Family Friendly Ibiza with Kids in Cala Vadella – We were ready to rave. A week in Ibiza, with a baby. Bring it on.
Getting There – Family Friendly Ibiza with Kids in Cala Vadella
Ibiza felt like an unusual choice for a mother of a six month old baby, travelling with her husband and mother in law, but I put it down to the flight times and mild baby insanity.
Departing from Aberdeen airport I chose a destination based on flights that left at a civilised time and were equally reasonable on the return leg of the journey. Ibiza fit the bill.
I’d booked everything independently – flights with Thomson, hire car at the airport and an apartment with Ibiza House Renting. I was too nervous to parent in public at a hotel, so I wanted a private apartment or villa.
When we landed we picked up our car, which didn’t take long. We thus avoided the painful bus transfer times of a package holiday, where a 20 minute journey can take 1.5 hours as you drop strangers at their various hotels, leaving Mr Baby vast opportunity for more crying in front of a captive audience.
We also wanted a car to explore the island and its beaches over the course of the holiday. This certainly paid dividends but it was an added expense.
Area – Family Friendly Ibiza with Kids
Our base was Cala Vadella on the west coast of the island. It has a small sheltered sandy beach and it was an absolute joy taking Mr Baby paddling in the sea. The resort had enough facilities so you can pick up a few supplies, fresh bread or a takeaway coffee but it’s not overrun with shops and tat.
It had a very chilled vibe in the evening at the few select bars and restaurants. [For more substantial supplies there is a big supermarket about a 20 minute drive from Cala Vadella where you can do your weekly shop.] I thought the balance was just right. It was quite a steep walk down to the beach so a bit of a slog uphill to get home, so this is probably worth considering if you’re heavily pregnant or have any walking difficulties. It’s also worth taking a lightweight buggy for infants. There is accommodation at the immediate beach-front if walking is an issue for you.
Atmosphere – Where are the Ravers?
The last time I was in Ibiza I was 18 – VERY DIFFERENT HOLIDAY. I did worry that I’d be surrounded by ravers and teenage holidaymakers but I didn’t see a single glimpse of this lifestyle. When I travelled at 18 years old I flew in the middle of the night on a cheap flight, barely left San Antonio Bay and kept pretty nocturnal hours, so it makes sense that most families who travel through the day, stay anywhere outwith the island party zone ,and start the day at 7am (rather than ending it then) are living in parallel universes.
What I also liked about Cala Vadella was the fact that along the entire west coast was a real mix of beaches within a few miles drive. Perfect if you want to explore but you don’t want to drive for ages with a small baby in tow, or if you don’t particularly want your baby to sleep on a long journey.
I used nap times for sunbathing, eating and reading – best nap times ever. The beaches were so different – Cala Moli was a remote pebbly cove so we had it practically to ourselves, Cala Tarida was a buzzing sandy beach, lots of shops and restaurants but not overrun, Cala Carbo (pebbly) was quiet with a couple of secluded restaurants and Cala d’Hort (pebbly) is home to the renowned restaurant Del Carmen, which the locals booked up every Saturday clamouring for its fab paella. We fed Mr Baby his puree in his high chair as we sampled the paella.
Having this wide range of beaches within a few minutes drive is what made this region so perfect for our family, but Cala Vadella was definitely our favourite beach.
We booked our accommodation through Ibiza House Renting. Our actual two bedroom apartment is no longer listed with them but we were very happy with the standard of accommodation (very stylish) and level of service provided. They have other villas available in Cala Vadella.
The keys were waiting for us on arrival, the apartment had our additional travel cot ready as requested, and we got our deposit back in full with no problems at all. I would happily use this company again.
We had just booked an apartment, rather than a villa with a pool, which meant that we did have to go out every day, sometimes returning for lunch before heading out again for the afternoon. We changed a lot of nappies in public!
This was fine but ideally I would have loved the privacy of a private pool/villa, but who wouldn’t? We did approach Puerto Cala Vadella, an aparthotel complex with a pool, about swimming there. Despite not being residents they were hugely welcoming. We promised to buy a few drinks etc. whilst we were there to show our gratitude.
As well as visiting loads of local beaches we ventured into town – Ibiza Town. It’s so picturesque, moreso than I was expecting.
We thought it was great that within the city walls there were lots of medieval market stalls, entertainment and goods for sale. It was so colourful.
I figured it was like this every weekend but it turns out we’d luckily stumbled upon the annual and vibrant Medieval Fair that hits the streets every May – we’re talking minstrels, artists, bird-handlers, artisans, silversmiths, spice traders, dancers and chocolate makers. We were really fortunate to head out that day.
Overall Ibiza Town is a pretty, cobbly and hilly town, but our Maclaren was so light and manoeuvrable that it wasn’t much of a problem. This is perfect sling territory if you’re into them.
Returning to Ibiza with children exceeded expectations. Family friendly Ibiza is a far more accurate experience of the island than my raving eighteen year old memories. Ibiza is getting so chilled it’s gaining a reputation for yoga and mindfulness, so if you fancy a quiet beach holiday with young children, Ibiza should be on the list.
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