A Vacation in Ibiza: What to See and Where to Eat
Wild and pristine on one hand, but also touristic and full of life: Ibiza is contradictory and charming, to the point where you’ll either fall madly in love or never come back again. The best time to visit the island is during the months of May and June or September, but regardless of the time you visit, you’ll realize that despite the cliches, Ibiza is not only nightlife, but so much more. In 1999, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. A crystal clear sea, wonderful views, history, craft shops and a hippy atmosphere that has characterized it for so many years: here are the places that we recommend on the “Isla Blanca”!
WHERE TO GO TO THE BEACH
There are over 80 beaches on the island of Ibiza, but my word of advice is to discover the remote and pristine coves, or even better yet, those located in the Western part of the island. Here are our favourites!
– CALA COMTE. A feast for the eyes, so breathtaking it is difficult to describe the sight you will see upon arrival. The pictures just don’t do it justice either. Unique thanks to the golden sand, reefs and rocks and crystal blue water, this beach is equipped and there are restaurants and bars, including the Sunset Ashram. It’s 10 minutes away from Sant Antoni, and about a half hour from the centre of Ibiza.
– CALA D’HORT. This beach, rocky in some places and surrounded by rocks, has a very special charm thanks to the presence of the two rocks you can notice from the shore, Es Vedra and Es Vendranell. Here too it is possible to rent a chair and umbrella and eat at one of the small little restaurants with a view on the sea. Take my advice, and stay late enough to enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets the island has to offer!
– PLAYA DE SES SALINES. About fifteen minutes southwest of the centre of Ibiza, this long beach of golden sand located within the natural park of the salt mines is perfect for nice walks along the shore. The only negative point is that although it is well equipped and there are restaurants, the hawkers can be quite pressing.
– CALA BASSA. Near Cala Comte, this beach has a beautiful restaurant located at the Cala Bassa Beach Club. Frequented by a number of VIPs, it also has a natural pool: crystal clear turquoise water, 300 meters of white sand all framed together by the green trees.
WHERE TO EAT
Here are a few bars and restaurants to enjoy a break at in Ibiza, all located near the marina!
– LA BODEGA. This tapas restaurant is located at the foot of the staircase which leads to the old city of Ibiza. The beauty of tapas is the sense of sharing and the opportunity to taste a variety of flavours: the small dishes are priced between 2.50 and 15 euros, and our favourites are the patatas bravas (potatoes with a side of spicy sauce), the super famous tortillas, the provoleta (cheese mixed with spices) and the fried calamari, enjoyed alongside a nice pitcher of sangria. Our advice is to reserve, especially if you want to dine at one of the tables along the sidewalk.
– EL ZAGUAN. A stop at this simple restaurant is an absolute must. You’ll find “pinchos” as the protagonists, a typical dish of Basque tradition presented as a slice of bread with a few ingredients on top held together by a toothpick, much like the cicchetti from Venice. Each pincho costs only 2 euros!
– LA BRASA. Here, the prices are a bit above average: for example, a mixed paella costs 23 euros per person. The location sure makes it worth it though: the gazebo in the middle of the trees decorated with fairy lights creates a soft and romantic atmosphere despite the proximity of the tables. In addition to the paella, the menu proposes several varieties of grilled fish and meat. The only drawback is that this place is a bit chaotic, meaning there is a possibility that, even if you’ve reserved, your table isn’t ready when you arrive. Need not worry: you can start the evening with a cocktail at the hotel bar!
– TEMAKINHO. This one’s for our sushi-loving friends: if after a week of paella, tapas, meat and fish on the grill you feel a craving for sushi, why not treat yourself to a “salmao gostoso” temaki and a caipirinha? Here to the rescue is one of our favourite places in Milan, the Japanese-Brazilian Temakinho, located at Marina Botafoch. The view on the harbour and the Dalt Vila are frame worthy. The menu and prices are similar to the ones found at the restaurants in Milan.
