The White Island, as Ibiza is known, is proving that its appeal can extend well beyond the youthful party crowd. Over last winter, new flights, including four a week from London City airport, brought more families and affluent singles to the Spanish holiday island, pushing tourism figures up by three per cent on the previous year.
"It was our busiest winter ever for property sales," says Cathy Ouwehand of Savills associates Ouwehand & Wall. "Now that flight access has improved, several restaurants and bars which used to close in the off-season are open all year.
"The internet has also made a huge difference for people. Ibiza is not as isolated as it once was."
More bohemian than St Tropez and more glamorous than Majorca, it's impossible not to fall for cosmopolitan Ibiza. The understated vibe means celebrities and millionaires easily mix in, while sophisticated beach clubs and classy restaurants provide plenty of opportunities for dressing to impress.
"You feel comfortable very quickly in Ibiza," says Ouwehand. "From partying teenagers to parents and grandparents, it handles all ages well and provides a good multi-generational holiday home."
The town with it all
Flying two hours from London to a holiday island to stay in a town apartment might seem an unusual choice, but Ibiza Town is where many second home owners want to be. It has history, a yacht-stuffed marina, beaches and of course, the nightlife is legendary.
All of which explains the success of sales at The White Angel, a complex of 67 two- and three-bedroom apartments recently completed five minutes' walk from the marina. Since sales commenced two years ago, 52 apartments have sold to international buyers from around Europe.
From £334,000: two-bedroom apartments at The White Angel complex in Ibiza Town
Prices for the remaining 15 apartments start from £334,000 for a twobedroom flat of 720 square feet. These are well-built, attractive homes with modern white kitchens, terraces, underground parking and a large communal pool.
Off-plan sales in Spain have been one of the worst affected parts of the overseas market since 2008, but The White Angel has become one of Savills' bestselling projects. "It's about location and quality of build," explains Ouwehand. "From The White Angel it's possible to walk everywhere in Ibiza Town and that is what buyers like. It is urban but not noisy."
Close to the walls of the Old Town in the heart of Ibiza Town, a new twobedroom townhouse over three floors with a roof terrace overlooking the sea is on the market for £712,800 through Lucas Fox. Or at Talamanca Beach, Savills has eight plots on a sloping hillside at Cap Martinet to build contemporary, Ibiza-style white detached villas. One is built and sold to a London family and the remaining seven start from £1.4 million for five bedrooms.
Buyers with yachts go for this residential area as they can moor nearby, says Ouwehand, and neighbouring homes reach up to £4 million.
Away from Ibiza Town, the south-west of the island is most in demand, with exclusive beach clubs that line up along the coast, and white caminos — small roads — leading to secluded villas. Even abrasive San Antonio, the loud and charmless party town, is being improved with "chiringuitos", or beach bars, in Cala Bassa to the west now raising their game. Twenty minutes from the airport close to lovely Cala Conta beach is Calaconta, a gated resort with plans for 33 contemporary villas. The four- to seven-bedroom stylish homes are as close to the sea as Ibiza's strict zoning laws allow, with a full-time concierge and good ecofeatures aimed at lower running costs. The final five villas start from £2,362,000 through Knight Frank.
Nearby apartments at family-friendly Cala Tarida start from £232,300 for two-bedroom homes of 830sqft, through Savills. The communal gardens have a pool and Padel tennis court and several owners successfully pay their annual mortgage costs from rentals earned in six weeks in the summer. Annual service charges are £1,050.
Our apartment at The White Angel is holiday heaven
Ben and Georgia Cons from Sussex got engaged in Ibiza and had visited many times, so buying a home there made total sense.
"Ibiza is a special place for us so we bought a three-bedroom apartment at The White Angel as our little getaway," says Georgia.
"We chose it because we love the buzz of Ibiza Town and the relaxed glamour of the nearby marina. The design of the building is amazing and so 'Ibiza' in style."
The couple own The French Bedroom Company (french bedroomcompany.co.uk) and have a four-year-old daughter, Layla, with another baby due next month. They plan to visit their new flat three or four times a year and otherwise rent it out. "Ibiza has everything," says Georgia. "It's an adults' playground that hugely respects children, too. It's easygoing and laid-back, fun and glamorous, too — exactly what you want from a holiday destination."
The White Angel, through Savills.