Chances are, you will find most of the pics (+ info!) below there!
If there is a place in Spain that needs absolutely no introduction, that’s Ibiza. Home to some of the world’s grandest clubs and parties, this Mediterranean island is visited by approximately 3 million tourists every year, most of which are after its crazy nightlife and sparkly drinks. However, just like many other islands known primarily for their busy clubs, bars and booze (hello Mykonos!), Ibiza is not just all-night partying. Don’t get me wrong, nothing compares to a night out there, but there is so much more that you can do when visiting the island.
And since my holiday there was the perfect combination of clubbing till dawn, lying at beautiful beaches, eating good food and taking in the island’s history…
here is my guide on how to spend a long weekend in Ibiza.
• THURSDAY evening
– Strolling San Antonio’s Sunset Strip:
Ok full disclaimer, I am not the biggest fan of San Antonio. In my opinion the city is a tad less classy and also rather uninteresting when compared to the island’s capital, Eivissa, in every aspect. However, if there’s one thing that is worth paying a visit to San Antonio for it’s its sunset strip promenade. So put on your sunnies and make your way to to the strip during golden hour to
enjoy beautiful sea views (1) take the perfect golden hour selfie (priorities are everything), (2) enjoy the beautiful sea views and (3) listen to Café del Mar’s iconic chill-out tunes.
Make sure to savour the sunset holding a cocktail from the surrounding bars in your hand. Just remember – and I can’t stress that enough – to book in advance if you are after a table with a view (which comes with a minimum spend – you’ve been warned). If on the other hand you want to escape the
sometimes hectic promenade, then grab a couple of Coronas from the nearby shop, step down to the seafront rocks and enjoy the golden Ibizan sky in a more chilled way.
Tip: For the “Ibiza Airport-San Antonio” route hop on Bus L9, and for the “San Antonio to Eivissa” route it’s Bus L3.
• FRIDAY morning
Having ticked off the famous Sunset Strip from the “Ibiza to-do list”, it’s time to explore the island’s capital, Eivissa. The historic town is also the island’s most beautiful, and I recommend starting your sightseeing from its UNESCO World Heritage site walled Old City, Dalt Villa (which translates to “Upper Town”).
Dalt Villa is a beautiful maze of narrow, winding, steep cobblestone streets that encapsulate 2,500 years of history and offer the most magnificent views. Not to mention that it’s intricately built on various levels, with one house’s terrace being another one’s yard. Reaching the top of the Old City may be a little bit tiring, especially under the hot Spanish sun, but it’s totally worth it.
Make sure to visit:
– the medieval castle Castell d’ Eivissa
– the incredibly preserved Necropolis and Museu Monogràfic Puig des Molins
– The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Snows (also known as Cathedral of Santa Maria d’ Eivissa), which occupies the very peak of Dalt Villa and offers astonishing views.
Tip (Sightseeing): Visiting Eivissa in the summer? Then do this either first thing in the morning or in the afternoon, especially if you are someone unfamiliar with how strong the rays of Mediterranean sun can get.
Tip (Accommodation): Being the capital and the island’s best town, I recommend staying at Eivissa for at least 2 nights. If your overall budget is quite substantial, then Ibiza Corso Hotel & Spa, One Ibiza Beach Suites, Sud Ibiza Suites, Hotel Mirador de Dalt Villa (which is in the heart of the Old Town), or a beautiful rural hotel called Can Arabí are the perfect accommodation option. If, on the other hand, you are looking for something more affordable, then consider Hostal Ripoli Ibiza (the Spanish term “Hostal” refers to a family-run guest house, and is not be confused with the definition of “Hostel”, which usually describes a shared accommodation), Hostal Pitiusa (which is where we stayed – big, clean rooms and friendly staff) or Hotel Central Playa.
Tip (Parking): If you are renting a car, then keep in mind that parking is actually quite hard to find in Eivissa. I recommend searching for accommodation that provides parking space, or to pay good attention at where you can park and at which cost (take if from the girl who got fined 50 euros for not paying for parking properly).
• FRIDAY lunchtime & afternoon:
– Bocadillos on the Beach:
As magnificent as Eivissa is, its beaches are – in my opinion – not the island’s best (those can be found in the island’s North). However, Talamanca Beach and Platja d’en Bossa are still ok for anyone who is after a refreshing swim and a good tanning sesh, but doesn’t want to travel outside Ibiza Town (be warned though, you will constantly be surrounded by people trying to sell you sunglasses and hats, which is
a little bit annoying).
As someone who enjoys lunching on the beach, I recommend buying a nice bocadillo with jamon y queso (Spanish ham and cheese sandwich) before heading to the beach or from one of the surrounding restaurants and kiosks to enjoy after your swim.
