Ibiza is one of my favourite places for a summer holiday and each time I go back I discover something new. The island’s dazzling combination of beautiful beaches, pulsating super-clubs, water sports, delectable seafood and a widely-accepted dose of debauchery make it a popular holiday hotspot.
But beyond this façade you can discover plenty more to Ibiza than these stereotypes would suggest. Captivating cultural sites, deserted coves and bays, inland landscapes and mouth-watering fine dining are just some of the gems that keep visitors (including me!) coming back year after year.
For the very best island experience, capturing both sides of the coin can be easy and accessible, allowing you to explore an Ibiza you never knew and the Ibiza you’ve always dreamt about.
There are few islands that capture the notion of disconnecting from normality like Ibiza. You’re immersed in a scene of indulgence, vibrancy and fun, all anchored by one of the world’s most famous and established clubbing scenes. There are three primary destinations for those who have packed their dancing shoes, all lined with bars, pubs and super-clubs playing the best dance music and summer anthems – choosing where to head can often be the hardest part of the night.
Playa d’en Bossa
Playa d’en Bossa promises to draw the dance crowd, boasting three of Ibiza’s most iconic clubs, Space, Sankeys and Ushuaia. These clubs have performances from some of the world’s top DJs including David Guetta and Fatboy Slim.
Space is a club on every night owl’s itinerary, renowned and awarded as one of the best clubs on the planet, with an events calendar crammed full of intrigue year-round. Ushuaia, a famed beach hotel with some alluringly-glistening club pools and a true VIP vibe allowing you luxury amid chaotic party scenes. Sankeys is a good old fashioned basement club known as a no-frills rave haven for clubbers.
Another popular clubbing destination is the bustling and colourful centre of San Antonio. San Antonio is best known for the Sunset Strip. Bars and cafes line the strip and provide the ideal setting to warm up for the evening and watch the sun come down while enjoying a cocktail or two. Es Paradis Ibiza is in San Antonio and is recognised as one of the most beautiful clubs on the island with a labyrinth secret garden and the best water parties.
Ibiza Town is the place to be for a more laidback and sophisticated evening. Sun-drenched boat parties departing the town and there’s no shortage of stylish bars.
If dance music and energetic club scenes aren’t your thing, there is so much more to keep you entertained at night. One of the most diverse music events on the island is Ibiza Rocks, a fantastic festival going against the grain and bringing live bands to the island. This year sees performances from the likes of The Libertines and Catfish and the Bottleman, with the party kicking into life in June through to September.
Top Tip: If you need a night off from the hustle and bustle or fancy enjoying some quiet drinks devoid of rhythm and vibration, check out Santa Eulalia for a laid-back bar scene by the beach.
Hitting the beach
If nights are for clubbing, days are most certainly for the beach. Whether you’re looking to rest the hangover and forget about the night before or keep the action alive with some water sports experiences, the beaches of Ibiza are teeming with quiet spots or charismatic vibes.
Playa d’en Bossa boasts the longest beach on the island and has loads of great bars and eateries and plenty of water activities to draw you off your beach towel. Those in need of some beauty sleep will easily find a secluded spot if it’s sunshine and snooze on the agenda in preparation for when the sun goes down.
San Antonio offers more of the same, with arguably the best selection of water sports on the island, including parasailing, jet boating and snorkelling. If you fancy a slower pace then head to Reggae Beach for a wonderfully-chilled atmosphere beside the sea.
Away from the main hub of the island you’ll find secluded and even hidden beaches and bays for explorative beach bums looking for their own personal slice of paradise. Cala Bassa towards the south-west of the island, Playa Cala Salada on the west coast and Cala Martina on the east coast are perfect for those looking to escape the crowds but still enjoy the best of Ibiza’s beach scene. Others will find peace and solace in trekking some of the island’s inland landscapes and scenic coastal paths, delivering a different perspective to the coastline of this island gem.
Top Tip: Escape to Formentera, an incredibly beautiful and peaceful island located off of the south coast of the island, accessible by boat from Ibiza Town.
For some culture, history and indulgence
Amid the hectic party scenes and vibrant beach resorts, it may come as a surprise that Ibiza is an island of great cultural and historical significance. Ibiza is home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites and authentic markets, grand churches and classy traditional dining; dispelling the myth that Ibiza is only good for the clubbing crowd.
One of the best places for culture vultures to explore is the old sector of Ibiza Town. Here you’ll encounter one of the island’s most character-filled and gorgeous sites, the UNESCO World Heritage Dalt Vila. This imposing walled fortress circles a charming cobbled town within. Stroll along these historic streets and take in the beautiful architecture. Stop at some of the charming little restaurant to enjoy cold beers and tapas.
Another great day out can be had at the famous Es Cana Hippy Market, a traditional, if somewhat touristy, collection of stalls selling goods from all over the world. For those looking to achieve another sort of flavour of Ibiza, you’ll struggle to find a finer dining scene than that of Ibiza Nueva, home to luxury cruisers and a glitzy vibe. This is the place to come for some of the best and most flamboyant takes on traditional cuisine of Ibiza.
Hidden Gem: Check out the stunning Iglesia del Puig de Missa, one of the most spectacular religious monuments in Ibiza, peering over pretty Santa Eulària des Riu.
Monica Stott, better known as The Travel Hack, is a travel blogger with a love for stylish adventures. She’s on a mission to see as much of the world as possible and wants to prove that adventure travel can have a stylish twist. Monica spent summers in her teens and early 20’s in Ibiza discovering the island’s clubbing scene. She’s recently become a mum so is looking forward to going back and exploring a more chilled out side to the island.