Ibiza, the magical white island, a stunning coastline with hidden valleys and pine-covered hills meet tranquil aquamarine bays and seductive sandy beaches.
Known for its beautiful beaches to peaceful unknown strips, and from hippie beaches to family beaches, the island has it all. Ibiza is a magical place – not least because it brings together a wonderful mix of people from every corner of the globe for sun, sea and of course, the music. Ibiza is truly an unforgettable trip of sensations.
It is often referred to as the “white island” and “party capital of the world” – a neat pair of monikers to describe the difference between day and night in this beautiful Spanish paradise. Ibiza is home to more than 60 beaches that attract visitors from around the globe and boasts some of the world’s best nightclubs.
There is plenty to see and do in Ibiza, from sunrise to sunset. Beneath the waves, giant grouper and moray eels haunt the reefs and wrecks of the Mediterranean. Alternatively, you can explore the island’s mystery and history on land at the Can Marca smugglers’ caves, historic cemeteries, quaint villages, and pirate towers dotted about the island.
The beaches range from long popular stretches to secluded coves. However, Ibiza’s natural attractions are not limited to just sand. The cliffs, mountains and nature reserves are known for their interesting variety of plant and animal species, including huge flocks of migrating flamingos that frequent Ses Salinas National Park every year towards summer’s wane. These are balanced by manmade sights, including the World Heritage listed Dalt Villa, the charming walled old town.
The food of the Balearic Islands is particularly appealing to lovers of Spanish cuisine and seafood, although pub grub, fast food and international favorites such as Indian and Italian are also readily available.
Ibiza is the perfect place to relax, replenish and reconnect with friends and family. Enjoy!
- Wander the cobblestone streets of Dalt Vila’s old town
- Sail around mysterious Es Vedra Island
- Explore the smuggler’s caves of Can Marca
- Relax on a white sandy beach at San Antonio
- Party the night away in Ibiza’s mega clubs
- Dive with giant groupers at the Cala d’Hort Marine Reserve
- Hike the hills and forests of the peaceful interior
The island is famous for its beach clubs and nightlife but there is another side of Ibiza that will inspire you! Ibiza is a truly fantastic place to explore through various outdoor activities so why not explore. Here are just a few suggestions:
Ibiza has become an increasingly popular destination for both road and mountain cycling. It is now very common to see groups of hard-core cyclists whizzing by on what is often a very hilly terrain. There are no truly big climbs but the stunning surroundings will make for a dramatic backdrop. But if you want to take it easy, Velo Club Ibiza, run by friendly Simon Rose, offers organized days to suit all levels. There are some great mountain bike treks but whether you are on road or off you really will see a side of the island you have never seen before. Spring and Autumn are the prime months but if you happen to be there in July and August we recommend you cycle early morning or late afternoons to beat the heat. Don’t forget your sunscreen and water!
Ibiza’s forest trails and beaches make it an optimal place for horseback riding. Guides will take you on nature trails during the day and romantic full moon rides at night under the stars. In addition, the number of available stables in Ibiza means that you can also opt to have a more structured lesson in the paddock. You will fee the magic wherever you choose to ride on the island and recommend the Horse Country Club in Santa Gertrudis for all levels of riders. Also, Can Mayans on the road from Santa Gertrudis to San Lorenzo has well known and well-equipped stables offering moonlight treks. Riding equipment is normally provided at the stables.
Paddle yourself around Ibiza’s stunning rocky coastline from one secluded bay to another. Revel in the hidden treasures you may find on a tour into secret caves, manoeuver around the magnetic Es Vedra rock or watch the sun setting on the horizon. There are a number of adventure tours available for all levels and provided the water is as calm as normal, Ibiza is a safe place for family trips.
We recommend Kayak Ibiza, the islands largest and most established Kayak company. Speak with Lauren or Paolo A three-hour tour, whether bespoke for your group or joining a larger organized tour, makes for a great excursion and then laze on the beach on your return to sooth some tired arms!
How could you not want to dive deeper into Ibiza’s crystal clear turquoise waters? Scuba dive and explore the rich and colorful fauna and flora that is akin to Ibiza’s coastal line. Discover the magical world of underwater caves and shipwreck sites. There are many organized tours around the island and the mild water temperatures make for truly optimal diving. Punta Dive is the island’s largest dive company and has three dive center locations on the island with top-notch facilities and equipment. Alternatively, Big Blue Ibiza is a small dive center in the south west of the island right on the beach at Cala Vadella from where you can visit local dive sites. Get ready to experience Ibiza’s stunning underwater realm.
