A Short Guide to Hiking in the Cala Blanca Region of Ibiza

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When you think of Ibiza, a party island springs to mind, full of mischief and late nights, however, there is another side to the beautiful Balearic paradise. Ibiza is one of the most underrated hiking destinations in Europe, with hundreds of different trails dotted across the blissful island.

Which hike should you do?

When you leave the tourist spots across Ibiza, you are instantly met with natural beauty, so you really are spoilt for choice. If you want a challenge, several amazing viewpoints and some ‘off the beaten track’ moments then the Can Nadal loop is a perfect choice – oh, and you will find the tunnel leading to a secret beach!

Can Nadal Loop

The first thing you will notice as you leave the start point of the hike in the Spanish neighbourhood of Can Nadal is the Hollywood-style vibes. Gleaming white houses peek through the pine-forested hills (a theme throughout the hike). The enchanting nature which covers large sections of Ibiza lifts your mood instantly.

You will be guided by red arrows on trees, rocks and the pavement to ensure you remain on the official track. In some of the tricky spots, you will find man-made assistance such as ropes to cling onto as you descend steeply down some slippery rocks.

There are spectacular viewpoints throughout the hike, with the best of them overlooking the clear blue Balearic Sea. The baking sun’s reflection glistens off the surface of the sea to create a relaxing feeling during the gritty climbing sections.

Private Cove along the cost of Ibiza
Image by Tom Henty

What is the difficulty of the hike?

The overall difficulty of the Can Nadal loop is intermediate, with some tricky terrain and several steep ascents. Most of the official route is unpaved and rocky, so it is essential to concentrate on where you are placing your footing to avoid tripping. There are also parts of the hike that have little shelter from the blazing Balearic sunshine, which is very strong from midday (even slightly out of season). Total ascent of the climb is around 410 metres.

Terrain of the Can Nadal Loop Hike Ibiza
Image by Tom Henty

How long does the hike take?

The official Can Nadal loop is around 12 km long, but this can be extended if you venture off on some of the ‘off the beaten’ track trails which randomly crop up throughout the hike. You can expect the hike to take upwards of 3 hours when you factor in the hot temperatures, uneven terrain and a couple of breaks to admire the beauty you encounter (and a refreshing dip in the sea).

Notable highlights

Tunnel Cala Blanca is a famous tunnel that goes through the hills and leads to a secret beach area. There is an opportunity to swim here or to sunbathe during a break from your hike. There are several Secret Coves during this route which provide the opportunity to do some cliff jumping for the more daring adventurers.

Stone-Art is a quirky feature on the hike. You will find various pieces of art made from stones and rocks around 2.5 km into the hike. A turtle and crocodile are the two most impressive sculptures. Towards the end of the hike, there is a private beach which has beautiful sand and clear waters. It is a bay with pine forests surrounding the whole area for unbeatable views.

Can Nadal loop Ibiza - Stone Crocodile
Image by Tom Henty

How to get to the start point?

Can Nadal is a small neighbourhood located in the Santa Eulària des Riu region of Ibiza around 14km from Ibiza Town (Eivissa). The best option to ensure you arrive quickly to start the hike in the early morning is to travel by taxi. Taxis are expensive in Ibiza, so you can expect to pay up to €30 each way.

Bus is also a regular and reliable method of transport in Ibiza, which caters more to travellers on a budget. Due to the layout and terrain of the Balearic Island, you should head to Ibiza Town first to catch the bus. L – 13 Eivissa – Santa Eulària des Riu (Red line) is the bus you need to take, and you need to exit the bus at the Can Nadal stop. The journey takes between 45 – 60 minutes on average. Your fare will be a few euros each way and you can purchase your ticket from the driver when you enter the bus.

If you really want an active day, then consider cycling from Ibiza Town. It is around 45 minutes on a bicycle each way, and there are several options for bike rental in the town.

Hike start point Can Nadal Ibiza
Image by Tom Henty

Where to stay in Ibiza?

Ibiza Town is a good place to base yourself for your hiking trip as it has good transport options to the ‘quieter’ parts of the island, which are the best spots for hiking as the nature is untouched. The accommodation in Ibiza Town is made up of apartments, hotels and hostels so there are options for all travelling budgets.

Ibiza Town is suitable in or out of season as there are many residents who live there, meaning it has everything you need such as restaurants and supermarkets. Other areas of the island open from May – October, but these are more targeted at tourists looking to party.

You could also stay closer to the start of the hike in the Santa Eulària des Riu region. Here are several 4 – 4.5 star hotels. It is a quieter area in Ibiza so would suit a hiking-style trip.

What is needed in the backpack?

A day spent in nature and away from the towns and villages of Ibiza requires some planning in advance. Here is the list of what you should wear, or bring in your backpack to ensure you have a trouble-free day adventuring.

  • Walking boots – There are ascents and descents on uneven terrain which can become slippery.
  • Water – Limited options to purchase water at the start point of the hike and you won’t find another shop until towards the end of the hike.
  • Sunscreen – The areas which are unguarded from the sun make sunscreen essential.
  • Hat – As above, you want to protect yourself from the sun, especially when working up a sweat.
  • Quick dry towel – There are several opportunities to take a dip in the sea during the hike.
  • Camera – You want to capture the postcard snaps which you encounter on every corner (but live in the moment first). Don’t forget to snap the impressive stone art also!

Final thoughts on the Can Nadal Loop hike

There are many choices for hiking in the Cala Blanca region of Ibiza, so you will have a great time whichever route you choose, but the Can Nadal loop ticks all the boxes. Beautiful nature and some tranquillity throughout, but challenging parts of the hike mean it isn’t just a day of relaxation. The opportunity to extend or reduce the hike distance at different points also means it is a flexible option to suit most levels of fitness.

It is time to book that flight to Ibiza!


Written by

Tom Henty

Tom has been travelling around his full-time job for around a decade and has visited 37 countries with over 100 being his lifetime goal. He is working hard to build his travel blog and Instagram to enable him to live and work from some of his favourite destinations. His blog can be found at, and his pictures and videos on his Instagram. [Read full bio]

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Image credits
Article photographs provided by Tom Henty.

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