There’s more to the White Isle than partying, with plenty on offer for younger visitors too. Aine Fox explores family-friendly Santa Eularia.
Listening to waves gently lap the shore while birds chirp together in chorus, it’s hard to believe I’m on an island famous for its all-night dance parties and celebrity DJS. Ibiza may be a small island, with our base in Santa Eularia just a 30-minute drive from buzzing party centre San Antonio, but the two areas are worlds apart when it comes to holiday vibes. Santa Eularia des Riu on the eastern coast is a calm paradise with a quiet, slow pace of life. There are beautiful beaches - including the first smoke-free one in the Balearic Islands, great food and plenty on offer for those after a more serene break.
A SEAL OF FAMILY APPROVAL
The island does phenomenally well from party tourism, and undoubtedly revels in attracting huge names, including DJS David Guetta, Martin Garrix and Steve Aoki, but residents are keen to show off its lesser-seen beauty and family-friendly activities. Although the municipality - second only to Ibiza Town in terms of population - has long catered for families, it is now actively encouraging local hotels and restaurants to sign up to its Family Moments initiative. The seal is an official marker given to establishments that meet specific criteria - such as kids’ clubs, babysitting services and family pools - making them ideally suited to host children on a family holiday.
Santa Eulalia is home to the only river in the Balearic Islands, and a walk along the signposted 3km river route is a delightful way to while away an afternoon. A starting point at the 16th-century fortified Puig de Missa church gives spectacular views of the town, and a leisurely downhill stroll from there brings you to the Can Planetes Mill, a centre explaining the importance of the river to locals in bygone days.
FUN ON THE FARM
Fuelling up for walking tours can be an activity in itself at Maria Colomar’s eco farm Can Muson. Breakfast here is sure to delight young children, especially those from towns and cities. As well as walking through the rows of fresh lettuce and strawberries growing on the 65,000 square metre farm, young visitors can hand-feed animals from superhero-themed beach buckets filled with an array of snacks. “They are in contact with nature and the animals here. Many of the children haven’t seen a goat or a pig before,” says Maria. Local produce is available to buy on site, and the food on offer at the small, outdoor restaurant is either organic or made up of ingredients grown on the farm. It’s a far cry from the hedonistic reputation Ibiza has enjoyed for so many years, but according to tour guide Shana Lacroix, there’s enough room on the island for everyone.
“People from all walks of life come here. I think it’s an enriching place. The island is small, so we don’t have to drive for hours and hours. In winter it’s quiet, the island is just for us [residents].
“But now, in high season, I enjoy the contrast, I like the buzz. It keeps you young.”
The kids club at the Invisa resorts, the Pirate Pool and top of page, the town of Santa Eularia