“ Address: Ibiza / Spain „
We visited San Antonio bay in September 2013 and had a great time. There were 5 of us, two adults, two teenagers and a child and there was plenty for all to do. The teenagers were able to get the taxi boat over to San Antonio for 1 euro to go clubbing, whilst we stayed in the bay and enjoyed the hotel entertainment or visited the bars and restaurants. All the bars in the bay are child friendly with most of them having some sort of kids section or play area. We stayed in Playa Bella apartments and it was perfect for our family. The bay is definitely a more family orientated area of Ibiza so don't let the thought of groups of young clubbers put you of if you want to travel here with family or a partner. The weather was still very hot when we went even though it was nearly end of season.
During My recent holiday in ibiza with my husband we spent two weeks staying at the Port des Torrents end of San Antonio Bay. San Antonio town is at one end of the bay, and Port des Torrents is the other. During our holiday we both walked along the road around the bay and drove along it, so during this time we saw pretty much all of it. To walk the full length took about an hour to the pier at san Antonio town.
San Antonio town is the party resort of ibiza, the bay is somewhat quieter but still has it's fair share of bars, restaurants, hotels and shops. The bay is also famous for it's all year round sunsets.
The bay is made up of several small beaches as well as rocks. The two best beaches are both at the San Antonio end, there are more dotted along the bay but they get smaller and more rocky. Coming away from San Antonio there is also a great promenade to walk along, with the sea on one side and clubs / restaurants on the other. From the main beach in the town you can arrange all your water sports such as paragliding, or hire a pedalow. The rocks at the Port des Torrents end do have a metal ladder going into the sea, so that you can swim or snorkel there. The waters are crystal clear, and were still warm in October, although can be quite choppy from the wind. There is in fact a nice beach at Port des Torrents but it is outside the bay on the western edge, and quite a walk from the end of the strip.
**San Antonio Town**
This is the town most people think of when you say you are going to San Antonio bay, and if like me you're not an obvious party animal you will be greeted by looks of shock and surprise. San Antonio is the party place which features on programmes such as Ibiza uncovered. This centres around it's bar street which are narrow lanes called "West end", there are also two big dance clubs on the way into San Antonio, and numerous outlets selling club tickets for the dance clubs around the island. As well as your local restaurants, there are two burger kings, a kfc and a pizza hut.
So does it deserve this reputation?
Well we went during low season, but on the couple of nights we walked into the town it didn't look any worse then any other town I've been to on a night out, although I admit we weren't there particularly late as both times we left after a bite to eat so maybe 11.30pm at the latest.
The parts which never feature on such programmes are the beautiful square with fountains, market stalls, and people painting portraits. One night there was also a man creating beautiful paintings with spray paint. The harbour and marina are also here, with the boat taxi going across the bay, or offering trips around the island, as well as the chance to see some lovely boats moored up. The harbour is protected by a long pier that you can walk along, and offers a lovely view of the whole bay. The town also has lots of shops in it's narrow streets, although these tend to be mostly touristy as you would expect. We were lucky enough to see a pirate market in the harbour the first weekend we were there, and this offered lots of stalls and entertainment, it must have been quite unique though as it was filled with spanish. The town also has a tourist train, which came recommended but we never went on, and goes into the mountains above the town, and to the north of the town is an aquarium, again we never went but you could get a taxi boat to it for I think 6 euros return.
**Heading along the bay**
As you head around the bay we followed the promenade down to the next beach, this then automatically joins the road. At this point the sea and bay is actually hidden by successive hotels and buildings. I think it would be possible to walk around the whole bay by the sea, but at certain points you would have to walk on the beach or rocks, so it's not the most practical route to follow. The road eventually turns into a one way strip, and I would say the majority of the bay is one way. Dotted along the route are plenty of touristy shops, and restaurants come bars. There are several cut throughs so that you can get down to the beach and sea.
About halfway along the bay is the Gorilla Hippy Market, which while much smaller when we were there as the season was closing, is still worth a visit. It is so named as it has a statue of a huge gorilla. The stalls were a collection of jewellery, bags, clothes as well as someone painting portraits. There is also a bar serving snacks.
**Port des Torrents end**
This is the quieter more relaxed end of the bay, I would count the bay as ending with the one way strip, and from this angle I would say it doesn't really have the beaches of the San Antonio end. Port des Torrents does have a beautiful beach but it is hidden further to the west away from the bay. We only really snorkelled off the rocks here, but there was a great little metal ladder to get in and out of the water with.
Saying Port des Torrents is quieter it still has lots of bars, restaurants and shops. I would say these are more aimed at couples and older people though then the ones in town. As our hotel was at the end of the one way strip, this is the end I am most familiar with, and it was mostly the restaurants around here that we ate in. The places we kept going back to were Boucala, for great service and food as well as free wifi, the Old Tavern for great cheap food and great entertainment ( we were out drank and out stayed up by several older people here, but did win a bottle of fizz at the quiz and 40 euros at the bingo :) ), and last but not least The Store room a place younger people seemed to start their night of with cheap 2 euro pints, jugs of cocktails and again free wifi. There were also bars with children's slides, and mechanical bulls you could ride (we didn't), although strangely while we were there they were only open on a night.
**Food, drink and prices**
Th average cost of our evening meals was about 25 euros for two meals (basic meals like burger or pizza) and two drinks, sometimes more or less depending what we had. An average pint was around 2.80, with most restaurants being a bit more expensive especially in the town. If you prefer self catering like us we thought the supermarket prices were pretty similar to here, and there was a reasonable priced supermarket in the bay, as well as several more expensive tourist ones. Most bars showed football constantly, although we also saw some showing x factor and the soaps, we managed to watch both the Moto gp and Grandprix although we had to hunt for somewhere showing them.
Getting around the bay is pretty easy, as well as foot, there are normal buses, taxis, and a water bus service across the bay. There is also a disco bus for the clubs. There are also plenty of places to hire cars or scooters (as we did).
San Antonio town is about a 30 minute transfer from the airport, dropping off at hotels in the bay takes a bit longer because the one way strip means you will be last. An interesting point of our transfer is also that they don't drop of outside the hotels, but rather at stops close to them. Also worth a note is that the season here seems to end a bit earlier then in other places I have stayed, as I have mentioned in my hotel review this closed the day we checked out, and asking around this wasn't unusual one couple we talked to said that they were actually having to move hotels mid holiday because there's was closing. Some of the bars and restaurants closed while we were there, and I wouldn't normally consider the 7 October a late date to be coming back from holiday.
Both me and my husband loved our stay here, and found the bay offered a relaxed atmosphere with plenty to do. I thought for a couple not too young or old :) there was plenty to do at night, and plenty of places to relax through the day. If there was one thing I wasn't so keen on I felt most of the shops had the same things in, but then when we visited other towns on the island I thought they did as well.
Having discussed the score with my husband we think 4 stars, dropping a star for the lack of great beaches and prices being similar to home.