Glamorous and feisty, Ibiza is a clubbers’ heaven, especially 24-hour party places Ibiza Town and San Antonio. But it’s got its softer side, too – the north of the island is full of secret coves and hills coated in lush-green pine trees.
Ibiza may be best known as the party capital of the Med, but stray away from the main resorts and you’ll find oodles of traditional charm and unspoiled natural beauty. It’s long been a hangout for hippies, too, and there are still several bohemian enclaves dotted about the island.
Ibiza’s club scene is second-to-none, drawing in hordes of dance-lovers with its world-class DJs and big-name clubs like Pacha and Space. And that’s not to mention the legendary beach parties.
Away from the bright lights of the party towns, traditional hamlets dot the countryside, many of them barely changed in centuries. Then there’s the island’s capital, Ibiza Town, with its UNESCO-listed old quarter crammed full of fascinating medieval architecture.
Cala Llonga is the island’s longest stretch of sand and is a popular choice with families. There are two beautiful beaches just outside of Ibiza Town, too – Ses Salines and Es Cavallet. For deserted coves, head north and explore the coastline around San Miguel and Portinatx.
Ibiza Town’s old quarter is brimming with history. A UNESCO World Heritage site, its narrow cobbled streets are guarded by vast medieval walls – an impressive sight in themselves. The imposing 13th-century cathedral of Santa Maria d’Eivissa is top of the must-visit list, closely followed by the Almudaina Castle, which gets great views across the town and out to sea.
Wildlife fans should make a beeline for the island’s stunning nature reserves. The Ses Salines National Park is home to pristine beaches and pine-clad hills, as well as several rare species of plants and birds which can only be found in the local area.
Traditional Ibizan cuisine tends to be hearty and rustic. Bullet de Peix, a type of fishermen’s stew, is a local classic. You can also sample some seriously tasty tapas made with fresh, local ingredients. After dinner, cool off with a granzinado or a horchata – juice drinks made with crushed ice.
Embrace the island’s hippy scene at the Wednesday market in Es Cana. Colouful stalls jangle with beads, bracelets and other bohemian trinkets, and there’s no shortage of floaty saris and funky artwork either.
San Antonio and Playa d’en Bossa are the biggest players on the club scene. Playa d’en Bossa has a slightly more sophisticated vibe and is home to three of the island’s super-clubs: Space, Ushaia and Sankeys. Ibiza Town has its fair share of clubs, too, including Pacha – the island’s only club that opens all year round.
Ibiza is the southernmost of the Balearic Islands (if you don’t count tiny Formentera). It floats in the Mediterranean Sea just off the southeast coast of Spain.
Time differenceGMT +1 hour
3 course mealaround €30