Walking is one of the best ways to discover Ibiza and to gain local knowledge. Get lost in the forests and plug into Ibiza’s natural beauty with some of the private and community tours available. We recommend you contact Toby at Walking Ibiza. The routes vary in difficulty so make sure you pick one at your pace. It’s a great way to learn more about the history, foraging and local stories that have shaped the island. If you don’t feel like a tour and you want to go out on your own there are entire books dedicated to Ibiza’s walking trails and there are well-marked walking routes with maps available at the town halls and tourist information centers. We can also recommend some great routes, our favorite is to go up to Sa Talaia, the highest point of the island, where you will be surrounded by the simply stunning landscape with breathtaking views.
Ibiza’s best beach restaurants
Best for views: Amante
Of all the knockout views in Ibiza, the shimmering aquamarine vista that greets you as you descend the steps to Amante has to be one of the most knee-weakening on the island. Luckily staff is on hand to rouse you from your stupor with an Ibizan Mule or glass of the palest-pink rose. While the beach isn’t the island’s best (it’s shingly to the point of painful – bring waterproof flip-flops to venture into the water), Amante’s draw is its secluded cliff top location, and you’ll need to be quick to secure one of the loungers that line its lowest tier.
If you don’t, settle in at the elegant bar and restaurant; a masterclass in “refined rustic” decor, serving a varied menu of perfectly executed crowd-pleasers (prawn carpaccio, burrata, passionfruit cheesecake), alongside more experimental dishes (Spanish fisherman’s stew with saffron, avocado mousse dessert). Also look out for Amante’s sister restaurant Aiyanna, which opened on Cala Nova earlier this summer. Cala Sol Den Serra (Cala Llonga), 07849 Santa Eulalia des Riu
Best for foodies: Sa Punta
French restaurateur Rodolphe Sachs hasn’t bottled his recipe for Ibizan good vibes (yet) but it must go something like: one part spectacular location (at the furthest tip of Talamanca bay overlooking the Old Town in one direction, with an expanse of ocean in the other); three parts distinctive, consistently delicious food (the site is home to three restaurants) and a hefty dose of mood-enhancing music. Given the enduring success of Sa Punta, it’s a tried-and-tested formula for attracting those in high spirits and higher heels.
The original fine dining restaurant dishes up exquisite fresh seafood – the Nobu-style black cod is a standout – while upstairs, colorful Lebanese restaurant Patchwork offers moreish sharing dishes (hummus, baba ganoush and sambousek), and further up the clifftop is kitsch Asian eatery Ginger. This year the team have added a homeware boutique so that after a night of dancing under the stars you can buy a Balinese-style printed cushion – or even an Indonesian mosaic elephant if you wish – to take some of the magic home with you. Es Pouet de Talamanca, 07819 Santa Eulalia des Riu
Best for all-day lounging: Cotton Beach Club
With its crystal-clear, shallow waters and white sand, Cala Tarida has always been popular with families; the opening of Norwegian duo Christian and Merete Marstrander’s Cotton Beach Club in 2014 put the secluded cove on the five-star Ibiza map. Arrive early to secure a beach bed before ascending the stairs to the all-white restaurant and terrace, where the views over the bay will leave you breathless as much as the climb.
Serving Mediterranean and Asian cuisine, the sun-soaked rooftop Fay operates its own sushi bar, while the grand terrace offers substantial fare including chicken tacos and prawn yellow curry. Radiating a sense of Ibizan cool, you’re welcome to roll in off the beach, while there are private showers on the roof for pre-sunset sprucing. This year the team have also opened all-day restaurant Cotton Lounge Club in Ibiza Town, alongside an outdoor fitness club with pool and restaurant in San Antonio. Carrer Posta de Sol, 21, 07829 Cala Tarida
Best for sundowners: Experimental Beach
Set on the southern tip of the island, past the beautifully bleak salt lakes, Experimental Beach Ibiza is a return to the rustic, boho Ibiza of old – only with killer cocktails and a designer-bikini-clad crowd, as befits a holiday outpost of London’s acclaimed Experimental Cocktail Club. Overlooking beach beds and onto the Mediterranean beyond, the open-air restaurant has an informal, feet-in-the-sand vibe: shabby-chic rattan and wood furnishings and a reggae soundtrack add to the blissed-out atmosphere.
