One of the most famous and widely-visited holiday destinations in Europe, Ibiza means golden sands, bright blue waters, fiery sunsets and dancing until the day breaks. Although only a small island, you are never short of places to explore and untouched beaches to discover, and there is definitely something for everyone on offer – from the laid-back hippie chick to the modern-day party animal. Read on to find out my favourite places to visit on what is known to many as ‘The White Isle’.
BEST FOR BEACHING
The larger number of tourists at this beach could never distract from the beauty of the place, which boasts soft white sand and bright blue seas. However, the tropical feel of this place is made slightly more urban by the colourful street art that can be found decorating the surrounding buildings. Cala Tarida is also west-facing, meaning that this beach is a prime sunset-watching spot.
A pretty, picturesque cove on the western side of the island, Cala Vadella (pictured) is popular among sailors, tourists and locals alike. Its shore is dotted with typically Ibizan boutiques and bars, and the sea here is, unsurprisingly, crystal clear. Watch out for the jellyfish!
Platja De Ses Illetes
Formentera has been said to be the ‘Caribbean of the Med’, and for good reason. This small island, just off the south coast of mainland Ibiza, can be reached by ferry, and is well worth a day trip. Hiring bikes or mopeds once you dock on the island is almost compulsory (costing from 8-10 EUR per person for the day for a pedal bike), and is definitely the best way to see the stunning views of the lakes that lead down to the beaches. The Platja De Ses Illetes is found in a nature reserve, meaning that the white sands that run for miles and miles are unspoilt and picture-perfect.
BEST FOR EATING
Pizzeria Es Verge
Carretera de Sant Josep a Cala Vedella KM 12,8, 07830 Sant Josep de sa Talaia
Located just outside the main centre of San Josep, this cute little pizzeria, with its canopy of trees and twinkling fairy lights, is the perfect place for a long, relaxing evening. Popular mainly with locals (and not at all pricey), Es Verge serves a huge range of delicious pizzas, and also smaller yet equally tasty tapas dishes. Wash down with a pint of Estrella Damm.
Carrer de Madrid, 1, 07820 Sant Antoni de Portmany, Illes Balears, Spain
The port of San Antonio – hidden just slightly from the lights, colour and chaos it is known for – is home to a large selection of bars and restaurants. One of these is the Mexican restaurant Rita’s Cantina, which is decorated to make you feel as if you have stepped into a winding mexican street. The food is perfectly spiced, wonderfully presented, and are also served in generous portions. The strawberry daquiris go down a treat, too.
Taberna El Gallego
Carrer del Bisbe Huix, 19, 07800 Eivissa, Illes Balears, Spain
For anyone who loves proper Spanish tapas, this is the place to go. Nestled in the winding streets of Eivissa’s centre, the restaurant offers an impressive selection of traditional tapas, alongside a separate grill menu. The Gambas Pil Pil, Tortilla and Patatas Bravas were among my favourites here (although, in all honesty, we ordered so much food that I can’t remember what was what!) A wonderful place with delicious food and a vibrant atmosphere.
Carrer de Pere Escanellas, 49, 07830 Sant Josep de sa Talaia, Illes Balears, Spain
This courtyard-based, open-air bar and restaurant is found in the middle of San Jose, and is made even more magical by the live jazz music which is often performed here. You can apparently never have too many fairy lights, too many flowers, or too much Mexican food, and the soft tacos here are a definite testament to that. As are the mojitos.
BEST FOR DRINKING
Carrer Portal Nou, 10, 07800 Eivissa, Illes Balears, Spain
Possibly the coolest and most chilled bar ever, S’Escalinata uses the typical stone steps of Eivissa’s Dalt Villa as it seats, throwing multicoloured cushions and tables down to make it comfortable. Although it is hard to find a bad mojito in Ibiza, theirs are hard to beat, and the view over Eivissa’s rooftops is also pretty special.
Carrer de Cipriano Garijo, 14, 07800 Eivissa, Illes Balears, Spain
Somewhat fancier than the rustic bars found inside the old city walls, The Rock is one of the many bars lined up along the port of Eivissa, overlooking the impossibly luxurious yachts. Known to be a favourite hangout for Ibiza’s DJs and performers, cocktails here are slightly pricier than usual, but just as good. I would recommend the Espresso Martinis.
Carr. de Cala Conta, s/n, 07829 Sant Josep de sa Talaia, Balearic Islands, Spain
Aside from having what is known to be Ibiza’s best view of their infamous sunset, the aptly named Sunset Ashram (pictured) is hippie heaven. Carved into the beach’s cliff face, this unique bar, with its burning incense and thumping music, is often packed out, meaning many people will take to the beach or the rocks with their beers.
BEST FOR PARTYING
Av. 8 d’Agost, 07800 Ibiza, Balearic Islands, Spain
Unsurprisingly, Pacha‘s huge venue, extravagant decoration and incredible music makes it one of Ibiza’s most famous and sought-after nights out. On a Monday night, their Flower Power event attracts people from all walks of life, and treats you to hits from across the 60s, 70s and 80s. For anyone who loves a good boogie, Pacha lets you dance the night away, finishing around 6 in the morning (in true Spanish style). Be warned, however, that drinks prices can be extortionate, and saving up for an entry ticket costs a small fortune.
Ushuaia Beach Hotel
Platja d’en Bossa, 10, 07817 Sant Jordi de ses Salines, Balearic Islands, Spain
Although not technically a club, Ushuaia‘s large outdoor stage and pool area make it a prime place for some of the world’s most well-known artists and DJs. Its lively, summery festival vibe will have you dancing long into the night, but also finishes early enough to pump you up for an after-party in one of the Playa D’En Bossa’s many clubs and bars. Although slightly cheaper than Pacha, the drinks are still pretty expensive, and can cost around 16 EUR for a single mixer.
BEST FOR BEACH BARS
The Jockey Club
Playa Salinas, s/n, 07818 Sant Josep de sa Talaia, Balearic Islands, Spain
Ibiza’s most southern point is home to the Salinas beach, which is ruled predominantly by the Jockey Club. Established in the 90s, this wooden beach bar is vibrant and fun, and serves delicious (although usually fairly expensive) food.
07818, Balearic Islands, Spain
On the other side of this southern point is Es Cavallet beach: home to the swanky El Chiringuito beach club. Its crisp white furniture and light wood furnishings give the place a fancy feel, and food and cocktails can be ordered directly to your sunbed.
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