San Rafael and its five senses
The village of San Rafael (officially called Sant Rafael de sa Creu and well exposed on all road signs), is an inland town that lies between the city of Ibiza and San Antonio. Although San Rafael is located practically in the center of the island, just off the main road linking Ibiza with San Antonio as well as connecting two of the most well known clubs of the island -Amnesia and Privilege- it is a quiet town with relaxed atmosphere. Traditionally, it has been considered a bridge between Sant Antoni de Portmany and the capital, Ibiza. However, it has become a core interest for tourism, especially as an alternative for those who want to have a break from the stereotype of Ibiza’s crowded beaches and crazy nightlife. A place where the most rural and indigenous Ibiza can be discovered.
San Rafael is a small town that clearly represents the typical architecture of the island with its whitewashed houses, narrow streets and flowery balconies: it might not be the most vibrant one in terms of nightlife yet it is famous for its delicious and fresh gastronomy. A worthy visit if you want to eat well in one of its many local restaurants and bars with its corresponding terraces along the way. And it is that San Rafael offers a selection of restaurants of different styles and prices that will delight the most demanding palates. From fantastic French bistros to tapas bars that offers a wide variety of delicious Spanish food.
San Rafael is the only village in the island declared an "area of artisan interest" for the remarkable ceramist activity carried out in different workshops and the production of pieces of great artistic value. Some of Punic and traditional inspiration. Also worth paying a visit to the old church which is blessed with stunning views over Es Pla de Vila, Ibiza Town and Dalt Vila’s shadow silhouetted on the horizon. On a clear and bright day visitors might even spot Formentera in the background! Each summer, San Rafael hosts a quaint and colorful craft market and some other live shows where you can find crafts made on the island, a great variety of agricultural products as well as ceramics among other products. San Rafael craft market is always open all summer round, every Thursday from 19:00 to 23:30 hours. Wander around the small stalls talking to local people while looking for some second hand antiquities nowhere to be found! Our favourite time of the day for doing so it during sunset: a fun stroll when the sun goes down and colourful lights light up throughout the streets.
For lovers of night, Privilege and Amnesia clubs - two of the places of worship - as in recent years are hogging much of the craziest parties in Ibiza. These two venues are located only a few minutes away from San Rafael, therefore this small town proves to be a perfect spot in which to spend the night if you don’t want to sleep in the middle of the city centre’s buzz!
The big day of the festivities of San Rafael is the 24th October. The town also adheres to this new fashion of celebrating the so-called Flower Power Fiesta among their local rituals. Other villages such as San Antonio and San José have been celebrating as well this special party in which citizens dress up in the hippie fashion that made Ibiza famous during the 60s. People dust off their oldest clothes and flower accessories to dress up and have a great time. There isn’t a party Ibizan people want to miss!
Without being an extremely large town, in San Rafael lie several of the best luxury villas across the island. As mentioned above, it is a perfect enclave for those who want to spend a wild night in Ibiza’s most remarkable and unforgettable night clubs. Its proximity to these venues make San Rafael a very attractive spot; in fact many gogós sleep here! But the good thing about this village is the tranquility that it breathes, so revelers and sandpipers can rest here without a problem. On the other hand the parish of San Rafael (near the village) is surrounded by several luxury villas in which to guests can enjoy their own private space in a secure and safe atmosphere. Spacious rooms, infinity pools among other characteristics are some of the many deluxe amenities these elegant villas offer visitors. Ideal for staying with large groups of friends or families as these villas have many rooms available. Coming over with pets? Check our collection of pet friendly villas you will find in Ibiza and Formentera!
San Rafael also offers fun activities for the whole family, especially for kids who are into horse riding! The town has two of the best equestrian clubs in the island in case families are thinking about spending a day riding around the countryside and discovering Ibiza’s secret valleys of eucalyptus trees and dense pine forests. On the road to the town of Santa Eulalia, visitors will encounter the first horseriding club: the Hippodrome. This club is famous for its winter motocross races that attract many people in the area as well for its summer’ trotting races with the finest horse breeds. Also, among that same road there is the horse farm of Los Olivos, where the most valuable and prestigious purebred are finely taken care of by the owners. A massive stud farm that is valued in millions of euros where the high-class have commended their noble horses. Los Olivos is house of 32 Andalucian horses who even enjoy their private pool to freshen up during hot summer days!