Tip: Both beaches can easily be reached by bus (Bus 12B for Talamanca beach – and Bus 14 for Platja d’en Bossa), or, if you don’t mind walking around 40′ under the blazing sun, then ditch the bus, grab a bottle of water, put on a hat and turn on Google Maps. Being from a Mediterranean island myself, I recommend hitting the beach in the morning/lunchtime and exploring Dalt Villa in the afternoon/evening when the temperature becomes a little bit milder.
• FRIDAY nighttime:
– Dalt Villa by night & Clubbing:
After enjoying dinner in one of Eivissa’s great (and quite pricey) restaurants, such as Mar a Villa, La Torretta, or – my favourite – Locals Only (get the dates wrapped in jamon to start), head to Dalt Villa for a night walk. Why? Because it looks nothing like it does during the day; nighttime means that Eivissa is way more alive, way more sinister and – frankly – way more fun. Head to one of its many cocktail bars for a delicious drink (S’ Escalinata, Mona Lisa or Paradise Lost) are just a few) or – if you don’t fancy drinking – enjoy a delish ice cream from one of Dalt Villa’s countless ice cream shops, such as Vivi’s Creamery, (or combine both!).
After midnight head to one of the town’s MANY clubs, such as the iconic Pacha – the island’s (and Europe’s?) most famous club that hosts some of the biggest names in music and some of the grandest events. Want to look the part? Pop by the Pacha brand’s shop down town and buy an outfit with the legendary Pacha cherries on it before heading to the party.
Tip: Make sure to buy a club ticket beforehand to get a better price and avoid long entrance queues.
• SATURDAY morning & lunchtime
– Cala Comte & Es Vedrà Day trip:
How’s the hangover going? Well, I suggest you down a couple of paracetamols, get some breakfast – and yourself together – coz it’s playa (that’s beach in Spanish, you are welcome) time.If you don’t have a car but want to experience a beautiful Ibiza beach, you can hop in bus L4 and stop at Cala Comte, a turquoise blue water beach in the island’s south side. The beach itself is really popular due to its beauty and gets busy early on in the day, so head there as early as you can. And yes, it features a few cafes and restaurants, but you can always go prepared and take food and water with you, especially if you don’t want to give up a hard-to-find sunbathing (or shade!) spot to go for lunch.
However, as I mentioned earlier, the island’s best beaches are found in the north, so if you have a car make sure to head there (Cala d’en Serra, Benirras, Cala Olivera etc). If you don’t want to head north and prefer a shorter driving distance, then you must experience Es Vedrà: an absolutely gorgeous mystical rocky 413m islet in south-west Ibiza that you can enjoy from several viewpoints(such as on the way to Cala d’Hort beach). The popular attraction is surrounded by myths and legends, such as that it was the siren island in Homer’s Odyssey(sirens = hot island chicks with angelic voices, trying to lure sailors to them who then proceeded to jump off their ships and drown). Not a fan of this “theory”? Then maybe you can join those who believe that Es Vedra is a secret underwater UFO base! I personally like the UFO best.
• SATURDAY evening
– More Dalt Villa by night Experience Ushuaïa
Along with Pacha, Ushuaïa is definitely Ibiza’s other super duper famous club, hosting some of the biggest names in electronic music. Its biggest difference from Pacha is that the club is actually an outdoors venue, located in the luxurious Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel atPlaya d’en Bossa. Also, if you don’t like to stay up late (what the heck are you doing in Ibiza?!) then fear not; the club’s opening hours are actually 5pm-ish until 11pm!
Is Ushuaïa too much for you? Then another night at Dalt Villa won’t disappoint; there are so many bars and restaurants inside and outside the city’s ancient walls, and my Saturday night there was definitely a night to remember.
• SUNDAY morning
I recommend going for a final dip before saying Adios to this island. And if you were not impressed by Talamanca beach (can’t blame you), then here is what you do. You hop to one of the many (and frequent) ferry rides from Eivissa port to Formentera, and 30′ later you can be lying on a beautiful playa faced by crystalline turquoise waters. The smallest of Spain’s Balearic islands, Formentera is a beautiful small isle of 12,000 inhabitants and countless gorgeous beaches, some of which are Playa Illetes, Playa de Levante, Migjorn and Cala Saona. I recommend renting a bicycle and beach crawl for the entire day, taking necessary breaks for food and cold beer at San Francesc, the island’s capital,when that mid-day sun gets too much to bear.
Just don’t miss your flight back.
Tip: In case your base isn’t Eivissa Town, then know that Formentera can also be accessed by other port towns in the island of Ibiza, such as San Antonio and Santa Eulalia (but note that ferry rides are less frequent there).
Have you ever been to Ibiza?
What are your highlights?
[photos by my ♥, George Kan]