In praise of Ibiza in December: A guide to its secret delights

Ibiza is characterised by its busy summer, but the winter months reveal a different side to this sleeping beauty. Explore Ibiza this December.
In praise of Ibiza in December: A guide to its secret delights

Ibiza is a behemoth on the European summer holiday checklist; people from far and wide hurtle towards the teeming island for a summer getaway. It is undoubtedly beautiful, and the summer sun draws in partygoers and yachters. A flashy affair in a picturesque setting.

At the turn of the season, however, the crowds dwindle. But the island's beauty does not. In fact, it arguably becomes more attractive. Beaches lie empty, superclubs shut their doors, and the incessant hum of  traffic gives way to quiet roads, which pave the way to a serene few months, a slower life in the low season on this Balearic wonder. 

ibiza-in-december-chalky-cliffs

December is a surprisingly great time to embark on your Ibiza holidays for a number of reasons. With this luxury travel guide, we will unearth the charm that is so easily forgotten in the summer months, hidden beneath the hoards of people as they clamour to get bookings at the best restaurants and set their towels on the perfect square foot of beach. Although Ibiza's popularity diminishes with the cooling weather, this article will show that many of its defining attributes as one of Europe's foremost luxury holiday destinations do not.

Somewhere only we know

It is difficult to feel that Ibiza is a special place when it is shared with so many. While Ibiza is a wonderful destination to spend the summer months, the masses of people from the months of June through August give the impression that you have been invited to a dinner simply by virtue of being human, that there is nothing special about your being present, even though it is still enjoyable to attend. 

ibiza-in-december-street

In the quieter months, however, there is a feeling of exclusivity, of being part of a secret that the locals have meticulously kept from the world of travel. This is the side of Ibiza that you don't see in busier times. It is as if a veil has been lifted on the true authenticity of this beautiful island and its welcoming locals.

December is a month to be shared with family, and a quiet Ibiza is the perfect backdrop in which to create lasting memories that feel unique to you and your loved ones. If you plan on going with family, Santa Eulalia, a peaceful town on the East coast of the island, is an excellent place to spend Christmas with your children.

A walk at low tide

The emptying of the island's tourists also means one thing is freely available: space. During the high season, Ibiza Town and the island's spectacular beaches are the antithesis of open space and freedom. Beach walks are more akin to a game of pinball during summer's swelter, when sun bathers pose as obstacles through which one must zigzag. 

December ushers in a quietude along the white beaches that slip beneath the surface of a gently ebbing and flowing blanket of blue water. Walk along Ses Salines' cambering sands, or wander the unfamiliarly quiet stretch of Playa d'en Bossa, because, well, you can.

ibiza-in-december-water

ibiza-in-december-red-cliffs

Utilise the cooler weather to venture to unspoilt coves and rose-hued rock pools. Es Portixol is a wonderful location, even if you do not intend to swim. On Christmas Day, walk along a quiet beach with your family, the hush roll of waves only adding to the tranquility. Ibiza is one of the most scenic places for luxury holidays Spain has to offer, and the low season's serenity makes it far more enjoyable. 

Hiker's guide to the locality

Rugged and unspoilt, yet at the same time tender and benevolent in its endless provision of beauty. The landscape of Ibiza varies from fertile farming countryside, to stark, jagged cliffs plunging into the darker blue of deeper waters, white beaches to pine forests. For a small place there is a thoroughly diverse ecosystem, a plethora of natural splendours to indulge in.

In winter, Ibiza is far cooler, but relatively warm when compared to the UK. In December the weather can reach up to 18°C if you're lucky, but usually it sits at moderate highs of 16°C. This relative cool makes exploring the island much easier.

In the summer heat, hiking to Cala d'Albarca is doable, but challenging and unpleasant. However, on a bright winter's day, the island reveals itself. It is almost as if the weather rewards those patient enough to wait through the summer months, to bear with it through unpopularity. Follow the paths that wend through the forest, where, on cloudy days, the mist wafts through the pines in enchanting whirls. Move along cliff edges until you reach this idyll of a cove, steeped in a history of pirates and hippies. 

 

ibiza-in-december-pines

"Heaven's gate", as dubbed by the free-spirited residents that the island has become so acquainted with, is a small beach flanked by chalky white cliffs, framing the blue waters lapping against the ridges. The beach will appear and vanish again in glimpses through the pines, until you begin the descent towards the beach. The hike to Ses Balandres is not for the faint-hearted, but is well worth the dizzying heights and daunting ladders and ropes that comprise the primary access. 

It takes roughly 45 minutes to get down and one hour to get back up, which in the stifling heat is taxing. But on a warm winter's day, traversing the forests and cliffs will be just enough to make you want to dip, skinny if the bays is quiet enough, into the crystal-clear waters at the hike's end.  

The gift of culture this Christmas 

In Ibiza, the culture of family is apparent all year round. But in the slower months it becomes far more visible. Restaurants and market stalls bear witness to this: husbands and wives, parents and children, siblings stand behind counters serving locals and visitors with a smile. Try the traditional Ibizan dish bullit de Peix, a deliciously warming dish of seasoned and boiled fish served with aioli, finished with fresh bread to soak up the sauces. 

Even though it is undoubtedly quieter in the winter months, this does not go to say that there is no nightlife. Ibiza has a world-renowned tradition of partying, come high season or low. There will be a great nightlife scene still in December, but without all of the queueing, VIP-pandering, and extortionate entrance fees. Or, spend relaxing evenings listening to live music performed by local bands in some of the smaller bars. Dine in still and cosy restaurants when the evening's chill descends. 

ibiza-in-december-dinner

In Ibiza Town, explore Dalt Vila, and enjoy the views from the viewing platform that would normally be teeming with Instagrammers and selfie sticks. The streets of the beautiful old town, like most European destinations, adorn a delightful array of Christmas lights, almost in mimicry of the shimmering Mediterranean when it catches the early evening light. 

Enjoy a Christmas meal of typical Ibizan cuisine at one of the world-class restaurants that open for the festive period. It is a time of sharing, and few do it as well as the cheery and welcoming Ibizan locals, where laid-back is the status quo.

ibiza-in-december-quiet-streets

In December, an attraction to Ibiza in and of itself takes place: Festa del Vi Pagès. It is a festival in Sant Mateu d'Albarca that celebrates red wine, in particular small-scale-produced country wine. Indulge in the local wines, poured from jugs shaped like teapots, and feel like a real local.

There is a great number of things to do in Ibiza in December, and at Le Collectionist we can provide the dreamiest of settings from which to enjoy your trip. Explore our unforgettable luxury villa rentals in Ibiza to find the perfect match for your trip to this luxuriating, yet boldly rugged Balearic isle. 

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