Irresistible Ibiza in 2017/2018
Ibiza, one of Spain’s beautiful Balearic Islands, may be a famous Mediterranean party hotspot, but there’s much more to the ‘white isle’ than its glittering mega-clubs.
Ibiza Town is a gorgeous tumble of whitewashed buildings crowned by the Dalt Vila (old town), which overlooks a vast harbour. Sant Antonio (or Sant Antoni de Portmany, for the locals) is the biggest party town, famous for its sunset cafés and outposts of Europe’s biggest clubs. If you’re looking for somewhere slightly quieter, consider Santa Eulalia on the east coast of the island. The little beach town of Cala Tarida, or Portinatx on the northern tip of Ibiza, are both charming and relatively tranquil resorts.
The island’s breathtaking coastline is pocked with idyllic coves and stretches of golden sand. The Playa d’en Bossa beach, near Ibiza town, is the longest sandy beach, and you can take your pick from scores of inviting coves scattered around the island. Inland, you’ll find drowsy, authentic villages, some offering yoga retreats, and pine-clad hills to explore.
Most popular hotels in Ibiza
Azuline Llevant Hotel
San Antonio, Ibiza
San Antonio, Ibiza
Santa Eulalia, Ibiza
El Cortijo Apartments
Es Cana, Ibiza
San Antonio, Ibiza
Cala Llonga, Ibiza
Azuline S'Anfora & Fleming
San Antonio, Ibiza
Ses Savines Hotel
San Antonio, Ibiza
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Spanish
- Time Zone: GMT +1
- Average flight time: 2h 40m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
Ibiza has a stunning natural beauty as its greatest attraction. The craggy bays and azure sea of the Ibiza coastline give way to forested hills, vineyards and olive groves inland. Its charming capital, Ibiza Town, is the main cultural attraction of the island, with an alluring old quarter (Dalt Vila) and a clutch of museums.
Ibiza Town, along with Sant Antonio (Sant Antoni de Portmany) on the other side of the island, are the epicentres for Ibiza’s world-famous nightlife, with spectacular parties held throughout the summer season. Sant Antonio’s ‘sunset strip’, lined with stylish bars and cafés, is where everyone in Ibiza gathers to watch the spectacular sunsets.
If clubbing is not for you, Ibiza has a complete different side to explore: the inland regions are quiet and peaceful, and many farms and country homes have been converted into rural hotels and yoga retreats. Some of the top picks for a quiet resort include Cala Llonga, Cala Tarida or even Ibiza's little sister island, Formentera. You can visit the island wineries, go hiking, or visit the hauntingly beautiful salt flats, Les Salines, now a protected nature reserve.
Wine and Dine
Ibiza, as you’d expect from an island that draws visitors from around the world, offers a wide choice of international cuisines. It also has some spectacularly glamorous places to eat, with elaborate dinner entertainment and celebrity chefs. From the gastronomic splendour of Santa Eulalia to the quick eats in Sant Antoni de Portmany, there's plenty to love on Ibiza.
You’ll find plenty of places to tuck into Spanish tapas, including patatas bravas (fried potatoes with a spicy sauce), tortilla (omelette), gambas (prawns) and pulpo (octopus). Local specialities include seafood, particularly dorada (gilt-head bream), merluza (hake) and all kinds of shellfish. Try the fideù, a variation of paella made with tiny noodles instead of rice. Traditional country restaurants will serve meat, fish and vegetables a la brasa (barbecued on a hot brazier): pork, lamb and rabbit are all common. Cured sausages are a classic on the Balearic islands, particularly sobrasada, which is spiced with paprika. Local desserts and pastries include flan (a caramel custard) and ensaïmades (a circular pastry dusted with icing sugar).
Ibiza’s fantastic beaches will keep kids of all ages happy. Younger kids will enjoy making sandcastles and jumping shallow waves, while older kids can try out a whole range of water sports, such as paddle boarding or kayaking. Other attractions include the Aguamar water park in Playa d’en Bossa, which has slides and wave pools, the unusual aquarium, which is located in an underground cave in Sant Antoni and Acrobosc, a treetop adventure circuit in Santa Eulalia. You’ll find several go-karting tracks and bowling alleys, and the Hippy Markets are perennially popular. Boat rides are always a hit with the whole family: take your pic from the glass-bottomed boat tours, visits to the Es Vedra nature reserve (on an island) or even dolphin-watching tours.
