Ibiza is without a doubt one of the hottest party spots in the Mediterranean. Thousands of people descend upon the white island each year and this time I was one of them. Discover my best Ibiza travel tips.
My first night I was eating by the Paseo de las Fuentes. The temperature was warm, breeze from the sea was cool, and the synthesizers and kick drums had only just begun echoing in the street. I turned my head and out of nowhere came a parade of topless girls promoting people to go to a nearby bar. That’s Ibiza.
Having just finished La Tomatina all I wanted to do was sip sangria while lying on the sand. Most people traveling to Ibiza have no interest in that. They want to party. In reality the best Ibiza vacation is a mix between the two. So here’s everything you need to know about how to have fun but stay classy in the world’s premiere party spot!
Best Ibiza Travel Tips
How To Get To Ibiza
Some people fly to this 220 m2 Spanish island in the Mediterranean. I went the cheaper route by taking the 2.5 hour ferry from Valencia. The ride was crowded but the view was nice so you don’t care. Buy tickets in advance. It’s just easier and they might sell out.
I do want to mention that I loved the scene when you first debark onto the dock. You’re surrounded by private boats anchored throughout the pier and there’s a view of the beaches posed placidly in the distance. Honestly, the “birthplace of the rave” does seem kind of tranquil at first.
The Best Beaches In Ibiza
The best thing to do during the day in Ibiza is to relax on the beaches. You should be fine just going to the one nearest to your hotel. Check out the best Ibiza beaches by location to see which ones are closest to you.
But if you want to plan ahead here’s some of the more famous beaches in Ibiza. They’re all beautiful with white sand against bright blue water. You can’t go wrong.
However, the beaches are short. I didn’t realize this until I actually got there. Still, the water is warm and the docks that jet into it water have casual restaurants with food and drinks.
The Playa d’en Bossa is one of the more famous beaches that I’d recommend. You’ll find everything you need for the day, from water-sports to beachfront boutiques and restaurants. Alternatively, families should opt for the beach Portinatx in the north.
Ibiza Party Scene
The best part about Ibiza is the contrast of the old, historically rich Catalonian culture and the pervasive party scene. Like a dual life, during the day the island is a lazy European vacation spot. Then as soon as the sun goes down it turns into a laissez-faire, anything goes, free-for-all.
People go to Ibiza and indulge because they can. It’s Las Vegas on the beach. Expect to see many a tourist stumbling back to the hotel from the clubs while people are waking up for breakfast. You’re likely to see this anywhere between the road from Ibiza Town and San Antonio.
My main advice for clubbing in Ibiza is to find out which DJs are playing while you’re there and pick your clubs based on that. Here’s where you can find updates on Ibiza nightlife.
Also, make sure you go to some of the sunset bars for happy hour earlier in the day. Piña Coladas on the sand during sunset is perfection.
The clubs are not in the main coastal areas, so you have to take a coach bus for a 40 minute drive to the middle of the island. The coach buses are basically a glorified party transporter. Booking club tickets in advance are a must since they sell out and raise the prices the day of.
If you’re interested in doing more cultural things during the day, the island is chock-full of history and sweeping views. Scenic outlooks, hidden coves, delicious restaurants- there’s plenty to explore.
For most people the party is all day. They wake up after noon and drink on the beach, go to a sunset bar and drink on the deck, hit up one of the Ibiza Town pubs to pre-game, and then rage into the wee morning hours at one of the warehouse clubs. But if you want to refrain from all this, check out this list of Ibiza tours.
The Quiet Side of Ibiza
If you abhor any type of party scene or shudder at thinking of stepping foot into a club or loud bar, the northeast side of Ibiza is for you. It’s unspoiled and tranquil. Pine trees cover the area in a dense wood and old-Spanish style resorts sprinkle the coast.
Families love the north because everything closes by midnight, so there are no hooligans peeing on the curb as you leave dinner. As long as you stear clear of that Ibiza Town to San Antonio road, where some of the best bars and smaller clubs are, you’ll have a nice, calm vacation.
Rent a car to explore the island. See the mountains and the north fields. Take pictures on the beaches and of the remote coves. Sail a boat to the island of Formentera and ride the scooters for the day.
Honestly, the fact that most tourists in the Ibiza Town area are preoccupied with partying can work out for your benefit. It will make the quiet spots on the island that much more isolated.
The Ibiza Sunset
The biggest tip I received was where to be during the sunset. Many of the restaurants and bars on the beach boast the best spot to take it in, with stretching panoramic views of the sun descending behind the horizon. It’s the green light that says go, commence the partying or can serve as the perfect backdrop to a romantic dinner.
A good alternative to a bar is to go to the Isla Es Vedra and watch the sun slip behind the steep volcanic rock of limestone that juts out of the ocean.
After these sunsets, people usually head over to the Sunset Strip. This spot remains lively well into the morning hours, but more notably provides a viable pre-game spot for all those heading to the famed warehouse clubs later in the night.
Where to Stay in Ibiza
The hotels were kind of expensive, but on the whole not too bad. I wish I had known about the plethora of privately owned flat rentals which are much more affordable and gives you a taste of living like a local.
I had considered finding cheaper accommodations away from the central Ibiza Town area, but after weighing that cost against the taxis or lag-time of buses to get back and forth from the center, I coughed up the extra bucks to stay closer. It ended up being worth it in terms of convenience.
Best Restaurants In Ibiza
There are so many restaurants that are worth going to in Ibiza that it would require an article of its own to cover it. New places spring up every year, constantly changing the landscape of the restaurant scene. A good resource is this collection of Ibiza’s best restaurants.
We had this amazing paella dish in Ibzia Town. So make sure to try paella at whichever one you choose. Some other famous local dishes include the following:
- Bullet de Peix – Traditional fisherman’s soup/stew
- Tapas – Little plates of various dishes on the menu
- Pan con Tomato – Toasted bread rubbed with fresh garlic, ripe tomato, olive oil, and salt
- Sofrit Pages – Spiced pork, lamb, chicken, local ‘Sobresada’, Butifarra’ sausages, whole sweet garlics, peppers, and potatoes
Should You Visit Ibiza If You’re Older?
I had gotten the low-down on everything Ibiza from an unusual source at dinner one night. A chain-smoking Scottish couple in their 60’s shouted to me from a nearby table and wanted to know where I was from. Despite the fact I was in the party capital of the world, I spent until 3 am listening to stories about their rock band, sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll days. It was fascinating and why traveling is irreplaceable; it’s the interesting people you meet along the way.
So is Ibiza Town good for people in their 40’s and 50’s+ to join in on the fun and not feel like the oldest ones in the room? It does seem like the majority of vacationers are in their 20’s and early 30’s, but there are plenty of older people to make you feel comfortable. Go for it, just like my favorite Scottish couple did.
Ibiza is part of the Balearic Islands, an archipelago between France and Africa. Nicknamed, the “White Island”, it has over 100 miles of coastline and is the supposed home of the Sirens from Homer’s epics. The coves and quaintness of the island make it feel remote. Catalan is the official language, but English and Spanish are everywhere.
It was originally founded by the Phoenicians in 654 B.C. before the Romans, Moors, and Christians took over. The “hippie communes” in the ’60’s and ’70’s are what had put it on the map and served as the origins of its infamous reputation.
Not everyone likes to party, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go to Ibiza. There is one thing I can’t deny though, no matter which reason you go for, whether it’s to party hard or take a midnight stroll along the beach, Ibiza is the night. So don’t go to bed too early.
What are you waiting for- book a trip to Ibiza!