat with kids?
Apart from the places listed above, Sa Caleta (Sa Caleta Playa Es Bol Nou, 07817 Sant Josep de SA Talaia +34 971 187 095) has great paella and Es Torrent has amazing fish. Both are rustic, relaxed and have small coves with beaches that the kids can freely run around on. At Es Torrent you order your dish when reserving your table, so they can get it in fresh. For a more ‘trendy’ outlook go to El Chiringuihto at Es Cavellet beach. Tropicanna beach is also popular with families as they have a kids club there for younger children and an outdoor massage centre that my kids love!

Best outdoor activity?
There are so many! Exploring the caves in the north of the island- as the kids love it. Aguamar Water Park and go-karting near Santa Eulalia is fun but we also love long lazy days on the beaches or at home.

Favourite spa?
Atzaro, a Balinese inspired spa is very popular as is La Posidonia Thalasso spa with its great views.

Favourite beach?
Las Salinas is great for kids- a long stretch of beach with plenty of rock pools and caves to explore. It’s also wonderful in winter when it is deserted.

I get my hair done at…
Home!

The three shops I can’t live without are…
I only have one! Ibiza delivers, a food, drinks and personal shopping service.  I don’t shop a lot in Ibiza but the old town is fun to walk around and most visitors like  Jose Pascual for woven bag and baskets while Vicente Ganesha is a legendary vintage boutique sells a riot of coloured kaftans, jewellery and other treasures (Vicente Ganesha: Montgri 14, 7800 Cuidad de Ibiza +34 971 193 605).

Who I have on my Ibiza speed dial and why…
Serena Cook of Deliciously Sorted for anything and everything Ibiza. From houses to rent, massages at home to restaurant bookings and tables at PACHA she has it covered. And  she also has some of the islands best nannies and babysitters on her speed dial.

Best place for ice cream?
For me, the old town is fun for everyone and it has ice cream shops and plenty of local restaurants and souvenir shops in a traditional backdrop.

Your favourite souvenirs
Our Ibizan olive oil. We make it from the olives on our trees and have it hand pressed the old fashioned way using a stone wheel. The local Hierbas liquor at Marí Mayans is flavoured with aniseed, thyme, rosemary, lemon and orange peel.  The local Ibizan salt is also a good present to take home.

An unforgettable moment?
Taking the children to see our olive oil being made and driving in our 1960s camper van, with music blaring, the kids and dogs in the back. Always a good Ibiza feeling.

Can’t live without…
My dogs.

Don’t miss…
Ibizan sunsets on a cliff top overlooking the majestic Es Veddera. You can’t beat it.

Favourite time of year in Ibiza, why and what do you love to do?
Spring- just as the almond blossom comes out- such a beautiful sight. I also love off season when the restaurants are still open but just the locals are there.

What advice would you give families visiting Ibiza?
Rent a villa if you possibly can as its by far the best way with stay in Ibiza with children. Go with friends and enjoy the relaxed and slow pace of life. San Antonio should be avoided at all costs with young children- day and night. In fact- anytime. It is the area that gives Ibiza a bad reputation which is a shame as the island is a magical place.

Of all the tourist spots Ibiza has on offer which would you try not to miss?
A walk around the old town especially the old fort with the original cannons  as you get a real sense of history.

Tell us one thing about Ibiza we don’t know…
Ibiza gets a bad rap for being a party island when in fact a large part of the island is unspoilt, rustic and magical.

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