Why Europe’s Most Legendary Party Island Is An Amazing Family Summer Vacation Spot

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by Fatherly
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Check out Fatherly’s complete 2016 summer vacation destination guide here.

You may not automatically think “kids” when the word Ibiza comes up (unless you’re using it in a patronizing way, like “those kids threw up in our yard again last night”). It’s more famous for being the tiny Balearic island where DJs get paid millions of dollars to place their hands over laptops as shirtless 20-somethings grind against each other. But that’s only one side of Ibiza (and you can stay as close or as far away as you’d like.) If bass drops that can be heard in Madrid aren’t your thing, the island is also full of charming old villages, pristine beaches, and some damn fine seafood. Of course, if you’re already up 3 times a night, you may want to see who’s spinning.

All hotel and restaurant recommendations come care of the family travel experts at Passported; check out their full Ibiza guide here.

Tips From A Local Dad

You may never be a “cool” dad like DJ Sasha Coe (yes, the same one from Sasha and John Digweed fame), but you should listen to him when he says that it’s possible to turn Ibiza into a family-friendly destination. “I’ve grown up with the island, and it’s grown up with the rage and post-rage generation. It has so much outside of that. It really does cater to kids fantastically.” Here’s what you can find him (and his kids) doing while the sun is still up:

  • Spend The Day At Talamanca Beach: “This isn’t the prettiest of all the beaches, but for children it’s probably one of the best ones because it has a couple of restaurants, like a pizza place with Nutella pizza, that my children always talk about. And it’s a really wide beach — we always end up having impromptu soccer matches with the other kids on the beach. The water itself is also very shallow and easy to wade in. And they have inflatable water slides in the bay for the kids to swim out to. It’s very family-oriented and protected, and this beach isn’t as remote as others.”
  • Go Nuts At Aguamar: Even in exotic locales, water park is still the universal phrase for fun. “It’s not state-of-the-art in any way, but every time we take the children there they absolutely love it. It’s a safe environment for them to just play.”
  • Eat and Watch The Sunset At The Fish Shack: “They set [the shack] up out of an old cargo container every summer; it’s in the perfect position for the sunset. It faces the town, so you can see the castles and all the big boats coming in. It’s very simple — they just have plastic chairs and tables. But, they do serve lamb chops from Ibiza lambs, which are just the most succulent and delicious lamb chops that you can find anywhere on the planet. We usually spend the afternoon there and jump in the water after we eat our lunch. There are sea urchins everywhere. It’s really stunning.”
Aguarmar Water Park
  • Ride A Water Taxi To Old Town: “The water taxi runs around the main harbor, and you can jump on it to ride to the old town. It’s an easy drive, but the kids love to take the water taxi. It docks in the base of the Old Town — a [UNESCO] World Heritage site. And when you come up there on the boat, and it’s all lit up at night, it’s really magical.”
  • Spend The Day At Club De Campo: “My kids love it there. It’s basically a summer camp for children. There are activities all day long — swimming, tennis, softball. I’ve found it’s been a great way to challenge the kids a little bit, too, because they mainly speak Spanish. They also come back from this camp exhausted and sleep really well.”




  • Atzaró is quintessential Ibiza, a finca turned hip countryside hotel, owned by a couple and run it with the hospitality of a guesthouse.
  • None of the 24 rooms are the same. Each has an eclectic mix of decor, from Balinese 4-poster beds to traditional Ibicenco white-washed walls and beamed ceilings and original art.
  • Amenities include a spa with hammam, fitness center, a restaurant, 2 pools and beach club.


  • The least expensive option for a family of 4 is a double superior room with a sofa bed, but not all have the sofa bed so check availability with the hotel.
  • For more space, the superior suites and deluxe suites also have sofa beds as an option.
  • Cribs can be added complimentary to any room, but keep in mind that the hotel is a centuries-old farmhouse, so it’ s not entirely baby-proofed;


  • The sprawling gardens, with daybeds, hidden nooks, lily-covered ponds and orange trees are great for kids to explore.
  • Every room has a private terrace and countryside views.
  • The restaurant, with candlelit tables, a garden setting, and white curtains feels plenty romantic for a date night; book a sitter for a parents-only evening.