Cocktails are the selling point; the boat-bar is lined with homemade syrups and tinctures which make for drinks far superior to your average Mojito. A Spanish-influenced menu offers tapas and beach bites (on an island full of quinoa salads, theirs is the best), to heartier dishes such as lobster fettuccine and salt-baked sea bass. Relaxed by day, Experimental Beach picks up as the sun dips lower and the sky gets pinker, with DJs catering to the barefoot and beautiful until 1am. Playa des Codolar, Las Salinas, 07817 Ibiza
Best for people watching: Blue Marlin
One of Ibiza’s most famous beach restaurants, Blue Marlin remains the place to see and be seen for those who like their sushi served with a side of selfies. Set on the pebbly Cala Jondal beach on the south-west of the island, its magnums of Moet and sparklers may epitomize what sent Ibiza’s original hippies running to the hills of Formentera (that it also has an outpost in Dubai tells you everything you need to know). But if a lively beach club is what you’re after, Blue Marlin is the five-star option: not to mention a lot of fun.
Serving a mostly Mediterranean menu spliced with Asian flavors – grilled octopus and burrata feature alongside salmon tataki and soft-shell crab – the restaurant sits adjacent to the party zone, where a smaller menu is served to huge white day-beds. By day it’s a feel-good spot for photogenic cocktails and people watching; by night, the numerous VIP zones fill up and the crowd takes to the dancefloor until 4am. Cala Jondal, 07800 Ibiza
Best for families: Gecko Beach Club, Formentera
The jetset flock to Formentera for a respite from Ibiza’s frenetic party pace and, surveying the 10km stretch of white sand from the restaurant at Gecko Beach Club, it’s easy to see why. Named after the creatures that scuttle across the decking, the hotel and beach club has been refurbished for 2017 at the hands of Mallorcan designer Antonio Obrador. Clean, contemporary furnishings are dusted with turquoise accents and patterned tiles to create a bright and breezy space inspired by classic riviera resorts.
Find a spot in the shade to tuck into the restaurant’s signature seafood paella, before retiring with a glass of sangria to a lounger in the adjacent garden, where there’s a decent-sized pool to keep kids occupied (the hotel also offers a creche). With nothing to disturb you but the sound of the waves, the surroundings will lull you into a state of zen-like tranquility before you can say “siesta’” Ca Mari, Playa Migjorn, 07860 Formentera
Ibiza’s best shopping
Ibiza is famous for its hippy markets, although you are unlikely to find any real bargains these days. Las Dalias is on Saturdays in San Carlos and the Sant Jordi market is on Saturday mornings in the hippodrome outside Ibiza Town.
Ibiza town has several chain stores, including Zara (Bartomeu de Rosselló 26), Mango (Santa Creu 26) and Camper (Bisbe Cardona 1), as well as lots of designer boutiques. Ad Libitum (Bisbe Cardona 10) is the label that created the Ibiza look with its floaty, white, embroidered dresses.
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Best Shopping Areas
The best place for clothing is La Marina which is lined with boutiques selling clothes, designer sunglasses, CD stalls, ceramic souvenirs, beautiful jewelry, shoes and even tattoos. Heading towards the new town via Vara Del Ray, the shops become more local and more affordable and full of everything you could want or need for your holiday in Ibiza. Leather goods, flip flops, clubbing wear, beachwear, jewelry and tourist souvenirs line the streets to tempt you…don’t even try to resist!
Although you never can tell when the spending urge will strike! There are beachfront boutiques, hippy markets and roadside stalls round every corner that can tempt you to purchase anything from artwork to clothing. And in fact, as many shops are open late in the summer months you may well even find yourself making a purchase and accessioning that clubbing outfit as you head out at 1am!
There are many pretty towns in Ibiza, including Santa Gertrudis and San Carlos, both of which have beautiful boutiques and shops to explore. If you are looking for something special for yourself, a friend or for your home then these two towns are not to be missed.