In a clear sign of things to come, San Antonio’s Mayor Jose Tur “Cires” has flexed his muscles and followed in Ibiza Town’s footsteps and announced an indefinite ban on ‘dynamic advertising’ specifically public relation workers (i.e. those who convince tourists to drink in certain premises) and street parades where groups of people walk along advertising clubs, bars & events.
The official reason is to “improve coexistence in the town” citing that this type of advertising takes place in public spaces and has a negative impact “on the environment, on the right of citizens freedom of movement and that it damages the image of the town with constant harassment of tourists”.
Mayor Tur has signed the decree suspending all new requests and renewals of licenses stating clearly that “failure to comply with this decree will result in the initiation of disciplinary proceedings”.
With other problems in the municipality some British bar owners have questioned whether the town hall has got its priorities right. One bar owner told me “it seems that the more legitimate you try to be the more you get pulled down or the more you have to pay. That just encourages people to play dirty games and flout the law breeding more underhand ways of doing things and fueling the very people causing the problems in the first place”
Another said “No legal PRs at all is the wrong move while there are 100s of illegals. It’s perhaps the logical step after the illegals have been eliminated, but not before, it’s’s like throwing the baby out with the bath water. There are far more pressing problems that need addressing that affect our town’s image such as lookys, pickpockets, prostitutes, these are much higher on the list that public relation issues. Why are these not being tackled first?”
Not all bar owners think it’s a bad thing with one commenting “this island used to work very well without PRs and ticket sellers” whereas as another said “they will be banning fun next”.
Ibiza is famous throughout the planet for it’s music and clubbing scene but nothing defines the island as much as it’s natural beauty and right in the middle of this is it’s amazing beaches.
After news that Illetes on Formentera was voted the ‘world’s best beach’ by the powerful Trip Advisor website I think it’s time to highlight the 15 best beaches on the White Isle as voted for by the island residents themslves (and they should know).
15. ES PORTITXOL
On the north coast of the island close to San Miguel is this crescent shaped hidden gem that is the stuff of dreams. It’s remote location means that it’s difficult to find so is usually deserted all through the summer so it’s a real getaway from the maddening crowd. The only drawback is that it’s so well protected by the high coastline that there’s very little breeze making it like an oven on a hot summers day.
14. CALA SALADA
One of San Antonio’s premier beaches is a joy with it’s pebble and sand beach and traditional restaurant serving delicious Spanish food at reasonable prices. Access via a steep hill from the northern side of San An and you won’t be disappointed with this beautiful cove.
13. CALA LLENYA
On the north east coast, 10 mins drive from San Carlos, lies this lovely sandy beach that is well worth the effort to get there. A favourite with families this beach is relatively quiet even in the peak season and is surrounded by green pine trees. Delightful.
12. LAS SALINAS
One of the major beaches on the white isle, this mile long white sandy beach is part of the Salinas National Park and has it all. Large car park for easy access, excellent frontline restaurants, clear blue waters and a rocky walk to the watchtower for when you’re feeling energetic. Favoured by the beautiful people but please note that it’s anything but relaxing during peak periods with ticket sellers and club parades a plenty. Very Ibiza.
11. ES CAVALLET
On the northern side of the arrowhead that makes up the southernmost point of island is the uber cool Es Cavallet. Over 1km of fine white sand with views to Ibiza Town and Formentera this picturesque stretch is a popular gay hangout and is an official nudist beach. There’s also some excellent restaurants where the rich and famous can usually be spotted. Definitely worth a visit even if just for the selfie.
10. CALA TARIDA
This resort beach is nearly 1km long and has a traditional holiday atmosphere with families, sunbeds, watersports, shops, bars and lots of other things thrown into the mix. This sheltered bay has amazing clear waters, a lovely stretch of sand and is favoured by continental Europeans.
9. CALA XARRACA
Just to the west of Portinatx is the small but perfectly formed bay of Cala Xarraca. It’s ideal for snorkeling with its clear waters and has magnificent views out to sea. There is also a mud bath that’s said to have special soothing powers and a traditional family owned restaurant serving delicious local dishes. What’s not to like!
