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Maartje, founder of Barts Boekje, one of the largest travel blogs in the Netherlands, is a devoted admirer of Ibiza, possessing an intimate knowledge of the island. We sought her insights on her preferred destinations and the island's allure.


Before we delve into Maartje's top picks in Ibiza, we've got something really exciting for you! Throughout March 2024, enjoy 10% discount on ALL villas by using the code 'Barts Boekje10'. When booking, leave the discount code in the comments or notes and you'll be fine! (Cannot be used in combination with other discounts).

Check out Team Barts Boekje's favourite villas here

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How many times have you been to Ibiza?

Already quite often. I think since 2002 (almost) every year but sometimes even three times a year.

Do you remember what you loved about the island the first time?

That was back in 2002, one of the early holidays with my husband. Everything was just fun. Most importantly, we found the island really easy to navigate and, being younger and wilder at the time, it offered a great mix of nightlife and beach relaxation. Distances were short, and there were plenty of options. We went out a few more times, but to be honest, we never saw Ibiza purely as a party destination. We were more drawn to its beaches, nature, and the island's manageable size: big enough to explore but small enough to see everything in a week or two.

What is it about Ibiza that makes it such a special and enjoyable destination for you?

Ibiza is a place of contrasts. It's both small and large, modern and hip, yet laid-back and old-school. On one hand, it's incredibly trendy with innovative restaurants and shops, but on the other hand, it feels like time stands still, with many hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Some of the best restaurants are those run by the same family for decades. This mix, along with the stunning beaches, makes Ibiza truly unique.

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Could you share one of your most memorable experiences in Ibiza during your travels?

It might be expected to mention a day spent on a large, expensive yacht, but was that really the most enjoyable? Hmm. Or perhaps being VIPs on all of Tiësto's guest lists and living it up... but who really cares, right? Actually, what I find most 'memorable' is how the more we visit, the more relaxed Ibiza feels. It's like a real holiday for me because we know the island so well, and therefore, the fear of missing out is minimal. Can that also be considered memorable?

How would you describe the atmosphere and culture of Ibiza to someone who has never been there?

That's a tough question for me. There are plenty of people who don't ‘get’ Ibiza the first time around, and in a way, I understand that. It can be expensive, some places are overcrowded, and yes, there are quite a lot of Dutch tourists. So, if that's all you're looking to see, then that's what you'll get. However, if you know where to go, and sometimes embrace the crowds, then it's such a lovely and welcoming island! I find the hotels and restaurants inspiring, especially because of the mix of old and new, traditional and innovative, all topped off with sun, sea, and sand. But I don't buy into the idea that ‘there is magic in the air in Ibiza’. I'm too down-to-earth for that.

What activities would you suggest for travellers seeking a unique experience on the island?

I'd recommend staying in the north; it's much quieter. And don't forget to grab our ebook ;-) It's packed with the best tips. Also, aim to visit in May or October, especially if it's your first time in Ibiza! And don't miss taking the ferry to Formentera! A day trip is great, but staying overnight adds an extra charm.

And what would you advise against, what shouldn't you do in Ibiza?

Avoid San Antonio (although the surrounding area and beaches nearby are highly recommended! Just steer clear of the town itself) and Platja d'en Bossa. Absolutely dreadful. These areas are known for nightlife, so if you're looking to party, grab a taxi and head straight to the club of your choice. Otherwise, stay well away! They're flat, crowded, and downright hectic.

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What do you believe sets Ibiza apart from other popular holiday destinations?

I can't think of any other islands or destinations where beach culture is as prominent and ultimate. You'll find an abundance of trendy waterfront restaurants. This may seem commonplace to us Dutch (given our strong beach culture), but consider this: in Italy, Mallorca, Portugal, or elsewhere, you really have to search to find a truly nice beach bar. They exist, of course, but not nearly as plentiful or as good as in Ibiza (and the Netherlands). Consequently, unlike most holiday spots, you can truly live by the beach all day, evening, and night in Ibiza.

What does a typical day in Ibiza look like for you?

