For the WILD SOUL who loves a sense of adventure, unspoilt nature, magnificent views and blissful solitude... I’ve got something for you, my friend.
A little gem in the north of Ibiza, not that easy to reach but well worth the effort.
Do you remember what a treasure hunt feels like?
Es Portitxol is one of those rare wild and free bays that are reminiscent of childhood excitement. After getting lost and finding your way again. After a little hike and a little sweat. Once you made it, this dreamy little pebble beach will take your breath away. You will not believe you’re in Ibiza - the world’s most iconic island.
Es Portitxol has the stillness of a forgotten world.
In German there is a saying “Der Weg ist das Ziel” - which kinda translates like “The Journey is the Destination” - and it thoroughly fits the bill when it comes to Es Portitxol. Getting there really is part of the thrill, with a path that snakes through pine forests on one side, and a towering cliff edge on the other.
The views high over the sea are sensational, pictures don’t even come close to what it feels like.
However finding that narrow path might be your first challenge - or so it was for me...
When I arrived on this enchanting island back in October 2014, equipped with my Secret Beaches guide book, I was in nonstop explorer mode. I was the most dedicated tourist.
And what a beautiful time this was, constant flowstate! Just getting in the car, discovering the countryside, and recovering from my London burn-out.
So on a particularly gorgeous autumn morning I drove off to Es Portitxol. The guide book made it sound pretty easy, but as I realised a little later - actually not that easy. Before I could even walk down that path leading me to the beach I had to figure out where the “parking area” was. On a quiet day without a human soul around it’s mission impossible.
I remember on my first trip I parked miles away and kept walking and walking down for at least one hour until someone finally gave me a lift to where I should have left the car.
Second time around I thought I will not make the same mistake again and went further and further down until there was no further to go. Just the cliff edge and the sea below me. Trying to turn around and go up again… Well, it wasn’t fun. Please don’t do this with a hire car.
Anyway I got there eventually. Car safely parked, I was ready to find that enigmatic beach I heard so much about. And if after reading my intro you have doubts whether you should even bother then let me tell you...
Yes, you absolutely should!
Your reward is the most scenic pebble beach surrounded by unspoilt nature and enclosed by dramatic high cliffs, instantly giving you a sense of seclusion and intimacy.
Swimming in crystal-clear waters that change colour from turquoise to emerald-green is so worth the 30 minute walk from the "parking area" down to the beach, with plenty of instagram-friendly photo opportunities along the way.
It’s hard to describe the energy of Es Portitxol but other-wordly is the best I can come up with. Like a natural round swimming pool, encompassed and embraced by the mountains surrounding it, with just a few fishermen’s huts on each side.
Raw, almost surreal beauty.
The hidden coves make it a dream destination for snorkelers, so do bring your goggles. And definitely bring food, plenty of water and a book. I was sitting half in water, leaning against a massive rock, reading my book and munching on my lunch. Utter bliss in the heat of July - sheer escapism. As there is no phone connection it’s a complete digital detox.
No demands, no noise entering the mind.
Of course there might be other people seeking a little adventure and somewhere solitary, especially on Sundays when everyone is desperate to hit the beach. But it’s only the very dedicated (and fit) who find their way down.
If you love a natural setting then this is your paradise.
Quiet stillness. Lot's of nude swimming. It's the universe telling you to hit the pause button for a few hours. To take a deep breath, embrace the journey and savour the precious beauty of Ibiza’s wild side.
How to get there:
From Sant Miquel drive towards Sant Mateu. When the road splits take the right turning to Sant Mateu north and keep driving up to the urbanisation Isla Blanca. It’s like a mini village of houses and apartments overlooking the sea.
So far so good. Easy, right? But this is precisely where the signposts to Es Portitxol stop... From there you'll need to engage your inner compass to locate it.
I think there’s an unwritten rule in Ibiza that certain secrets should not be revealed too easily. So when you do find one of our mysterious beaches, don’t mark it on a map please. Let others linger too on the possibility of finding something rare and precious.
How boring would it be if I gave you the most detailed directions.
What is the point of a treasure hunt?
I’m sure you’ll find someone to ask or to follow. I usually pick up a lost soul along the way who is ready to give up and turn around (Marco, the Italian, was the latest and quite fun company).
But of course, if you prefer a guide... Well I'm here, just drop me a line. It would be my absolute pleasure to take you there, and to see Es Portitxol through your eyes.