8. CALA BASSA
Nestled only 15 mins drive from San Antonio and San Jose is the amazing Cala Bassa beach. Accessible by boat, car or bus this bay is one of Ibiza’s most popular places especially amongst locals. The creation of CBBC (Cala Bassa Beach Club) a few years ago caused much consternation locally but there’s no denying that it has taken the product to another level. While some complain of inflated prices others enjoy the several restaurants and tree lined bars that the beach club has to offer. The beach is a sandy paradise with turquoise waters and watersports. Life doesn’t get much better than lobster paella in the shade at CBBC on a hot summers day.
Get your hippy vibe going and join the in-crowd on one of Ibiza’s most famous hangouts. Benirras beach is located east of San Miguel and attracts a weird and wonderful crowd that only the white isle can offer. The beach itself is pebbles and sand with sunbeds and surrounded by several good restaurants. Sunday is the day when the drummers descend on the beach and begin their musical ritual at sunset. This should be on your Ibiza bucket list!
6. CALA VADELLA
Underrated by many (but not by Ibiza residents) this wide stretch of beach is ideal for kids with it’s shallow waters and gentle slope. Surrounded by beautiful green countryside and with restaurants and a popular dive school close by this delightful bay ticks all the boxes.
5. CALA GRACIONETA
This bijou beach paradise is one of Ibiza’s smallest but is simply breathtaking in its beauty and deserves to be in the top 5. A small white sandy beach surrounded by rocks and turquoise blue sea will stop you in your tracks and feel like you have gone to heaven. Because of its size it does get very busy during peak months but there is a top notch restaurant on the beach that serves delicious food and gives some well needed shade.
4. CALA NOVA
This north east coast beach has become increasingly popular since Atzaro opened their chic beach ‘club’ a few years back putting this unspoilt and shallow bay firmly on the map. Close to Es Cana and Cala Llenya, the surrounding scenery is naturally pine clad and has a choice of food places from plush to easy.
3. AIGUAS BLANCAS
Making the top 3 is this locals favourite that’s rarely overcrowded even in the busy summer months, Aiguas Blancas continues to surprise and delight the many that venture here every year. It’s nudist friendly and has that hippy vibe that Ibiza is famous for. Don’t be put off by it’s steep access, this just makes the experience that little more memorable and well worth the effort to see this natural beach that has been unspoilt with time. No sunbeds here just a couple of cool eateries and amazing views for your social media updates.
2. CALA SALADETA
We’ve already covered Cala Salada but what about its smaller sibling that comes in 2nd on our list? Drop down to Salada then make your way right over the rocks until you come to this beach haven. Saladeta is for the beach connoisseurs who want a white sandy beach overlooked by pine clad nature at its very finest. Busy during the summer months and very international with a surprising lack of Brits, Saladeta is old school beach loveliness and nothing else. No beach clubs or food places although the hawkers will be round offering their overpriced mojitos and fruit but this just adds to the fun. Simply irresistible.
1. CALA CONTA
Top of our list is the perennially popular Cala Conta which is nothing short of heaven on earth and my personal favourite on the island. A wonderland of walks in the winter then a beach paradise with stunning clear waters during the hot summer months Conta is up there with Europes finest. Not only that but it looks over several small islets that just add to its allure. Throw in good bus connections, ample car parking, one of Ibiza’s coolest sunset bars, a couple of class restaurants and you have the complete package for an incredible day and evening at the beach and really that’s what it’s all about!
Do you agree or have I missed out anything? Get in touch via Facebook, Twitter or email and have your say. Have a great summer!
Today is the unofficial start of the summer as Ryanair, everybody’s favourite airline 🙂 has once again resumed wholesale international flights in and out of the island.
British Airways has done a fantastic job connecting the white isle directly to London during the winter months but unfortunately London City Airport only appeals to a certain geographical area, great if you live in and around central London but quite a difficult nut to crack if you live north of Watford.
So love them or hate them that cheeky Irish airline is back big time and now its also Spain’s biggest airline in terms of passengers carried. To celebrate here is a quick overview of their summer 2016 international flights in and out of Ibiza but please note that is for quick reference only so please check the Ryanair website for full details!
