About Family Holidays in Ibiza
Ibiza is an ideal destination for a family holiday thanks to its warm sunny weather, sandy beaches with calm and shallow waters, and lots of fun activities for all ages. The island is compact with just around 600m2, so you can travel everywhere in under an hour. It is also safe, clean, and there is a wide range of accommodation in terms of both style and affordability.
The ideal family holiday is different for all of us, the beauty of Ibiza is that it can cater for pretty much everyone. Situated in the western Mediterranean, the island is a short flight from most European countries to the capital city of Ibiza Town. There are also frequent ferry services from mainland Spain which are very convenient if you want to bring your car and all the baby equipment with you on your holiday; the fastest services take just over three hours from Denia or Valencia.
As to when to visit, summer temperatures can climb to around 30ºC in July and August, and around 26ºC in June and September. Humidity is highest in August, with the spring and autumn months perfect for enjoying the great outdoors and the quiet beaches.
Beach holidays remain the most popular for families during the summer, with many of the best beaches located in family-friendly resorts. The choice of accommodation ranges from five-star luxury hotels to great value self-catered apartments. If you're on a budget, one of the all-inclusive resort hotels may suit, you'll find all you need on your doorstep in one of the bigger resorts like the bay of San Antonio (although we would recommend you avoid the town centre during peak season) and the nearby resort of Cala Tarida, or Santa Eulalia with the neighbouring resorts of Cala Llonga, Cala Llenya and Es Canar.
Peace & quiet
Not likely with kids, but still... If you want something quieter but well priced, go for a small rural hotel inland. It feels like a world away in these small, traditional converted farmhouses, and the kids can play in the countryside or by the swimming pool instead of the beach. A villa in the hills, many of which overlook the coast, is always popular with families and the choice is great.
If you have older kids who enjoy being active, Ibiza is a holiday haven for sporty families. You can find hiking, cycling, watersports, tree-top adventures and adventure playgrounds all over the island and these experiences can create lifelong memories for the children. There are still some wild places to explore on the White Isle, with protected natural parks, untouched beaches and a rural heartland that remains blissfully undeveloped. Or, for sea lovers, try a sailing holiday in the calm waters that surround Ibiza, there are many hidden coves to discover.
Accommodation for families
Ibiza has a good selection of accommodation to suit all types of holiday and all budgets.
Many families prefer to take a villa holiday on the island, most of which are self-catered. There are villas dotted all around the Ibiza, some located close to the coastline and others hidden inland. The most popular areas for villas with sea views are the towns of San Antonio and Santa Eulalia and their neighbouring beach resorts. There are also some coastal villas in the north of the island, especially around Portinatx and Port de Sant Miquel. The areas surrounding Sant Josep, Sant Joan and Sant Carles concentrate most of the countryside villas. If no nanny service is offered with the villa, you can book childcare with one of the private nanny companies that operate throughout Ibiza.
The traditional resorts of San Antonio, together with nearby Cala Tarida, and Santa Eulalia with Cala Llonga, Cala Llenya and Es Canar in close proximity are once again hot spots for family-friendly hotels. Many have been modernised and refurbished to provide family specific accommodation with family rooms and inter-connected rooms, children's facilities and special kids menus in their restaurants. All-inclusive hotels are a popular option to help keep costs down, as are self-catering apartments in the resorts. Bear in mind that there is a fair amount of adults-only hotels on the White Isle, so check before booking.
There are luxury hotels scattered throughout Ibiza, and some of the larger ones have kids clubs. However, during the peak season try and avoid the areas between Ibiza Town and the beach of Playa d'en Bossa where many of them are located. This is one of the island's nightlife hotspots, so it can get noisy and a bit rowdy at times, especially during summer nights.
There are many gorgeous country hotels in Ibiza that are worth considering, especially on the island's northern half which has been less touched by the tourist industry. Some are manor houses or farmhouses (known as fincas in Spain) that have been cleverly and sympathetically converted to provide excellent value for money family accommodation. They tend to be small and friendly and can be a good alternative to a villa holiday if you would rather someone else did the shopping and the cooking.
Ibiza has some great campsites. Most are located right on the beach and offer extensive facilities and activities for children and adults. They are also a great way to explore the island's natural beauty. Book a tipi or a yurt and your kids will feel like they're in for an adventure.