  • Children are welcome, but the overall vibe is geared towards couples.
  • The beach is a 20-minute drive from the hotel, but Atzaró has a great beach club with sun beds and a restaurant.
  • The hotel is small and books up in advance during the summer, so plan well ahead, particularly if traveling on a weekend.

Cas Gasi


  • Set in the countryside near the quaint town of Santa Gertrudis, Can Gasi is one of the island’s most family-friend agroturismos; the Spanish owners have 2 children of their own, both of whom grew up spending summers at the hotel.
  • A former farmhouse, the hotel’s 12 rooms are divided between the main house and the former stables, each with terracotta-tiled floors, exposed beams and globally-sourced decor ranging from Turkish rugs to Moroccan lamps.
  • Amenities include multiple pools, a well-equipped fitness center and a restaurant that sources many of its ingredients from the finca’s own organic farm.


  • The family room has 2 bedrooms, one with a king and the other with twins, plus a small sitting area and an outdoor terrace.
  • The deluxe suite, which has a separate living room and bedroom (divided by curtains), can also connect to a superior room for more space.
  • A complimentary crib can be added to any room.


  • The small children’s pool gives younger guests a place to play without disturbing the older crowd.
  • The large gardens and organic farm are fun for kids to explore.
  • Can Gasi’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond the organic food; solar power heats the hotel’s water (including the pool), and a water treatment plant recycles water used by housekeeping to water the gardens.


  • The hotel isn’t on the beach, but there are plenty of great ones within a short drive.
  • The hotel is small and books up in advance during the summer, so plan well ahead, particularly if traveling on a weekend.
  • While children are welcome, the overall vibe is couples-focused.

Villa Rentals


  • Although Ibiza itself is family-friendly, most of the hotels are geared towards couples or singles, so the majority of families rent villas. For a full-service rental agency, check out Deliciously Sorted Villa Rentals; to rent from local families who stock their places with toys, books, and other kid essentials, use Kid And Coe.
  • Ibiza also isn’t a big island, so no matter where your villa is located, you’re within 20 minutes of beaches. Favorite towns to be near are San Jose and Santa Gertrudis.
  • Important questions to ask: does the pool have a shallow end for kids, how reliable is the wifi and what are check-in/check-out times.


  • Space and privacy. No worrying about cannonballing kids, no whispering to avoid waking up the baby after bedtime, plenty of room to share with extended family or friends.
  • Hotel services. Deliciously Sorted’s concierge service can handle anything from restaurant reservations to booking babysitters to chartering a boat for a day trip to Formentera. Kid And Coe is closer to the coolest Air Bnb you’ve ever used, but the homeowners are a wealth of local knowledge. They won’t book dinner for you, but they’ll help you find that beach that’s not in the guidebook.
  • Relaxed dinners at home, and no worrying about a designated driver to chauffeur the rest of the group back from a restaurant.


  • As with the hotels, most of the houses are in the countryside, not on the beach.
  • Many of the island’s house rentals are renovated fincas, so although they’ll have modern appliances, expect a few quirks of an older home.
  • Smaller houses are harder to come by, so if your family is traveling on its own and you only want 2 bedrooms, an apartment is the best fit.



Date night

El OlivoDate-night spot within the walls of the Old Town.


Restaurante CicaleDelicious Italian in a countryside setting with a playground for children.


El Chiringuito Es CavalletStylish beach club and restaurant with a children’s area for arts and crafts.

El Chiringuito Beach Club

Beach Snack

The Fish Shack @ Cap MartinetNo phone number, no address, just a casual spot for fresh fish on a rocky point across the bay from Ibiza town. Better without tiny kids that could slip on the rocks.


Gelato IbizaSweet stop after a hot climb around the Old Town walls.


Tropicana Beach ClubOn the same beach as Blue Marlin but far more relaxed and kid-friendly.

All hotel and restaurant recommendations come care of the family travel experts at Passported; check out their full Ibiza guide here.

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