Ibiza is one of the five Balearic Islands
off the Western coast of Spain – best known, of course, for its year-round sun, sea, sand and clubbing.
Every summer the place is mobbed by the young
and beautiful international party-set, all searching for the ultimate in hedonistic fun-in-the-sun. The innovative music scene in Ibiza has been so
influential that its trademark genre of chilled-out dance music has come to be known as ‘Balearic House’, and the place has made superstars out of previously anonymous DJs who have now been catapulted to celebrity status.
What began as small bars and underground clubs have spawned whole empires with international club nights such as Manumission and Pacha now global brand names.
Although the island’s huge tourist industry is geared unashamedly towards the 18-30 holidaymakers, Ibiza does in fact have a lot to offer families and the less nocturnally minded visitor.
For those who manage to tear themselves away
from the intoxicating atmosphere of the beach and the 24 hour party scene (or who wouldn’t dream of ever finding themselves there in the first place), there is a wealth of history and culture to be found in the interior of the island and also in the ancient capital city of Eivissa – Ibiza Town.
Ibiza was discovered by the Carthaginians in
654BC, around the same time the Greeks came to the island and named it Pitiusas, which translates to pine-covered island.
The island was full of merchants and traders
and was an important trading centre, with a large harbour and strong defences. The main goods traded was salt, known as White Gold.
In 123BC the Romans conquered Ibiza and
named it Ebusus. The moors invaded in the 9th century and stayed for almost 500 years. In these days the island was called Yebisah.
Since then it has been invaded and conquered
by the Catalans, and even at one point, pirates!
Towns & Villages of Ibiza
Eivissa, otherwise known as Ibiza City, is the capital centre of the island. Situated to the south of the island, its one of the most picturesque cities in the Mediterranean, its old town has been awarded historic status by UNESCO.
It’s a fascinating city and holds a special charm, that attracts many visitors ever year, looking to see a more cultural side to Ibiza.
San Antonio is the second largest town in
Ibiza and is at the heart of the islands clubbing scene, which some people call the ‘clubbing capital of the world’. It’s definitely not for the faint hearted!
Santa Eulalia is the third largest resort on the Balearic Island of Ibiza and is one of the more popular resorts for families, who don’t want to bump into the club lovers and hippies. You won’t find any all nightclubs here, just a charming and tranquil resort with a beautiful beach and an excellent choice of restaurants and accommodation.
The clubbing scene in Ibiza is now a huge
business – some of the venues are among the largest, most flamboyantly impressive clubs in the world and every summer they attract top celebs and the best DJ’s on the planet.
Massive multinational super clubs such as Cream and Pacha rule the roost, but there are plenty of smaller venues, which play more experimental music to a varied but consistently energetic and
After the party (and before), you need to know where to go and chill out during the day; remember to bring your sunglasses, although nowadays they’re more ‘de rigeur’ on the club terrace at sunrise, than on the beach at midday.
Ibiza has some truly beautiful beaches and they are also among the cleanest in the Mediterranean, with the Balearics usually picking up prestigious Blue Flags from the EU Commission for the
Although some of them have been spoiled by ugly high-rise hotel developments and overcrowding, there are still some little gems hidden away, which you will share with only a handful of people,
particularly if you go out of season or venture up to the north of the island.
We particularly recommend Benirras, Agua Blanca and Las Salinas beaches, but each has its own individual character and atmosphere and it is worth trying a few out before you decide where you’re going to perfect your golden tan.
The Gay Scene
The gay scene has been very influential in making Ibiza the party capital that it is today and the relaxed atmosphere that established itself in the swinging sixties has appealed to gay holidaymakers ever since.
Such is the influence of gay culture on the island that Ibiza has come to be known as the ‘Pink Island’, rather than its normal epithet the ‘White Island’ (which refers to the typical architecture
found all over the island).
In the Sa Penya district of Ibiza Town you will find many gay bars, particularly at the end of Calle Mare de Deu or Calle Virgen.
Leisure & recreation
If you are looking for a sporting and active holiday, then Ibiza has lots to offer; there are plenty of options, such as h
orse riding, there are a number of stables where you can enjoy a riding experience, exploring the island on horseback.
If golf is more your style, then the 27-hole Club de Golf Ibiza is situated in Santa Eulalia. There
are numerous dive centres at San Antonio, Portinatx and Cala Vadella, offering diving trips for both experienced and beginner divers.
For lovers of tennis and paddle, there are some very swanky sports clubs in Ibiza which have top-rate tennis and paddle courts, including the Ahmara Sport & Social Centre, Club de Campo & Club Can Jordi. These clubs also offer other facilities, such as badminton & squash, gyms and pools.
The local tourist departments throughout Ibiza have produced multilingual guides for those interested in discovering the history and culture of their chosen destination.
There are fiestas and cultural experiences taking place during most of the year; check with your
tourist office on arrival. They will often also be able to give your discounted entrance tickets to leisure parks and other attractions. Don’t be shy about asking!
The traditional cuisine of Ibiza stems from the cultivation of the rich farmland, hunting and fishing for centuries.
From the popular fried Ibizan fish to shellfish with vegetables and lobster stew, from fresh island
lamb (either roast or in dishes such as panadera, freixurat, and trunyelles) to flavoursome pork sausages (sobrassades, botifarró blanc, botifarró negre, carn i xua, cuixot) and goats cheese with herbs
Many of the islands sweets and desserts make use of the lighter cheeses, herbs, honey and almonds.
The summer and beach season really in Ibiza gets going in May, when the temperatures hit the mid-twenties. During July, August and September, the temperatures soar to a sizzling 30-35 degrees.
During the autumn months, the weather is generally mild, but bring a jumper and a jacket, as the evenings can get chilly. The winter months, from November through to April, stay relatively mild, but it can get rainy and overcast.