In northern Ibiza the small holiday destination of Portinatx is in a bay which itself is divided up by many rock formations. With several large hotels and apartment complexes, it is the largest holiday resort in the area. However, it does not have the same level of tourism as the large towns on the east and west coasts of Ibiza and it is much more tranquil in Portinatx. The scattered buildings blend in harmoniously with the surroundings, which are characterised by rocky hills and pine forests.The resort offers its guests three beaches which guarantee fun for young and old, with soft sand and a shallow shoreline at the edge of the turquoise water. In the peak season, particularly on the family-friendly beaches of S'Arenal Gran and Puerto Portinatx, there are lots of children paddling in the water and running around with water pistols. On S'Arenal Petit, however, it is mainly couples to be seen relaxing and families are in the minority. This is due largely to the nearby hotel, which has an exclusively adult clientele. The beaches of Portinatx have a very good range of amenities including lifeguards, separate swimming areas, sun-loungers, pedal- boats and numerous restaurants. The largest choice for children is to be found at S'Arenal Gran which has a playground and football goalposts, as well as offering excursions on a glass-bottomed boat.
Situated on the outskirts is the beach of Puerto Portinatx, which is also an ideal destination for climbing and diving fans. Located only a few minutes away over the cliffs to the northern side of the beach is a rugged cliff face from where you have great views of the surrounding area and of the open sea. Also nearby is another slightly hidden beach which, although tiny and stony, offers peace and solitude with scenery of rocks and fishing boats in the water. The crystal clear water in the bay offers excellent conditions for diving. A diving school on the promenade of Puerto Portinatx organises various tours to explore the underwater world.
In the area around Portinatx there are a few other bays, such as Cala Xarraca and Cala d'en Serra, which have retained their original character and are surrounded by amazing natural scenery. They are usually not that busy, but offer excellent snorkelling conditions and also have small chiringuitos where you can buy snacks and drinks. A little further to the north-east, where the foothills of a forested mountain range meet the sea, lies Cala Sant Vicent which has several large hotels directly at the beach. This bay is however a good example of how impressive, natural surroundings can greatly enhance a destination otherwise known for its mass tourism.
Some kilometres south of Cala Sant Vicent is Playa des Aguas Blancas beach which has an extremely relaxed atmosphere and attracts a colourful mixture of families, nudists, homosexuals and aging hippies. At the foot of the mighty cliffs, it can quickly get crowded in the summer here, with its lovely natural combination of a jagged cliff face, fine sand and turquoise water.
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