If you’re visiting Spain merely for Madrid or Barcelona, then you’re missing out on a place you never know may have you yearning to come back time and time again. Take your feet to Ibiza: where the sun finds it difficult not to shine; where hospitality is the second nature of its people. It is a certified paradise not only for party animals, but for walkers, sightseers, photography enthusiasts, nature lovers, and beach buffs as well. While this speckle on the Mediterranean Sea is very famous for its ever-vivacious, nonstop party scene, it also projects an aura of rustic allure, which makes for a great escape from the rowdy urban atmosphere. The following is our guide to Ibiza—from when to visit to where to stay, party, and eat.
In a Nutshell
An autonomous community of Spain, Ibiza is one of Mediterranean’s Balearic Islands. It currently has a population of over 130,000 residents. Immerse yourself to the inlands and discover solitary roads. Explore the footprints of the island’s 12th century Muslim past, be awed by its traditional villages awash with white houses, marvel at 14th century Gothic architecture, and feel the bravery of those warding off enemies from the 16th century Renaissance fortress. Ibiza, or Eivissa in Catalan, is rich in geographic landscapes, high-decibel nightlife, ancient culture and colorful history.
Best Time to Visit
Ibiza’s spring months from March to May bring a wondrous break from the wet and dreary winter months. Once again, the countryside comes to life with luxurious sceneries to usher in the wide-ranging celebration of various religious and socio-cultural festivities; the celebration of Easter (Semana Santa), the Eivissa Medieval Festival, the International Music Conference, and the inaugural of the clubbing season. Choose May which is closer to summer. You can still catch some hotel deals and the island is not yet buzzing with tourist by the square foot.
Ibiza basks in long dry summers from June to September, with almost 11 hours of sunshine everyday in July. Autumn brings cooler air from the months of October to mid-December, but it is also when rains and storms make a beeline to the island. Winter drops the temperature but it is generally mild. Snows are very rare and if snowflakes do fall, they never settle. Spring is sunshiny in a way that it is comfortable. It starts with a rather chilly March with comfortably warm daytime temperatures. The island is close to North Africa and hot winds and dust storms can hit the island from February to March. Towards May, summer is on the heels of spring and the sea heats up.
Getting around Ibiza
Touring Ibiza is popularly done by scooters. Whether you opt to rent and drive the scooter or join a guided tour, it will certainly be an exhilarating ride. Ibiza is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed city and famous landmarks jut out of its Mediterranean coastline. Delve deeper into the hills and valleys where 12th century villages and traditional communities exist. A scooter can usually be rented at around USD 40 a day. Guided tours run from USD 60 to USD 100 depending on the destinations and perks that go with the tour. Car tours on Opel Corsa are also available around the island at USD 65 a day.
Things to Do
You can go to Ibiza to party or to be in idyllic beaches. But remember that Ibiza is not just the party and fashion that you find along the luxurious coastlines. Ibiza has a heart and it lurks up the hillsides. Here are ideas on how you can spend your holiday on this beautiful island.
1) Party in Ibiza
Aside from its panoramic countryside, Ibiza has quite a number of world-class bars and nightclubs dotting its coastline where people can groove all night long to their heart’s content. It certainly is a mecca for partying tourists, as it befits the title the “party capital” of the world. No wonder over 4 million visitors flock to Ibiza every year.
2) Explore the Beaches
Engulfed by a superb coastline and crystal-like blue waters, a slew of marvelous beaches, inlets, attractive coves and majestic cliffs also await your visit.
3) Indulge in Gastronomic Feasts
With the world’s best chefs congregating in Ibiza every summer, you can’t dare to miss their heavenly concoctions of magnificent and dazzling array of divergent foodstuffs – from the distinctive Mediterranean seafood dishes to the French, Italian, and Indian meals – from seaside diners to high-end restaurants strewn all around the island.
4) Soak in the Panorama of the Sun Sinking into the Sea
During summer, you can take a stroll down memory lane at Ibiza’s sunset avenue in San Antonio and behold the awesome panoramic backdrop of the sun gently fading into the Mediterranean. Or see the sun dive to the sea from the islet of Es Vedra – from where they say Homer’s sirens sing enchanting songs.
5) Ride a Bike and Tour the Island’s Historic Landmarks
Bike to the rural inland – rent a bike or join a tour – and see how wide and lush and rugged the countryside is. Go find medieval Ibiza and search for the fortified walls that has kept pirates at bay, or the 7th century BC Phoenician tombs and relics.
In an island that never sleeps, there is no shortage of things to do and places to see– an assurance that you will never be left twiddling your thumb in boredom. Here are Ibiza’s top attractions that you can’t go home without a visit to.
1) D’Alt Vila
D’Alt Vila had been identified as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999 and has kept that title until now. The Kingdom of Ibiza was first fortified by the Romans to keep out pirates. The walls that visitors can see are the walls raised in the 16th century by Felipe II to protect against French and Turkish invasion. There is a ramp from Plaça de sa Font up to the gateway which is the main entrance. You will see Felipe II’s coat of arms and 1585 inscribed as the fortress’ date of completion. Inside the gateway you will see Plaça de la Vila lined with restaurants and shops. Walk past it and go to the top of the walls to enjoy a vista from the ancient vanguard of Ibiza. Admission is free.
Address: Ibiza City
2) Necropolis del Puig des Molins
Discover the part of Ibiza that is quiet, not to mention eerie. Cut deep into the hills are the ancient hypogea, or burial caverns, dating back to the 7th century BC and the Phoenician times. There is also a museum that displays archaeological finds, such as amulets and terracotta pottery and figurines discovered inside the tombs of around 3,000. Admission is free.
Address: Carrer de la Via Romana 31
3) Cova de Can Marçà
These are lit underground caverns and guided tours will take you inside and underground in 40 minutes. Take a drink on the terrace and enjoy the scenery of blue water slapping the dark cliffs gently. Adults are admitted at USD 12, while children are at USD 6.50.
Address: Port de Sant Miguel
4) Museu Arqueològic
This museum exhibits artifacts found from several periods: mostly from the Carthaginians and Phoenicians, and some from the Roman and Islamic periods. Adults are admitted at a fee of USD 3, while children can enter free.
Address: Plaça de la Catedral 3
The 14th century cathedral shows off elegantly combined Catalan Gothic architecture with a 16th century sacristy and Baroque additions in the 18th century. Entry to the cathedral is free.
Address: Ibiza City