– COMIDA SAN JUAN. If your wallet is crying towards the end of the trip, this is the place for you: Comida San Juan is the oldest restaurant in Ibiza, very popular for its home cooking and cheap prices. For this reason and because it isn’t possible to reserve in advance, you’ll have to line up a bit before sitting down. The entire place is very basic, and you can eat in either of the two indoor rooms or outside, but with company! That’s right: here, you’ll be dining side by side with strangers, which can be quite a nice way to get acquainted. The menu offers traditional meat and fish dishes. Truly delicious!
WHAT TO SEE
– DALT VILA. The old town of Ibiza is a fortified citadel from the Renaissance located on top of a hill, from which you can enjoy a crazy panoramic view of the harbour and beyond. Often forgotten by tourists, this area full of cobbled streets and white houses, as well as restaurants, shops and cafes, is really a gem. The view from the terraces is worth the climb!
– SUNSETS. What is more beautiful than watching a sunset with a good beer or cocktail and nice music playing in the background? There sure is no shortage of places to do such a thing here, and from any angle on the island the sight is sure to give you a unique feeling.
If you’re at Cala Comte and want to have a nice drink, the Sunset Ashram is perfect for you.
At Cala d’Hort, before heading down to the beach, you’ll find an open space on the left from which you can enjoy the most beautiful sunsets on the island. There aren’t any signs, so you’ll have to keep your eye open to find it. The rock formation in the sea that can be seen from the shore is Es Vedrà, an uninhabited island protagonist of many urban legends. In fact, it has been said that it is a remain of the legendary Atlantis or the island of the Sirens according to Homer; in fact, because of the high concentration of metals and minerals found in the rock, it can’t be seen from a satellite (like the White House), and compasses and electronic equipment will go completely crazy if a safe distance isn’t kept. Are you curious?
– HIPPY MARKET. Whether you have a hippy spirit or not, a trip to this small market – the biggest on the island and established since 1973 – is an absolute must. The meeting is every Wednesday from 10:00 am to 8:00pm at Es Canar inside the Punta Arabì hotel, in the northeast part of the island near Santa Eularia des Riu. Here you’ll find colourful and eccentric stands where you can find a good deal or two, food areas where you can enjoy traditional Spanish dishes, live shows by local artists and live statues.
WHERE TO GO CLUBBING
Ibiza is known first and foremost for its numerous nightclubs which can be distinguished by their different kinds of music, different crowds and different settings: there’s something for everyone. Our absolute favourites are Ushuaia and Pacha, because of the unique settings but also because the music is more commercial than other places, such as Space which features mostly tecno music and DC10 which features deep house music.
– USHUAIA. Located on the Playa d’en Bossa, this outdoor nightclub with a huge pool hosts DJs like Avicii, Kygo, Hardwell, Axwell and Ingrosso. The party starts at 5:00pm with the junior DJs, who then make place for the resident DJs starting at 10:00pm: this kind of schedule is perfect because it’ll give you the option to have fun until a reasonable hour, meaning you won’t need to waste the next day sleeping in bed. A ticket costs between 50 and 60 euros.
– PACHA. One of the most famous and prestigious clubs in the world, with locations in different European cities but also in America and in Africa. The one in Ibiza is located near the Marina, and hosts the likes of Bob Sinclair, David Guetta and Martin Solveig; and if you’re in the mood for a throwback to the 60’s, you can’t miss the “Flower Power”, an event hosted every Monday night dedicated to the hippy world. The tickets cost between 52 and 89 euros, depending on which DJ is playing the event!
HOW TO GET AROUND
To really get into the spirit of the island, we suggest you rent a scooter and get lost in the little streets of Ibiza. If this option isn’t for you, public transportation is really convenient and well organized: upon your arrival at the airport you’ll find the bus stop, including the L-10, which passes every 20 minutes and drops you off at the port of Ibiza for the cost of 3.50 euros. Whether you’ll be staying in Eivissa or in other little neighbouring towns like Sant Antoni, Sant Josep or Santa Eularia, you’ll find a bus that’ll take you to the nicest beaches. But that’s not all: for the nightclub goers, Ibizabus offers the Discobus service which will take you to all the most important nightclubs on the island all night long!
What do you say, have we given you the desire to book a vacation to this magic island right away? Let us know what your favourite places are: we’re certain you can’t wait to go back and discover other wonders the island has to offer!