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Chill Your Boots!

So many return from Ibiza in desperate need of another holiday just to get over it, but uncover the island's rustic tranquility and you can balance the hedonistic ying with a replenishing yang.


Let's make no mistake, Ibiza is all about the parties, but eventually 36-hour days and enough vodka limons to fill up a bath tub can catch up with everyone. Rather than wear yourself to a frazzle trying to cram in one more club/after-party/all-back-to-mine session, why not step back from the madness (locura, as the locals say)?
Beneath its rock around the clock veneer, Ibiza is seeped with beaches, cafes and hideaways that will restore your energies and sooth your fragile nerves.
If you can afford to hire a yacht for a day and lie offshore at Cala Jondal having drinks ferried to you all day then by all means do. Otherwise, check out some of these rejuvenating alternatives…

BEACHES


Aguas Blancas
Want a more peaceful alternative to the hippie drum-bashing at Benirras? Then head to Agua Blancas and unwind in one of Ibiza's most unspoiled beaches. Leave your stress - and clothes - behind and flop on the white sand beach or take a refreshing swim to one of the many tiny islets dotted along the shoreline and bask in isolation.

South end of Playa d'en Bossa
The constant parade of PRs and the din of shrieking small children ruining your Playa d'en Bossa experience? Then get off your lounger and amble southwards. As the hotels thin out, the beach widens and the atmosphere loses its hectic edge. When you hit the end of the sand turn right and you'll find yourself wandering in tranquil pine groves, or follow the shoreline to the left until you find an empty cove where you can take the sun in silence.

S'Estanyol
Only a few minutes drive from Ibiza Town or Jesus, S'Estanyol still manages to feel like "getting away from it all". Maybe it's the drive down the quiet, pine-scented dirt road, or the smooth little crescent of sand beach, or the laidback vibe at PK2, its excellent beach bar/restaurant, but the effect is one of total comfort and seclusion.

Cala Moli
Chances are good anyone looking for a beach on the south end of the island will head to the obvious destinations like Cala Vadella or Cala Tarida. Beat the crowds by finding the one-lane dirt track between the two that leads down to this secluded little haven. It's a bumpy ride but the reward is a banana-boat free afternoon of sun and sea.

Cala Xarraca
Just west of much busier Portinatx, at the far north end of the island, Xarraca is a favourite retreat for swimmers and snorkelers thanks to its perfectly clear waters. Locals also swear by the skin-soothing properties of the nearby mud baths - a winningly inexpensive spa experience and ideal antidote to ashy clubber's mug.


RESTAURANTS/BEACH BARS


La Paloma
Sant Llorenc's biggest attraction, Tuscan eatery La Paloma exists in a permanent bubble of Zen. The owner lived on an ashram in India for years before moving to Ibiza and her serenity permanently infuses the family-run restaurant. The proprietors grow their own organic veg and make fresh pasta that is a specialty.
Plus, the recent addition of the La Paloma Café means you can spend a whole morning/afternoon sunning yourself in their garden with just the papers and a delicious coffee for company.

Chill Café
The in-the-know alternative to the bustle of Croissant Show, Chill Café, on Via Punica in Ibiza Town, is a haven for locals who come here to surf the web, eat fabulous homemade soups, sandwiches and brownies, and skim the papers. Run by charming, unflappable French pixie Emily, it's the sort of place you turn up for a coffee and have to drag yourself away from three hours later.

Sol Den Serra
Just off the main drag, past the mass of ugly hotels and lobster-like tourists on sunloungers at Cala Llonga is Sol Den Serra. Not the first place you'd think of for a sunset bar, but it boasts great views from the white, canopied beds arrayed below the main bar and you can stay all day and night, slowing soaking up cocktails and tranquility.

Es Camp Vell
If you want to get away from it all head to Sant Mateu. This unfussy, family restaurant is next to the church, offering a chance to admire the soothing simplicity of classic Ibicenco architecture as you tuck into a robust paella. There's nothing else in the neighbourhood but fruit trees so you're unlikely to be tempted into post-dinner mischief either.

El Bistro
In Ibiza, calm is only ever a few steps away. In the centre of Dalt Vila's Plaza de la Vila a cluster of restaurants merge into noisy sea of tables come high season but two minutes walk up the hill El Bistro basks in candle-lit calm. Take a table outside to enjoy twilight and the slowly emerging twinkle of stars. About the only distraction you'll have from their excellent food is the odd wandering troubadour who'll busk a song while you sip your wine.

Madagascar
Not the most obvious chill spot, but even in the height of summer Madagascar, in the heart of the Plaza del Parque, retains its stubbornly unhurried atmosphere. There will be a hundred kids running like mad around the square, and every table will be full, but you'll still find the locals chilling here enjoying a game of chess or backgammon while sipping ridiculously inexpensive vino.

El Ayoun Lounge
Formerly renowned for its raucous, quasi-legal parties, this Sant Rafael staple ran into licensing trouble last year. The result? The all-night benders have been replaced with a gentler style of entertainment. Interior renovations mean even more space to chill in its Bedouin-styled lounge and their new sushi menu is a painless way to sneak in a little detox.

Croissant Playa
At the very end of Figueretes beach, just up from the tourist information kiosk, lies this blink-and-you'll-miss it breakfast spot, hidden behind the bus stop. With glass doors that open onto the street, the whole café is a terrace where you can sit and browse their selection of newspapers and magazines (in a variety of languages) while refueling with gorgeous pastries or tostados. They'll wrap you up a bocadillo or a slice of cake to take away as well.

Yemanaj
This Cala Jondal favourite is right next door to buzzier Blue Marlin but it has a more chilled, local vibe. On the weekends families gather to sit for hours eating and drinking around long wooden tables in the sand but during the week it's an ideal place to kick back with a glass of their specialty sangria and watch the sunset.


HIDEAWAYS


Port de Sant Miquel
A trip to Sant Miquel is the perfect afternoon expedition. Stop off in town and enjoy stunning views of the countryside from the hilltop church before continuing on to the tiny port. You can take a tour of the ancient natural caves here, where smugglers used to stash their goods, or wander along the cliffs with a picnic 'til you find a chillout spot.

Atzaro
For a dose of real jet-set pampering splash out €30 on a day at this luxuriously over-the-top agrotourismo. Indulge in a little surreptitious celeb spotting while you lie next to the designer swimming pool, lounge on one of the imported teak day beds, get a massage at its straight-outta-Wallpaper* spa or soak up good vibes from the massive Buddha that sits in the middle of the gardens.

Santa Agnes
When even the beaches are crazy, head for this tiny village on the northwest side of the island, which lies between rolling hills and is swathed in almond orchards. Have a coffee then unwind with a long ramble through the nearby campo. Even in the height of summer you're unlikely to run into anyone other than the odd local, making it a great getaway.

Formentera
Hop on one of the slow boats to Formentera (they're half the price of the soulless Mediterranea fast ferries) and watch the crowd pile off at the first stop, Illetes. Stay onboard till the marina, where you can stock up on nibbles and newspapers before taking a peaceful 20-minute walk through rolling dunes to Cala Savina beach. Alternatively, hire a bike and take a leisurely tour of the island, stopping off at whatever remote beach takes your fancy.