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Valentine's Day in Ibiza

Island of love!

The day of lovers should be special anywhere you happen to be, but Ibiza with its sunny winter days and spectacular colour-filled sunsets with profusions of pink, orange and yellow make for an exceptionally pretty romantic setting.

Cupid, whom we forever associate with Valentine's Day has some interesting parallels with the god Bes, from whom Ibiza takes its name. Bes fought off evil spirits, which connected this deity with life's pleasures like making music, dance and sexual pleasure. Cupid's bag was desire, attraction, affection and erotic love. They could almost be brothers in arms. You could say that as well as dancing, Ibiza is a place for romancing: many couples have met here on holiday with many returning again and again to reignite that first fire of love.

Valentine's Day should be the day when we celebrate love in all its forms, so we've included three things that all can do to feel the spirit of romance whether you are partnered up or not. Yes, even if your Facebook status is set to single there's something for you to do too this 14 February, so buy your partner some roses, get one for yourself and scatter the seeds of love and collectively we'll make the White Isle turn a glorious shade of romantic red.


Beach beauties

With spectacular natural beauty in abundance for a place of its size, there are literally dozens and dozens of places you could go to for your own special romantic setting. Pretty white villages like San Carlos or Santa Inés are dotted round the island, but for the most wild nature head for the coast. The beaches are now devoid of people, towels and mojito sellers and make for a great place for a picnic and a romantic walk in the winter sun. Cala d'Hort is right next to the eerily beautiful rock of Es Vedra, which is right out of the lover's handbook, even if your significant other is you. The protected and pretty cove of Cala Vadella is nearby too and both are reached on undulating roads, making for a seriously dreamy drive. Sa Caleta, with its red sandstone cliffs was the first place the Phoenicians settled, bringing Bes. We couldn't think of a more fitting tribute to the god by going there.

More west, there's Cala Bassa with its views of San Antonio Bay and a little further there's the legendary Cala Conta and its little sister, Cala Contita which you reach by some stone steps. Further north there's Cala Benirrás and the ridiculously pretty Cala Xarraca. All of these spots make great locations to watch the sun set too and you can't get more romantic than a sunset on Ibiza. The sun sets at around 6.30pm at this time of year, so make sure you get there ahead of time.


Body and your romantic soul

As important as getting in touch with nature on Valentine's Day is loving your body and giving it a treat. You could book yourselves (or yourself) into the Simbad Hotel and Spa, which offers facilities like its sensation showers and a waterfall sauna exclusively for the hotel clientele. Open to the public is Atzaro's spa with entry-level day access of €20 in winter offering access to its relaxing hammam, spa pool and sauna. There's also a choice of fusion or oriental massages using sensuous aromatic oils – as they say, love enters through the nose. Be careful not to go for anything that relaxes you too much of course, else you'll end up with one very peeved partner. If you are single, it could be just what you need to settle you into the night.


Food for the lovers

If you are here and self-catering you could make yourself a lovely dinner maybe using local and seasonal food that you picked that day or sourced from one of the big covered markets in Ibiza Town, San Antonio and Santa Eulalia. For the singles amongst us, a sumptuous home made dinner for one will raise your spirits, but that shouldn't stop you going out for a meal. If you are solo, you should head out and have yourself a slap up dinner anyway. Look for the eating-places without the smug couples in the window or take a look at our restaurant guide for inspiration of venues open all year round.

Many of the island's restaurants will be doing Valentine's specials and these are best for couples. Villa Mercedes in San Antonio has a special €25 five course menu with things like lustful salad and sea bass with passion fruit salsa. Over in Playa d'en Bossa, Clandestino is offering its own “delicious and different” menu for the same price. If you are heading for home on Valentine's day, then Sushipoint is doing a Valentine's Weekend on Friday and Saturday (12-13 February) offering a €35 set menu of its elegant Japanese and Mediterranean food. There will be some great music, and lots of glamour to accompany the romance. Look in the windows of restaurants the night ahead to see their Valentine's menus and book ahead where you can.

There should be every reason why, coupled or not, to feel in the mood for love on Ibiza and here's to Cupid's arrows raining forth.


WORDS | Julian Heathcote

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