Ibiza, the Balearic island closest to the Spanish mainland, has been attracting tourists for years. Renowned for its hedonistic nightlife and blessed with spectacular beaches, its population of 100,000 swells enormously in the summer months when tourists from around the world descend on the island.
Ibiza is without doubt one of the most expensive holiday destinations in Spain if you are going there to party. A night out in one of the clubs will cost around 100 euros entry, with a beer costing around 10 euros, and a vodka and mixer costing around 15 euros! This is certainly not the place for penny pinchers.
Extravagance, decadence and eccentricity sum up this wonderful island.
Yet Ibiza is not only about clubs and nightlife. Despite the hoards of tourists, it has still managed to maintain its beauty. In fact, the Greeks named Ibiza the “island of pines” and the landscape is rocky and barren. Spectacular beaches and hidden coves abound, and you are able to get away from it all and unwind. At only 45 km long and 25 km wide, it makes the island the perfect destination to explore for a week or a long weekend break.
The three largest towns are the capital of Ibiza Town, San Antonio, where you will find most of the young British crowd, and Santa Eulàlia.
Salinas (meaning salt pools) is the coolest beach on the island and it is the place to be seen. It lies at the southerly most point of the island and boasts four restaurants. Relaxing music is played from each chiringuito or beach bar and a selection of fish, salads, pizzas and desserts is on offer. Cocktails or fresh fruit drinks are on offer too. The prices are reasonable and the scenery priceless.
If you like people watching you will be in heaven here. It’s not uncommon to see the jet-set anchor their yachts, mount their jet skies and ride onto the shore to lunch at one of the chosen restaurants, just like a scene from a James Bond movie. A bus runs to the beach from Ibiza town (Call de Macabich) every half an hour until 1.30pm and then the next bus is around 3.30pm so it is best to leave early in the morning.
Hippies have blackened the signs to Punt Galera in the hope of keeping it a secret and it almost feels traitorous telling you about this place as it is one the few sacred places left on the island, yet I feel that its beauty must be shared. Although lying just outside San Antonio, it is unspoiled, unlike San Antonio. The fact that it is not a traditional sandy beach yet a series of rock ledges is perhaps why it does not appeal to the average tourist or those with small children. Despite the great effort to get there, you will be entranced and will not want to leave. You can lie down comfortably on the rock ledges and soak up the sun’s rays or dive into the wonderful crystal clear waters. There are several different levels of rocks from where you can jump: the higher ones are for dare devils and make good entertainment value for sun-worshippers. Punta Galera also hosts some of the most stunning sunsets you will ever see.
Ibiza is infamous for its nightlife. There’s something to cater for all tastes – whether you prefer the beer-swilling brashness of San Antonio (popular with package holiday-makers), or the more stylish Ibiza town bars and clubs, you’ll be able to find it.
One of the most famous clubs in Ibiza is Pacha. Situated right in the heart of Ibiza town. It’s easy to get to after parading around the various bars in the port. With a capacity for 3,000 people it is home to some of the most famous DJs in the world such as Carl Cox, Danny Rampling, Eric Morillo, Todd Terry, Steve Lawler, Laurent Garnier and Sasha, to name but a few. The interior is extremely stylish and comprises of six areas: the Main room, Global Room, Funky Room, Pachacha (Latinesque), a VIP Lounge, Roof Terrace and restaurant, (overlooking the port) which is designed to cater for all the hungry party animals. In this maze of madness you can find plenty of places to sit down and relax. Dress with style and blend in with the beauty of the club.
One of the best restaurants in Ibiza’s old town has to be El Olivo, a little expensive but well worth it. Perfectly positioned in the town’s Plaza de Vila, Dalt Vila means you are able to view street artists and watch passers-by. The restaurant’s terrace has about 20 tables. For those who prefer a more subdued atmosphere, the inside area is ideal. The best time to go is in the evening when the town is lit up. The dishes served here are from the Basque-Catalan regions and are simply delicious.
Plaza de Vila, 3 Y 4, Dalt Vila. Tel. 971 305 524.
The summer season runs from the May 1 – October 31. August is the busiest month and prices are at their highest, especially for club entrances.
There are over 30 beaches and they are said to be the cleanest in the Med, and are awarded EEC blue flags year after year
Ibiza airport lies 7 km southwest of the capital.
Buses depart from c/ d’ Isidoro Macabich hourly from 7.30am to 10.30 pm. This is also where you’ll find the disco bus.
Ferries run regularly between Dénia and Ibiza. Balearia and Isomar run daily services. Taking your car is not recommended. It is much cheaper to hire a car or moped while you are there. There are also flights to Ibiza from Alicante, check the Iberia website.
Photos by Monica Gioccolini