Ibiza is a fairly small island but it’s one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe. It’s a great place to luxuriate in the sun, stroll down soft sand beaches and yes, party like it’s the end of the world.
There are many different types of vacation you can have in Ibiza. Some people go during party season to make the most of the island’s famous super clubs. But you can also visit a yoga retreat or stay in a villa in the middle of nowhere.
There are two main towns in Ibiza. In Ibiza Town you’ll find most of the action, including clubs, hotels and best shops. Over in San Antonio, you’ll also find clubs and charming promenade. Generally, Ibiza Town is considered to be the more happening, cosmopolitan place. It’s just 20-minutes by bus from Ibiza Town to San Antonio.
Dalt Vila is the old town. Its history stretches back 2,500 years. It has 16th-century fortifications that were built by Charles V to defend the island from pirates. Quite a striking monument from Spain’s golden age. It’s worth exploring Ibiza’s Old Town in detail. Wander around the cobblestone streets and enjoy the excellent views.
The island was once ruled by the Moors. They were eventually driven out by the Catalans. It’s said that the last Moorish ruler of Ibiza was betrayed by a jealous sibling. You can visit the exit of the tunnel in Dalt Vila the Moor was supposedly going to escape from. The ghosts of Spain are everywhere. The defeat of the Moors is marked every year on 8 August.
Also in Dalt Vila, you’ll find Ibiza Cathedral. It’s been a place of worship since early antiquity. It became a parish in 1235, following the Aragonese invasion. In the 18th-century it became a cathedral. You can see wonderful views of the sea from the cathedral. The stairs are steep but it’s worth it. Just wear comfortable shoes if you’re exploring Dalt Vila.
San Antonio is Ibiza’s second town. Stroll down the promenade and check out the harbour. You’ll find some of the best restaurants in Ibiza in San Antonio. It also has many bars and clubs in the West End. The Sunset Strip is the famous party area. Here you’ll find Cafe Del Mar, the bar that spawned a thousand chillout albums in the 90s.
You can take a boat trip around the bay and explore the beaches. Whether you’re looking to dance all night or have a civilised sunset cocktail, you’ll find what you’re looking for in San Antonio.
Take a boat to Formentera
Formentera is Ibiza’s more glamorous sister. It’s where you go to chill out after a hectic time in Ibiza. The ferry from Ibiza to Formentera takes around 30 minutes. With white sandy beaches and aqua blue waters, Formentera is a haven for beach lovers. It’s far less busy than its neighbor Ibiza, and relatively easy to get around by scooter or bike. It’s definitely worth a day trip or a couple of days if you have longer to explore its stunning beaches and quaint villages as well as sampling the excellent Mediterranean food on offer in Formentera’s restaurants.
Playa Illetes is Formentera’s main beach – about 5km away from the ferry terminal. It isn’t a gay beach but has been ranked in the world’s top ten beaches so well worth a visit. The further along you walk the less crowded it becomes and there is a nudist area that is free of sunbeds and a little more overgrown.
There are a few restaurants at the beach, though they can be expensive so it is better to pick up something at a supermarket in nearby La Savina which is where the Ibiza ferry goes to.
Ibiza is one of the great party destinations. It’s a byword for hedonism. You’ll find many of the gay bars by the old town on Calle de la Virgen – a curiously named street, come to think of it. People tend to party late in Spain so aim to start your night out a bit later. Many of the gay bars are open from April to October. The nightlife is much quieter out of season.
Bar MonaLisa is a glitzy gay bar. It opens at 10 pm and it’s a good place to start your gay night out in Ibiza. Another good place for a drink is Angelo, a well established Ibiza gay bar. You can have a cocktail on the terrace – great for views of Ibiza old town.
Gay clubbing in Ibiza takes place at the island’s huge clubs. Ibiza is very gay-friendly and some of the clubs host gay club nights. Glitterbox at Hi Ibiza is a great club night that takes place through the summer.
San José is a small town in the south of Ibiza. This part of the island is remote – it can feel like a wilderness. San José is the exception. This charming village is at the foot of the world’s highest mountain, Sa Talaia. It’s a quaint and very traditional Spanish village. The superclubs feel a world away when you’re in San José. It’s a good place to explore with a hangover. There’s a good selection of restaurants and cafes to explore.
You can also hike through some of the surrounding landscapes. It’s very rural and peaceful. This is what makes Ibiza so great. You can experience an outrageous party scene as if you’re in Berlin, and also chill in a tiny village while basking in the sun.
Ibiza is famous for having some stunning coastline and so getting involved in watersports when you’re there is a must. There are nearly 20 diving schools on the island and they offer a range of options from taster dives to full-blown exploration dives for those who are licensed.
If you’re travelling with a group of friends, it is a great idea to charter a yacht for a day trip on the sea. Other activities on the island include paddle-boarding, parasailing, jet skiing and water skiing. Read More: The Best Gay Beaches in Ibiza.
Hiking in Ibiza
If you’re feeling like you need to burn off the alcohol from the night before and don’t mind working up a sweat, then you should try a hike to the top of Sa Talaiassa (also known as Sa Talaia). The tallest point in Ibiza is found in Sant Josep.
It’s actually a relatively easy, uphill walk of about 1.5 miles (2.4km). Point your maps towards a street called Sa Talaia and walk up it until it turns into a path with trees and shrubbery on either side. When you reach the top you’ll find the most stunning panoramas of the island and if you’re short of plans of an evening then going up to watch the sunset it spectacular – just make sure you have a torch for the way down!
You can also drive to the top but make sure you’ve got a decent car – the roads are windy and bumpy!
by Alex | On: Gay Ibiza