Portinatx Ibiza by Tanya Taylor
Being the most northern point of Ibiza, Portinatx seems like a long way away from anywhere and almost isolated from the rest of the island.
The route to get there leads you through some of the most spectacular views of wild, untouched countryside. This is due to the north of the island being largely undeveloped and protected, to preserve its outstanding natural beauty.
Surrounded by rolling, pine covered hills, Portinatx is a quiet and relaxed resort with three amazing beaches all within walking distance of each other. The surrounding seas are clear and turquoise, complemented by sandy, shallow beaches.
Traditionally it has always been a family resort but these days you’ll find many more couples enjoying the romantic views, that you simply can’t escape from.
At the top of Portinatx, you’ll find Playa Porto, literally the last stop on the island. It’s a small, enclosed, sandy beach with shallow water making it great for containing and keeping an eye on small children.
Here you will find Subfari diving school offering deep-sea excursions as well as a really unique little beach bar, serving great mojitos. There are also a few restaurants here if you’re feeling hungry.
S’Arenal is the next beach along and it’s the biggest and busiest one in Portinax. It’s full of activities to enjoy such as paddle boarding, kayaking and all kinds of crazy things attached to the back of a speedboat.
Bordering the beach are plenty of pine trees if you want to hang out in the shade. It’s here where you’ll also find the dock for the Glass Bottomed Boat which offers to take you on long and short excursion around the island, including a special service on a Sunday for the nearby Benirras drums.
For anyone wanting to play the role of captain, you can also hire small boats that don’t require a licence.
A promenade lined with themed beach bars, leads you to S’Arenal petit, the third beach in Portinatx. This is a smaller cove, cosy but vibrant, a mix of sand and stones with some fisherman huts on the left.
All of the beaches are have their own unique character as well as parasols and sun loungers to hire so you can comfortably enjoy the dramatic views out to sea.
Portinatx is very much a British resort so you’ll find plenty of food from home on offer alongside traditional Spanish cuisine and other European dishes.
If you’re craving a bit of Asian food then there’s one eastern restaurant, Grop’s Lounge, with a lovely open-air terrace, found just before you reach S’Arenal petit.
Because it’s an active fishing port, there’s lots of fresh and tasty seafood on offer too.
When the evening comes, you have two “fun pubs” to choose from. Del Boys Bar and Vincent’s Bar have a full entertainment scheduled each evening which includes boozy bingo, quizzes, karaoke and live entertainment.
Every Monday from 5 pm to 10 pm, hidden away around the back of S’Arenal petit, you will find the Hippy Market. To get there, simply follow the convenient signs dotted all around the resort.
It’s a small, intimate market with a range of sellers offering hand made and unique items from around the world.
It’s pitched out under a lovely clearing of pine trees and in the evening the stalls glow with fairy lights giving it a magical atmosphere.
Portinatx is a great place for walking, the dramatic, exposed coastline is made up of curious rock formations and there are plenty of coastal and countryside routes for you to explore.
From Playa Porto you can make your way around the coast to the beautiful, black and white, Moscatar Lighthouse, which at 52 meters is one of the tallest one on the Balearic islands.
Heading out from S’Arenal Petit you can venture towards “Torre de Portinatx”, watchtower of the north, standing strong since 1763. It’s one of only seven on the island and it was used as a coastal lookout point for pirates and other potential invaders.
There’s a large range of accommodation fitting to every budget from all-inclusive hotels to self- contained apartments. Two of the larger hotels have become adult only in the past few years which is probably why there has been an increase of loved up couples visiting Portinax.
Currently, there is a six-star luxury resort being built due to open in 2020. This project has become slightly controversial however due to its location in a previously untouched and undeveloped part of the coastline.
Portinatx even has its own fiesta which happens in the middle of July each year and like all local festivals, it’s spread over a week or two and ends with a big three-day celebration which peaks on a Saturday night with a huge beach party starting with local bands then progressing onto DJ’s.
It’s a great party with a mix of residents locals, families and tourists celebrating together under the stars.
On the main road leading down to Portinatx, there are three small beaches, renowned for their raw beauty and endless horizon views. This preserved natural environment provides interesting underwater terrain, with some of the best snorkelling territories on the whole island.
Cala Xaracca is the first and largest of the three which is half sandy, half stony. Next along is S’illiot des Rencil, which is a tiny, stony beach but has a long row of fishermen huts along the right where you can usually find a space. Lastly is Cala Xuclar which is smaller still but has many interesting rocky coves to find a space in.
All of the beaches have a bar to eat, buy snacks and relax in the shade. You need to get there early to find a comfortable spot but even if you end up on the rocks, the amazingly clear water and views are worth a slight compromise in comfort. Leading out of Portinax on the “old” road, you’ll find Cala D’en Serra, famous for it’s abandoned, unfinished and graffitied hotel. This is another small stony and beautiful beach with breathtaking views, though access can be difficult down the long bumpy dirt road.
Portinatx has a reputation for being sleepy but I think “Tranquilo” is much more fitting. It doesn’t have the flashing lights usually found in family resorts but it’s still got plenty of atmosphere.
The lack of light pollution lets you enjoy the outstanding surrounding nature and incredible night time stars. There’s plenty to do in this relaxed resort but not so much that it’s overwhelming.
The simplicity of Portinatx leaves lots of room for adventure, romance and exploration amidst the enchanting hills of the north.
Tanya can be found up in the northern hills of Ibiza. When she is not taking care of horses, she is usually scribbling away about nature, sunshine and all of the other wonderful things Ibiza has to offer