Also see: Where to Stay in Ibiza
Best places for families
The White Isle is a very convenient destination for families thanks to its compact size. With a maximum of only 40 kilometres in length and 15 kilometres in width, you're never more than a 50-minute drive away from anywhere in Ibiza, and usually within 15 minutes from the nearest beach.
The main draw to Ibiza is probably the sea and sand; thankfully, there are many family-friendly beach resorts to choose from. Staying near the beach gives access to all the watersports on offer, as well as the chance to take boat trips to explore more of the coast than you could on foot with kids. Nonetheless, wherever you stay on the island you'll never be very far from the sea.
Family beach resorts
The area around the bay of San Antonio, the coves on the south-west coast of the island and the town of Santa Eulalia with its nearby beaches are the most popular hot spots for a family holiday on the beach. Here you'll find a good selection of family-friendly hotels and all-inclusive resorts.
Santa Eulalia is the ideal spot to base yourself when travelling with kids. This quiet resort on the east coast of Ibiza boasts a more relaxed pace of life than the rest of the island, and it has been named a "Child Friendly City" by UNICEF. The beach at Santa Eulalia is perfect for families thanks to its shallow waters, white sand and good selection of restaurants and cafes just within a few steps. A brief walk north of the town along the coast will bring you to Es Niu Blau beach, a favourite among those who enjoy watersports. Bordered by pine trees this quiet beach is a good spot to bring children if you don't want to spend the whole day in the sun.
There are a couple of small beach resorts to the north of Santa Eulalia which are also convenient when travelling with the whole family due to the large amount of amenities they have on offer. These are Es Canar and Cala Llenya. To the south, Cala Llonga is another firm favourite among families.
San Antonio, located in a bay on the western coast of Ibiza, becomes a party hub during the peak summer months. The town can get pretty busy from June to September due to the clubbers flocking to its nightclubs and party boats, so we recommend you avoid it during this period when travelling with children. Opt instead for one of the good value hotels on the outskirts, or look for accommodation in some of the smaller beach resorts that have sprung up in the beautiful coves near the bay, such as Cala Gracio to the north, or Cala Tarida and Cala Vadella to the south. You will still be close to all the amenities in San Antonio but will benefit from some peace and quiet. These resorts offer plenty of services and activities for the whole family, and their beaches boast calm and shallow waters. The beach in front of the town of San Antonio, although usually crowded during the summer months, has clean and shallow waters and it is a great beach to use if you have family, especially with small children.
No matter what the size of the resort, handily there are usually playgrounds situated close to the beach.
The northern coast of Ibiza has remained relatively untouched by tourism and still retains its wild charm. There are some great natural coves this side of the island with crystal clear waters perfect for snorkelling, although some can be difficult to access. The accommodation on offer is slightly more restricted, but there are some beautiful family villas, as well as a few hotels and fincas here. Most of them concentrate around two main hotspots, Portinatx and Sant Miquel.
Portinatx has plenty on offer for families, from restaurants to watersports and lovely trails along the coast or through its dense forests. The beach here has shallow waters stretching out for some distance, making it ideal for the little ones.
Sant Miquel is a quaint little village with a wonderfully authentic atmosphere. Most of the tourists, however, tend to stay in its harbour town, Port de Sant Miquel. Once a fishing village, it's now a purpose-built resort constructed around one of the most sheltered beaches on the island thanks to the cliffs that surround it, especially popular among British and German families.
Some of the best beaches on the island are located on its southern coast. These long stretches of golden sand offer a whole host of services and facilities, from activities for all ages to restaurants and cafes. This is usually the preferred area for young visitors to stay, attracted by the world-famous beach clubs and nightclubs that line up the coastline between Ibiza Town and the airport, concentrating around Playa d'en Bossa. Therefore, it can be quite busy during the peak season, especially from June to September. Outside this period, the wide range of large package-holidays hotels on offer here make it a great centre of operations when travelling with the family, especially if you want to take advantage of the longest beach on the island or spend a day at the blue-flag beach of Las Salinas from where you can visit Ibiza's salt flats.
Away from coastal the resorts, there are many beautiful villages where the feel is much more authentic. You will find lovely rural hotels to stay in the centre of Ibiza, and a number of restored manor houses and picturesque towns with quaint little boutiques and restaurants serving local cuisine. For a great day out with the kids, visit Sant Carles, Santa Gertrudis, Sant Llorenç or Sant Josep and soak in the authentic rural atmosphere. A car is recommended if you wish to stay in the countryside, and remember that you won't be more than 15 minutes away from the nearest beach.
