POMEGRANATE trees fly by and sunshine warms my skin as we cruise through Santa Eulària des Riu to explore north Ibiza.
The wind blows through my hair as our sparkling yellow convertible – a 1980 Moke – whizzes around a corner and reveals beautiful views.
It’s really not the Ibiza I’m used to – surrounded by nature in the north instead of nightclubs in the south.
Our driver points to fields of fennel and tells me that the Arab Moors made the Balearic island the fertile garden it is today.
The fennel is used to flavor Ibiza’s signature liquor. Sample the best of it with a visit to the Fluxà market.
For €25, the distillery allows visitors to explore their botanical garden and craft a bottle of Hierbas Ibicencas, a sweet liquor infused with chamomile, lavender, sage, rosemary, and the leaves and peel of orange and lemon.
Owner Juan Fluxa says the first shot is to settle the stomach, the second “for your health” and the third “goes to the head if that’s what you want.”
Alternatively, he says, locals start the day with a fisherman’s coffee (café caleta).
It’s mostly rum and brandy, but with flavors of orange zest, lemon zest, and a cinnamon stick.
Juan beats the drink together before lighting the mixture to burn off just a little of the alcohol.
He is curious about our reaction and presents small cups with warm and sugary donuts. The smells and taste bring instant pleasure.
Daytime booze calls for an afternoon nap by the W Hotel’s gorgeous pool.
My gaze flickers to the lemon-colored canopies contrasting with the whitewashed buildings.
A night at this 5-star boutique hotel starts from £126 per person, which may be a bit on the budget, but relaxing under the chic architecture is worth every penny.
But a night out in Ibiza doesn’t have to break the bank. The north is full of inexpensive bars, restaurants and more.
Anita’s Bar – the original “hippie bar” in the village of San Carlos – offers exceptional value with tapas and pizzas for under €10.
It’s a short walk from Las Dalias, home of the legendary market, which also offers free live music and DJ sets.
Events usually start outdoors in the late afternoon, before moving into the historic club room – the oldest on the island – at midnight.
Not to be missed is a trip to the pretty village of Santa Gertrudis with its bars, free art gallery, impressive 18th-century church and attractive shops.
There are no tracks full of tourist attractions. I look into a boutique and it has the buzz of a Moroccan souk – a maze of affordable and colorful cushion covers, ceramics and clothing.
My haul is cowboy boots, which were a steal at €50, and I show them off while plates of heavily seasoned meat land on our table at Bar Costa.
Serrano ham, Iberico pork and sobrasada are accompanied by manchego and crusty bread.
This spot is popular for its toasted buns and artwork on the walls and the food is delicious at €5 a plate.
The price of a pint may be high, but as I dig through the math I almost squeak.
A glass of Can Maymo red wine costs only €3 and a bottle of beer €2.50.
“This is on me,” I report. A 20 euro bill covers the bill with enough left over for the tip.
The laid-back vibe here is typical of the region, which has attracted the likes of UK chart-toppers James Blunt and Calvin Harris, both of whom have homes here.
Our German tour guide Rika says that James was spotted taking his children to school in a tuk-tuk while Calvin was reviving one of Ibiza’s largest organic farms, Terra Masia.
As a hiker, Rika found the region irresistible and settled here in the 1970s.
She says the best time to experience Ibiza’s beauty is autumn, when the clubbers have gone home, when the heat has dropped and the water is still warm.
Sandy seabeds and rocky vegetation make the shores perfect for snorkeling.
I tiptoe into the water at Platja Pou d’es Lleo and glimpse the island of Tagomago, known as one of the most beautiful private islands in the Mediterranean.
Neptune grass grows in the water here, which is a good sign of its quality as the plant only survives in clean water.
My hair feels silky smooth when I wash it later at the hotel.
Back in the town of Santa Eulària, the promenade is lit up and a few houses in the mountains twinkle like stars.
The island’s rugged, laid-back north is a revelation for this party girl.
Even better, I didn’t need a week off work to recover when I got home.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/travel/20319325/ibiza-quiet-coast-nature-affordable-cheap/ The cheap Spanish town in Ibiza that has affordable 5* hotels and €2.50 beers