London Stansted (STN)
18 Mar-29 Oct
Daily (except 22 & 24 Mar)
18 Mar-29 Oct
Daily (except 22/23/24 & 25 March)
27 Mar-27 Oct
Thu / Sun in Apr / May / Jun
Tue / Thu / Sun in Jul / Aug / Sep / Oct
04 Apr-29 Oct
Mon / Wed / Fri
East Midlands (EMA)
02 Apr-29 Oct
Tue / Thu / Sat
Glasgow Prestwick (PIK)
27 Mar-26 Oct
Wed / Sun plus an extra flight on a Fri in Jul only
Leeds Bradford (LBA)
03 Apr-27 Oct
Thu / Sun
01 Apr-28 Oct
Mon / Wed / Fri
01 Apr-29 Oct
01 Jul-31 Aug
02 Apr-29 Oct
Mon / Tue / Thu / Sat in Apr / May / Jun / Sep / Oct
Daily Jul / Aug
02 Apr-29 Oct
Mon / Wed / Sat in Apr / Oct
Mon / Tue / Wed / Thu / Sat in May-Sep
Dusseldorf Weeze (NRN)
02 Apr-29 Oct
Tue / Thu / Sat / Sun
02 Apr – 29 Oct
Daily (except Friday)
Note: No flights 30 May-15 Jun inc
Frankfurt Hahn (HHN)
18 Mar-28 Oct
Fri / Mon
Note: No flight on 21 March but one off flight on Tue 22 Mar
03 Apr-27 Oct
Thu / Sun
Milan Bergamo (BGY)
01 Apr-29 Oct
03 Apr-26 Oct
Wed / Sun in Apr / Oct
Wed / Fri / Sun in May
Wed / Thu / Fri / Sun in Jun / Sep
Tue / Wed / Thu / Fri / Sun in Jul
Daily in Aug
27 Mar-29 Oct
02 May-28 Oct
Mon / Fri
03 May-29 Oct
Tue / Thu / Sat
Ibiza is about to get busy so have a great summer no matter whether you are working, relaxing, partying, or anything else you might want to do. See you on the other side.
In shock news that has had international press coverage, Spanish Guardia Civil and customs officials are investigating after 3 ‘sacks’ of cocaine was discovered on Playa de Migjorn beach on the south coast of the island of Formentera, which is located 6km off the coast of Ibiza.
Even more surprising was that it was initially reported that there was 70kg of the drug but this was then revised up to 150kg and then after weighing it was found that the final figure was 84kg that has a street value well in excess of 6 million euros.
The 3 bags bearing the ‘Everlast’ logo were washed up on the beach covered in seaweed and discovered by a female on the afternoon of Tuesday 15 March, a broken GPS device was also recovered.
The authorities are working on the theory that the bags were thrown overboard from a vessel to avoid security forces, so far nobody has been arrested and enquires are ongoing.
Local residents in the Calo des Moro area of San Antonio have made a formal complaint about the proposed creation of a mosque on the ground floor of an apartment block in the area.
They explained that they consider the area to be a “tourist zone” and insist that a religious centre of this type should be in a separate building and not part of an existing residential block of apartments.
One resident explained “Our group of 28 neighbours have discovered that the ground floor commercial premises have been purchased with the intention of creating a mosque. This is the best tourist area of San Antonio and we think it is not compatible with any religious centres”.
The local residents have also complained that there has been work taking place on the premises during the night time and after these initial complaints a meeting was called where signatures were collected against the creation of this religious center and presented to the town hall to express their opposition.
San Antonio town hall has explained that the El Fath Cultural Association presented an “approval request” in November 2015 that was required prior to the purchase of premises and that technicians reported favorably as “it met all legal requirements” although they pointed out that the project would be reviewed at a late date. Over the last couple of weeks the cultural association has presented a basic project for the mosque with the plan to combine 3 premises.
As of yet town hall technicians have not yet assessed the plan “so no work had been authorized” and in this respect town planners will investigate the allegation that work has been preformed without authorisation.
Representatives of the Balearic Villa Associations have come to an agreement in principal with the tax authorities on how to collect and pay the the new tourist ‘ECOTAX’ that’s due to be imposed this coming summer.
The tax will be calculated using a ‘modules system’ that takes into account the sleeping capacity of the villa plus the dates it is occupied. This does not apply to private apartments as under current legislation it is prohibited for them to be rented out to tourists.
Roberto San Esteban, President of AVAT (the Ibiza and Formentera Villa Association) said that this is the “least worst” way for owners to collect and pay the tax but regrets that many villas are already booked for the coming summer forcing his members to “pay more”.
