In the western half of the island of Ibiza, facing the Iberian Peninsula and, more specifically, the Valencian Country, there are many coves that could be described as the most famous of the Pitiüsa major. It is due to a set of factors, ranging from the photogenesis they present, with magnificient views of the constellation of the western small islands (among which Es Vedrà and Sa Conillera stand out), to the tranquility of their waters, because they are sheltered from the east wind that blows in summer. This means that the vast majority of these coastal areas are quite crowded and that in many cases the beach can be presented as a textile space; however, several corners can be found where the practice of bathing naked is quite common.
LIST OF NUDIST BEACHES AND COVES IN WESTERN IBIZA
Click each to see its location in Google Maps.
Es Bol Nou beach / Sa Caleta
Es Cubells beaches
Cas Milà quarry
Cala Comte – Es Racó d’en Xic
EAST OF CAP LLENTRISCA: ES BOL NOU, PORROIG AND ES CUBELLS BEACHES
The southernmost beach in the western part of Ibiza, leaving aside those that are part of the Ses Salines Natural Park, is Es Bol Nou, although among the people of Ibiza is usually called by the name of the beach that is immediately next door, Sa Caleta. It is a peculiar setting where the Phoenicians anchored around the 9th-8th centuries BC to found the first settlement on the islands, the remains of which are still visible. There are also some Civil War machine gun bunkers, a space that has become underground. Es Bol Nou is a busy beach and nudists are grouped at the sides, far from the access to the car park. The rocks next to the bunkers and the Phoenician remains, as well as the portico full of fishermen’s huts in Sa Caleta par excellence, are places where you can also see people bathing in the nude.
Next stop is Porroig, a place name born from the contraction of “port roig” (‘red port’) due to the reddish color of its land. It is a very closed bay, and both the port and the corridor of huts and rocks in the direction of the cove of Es Cucó are casual and sparsely populated areas where the absence of swimsuit does not matter to anyone. The beach has a marine basin accessible only with the utmost caution, although at no time it is completely submerged. Care should be taken with marine fauna and flora, specially hedgehogs.
Further west is Es Niu de s’Àguila beach, in the village of Es Cubells, quite untamed and worthy of a long excursion. To get there, you have to park in the Ses Boques restaurant or on the path that leads there. To the east of the quiet restaurant’s beach, you can find equally serene coves such as Sa platgeta de s’Ullastre or Cala des Cubells, but if we walk in a westerly direction and pass a section of large rocks that have fallen due to ancient landslides, the calm beach of Es Niu de s’Àguila will open before our eyes, magnificently crowned by a row of four reefs that look like vestiges of an old bridge that went into the sea. Even further on there is a small jetty, a wooden platform hidden among the rocks that echo beneath the onslaught of the waves.
The reefs that protrude from the Es Niu de s’Àguila beach
THE WEST COAST: CAS MILÀ QUARRY, CALA COMTE AND ES RACÓ D’EN XIC
A little further west, near the famous and highly crowded cove of Hort, facing the imposing and captivating islets of Es Vedrà and Es Vedranell, is the Cas Milà quarry, popularly called “Atlantis”; a rocky point with capricious rectangular shapes excavated by humans to build structures such as the Renaissance walls of Dalt Vila. Today, centuries later, the sea has flooded much of this quarry and turned it into a set of beautiful pools. You can also see some sculptures excavated in its rocks by members of the hippie culture that in the 1960s and 1970s made an Ithaca or Eden from the Pitiüsan Islands, an essential and original paradise where you could escape the frantic pace of modern life. The road to get there is difficult and you have to be well prepared with both clothing and supplies; many helicopter rescues have had to be carried out due to the lack of foresight of some hikers. Despite the difficulty of access and the fact that the place was a point of recognized nudist tradition for its inaccessible character and the hippie atmosphere, the quarry has suffered an intense overcrowding (with the consequent “textilezation”) in recent years, as social media have echoed its scenic beauty.
Further north, Comte beaches, known among the Ibizans as “Cala Comte”, are blessed by the most crystalline waters of the island, bright in color; in the distance, a set of islets that emerge from the sea completes the paradisiac image. The beauty of these beaches makes them a hot spot of massification, specially during the months of July and August; an overcrowding that has prompted the local authorities to regulate access by car with the construction of parking lots further from the first line of coast that have also splashed the officially nudist beach of this set of bathing spaces, Es Racó d’en Xic. It is a beach with a singular attractive: there is a rock graffited with the words PLAYA NUDISTA / NAKED BEACH, a very popular ‘xibiu’ and is also highly invaded by textile bathers who do not find a place on the beaches next door and who ignore the painted sign. It becomes very crowded at sunset, which can be seen straight forward from the sand. Nudists can decide to move to the rocks next door or to make a brave resistance and undress in front of the eyes of dozens of textiles. For those who opt for the first option, the rocky coast of the area offers many intimate and solitary spaces, as well as an easy route to the old Rovira tower.
Finally, in the area of Sant Antoni de Portmany is Punta Galera, a cape that goes into the sea and offers three areas where nudist bathers gather: a kind of a very smooth rocky slope, like a platform, which seems like a trampoline from where you can dive into the water; a cove called Sa Galera, which is a place of a more textilized atmosphere; and finally, the natural stairs that form at the base of a small cliff, where bathers often settle naked and, at the end of the day, they watch together how the sun sinks into the infinite ocean.
The beaches of western Ibiza do not promise a pleasant experience for those nudists who are looking for a place to hang out with other people without the swimsuit, at least during the summer months. That’s why it’s quite common for islanders accustomed to bathing in their birthday suit to look for secluded places among the rocks and areas that present a more difficult access between coves. Faced with this unfavorable situation, the present article aims to claim the consolidation of this borrowed spaces and recover their traditional nudist use.
Josep Huguet Torres
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