Have you heard the myths and intrigue surrounding the magical Mediterranean island of Ibiza? And perhaps now, you are wondering what is Ibiza like and is there any truth to the gossip.
Many Ibiza first-timers ask the same thing before spending their well-earned moola on an Ibiza trip. And it’s not just revellers looking for a non-stop party who are welcome. Recently the Balearic government has made a sizable push to attract families and quieter holidaymakers.
So read on because I will separate fact from fiction and explain what this slice of heaven is like for you (the would-be Ibiza first-timer).
By the end of this article, you’ll know what you can do on the island and what you should avoid. And then you can weigh up if it’s worth going or not.
Now, let’s jump into it!
Where is Ibiza?
Ibiza is an island in the Balearic archipelago located to the Southeast of Spain’s Iberian coastline. It is approximately 150km (roughly 90 miles) east of Valencia on the mainland. You can either fly into Ibiza International Airport or take a ferry from the mainland to get there.
Things to do in Ibiza
Ibiza has a storied history going back to the Phonecians. And with the influence of modern travel, it has undergone many guises from a hippy mecca to the party capital of Europe and now to a family-friendly even wellness destination.
So when it comes to things to do on the island, that will ultimately depend on what you are there to experience. At this point, it is worth making the distinction that Ibiza is not only a party island.
The beaches and beach clubs
Ibiza has more than 80 beaches for you to explore, enjoy and discover. Some are well-known beaches are:
As with anything in Ibiza, there are beaches geared towards families and thrill-seekers. Playa d’en Bossa, for example, features ample suntanning areas and beach clubs. Step into Bora Bora on the strip, and you’ll be in the middle of an incredible daytime party atmosphere.
To the north of the island, the likes of Cala Benirras draw in sunset chasers and those looking to soak in the island’s magic in a relaxed environment. Portinax is another beach where you’ll hear the water gently lapping rather than loud electronic beats.
If you are extra adventurous, then you can head into the sticks (off-road) and discover some of the many hidden calas that aren’t talked about in guidebooks.
The rural parts of Ibiza
Yoga & wellness tourism has become an integral part of Ibiza’s tourism mix. The island offers a vast selection of retreats and holistic experiences for the discerning bohemian tourist.
Ibiza is beautiful, and it isn’t controversial to say that until relatively recently, this aspect has been overlooked because of its clubbing reputation. So if you don’t know about the incredible scenery, take my word for it, and you won’t be disappointed.
Ultimately there isn’t one most spectacular part of Ibiza. Personally, I love the South Western part around Es Cubells and the Northern areas near Portinax.
I would highly encourage you to explore as much of the island as possible. Even if you intend to party a lot, take the time to spend at least a day wandering around a rural part of Ibiza.
Nightclubs and bars
Nightlife in Europe’s party capital needs no introduction to those who love electronic music. But for those unfamiliar, it is the mecca for clubbing. Period.
The nightlife on the island can be bucketed into three (3) primary areas. So as long as you head to one of them, you’ll find a raucous party every night of the week.
Recent changes to the noise regulations have meant that parties and events need to end by 06:00 every morning. Now, if that sounds like it’s a late finish, just know that five (5) years ago, that would have been 09:00 (or later).
Read Next: Ibiza Nightclubs [By Area] Guide
Activities on the ocean
The vibrant coastline of Ibiza is surrounded by transparent turquoise water, hidden coves and beautiful beaches. It is an absolute haven among the boating community. Everything from small sailing boats to massive superyachts spend their summer on the water here.
A day charter is a great way to experience the island from the viewpoint of the Mediterranean sea. If you aren’t keen on setting sail, look into stand-up paddling or kayaking. You can even combine your morning yoga class with a paddleboarding excursion.
San Antonio bay has parasailing, jet skis, wakeboarding, water skiing and a whole host of other water sports that you can partake in.
It’s also worth mentioning here about the ferries that run back and forth between Ibiza and Formentera. I’d highly recommend this day trip to Formentera for every visitor to Ibiza, no matter their holiday priorities.
This ties into the part about exploring the rural parts of the island. If you are into being outdoors and nature, then Ibiza holds its own in terms of what it can offer you.
Whether you are into hiking or trail running, there are some brilliant routes that you can wander and explore. The South West of Ibiza is a mountainous region, so I’d recommend looking here to get your thrills.
Another underrated excursion (as a day trip) is to rent a scooter and explore the far reaches of the island. Unfortunately, car hire is expensive, and the traffic is insanely heavy in high season, so two (2) wheels are the way to go.
This is just scratching on the surface of the outdoor adventures that await you on the island should you so choose.
Restaurants and shopping
Retail therapy is never too far away, and you have everything from high-end fashion (available in Ibiza Town only) to quintessential bohemian arts & crafts.
Earlier I alluded to Ibiza’s historical hippy culture, the first wave of tourists to settle. Well, their presence is still going strong, and you’ll find its spirit at one of the many hippy markets scattered over the island’s length and breadth.
The most well-known of these markets is Las Dalias hippy market, a treat for the whole family. It has the broadest offering of live concerts, arts, shopping, food and general entertainment among all these markets. It’s worth exploring them when you do visit.
Finally, to any foodies reading this, you are in luck. If you are after fine dining, then you have a fantastic selection along the promenade in Ibiza Town. The luxury beach clubs (Nikki Beach or Blue Marlin) will offer you exquisite dining paired with a vibey atmosphere for a beachfront setting.
Be sure to get stuck into the local produce and cuisine whenever you can. If you look in the right places you’ll get local prices and great service.
What should I avoid in Ibiza?
As much as I would encourage you to engage with as much of Ibiza as possible, there are some things you’ll want to avoid. They are laid out for you below:
- Buying club tickets at the door and. Always pre-purchase these online to save money.
- Staying within the resort your hotel is and not visiting any others.
- Not checking which days the hippy markets are open. Always double check!
- Forgetting to visit Formentera. Seriously you have to go.
- Avoid Carrer de Santa Agnès near San Antonio’s sunset strip at all costs.
Is it worth going to Ibiza?
Ibiza is an expensive place to visit. However, you can get a good deal if you book early enough and watch out for specials. IT WILL also be one of the best holidays you are ever likely to have. It’s an island born from the spirit of fun and enjoying yourself. That permeates through everything, whether you are there to party or meditate.
Does Ibiza have a non-party side?
There is an ever-growing non-party side of Ibiza. That goes for both the towns and the type of tourist now visiting regularly. And many of the areas away from Ibiza’s nightlife and clubs are geared toward a holiday of rest & relaxation.
So, what is Ibiza like? It is quite simple for any potential first-timer wanting to know the answer. It is incredible!
Ibiza caters to so many different people and their interests. To the young, old, revellers, relaxers and everyone in between.
We looked at just what diverse entertainment the magical Baleric island offers its visitors. So if you are on the fence about booking your trip then hopefully you just read all the convincing you needed.