The payment formula will be introduced at the same time as the new law is implemented and instead of paying the usual €1 + IVA per person per night the villa owners and operators will pay according to the size of the property and number of bedrooms/beds. San Esteban went on to say that many villas are in the process of legalization so as yet “there is no control” over them.
It’s also been agreed that because each of the Balearic Islands has different occupation months this will be taken into account using a ‘correction factor’. San Esteban commented that holiday homes in Mallorca have a 6 month period of occupation while Ibiza only has three and a half months and Menorca and Formentera even less. “We discussed this correction factor and reached a consensus. Now we just need the approval of Viviana de Sans” said the representative of AVAT, which has 212 members even though the official number villas registered or being registered in Ibiza stands at 1,900.
The tax payment will take place between May and June of the following year of activity; i.e. owners/operators will pay the ECOTAX for summer 2016 in 2017. As the first year is “difficult to assess”, from January next year, interested parties may change to a module that better suits depending on the activity recorded in the previous summer but San Esteban warns that the Tax Agency has control mechanisms in place to ensure that villa owners/operators do not try to avoid paying part of the tax with a module that isn’t representative of the actual occupation. “Just by looking at electricity and water bills you can see the use (and occupation) of the property”.
It was also agreed at the meeting that a Balearic ‘holiday home’ census would be created for the first time using all available data from the tax agency and the Balearic Ministry of Tourism.
San Esteban welcomed the special inspections recently announced by Viviana de Sans for this coming summer to root out unfair competition and expected them to be “intense”. The President of AVAT remarked that there are unscrupulous operators who come to the island for August armed with just a website and a mobile phone who don’t pay any taxes and deceive clients who are left stranded without any liability insurance”.
The ongoing problems with Ibiza Taxis shows no sign of slowing down (pardon the expression) with the Ibiza Taxi Federation (FITIE) calling for a strike to coincide with Easter week from 23-28 March. This industrial action is to protest against the plan agreed between municipalities and the Consell (island council) to issue more seasonal licenses. FITIE has also warned of further summer strikes if the public institutions “maintain their disinterest” in negotiating with the federation.
According to FITIE president Alejandro Cardell, the agreed seasonal plan that grants more summer licences “in a single turn” has been negotiated “behind the backs of taxi drivers”. He continued “we have always tried to reach consensus with varying degrees of success, but this time have not agreed on anything”.
This latest turn of events follows on from the taxi drivers rally against ‘pirate taxis’ which ironically only exist because of the lack of taxis in the summer. Some will see this latest threat as the taxi drivers protecting their business whereas others will see it as further proof of an outdated licensing system where tourists are the ones who ultimately suffer.
The Ibiza housing crisis took another turn yesterday after it was announced that Balearic Government Inspectors will take part in an extensive campaign against illegal tourist rentals in houses and apartments in Ibiza and Formentera over the summer months.
Viviana de Sans, Vice President of the Island Council (Consell), said at a meeting of the Bureau of Housing Rights that the campaign will mirror that of last summer against illegal workers. “The inspectors from all of the islands will come to Ibiza and act together to make a clean sweep, a campaign of high impact” explained the Vice President who is confident that the fines imposed will serve to discourage owners, agencies and intermediaries to hire homes illegally during the tourist season.
“The results of this campaign and the fines imposed will serve as a marker” said de Sans “the idea is for people to assess the possible consequences of renting illegally during the summer and to raise their interest in renting all year round”. The Vice President said that there would be fines ranging from 4,000 to 400,000 euros and “this is what should discourage owners (from renting illegally)”. Sra de Sans also stressed the need for a “social debate” so people “will be ashamed to confess that tourists rent your apartment”. The Vice President warned that the “social alarm about high rental prices (on the island) encouraged many owners to rent their homes illegally”.
Sra de Sans also said that the Island Council (Consell) “will drive” contact between Government Inspectors and the Platform for those affected by rentals with a “hotline” to enable this group to communicate complaints”. Inspectors cannot meet with an association but if the Consell calls them you have contact,” said De Sans, who insisted that the Consell de Ibiza is currently “not competent in housing issues”.
