• The harbour beside the restaurant is just as precious (Photo: Joseph Tivey)
  • Serving fresh fish every day as a part of a set meal the Cafe Mastella is the find of Ibiza (Photo: Joeseph Tivey)

Swimming to lunch

It is perhaps one of the most novel things anyone can do in Ibiza.

Cala Mastella a small beach on the eastern side of the island which in itself is a fine hangout area. Small and cosy, but big enough to play beach games and is by all sense and purposes a decent place.

Taking you’re first dip into the sea shouldn’t be any different to any other normal beach in Spain, but heading about 15 metres from the coast appears a small hidden port, no bigger than two or three small boats in size.  And then, completely hidden and unmarked from the public is the restaurant - Restaurante de Cala Mastella.  

Treading water from the sea it looks the most perfect location for lunch. Chairs and tables stand inches away from the sea wall with the water slapping against the side as people sit down chatting in the most obligatory way seemingly oblivious that a slip here or there would mean a swim ashore. There is nothing quite like finding a place like this these days where health and safety haven’t infected the soul of a place by enforcing to build fences or some other concrete monstrosity.

The theme of purity isn’t just found in its location. Being a port, the restaurant takes advantage by serving up fresh seafood, caught that very morning, during its two lunchtime sittings. There is no menu to choose from, simply a straightforward set lunch, so confident are the owners that their guests wouldn’t want anything else.

Their confidence is not misplaced. Cooked on an open barbecue lunch is prepared in the sweltering heat of the sun and grill double act while the restauranteurs drink wine and eat bread, olives and oil and balsamic vinegar.

The main course is simple, yet wonderful with cooked fish served with rice and salad (and served with more wine). There is nowhere more idyllic to enjoy both the Spanish culture, the local cuisine and the coast in one spot.

The only thing left to decide is whether or not to swim back.

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