Spain // The Balearic Islands //

The west and south coast

For years unchallenged at the top of Europe’s costa hooligania league table, the package resort of SANT ANTONI DE PORTMANY on the island’s west coast is trying hard to shake off its tarnished image. The high-rise concrete skyline and gritty British pubs of the “West End” aren’t at all enticing, but the Sunset Strip on the western side of town is an appealing place for a drink. Hordes of young British clubbers flock to San An for its plethora of bars within easy staggering distance.

Beaches near Sant Antoni

Heading south of Sant Antoni, it’s just a few kilometres to some exquisite coves. Sheltered Cala Bassa gets packed with holidaying families in high season, but it does have a campsite, while the more exposed beach of Cala Conta is less crowded, and is a beautiful spot to while away an afternoon. The most beguiling beach in the Balearics, Cala d’Hort, is in the extreme southwest of the island, with a lovely quiet sand-and-pebble shoreline plus three good, moderately priced seafood restaurants. From the shore there are mesmeric vistas of Es Vedrà, an incisor-shaped 378-metre-high islet that’s revered by islanders and island hippies alike, and is the subject of various myths and legends – including a claim to be Homer’s island of the sirens.

Taking the scenic southern road to Ibiza Town you pass via SANT JOSEP, a pretty village with a selection of café-restaurants. Some 7km southwest of Sant Josep, Cala Jondal, is a popular pebble beach.

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