#Ibiza: Visit picturesque harbour and ancient fortress Dalt Vila

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The billboards advertising ‘opening parties’ and big name DJs appear by the roadside before you have even left the airport. From Pacha to Privilege, Eden to Es Paradis, it’s the clubs that bring most tourists to Ibiza each summer.For those who’ve not set foot in a club for the best part of a decade, or if the very thought of it makes you shudder, it’s tempting to write Ibiza off as a holiday destination. But behind the Balearic beats and the foam parties, is a relatively unspoilt, charming island with hidden bays and pine forests just waiting to be discovered.

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A car is essential here. While Ibiza is quite small (221 square miles) and well served by buses and taxis, it’s best to have the freedom to drive down small twisty tracks to secret beaches or climb the winding roads to cliff tops with jaw-dropping views.There are several pretty towns and villages to consider as a base. Try somewhere along the south-eastern coast, like Santa Eularia.

I rented an apartment in peaceful Roca Llisa, a 10-minute drive from Santa Eularia, with stunning views out to sea.

Wherever you stay though, most attractions will be less than a 40-minute drive away. And part of the appeal is the travelling, stopping off en route for a meal at some remote hostelry.

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If your main aim is to lounge on a beach, you’re spoilt for choice. One of the most famous is Playa d’en Bossa, a three-mile stretch of white sand just south of Ibiza Town. While Playa d’en Bossa has everything from watersports to beachfront boutiques, it’s also home to two of Ibiza’s biggest clubs, so go further afield for peace and quiet. Try Portinatx, to the north, which has a stretch of sand popular with families.

For an even more secluded spot, drive down a rocky track to Cala d’en Serra, a little haven among the pine trees. Cala Llonga, a short drive from Santa Eularia, is home to another pretty beach, but for what feels like a truly undiscovered gem, drop into Sol d’en Serra, a tiny cove in the shelter of two dramatic cliffs.If you weary of all that lounging around, treat yourself to a bit of history. Ibiza Town, the capital (also known as Eivissa), is a pleasant place to spend an afternoon, with its picturesque harbour and ancient fortress Dalt Vila, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999.

Start by walking up through the Portal de ses Taules and make your way around the walls, passing the six bastions – the strategic lookout points from where cannons could be fired. The walls originally date from the 4th Century BC, but they were reinforced in the mid-16th Century to protect against threats from the Turks.

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There are also old churches, a cathedral and, for culture vultures, a couple of museums, with numerous cafés to stop off at along the way.

Afterwards, head back to the harbour and get lost in its maze of paved streets lined with souvenir shops and restaurants.

Two other things Ibiza is known for are its hippy markets and its sunsets. Hippies began flocking here in the late 1960s, and there are still popular weekly hippy markets, such as Las Dalias, every Saturday.

As for the sunsets, the tiny locality of Na Xamena, reached by impossibly steep but picturesque roads up to one of the northernmost tips of the island, is home to a couple of local residences and Ibiza’s oldest five-star hotel.

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