Hmm, that's difficult. Perhaps something like this: a leisurely breakfast somewhere in the morning (always a good idea to explore a new spot), followed by a day at the beach, a hearty lunch by the seaside, and depending on how much wine we've had, an early night, ready to do it all over again the next day. The routine might include a few evenings out in Ibiza town, but otherwise, it's a blissful repeat.

Is the island suitable for holidays with small children?

Absolutely! In fact, there was a point where we said, "We won't go next year, not until we have kids" (which didn't happen, by the way; we went anyway). There are plenty of little bays where kids can paddle without the water getting too deep or the waves being too high. Plus, dining on or near the beach allows the kids to keep playing while you enjoy lunch (and they might sneak in a bite or two).

There are around three or four really lovely (and delicious) farms you can visit. They have animals roaming around, activities for the kids, and often host fun events. Make sure to visit Santa Gertrudis as well. I always hesitate to call it "our favourite village" because it's like saying "I always say Carpe Diem!" (yes, you and everyone else...). Nonetheless, Santa Gertrudis, situated in the heart of the island, is a charming village centred around a church square with family-friendly eateries. In the evening or towards the end of the day, kids can simply run and play in the square. Plus, there's a shop from Numero 74, one of the sweetest and most beautiful children's brands out there, as far as I'm concerned (yes, globally).

How do you strike a balance between exploring new places and simply unwinding during your time in Ibiza?

By visiting frequently. A holiday is somewhat of a job for me too, and I often feel restless because I want to discover and experience everything. However, because we're familiar with the island, I soon identify what's new and what I absolutely must see. So, every year, I quickly get back into the swing of things, making it a true holiday.

What do you believe is the best period to visit Ibiza?

I would say May/June or (late) September and (early) October because you can avoid the crowds.

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15 tips from Maartje:

What are 5 hidden gems in Ibiza according to you?

Some readers might think, "Oh, we already know these," but hey, here they are ;-)

1. Yemanja: A charming beach bar that's open all year round.
2. Can Muson and Terra Masia: Ideal spots for farm-to-table breakfasts.
3. Rebrots (plus the nearby beach, Cala Portinax, perfect for families).
4. Mar Y Sal: This adults-only hotel boasts a lesser-known restaurant at the end of a popular beach.
5. UM Beach House/Chiringuito Blue/Hotel Riomar: This area isn't as well-known, making it wonderfully relaxed. And don't miss Room Service Ibiza, a trendy cocktail bar.

What is your top 5 restaurants in Ibiza?

6. Es Torrent
7. Juntos House
8. Ses Boques
9. Chiringuito El Bigotes (booking months in advance and still feels like a discovery)
10. El Silencio (on the beach) / A Mi Manera (Italian inland)

And finally, which 5 beaches are among your favourites in Ibiza?

Tough choice...

11. Cala Gracioneta: It's incredibly popular, and the beach bar of the same name is a bit pricey, but I can't resist... I just love the atmosphere there. Get there early!
12. Cala Saladeta (next to Cala Salada): No facilities, but it's a stunning beach.
13. Off-season: Beniràs. In the mornings between 9 and 11, it's often deserted. Walk along the rocks to the wooden shacks and take a refreshing dip in the blue waters for the ultimate morning swim.
14. Formerly known as 100% Cala de S'Aigua Blanca, it's now a surprise every year to see what you'll find (which keeps it exciting). Some years, the beach almost disappears, but last summer, it seemed to be making a comeback. I'm curious to see what we discover this year! There's a small, unassuming beach bar where the bartender occasionally takes a dip in the sea (naked), and they serve a truly divine burger (it might not be fancy, but it's delicious on a baguette).
15. And a little bit of smuggling: head north to Cala Xarraca, S'Illot d'es Rencli, Cala Xuclà, and a bit further to Cala D'en Serra. It's great fun to hop between these four beaches!

Throughout March 2024, you can enjoy 10% discount on ALL villas by using the code 'Barts Boekje10'. If you need some extra inspiration, check out Team Barts Boekje's favourite villas here
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