Situated on the South East coast of Ibiza, just over 20km (12.5 miles) from the airport, the town is a tourist resort for families. No clubs, no exotic shops, just a really nice tranquil town with a beautiful beach and a superb range of restaurants and hotels.
The Mayor and his team can most certainly be proud of their achievement! The old cliché of “The right crowd, but no crowding”is very appropriate. That said, the new marina at the eastern end of town enjoys a livelier up beat focus for leisurely eating, chilling by the boardwalk, and busy evening music bars like Guarana and Mirage.
Parking is so much easier that Ibiza town or San Antonio, with the usual blue bays and some free spaces away from the centre. You may see signs for Santa Eularia del Rio, - it’s the same place, but just in the Catalan dialect.
You will probably travel from the West, along the Ibiza (airport) road. You arrive at a roundabout by a garden centre and boat chandler. Travel straight on through the ‘Armco’ chicane over the bridge of the ONLY river in the Balearics! Hence the ‘del Rio’ (‘of the river’). Incidentally, the original bridge which still stands was built by the Romans, and can be viewed as part of the delightful Mariner’s Walk along the promenade from the Marina to the village of Siesta. With facilities like this, tourists are clearly welcome in ‘Santa’.
The main street is Calle San Jaime “Calaay San Hymee”. On the left is the Town Square, with the Town Hall set back at the rear of the square Plaza España – a beautiful building which holds the town’s administration and also acts as a fairytale host for weddings and the start of processions. You can also take the train from here – the little road train that is for a guided tour of Santa Eulalia.
The Town Hall looks, across the square, down to the ‘Paseo’, (“Pa-say-oh”) – meaning ‘passage’ - a tree lined pedestrian walk way which reaches the palm lined promenade with views onto Mariners Beach and on to the sea. At the corner of the square is the Royalty, not so much a café & restaurant, more an institution. Sit at the Royalty and you’ll soon see someone you know, for everyone meets ‘at the Royalty’ if they’re in town. Opposite the Royalty, on the corner of the Paseo is the ‘Bar Cosmi’, another institution.
Word has it that in the days of the revolution, that the right wing supporters frequented the royalty, while the left wing supporters preferred the Cosmi. Well… revolutions go round in circles ending up where they started from, but Royalty and Cosmi both live on. Try them both, each has its own character, and both are frequented by characters. Tranquilo… (calm…) and watch the world go by with a coffee..... and maybe a glass of something.
After the coffee, a little stroll down under the tall palms of the Paseo. Alongside the glorious hisbiscus and oleanders is a veritable haven of artisan stalls. Have your portrait drawn while you wait, see the superb leather and silver wear; exotic jewellery, clothes and sandals… try a bright paraeo (sarong) decorated with ghekkos – the harmless lizard like creature which abound on Ibiza.
Back to strolling down the main street, there are banks, Farmacia (chemists - displaying their green cross) boutiques and gift shops and more cafes. The ‘Stop Bar’ on the left was a favourite of Niki Lauda (yes he lived on the Island)… just another place to watch the world go by… Eventually you’ll see the Police Station on your right – you’ll need it if you collect a parking ticket – 1st floor for payments!
At the end of town, you can turn right and amble down to the ‘Port’ as the marina is called. In addition to the various yacht and boat shops there are bars and restaurants, boutiques etc. Just watch the huge mullet swimming in the still water by the jetties. Maybe they somehow know there’s a ‘No Fishing’ sign…. Of course, there are exotic boats… to dream about if only we could win the lottery
Beside the Port is the ferry jetty, where you can embark for far off exotic destinations such as Es Canar, Cala Pada, Cala Llonga, and Ibiza Town. The ferry is a nice way to travel for an evening out too… Parking in Ibiza town is not easy, so travel there by ferry, and return by taxi, - what a civilized way to do it! And what better way to visit the hippy market at Es Canar on any Wednesday.
With the mention of exotic destinations, try a ferry trip for the day to Formentera. This is paradise isle. Unbelievable white sand and azure sea… absolute bliss!!
Coming back out of the Port you can promenade along ‘Mariners Walk’ which wends its way along the top of the silky sand beach, eventually, leaving the distractions of the beach and reaching the village of Siesta. Maybe a little lunch along the way? Or an ice cream perhaps? Delicious Italian ice cream? So many restaurants..… alas, so little time…