Also see: Towns & Villages in Ibiza
Activities for families
Where you choose to stay may depend on what you want to do whilst on holiday. Summer holidays can simply be about chilling at the beach or at the swimming pool. But for those who want to do a little bit more, then there is a wealth of activities in Ibiza on offer for all ages and members of the family. Whether your family enjoys sailing, snorkelling and watersports, or land-based activities like mini golf, cycling and karting, there is something here for everyone.
Waterparks & adventure parks
A big attraction for many families are the waterparks. There are two big waterparks in Ibiza, in Playa d'en Bossa and San Antonio, as well as an inflatable waterpark that floats in the sea in San Antonio, more suited to older children who are comfortable swimming in the sea. Children will also enjoy the artificial wave at San Antonio's Surf Lounge, where they can learn to surf and bodyboard.
Boat trips & watersports
There's no easier way to explore an island than by boat, especially if you have children! You can take boat trips to different beaches, or to visit one of the small islands that surround Ibiza, explore inaccessible coves for some snorkelling, or simply sit back and admire the coastline from the sea. If you prefer to get wet and play in the sea, then you can try a wide selection of watersports, from windsurfing to kite surfing, diving, paddle boarding, kayaking, banana boats and ringos, parasailing or, indeed, learn to sail yourself.
Animal lovers have a couple of places to visit in Ibiza. There is a unique aquarium near San Antonio, housed in a converted lobster hatching facility inside a subterranean cave with a range of Mediterranean fish and sea animals on display, including turtles. It's also a recovery centre for marine species so here children can learn about underwater ecosystems and how to preserve them. Visit on a Friday or Saturday from June to September and you'll enjoy their delicious sardine barbecue for lunch. Horse riding facilities are also available on the island.
Market days can be a fun way to spend a morning with the family. Many of the local markets in Ibiza specialise in local produce, clothes, locally made gifts and second-hand items. The White Isle's famous hippy markets are especially entertaining for the whole family as they not only offer colourful stalls and great food trucks but also usually have activities for children such as storytelling, face painting or live music.
Activities on dry land
For active families, Ibiza is a dream place to explore. Cycling is very popular and the island has a series of cycle paths that can test the fittest or indulge the casual cyclist; cycling is also one of the best ways to discover the neighbouring island of Formentera. Equally, hiking paths criss-cross the White Isle, and you can choose from coastal paths to picturesque countryside trails; for families with small children, we recommend you try the relatively flat path that goes along Santa Eulalia's river, the only natural watercourse on the island. Ibiza has a couple of Natural Parks where you can explore beautiful scenery and learn about the indigenous wildlife. Tennis courts are available all around Ibiza so they should be easy to access no matter where you are based on the island.
Thanks to its rich history, Ibiza has many monuments, castles, ancient ruins and religious buildings. Top choices for kids include the Can Marça cave in Sant Miquel, the magical Atlantis Beach and the Phoenician settlement of Sa Caleta. Ibiza Town's old centre, Dalt Vila, is also a must. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old walled city is a maze of narrow cobbled streets with quaint boutiques and cafes as well as several old fortresses that will captivate the whole family. You can read more about the sights of Ibiza in our What to See in Ibiza Guide.
Events & fiestas
The summer months tend to be the time when many of the local towns and villages hold their fiestas. They are normally over a weekend and will generally include parades, markets, small fun fairs, pony rides and street entertainments. You can check our Events Calendar for fiestas happening during your holiday dates. The main holiday resorts also tend to organise free events aimed at families during the summer, such as open air cinema, funfairs, parades, and street entertainments.
Also see: Family Activities in Ibiza
If your hotel or villa does not have a kids club or a nanny service then there are several private babysitting and nanny companies that operate in Ibiza.
School holiday dates
Spanish school term runs from September to December with a two-week break ("vacaciones escolares") for the Christmas holidays. The spring term starts after the 6th January festival of Epiphany and runs until Easter (either March or April) with an Easter/spring break of one week. The third term finishes mid-June for the summer holidays which last 10 to 11 weeks. Schools are also closed on public holidays when they fall in term time and local religious days and fiestas (holidays vary between the autonomous communities).