The spokesman of this platform, Luis Gonzaga, also present at the meeting, stressed that the allegations made since last season have taken some effect “one intermediary has been sanctioned for accumulating a large portfolio of housing that was destined for irregular use but as of today no other case has reached us”
Gonzaga encouraged people to continue to denounce rental abuses and report them to the Guardia Civil and Hacienda (Tax Office), especially agents and intermediaries “because if they disappear then it will be easier to rent these homes”.
In addition, he said that inspections and prosecution of illegal rentals will ultimately favour a shift towards “lower annual rental prices instead of unlawful use”. However he insisted once again that during the summer “there is a lack of personnel for inspections and police to address all cases on the island.”
IdenCity, the company run by Jordi Hereu, the former mayor of Barcelona has been appointed at a cost of 60,000 euros to design the “transformation” of central San Antonio.
Seated with San Antonio Mayor Jose Tur, Hereu held a presentation yesterday to a group of local representatives, including political opposition, on how it will implement a strategic plan that should serve as the “sheet map” for the “change of tourism model” and urban conversion of the municipality between this year and 2030, covering nearly four legislatures. Also attending the meeting were the President of the Island Council (Consell) Vicent Torres, and Luis Corral, Director General of Territorial Planning of the Balearic Government.
Until now there has been several comprehensive projects of tourist reconversion for San Antonio that have come to nothing. “I know there have been other projects with similar objectives which haven’t been successful. This town doesn’t need resignation, it needs enthusiasm and a desire to do things” said Mayor Tur who continued to explain that the objectives were “improve the image of the municipality and the quality of life for its residents, not to increase the number of visitors but diversify the tourism market and be able to achieve a friendly tourism and provide a decent product”
Tur explained that IndenCity was established 4 years ago and was chosen over 3 other companies and is also currently working on a comprehensive transformation of the Mexican city of Chalco, and other various cities in Spain.
Hereu stressed the importance of the conversion of San Antonio as “a city project, not just a government project” and the need for a political pact between all forces and also citizen participation. Aware of the previous similar failed attempts to revitalize San Antonio, the former mayor of Barcelona stressed the need to “escape” from the idea that “things are hopeless.” “If there is a will there is a way” he said.
In this sense, Hereu said his company “is not a consultant who is dedicated to doing theoretical work or an academic study that sits on a shelf” he carried on “We like to transform territories in practice not in theory” but he also warned that “the challenge will not be easy…..and requires the will of all citizens”.
Sr Hereu continued to explain that the proposed transformation of the municipality should undertake both public and private funding and that if citizens demonstrate “their will” to change the municipality the necessary financial resources for it will appear from both public institutions and the private sector. “San Antonio needs to change its image” he said.
IdenCity director Javier Sierra warned that if the strategic plan is based solely on public funding then it would be doomed to “failure” and at the same time stressed the importance of the project to include “achievable objectives”.
For his part the general director of Planning, Luis Corral, said he could not guarantee any financial contribution by the Balearic Government but stressed that as they are accustomed to improvisation that costs lots of money the new urban planning of the municipality must be “absolutely linked to a strategic plan”.
In a clear sign of the times Ibiza has officially been named as the most expensive Spanish destination to lay down your head according to the 2015 Hotel Price Index (HPI).
Ibiza tops the list with an average of 171 euros per room per night, an increase of 1% compared to 2014. Marbella is the second most expensive Spanish destination after increasing prices by 6% year on year and charging an average rate of 152 euros per room per night.
Mallorca, Ibiza’s larger sibling and some might argue biggest competitor, saw no change in their prices with an average of 132 euros.
Overall Spanish hotels increased their prices by 4% for the 2nd consecutive year reaching an average price of 109 euros, while rates worldwide rose by only 1%. Madrid hotel prices went up by 9% to 102 euros per room per night whilst more than half of the 40 analysed Spanish destinations had an average price of less than 100 euros per night such as as Sevilla at 93 euros, Valencia at 84 euros and Granada at 80 euros.
Further afield New York topped the world table with an average of 206 euros per room per night (up 9%), Las Vegas was 98 euros (up 19%), London 162 euros (up 2%), Paris 119 euros (down 7%) and Dubai 156 euros (down 10%).
South East Asia continued to be good value for money with Bangkok a relatively ‘cheap’ 55 euros (down 2%) and Bali 89 euros (down 10%).