For a great family holiday to Ibiza, we recommend Cala Llonga which is laid back and cheerful, Cala Tarida which is chilled out but with all the facilities you might need, and Portinatx, with an ideal balance between beaches and a buzzing family-friendly strip.
Action and Adventure
Ibiza offers a fantastic range of activities for adrenaline junkies. At any number of beaches, from Formentera to bustling Sant Antoni de Portmany, you can try jet skiing, parasailing and a host of other water sports. You can even take a cliff-diving course, to learn how to leap off clifftops, or have a go on a futuristic jet pack, hoverboard or flyboard, which will have you flying out of the sea like a Marvel villain. You can also go horse-riding, hiking, and mountain-biking across the beautiful rural interior, and around the rugged coastline. Of course, the island is fantastic for snorkelling and diving, with crystal clear waters and excellent visibility. Other popular activities include yoga and pilates, which are offered at places across the island.
Life's a Beach
Ibiza’s rocky coastline is dotted with exquisite little coves, charming bays and long sandy beaches. The Playa d’en Bossa, south of Ibiza Town, is a party hotspot, jam-packed in summer and lined with stylish beach clubs. Talamanca beach, 2km from the centre of Ibiza Town, is a gorgeous curve of golden sand.
Boho-chic celeb haunts Cala Jondal and Les Salines both have beach bars and DJs, while Cala Llenya is a great place for young kids thanks to its shallow waters. Es Cana is one of the best beaches to watch the sun rise, and Cala Conte is a classic for watching it set. Aguas Blancas is Ibiza’s best known nudist beach. If you’re prepared to hike, you can escape the crowds and find some lesser known coves, such as the Cala dels Moltons and the Cala des Bosc in the north of the island.
Ibiza is the biggest party island in the Mediterranean and attracts world-famous DJs. Among its best-known clubs are Pacha, Amnesia, Privilege (which is in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s biggest club), Ushuaïa, Hï, Sankeys, Es Paradis, and DC-10. If live music is your thing, book a room at Ibiza Rocks, which is an apartment hotel with two stages, that hosts live gigs by top international acts as well as DJ sessions.
As well as the mega-clubs, Ibiza also has some amazing beach clubs and beach bars, where you can listen to mellow sounds, sip cocktails and soak up the boho vibe. Watching the sun set has been an institution in Ibiza since the hippy trippy days of the 1960s and now there are scores of bars that are perfectly set to enjoy the beautiful sight of the sun dipping below the horizon. For the mega parties, Ibiza Town and Sant Antonio are the best resorts to pick.
The top spots for nightlife include Sant Antoni de Portmany, Playa d'en Bossa and Ibiza Town. For something a little more laid back, Portinatx has a range of bars and restaurants (no super-clubs though.) If you really want something away from the nightlife, Ibiza has a little sister called Formentera...she's a little more peaceful.
Ibiza is a beautiful island, ideal for visiting with your partner. There's a range of romantic hotels, and plenty of delicious loved-up meals to enjoy in Santa Eulalia. You can stroll hand in hand through the whitewashed lanes of the Dalt Vila in Ibiza Town, watch the sun set from a romantic beach, sip cocktails at a chic bar and enjoy a candlelit dinner under the stars. If you’re both into clubbing, the night in Ibizia is yours, with a dazzling choice of clubs to choose from. And there are scores of gorgeous spas where you can both pamper yourselves togehter. If you’re looking for something more offbeat, how about a starlit kayak ride? Or you could take a picnic to the top of Sa Talaia to enjoy fantastic panoramic views. Or perhaps go for a stroll through the otherworldly landscapes of the Ses Salinas salt flats, now a protected nature reserve. You could also rent a tandem, or go roller-blading, or take a hike along the cliffs to find a secret cove. Yep. Ibiza has a lot to offer for a romantic getaway in 2017/2018.
Ibiza Town is the main cultural hub on the island. It is home to a contemporary art museum and a fascinating archaeological museum that contains finds from across the island. Ibiza is also where you’ll find the widest choice of dance, theatre and music performances. Festivals are held throughout the year, and every village will celebrate its patron saint in style. Popular festivals include: Carnival, held in February or March; Sant Josep, which takes place in March; the Festa de Maig (May Festival) held in Santa Eulalia, and the Festa de la Verge del Carmen, which commemorates the patron saint of fishermen and is celebrated in villages across the island in mid-July. Santa Eulalia boasts its own range of galleries to check out, too.