Read Part One of our series here: Best Beaches in Ibiza: Es Canaret
You could do worse than to click play, before reading on.
There is a place where we can go. It’s a bit of a hike, but you don’t expect to find the best beaches in Ibiza by stepping out the hotel door, do you? This beach though is not to be attempted by the faint of heart or the unfit. I am not joking; the climb back up is steep. There is no Chiringuito at the bottom. There are no deck chairs. The beach is pebble. There is a slight chance the water will be full of medusas. You need to carry everything you need on your back.
To find Es Portitxol, truly one of the best beaches in Ibiza, you must be brave.
The route takes you along narrow cliff paths with very little to prevent you plunging to your untimely doom.
Still interested? Well, dear and intrepid traveler, do I have a story for you. Last year my then girlfriend (now future wife) and I ended up living on a collection of houses known as Urbanization Isla Blanca. To get here you need to drive from San Miguel towards San Mateu- but not take the turning to San Mateu. Stay on the road, which will have a sign post for Portitxol, pass by Can Suleyetas on the left (who do a great menu, by the way), and wind your way up the steep cliff.
Follow these directions to Urbanizacion de Isla Blanca first.
Following the road through Isla Blanca, you come to the end of the line.
The end of the road is, quite literally, the end of the road. It disintegrates into rubble, which has a low wall to prevent you reaching the foot of the cliffs in record time. Still, this route is impassable to all but off-road vehicles.
Even if you are driving such an unnecessary gas guzzling monstrosity, you will only get half way down. In any case, the walk is too beautiful to miss out on.
Ibiza is an island of breathtaking views. Es Vedra. The sunset from Cafe del Mar. Dawn breaking at the highest point of the island, Sa Talaia. The route to Es Portitxol rightly sits among these sites as one of the most beautiful sights on the planet.
Starting so high above the sea, we receive the gift of stunning drops, and cliffs that frame beauty itself. Outwards, we are high above a pristine blue glass sea. The sandstone of rocky outcroppings flash white with the gentle spray of the waves.
From here on, it’s like stepping backward in time.
Naturally, you will look down and to the right. This appears to be the right direction to take- after all, you can see the path winding downwards. There is a hill that splits the view into to two- surely, one side or the other must be Es Portitxol.
This assumption is what led to our party taking three attempts on three separate days to actually find Es Portitxol. If you’re truly keen to find the best beaches in Ibiza, you cannot be faint of heart.
If you wind your way down, passing the smokestack inexplicably placed in the middle of nowhere and go left, you will find yourself tantalisingly close to the sea, but with no access at all. Or rather, no way to get back up again, should you slide down the sheer cliff. On the other, there is a pleasant hike down to the water’s edge and some large rocks to laze around on. It’s a joyful way to spend a day, for sure. But it is not Es Portitxol.
Es Portitxol is reached by taking an unlikely looking route to the left before you begin what looks to be the logical descent described above. The path is narrow. You will discount it as a possibility for anyone less sure-footed than the average mountain goat.
This is the path you want.
Scared yet? OK, good. The narrow path takes a good ten minutes or so to traverse, and believe it or not I have seen motorbikes parked above Es Portitxol itself. The pictures don’t do justice for how barking mad, or brave, or both, that is. Aside from my hyperbole, this path is only a metre wide. Fine for foot traffic, but a motorcycle? If you are reading this, you Ibicenco Evel Knievel, make yourself known. I would buy you a jarra any time.
So now we are at Es Portitxol. it’s protected from waves by a near perfect circle of land, eroded away over millions of years by water alone. Here you find an aquamarine lagoon, filled with fish. The only competition for the best basking spots comes from other adventurers, of which there are few, and the brightly coloured wall lizards.
While relaxing on the pebble shores of Es Portitxol, you can contemplate the time before mass tourism. Before, all of us. The fishermen’s huts are still in use today, in the same way as they have been for generations. Centuries ago, Moorish, Roman, and Phoenician sailors would have weighed anchor, no doubt marveling as we do at the natural beauty of this part of the world. Did they rank the best beaches in Ibiza, as we do? Maybe they did.
This is one of the great things about living in Ibiza.
While the island is a modernised tourist magnet in many ways, a reason why Ibiza is so popular is the beauty. Some would dare to say that the natural environment is more important than the super clubs.
The bright colours, the shallow descent into the water and the suntrap shore. Can you imagine a more perfect combination? As an excursion for your holiday, it is a commitment. Again, you do need to be physically fit enough to make the journey. If a beach is not complete without a bar with music- then maybe this is not for you.
A note on pronunciation: Portitxol is a Catalan word, so to the English eye it can appear tricky. The easy way to say it is PAW-TI-SCHOL. No longer will you be ashamed to ask for directions!