Few islands conjure up images of laid-back fun in the sun and dancing under the stars quite like Ibiza, which has a style all of its own. The hippest hotspot in the Balearic Islands, an archipelago of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea, travel experiences in Ibiza offer a kaleidoscope of fun for hedonists, beachcombers, music lovers, clubbers and yoginis – and anyone who loves beach holidays in a cool destination with a party vibe.
Ibiza’s nightlife is legendary with Ibiza Town and San Antonio the two primary stomping grounds and home to an intoxicating array of bars and restaurants, as well the famous nightclubs, including Pacha, Privilege and Amnesia. And when you’re ready to chill out or simply recover from the excesses of the night before, you’ll find plenty of tranquil spots away from the crowds. Ibiza’s quiet little villages, secluded sandy coves and pine-clad hills are both within easy reach of the action and yet also ‘miles away’ when it comes to getting a bit of headspace.
To whet your appetite for a holiday designed with partying in mind, check out our round-up of some of the most unforgettable travel experiences in Ibiza – and book in Barceló Portinatx hotel in time for summer 2018…
Rock the boat
There’s no better way to get your bearings and soak up the action and views on the scene than by riding the waves along the coast. You can join a wide choice of boat tours out of San Antonio or book a trip on a catamaran for you and your party of friends – many of which include stops for lunch at beach-side restaurants en route, as well as serving chilled beer and wine and snacks on board with soundtracks to get you dancing on the decks. If you’re more of a salty seadog, you can also charter your own yacht – with or without a skipper, depending on how well you know the ropes.
Bed down on the beach
Looking for a hot stretch of sand? You won’t struggle to find a gorgeous sunbathing spot – Ibiza is blessed with an abundance of beautiful white sand beaches. Playa d’en Bossa is the where the heart of the action is at – it’s the longest beach on the island, with delightfully shallow waters that make it perfect for swimming and a vast array of bars and beach restaurants on the sand. Or follow the beautiful people to Las Salinas beach and fashionable Cala Jondal Beach in San José.
Even better, you can make a day at the beach a luxurious event by hiring a day-bed. And when we say bed we don’t mean a sunlounger, we mean a bed. Ibiza has blazed a trail with its wealth of beach clubs that offer day beds for hire – with attentive waiters on-hand to keep your wine glass topped up or the cocktails flowing.
Sink the perfect sundowner
Sipping a cold beer or cocktail on the beach while watching the sun drop behind the Cap Bernat and dissolve into the sea is one of the perennial pleasures of holidays in Ibiza. It’s a well-trodden path but hanging out at the café that launched a thousand chill-out tunes – the now infamous Café Del Mar – is still a must-do for first-time visitors to the island. This hip watering hole is teeming every evening as crowds gather to watch what is arguably one of the finest sunset views on the planet. Getting a drink in time for the show might be a bit of a bun-fight but it’s worth it.
Party in Ibiza Town
Few holiday destinations are as magical at night as Dalt Vila, the old walled city of Ibiza Town, where the lights show on top of the castle and sweeping views of the port create a fairytale summer vibe. Literally translated as ‘upper town’, Dalt Vila is a UNESCO World Heritage site, comprising a maze of tiny cobbled streets crammed with some of the best restaurants and bars on the island. Walking up to the castle and grounds will make you feel as if transported to a set straight out of Game of Thrones – and if late-night retail therapy is more your bag, you’ll also find very cool boutiques open until the small hours.
Hit the surf
Wake up sleepy head. One sure fire way to make a splash and kick that hangover into touch is to ride the waves at Surf Lounge – a fantastic adventure centre with an automated wave machine located on the seafront in San Antonio. Here, you can surf or body board in a unique experiential venue that also has a restaurant and bar for a great lunch and hair of the dog once you’ve rinsed the riding. Absolute beginner? No problem. The venue boldly claims that The FlowRider will have you surfing in under an hour – no previous experience required.
Take a dive
Wonderfully warm and clear waters, an abundance of marine life and intriguing diving sites, including subterranean caverns and old shipwrecks, make Ibiza a star attraction for scuba lovers. The island has a wealth of diving centres catering for all levels of ability – but for experienced divers, the Don Pedro shipwreck is hard to beat. It’s a 47m dive down to the seabed where you’ll discover the remains of the ship and swim amongst moray eels and scorpion fish, and discover a rich carpet of flora and fauna.
And don’t miss the chance to explore the underwater prairies of Posidonia (seagrass) in the National Park of Las Salinas. This ecologically important nature park, situated between the islands of Ibiza and Formentera, is also home to salt flats and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO back in 1999.
Have a mud bath
Who fancies a little castaway experience – wallowing in mud on a remote, uninhabited island? A visit to the neighboring island of Es Palmador to take a dip in the mud baths is a must-do for hedonists up for some earthy fun. This small island is situated on the northern shore of Formentor, separated by a sandbar. It’s easily accessed via regular boat trips running out of the port at La Savina.
Owned by a Barcelona family that generously allows tourists to come and enjoy the island’s stunning white sand beaches and pretty coves, this is a little piece of paradise. As for the mud, you’ll find the natural mud bath – a wide salt plain filled with liquid mud – in the middle of the island. Follow the path that leads from the north side of the beach of Platja de s’Alga. Unlike the likes of Iceland’s Blue Lagoon, there are no known therapeutic benefits of slathering yourself with this mud – this travel experience in Ibiza is just for the sheer fun of it all!