Yes, it’s the summer party island capital of the world, but Ibiza, Mallorca and Formentera are all hotspots during in the winter months too.
Many of the Balearic Islands’ attractions stray away from clubbing and stay open out of season. With 300 days of sunshine a year, there’s still a good chance of catching some rays. Temperatures are pleasant – up to 20C – which makes the fabulous beaches a delight to explore.
In winter, Ibiza’s population falls from 400,000 to 150,000 – so there’s plenty of room to soak up the tranquil island lifestyle. But when the light fades, there are still nightlife options to keep you entertained. There’s music at the ever-funky Pikes Hotel, plus a New Year’s Eve bash (ibizarocks.com/house). Seek out DC-10 for more partying on New Year’s Day (dc10-ibiza.ibiza-clubs.net).
Over In Mallorca, beautiful Palma is every bit as vibrant as during the summer, with some of the best restaurants on the planet, still full every night. The city’s old town is seemingly endless and its eating choices equally infinite.
Rent a car and explore the islands, including the beaches with their memorable sunsets. Out of the searing heat of high season there are loads of walking trails to follow, plus, without the summer traffic, cycling around the islands is a joy, on the network of undulating country roads. In fact, Mallorca is one of Europe’s top cycling destinations. You can go mountain biking or horse riding through the spectacular countryside of Formentera too.
And if you’re going in February, the stunning almond blossom across the Balearics is breathtaking. Another good winter attraction is the trendy hippy market in Ibiza, Las Dalias, at Sant Carlos de Peralta, open every Saturday year-round plus extra days over Christmas.
You won’t have a problem finding suitable accommodation during winter, but if you’re looking for some ultra relaxation, head to a combined hotel, restaurant and spa, to warm up those frozen British bones.
The beautiful Atzaro hotel in Ibiza, set on an orange farm, has really got into the spirit of winter on the White Isle. There’s a pool, steam room and massage parlour and in the restaurant there’s even a traditional Christmas dinner with turkey and all the trimmings, come yuletide. There are also Sunday barbecues to enjoy.
Special winter packages include a double bedroom with breakfast, bottle of cava, access to the spa and sauna and a rental car for £120. For more information visit atzaro.com
For atmospheric watering holes and glam places to fill up on top quality fare, Ibiza takes some beating. In winter many of the bars and restaurants stay open, catering to a mix of tourists and locals. Dine in style at the Cotton Beach Club, overlooking the Cala Tarida beach, complete with a sea view and roaring fires every weekend during winter (cottonbeachclub.com).
Sip that sangria and tuck into a raft of Mediterranean dishes at Yemanja on Cala Jondal Beach – open 365 days a year (yemanjaibiza.com). Try brilliant burgers at San Francisco in Las Salinas and perfect pizza at Los Pasajeros in Marina Botafoch.
Tuck into hearty breakfasts at Rita’s Cantina in San Antonio, where there’s also a pintxos festival in February, letting you enjoy cheap tapas and drink deals at the local bars.
Mallorca boasts Port Adriano and Portals Nous – both stunning ports with an array of trendy and classy bars and restaurants open all year round.
Book those flights ASAP. It’s not just a summer thing.