Ibiza holds a special place in many hearts. The island, synonymous with idyllic beaches and dance music, is a refuge for clubbers and a tranquil safe haven for families and hippies alike. Here's why the White Isle is so unique...
What to see
Since the 1970s, Ibiza has been a hub for hippies. The Punta Arabi hippy market in Es Cana is the most historic of its kind on the island. It's open every Wednesday (from 3rd April), and you can expect to find plenty of colourful shops and cafes, great places to eat and live music (expect lots of jamming). There's even a kids area with face painting, arts and crafts and t-shirt design/making (recycled, of course).
Aside from the nightclubs, there's much to see in Ibiza Town. If you're in Southern Ibiza, look up in the sky, you'll see the Dalt Vila, an ancient fortified hilltop and World Heritage Site. Work your way up to the top on foot across its atmospheric cobbled streets, past medieval mansions, monuments and castle. The area, besides being a historic gem, also hosts concerts, exhibitions and other cultural events.
Where to party
Whether you want cutting-edge techno clubs, chilled beach bars or party boats, the Balearic island has been the number one nightlife-spot to visit in Europe for the last 40 years. Newer establishments, from Sankeys to B12are growing each year, harmoniously existing alongside historic and award-winning nightclubs like Amnesia and Sacha in Ibiza Town.
Further South from Ibiza Town, head to Ushuaia in Playa d'en Bossa. The luxury hotel/open-air nightclub consistently boasts world-famous DJ's - expect a night of thumping EDM, trance-inducing visuals, large light displays and confetti. For something more aquatic, the Ibiza Boat Club in Playa d'en Bossa is a premium sunset boat and pool party with DJ's, unlimited drinks and a swim stop with inflatables.
Where to relax
There are 80 beaches on the island, all with character and charm. Off the beaten track, there are still relatively untouched beaches like Cala Mastella in Santa Eulalia. Enjoy a more peaceful beach, and after a dip in the ocean, treat yourself to a bite to eat at El Bigotes, a delicious Spanish restaurant serving authentic fresh seafood.
Playa d'en Bossa Beach is the longest stretch of beach, where the sandy edge is lined with bars and restaurants, hotels and beach beds. There are plenty of boat trips heading out of the port during the day. Bring a lilo along and sunbathe in the sea, or take a dip in the water if you're feeling adventurous. If you're lucky you might even catch sightings of the Balearics Island's coastal creatures. There are numerous boats to hire throughout the island.
Where to stay
Now managed by Ibiza Rocks, the Pikes Hotel in San Antonio is the most iconic on the island. A once-regular summer hangout for the likes of Kylie Minogue, Grace Jones and George Michael (Wham's "Club Tropicana" music video was shot here), the place has seen it all and provides an unforgettable respite. For something a bit more modern, the aforementioned nightclub/hotel Ushuaia is a great shout for party animals. The hotel has a beach club of dreams, luxury rooms and excellent food.
If you're too old or simply can't bear the sound of pounding dance music heard across much of the island, head to Santa Eulalia. Some of the most laid-back places to stay in Ibiza can be found here. Hotels like C’an Sanso Apartments cater brilliantly for children with entertainment shows and a nearby park. In the north of the island, Portinatx also has a much more relaxed atmosphere. Hotels like Granada Apartments and Portinatx beach club hotel are highly recommended.
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