Yes, it’s the home to outrageous party animals, all night raving hooligans, mass market clubs, luxury dining experiences and dreaded indentations in the bank account, but there is so much more to this island than meets the surface! I adore Ibiza’s multiple personalities, freedom and beauty. It’s as easy to indulge in a tranquil holiday with a friend or group, as it is to go wild. I dug deeper and found the gems of the island. I’ve cherry picked my favourites for you…
Step 1 was to book a scooter. It’s the only way to get around the island, it stops me from excessive drinking and gives me the freedom to dip and dive down dirt roads as well as busy main roads. I recommend using Cooltra. They have your bike awaiting on your arrival at the airport or you can simply pick one up local to your accommodation and booking online gets you a discount. If you are too nervous to take a bike then car rentals are easy and taxis are everywhere, but very expensive unless you are in a group!
Ok, let’s get the clubbing out of the way. Ibiza has an incredible energy, it travels through your mind and toes and yearns for your return the second you board your flight home. The love for music spreads from the club scene to booming beats, from passing yachts, white-adorned beach clubs, villa after-parties and more. There are too many clubs and nights to absorb if you are a newbie. If you want to hit the best spots then you need to look up your favorite artists, however the only ‘must’ is to head to Circoloco at DC10 on Mondays, (11pm-3am) followed by Cocoon at Amnesia (3-7am). Don’t make plans on the Tuesday because Amnesia kick starts at 1am and finishes at 7am, once you’re in the heated rage of the venue, you will be swallowed whole. Fridays with Marco Carola at Amnesia are also amazing. I left at 9.30 am and the venue you was still rammed and ruckus.
If you prefer to go for something more glamorous then Pikes Hotel, head to San Antonio for great underground DJs such as DJ Harvey and Crazy P on Sundays and Mondays. You will need to sort out the guest list via their website. There is no set closing time to these parties, but they tend to go until 5am or later. The new kid on the block is Heart Ibiza, an immersive venue partnered with Cirque du Soleil offering an array of entertainment. Heart Ibiza unveiled a street food rooftop, a club with a bold fusion of live bands and electronic acts such as Pillowtalk. For the foodies there is Heart Supper Club, a collision of gastronomy, music and art.
My personal goal for the trip was to experience more day parties and beach clubs, a growing trend where you can enjoy the party atmosphere and be in bed by 1am (if you’re well behaved). Generally the best beach clubs have live music from 6pm-12am midnight, allowing you to be fresh for the next day’s adventures. There are so many spots to choose from but my leaders of the pack are Experimental Beach, Beachouse and Amante Beach Club.
Experimental Beach is hidden down a long dirt road in Las Salinas, you can lap up the rays on a private beach with a sunken ship bar, listen to experimental music from their eclectic DJs from 6pm-12am while sipping on their delicious cocktails. Their fusions include ingredients such as gazpacho, pink pepper and coconut fusions or homemade fruit slush’s. They have a boutique accessories shop called ‘Treasure Chest’, as well as yoga on the beach a few days a week. Their food menu is to die for! Devour their salt baked seabass, broad bean and ricotta salad or enjoy traditional tapas after watching the sunset alongside their naked sculptures suspended over the private beach.
Beachouse in Playa den Bossa is more crowded, situated on a busy beach, serving great local food and daiquiri’s, they have a series of high profile DJs such as Guy Gerber spinning each week. Amante, located further north in the stunning St Eulalia area, one of the most talked about openings on the island, suspended in the cliffs. You need to get there very early to grab a lounger. It’s known for the stunning food and views across the blue sapphire ocean. The venue is dressy and small so book ahead to enjoy their DJ whose booth has a military camouflage and is situated on the beach under the shade of umbrella, the music is deep and energizing! If you want to experience the hype of the Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel then go for deep beats on a Sunday. Renowned for hosting some of THE world’s best DJs, elit™ by Stolichnaya Vodka has created an ultra-luxury bottle for the club ‘elit™ Ushuaïa Limited Edition’ to mark the anniversary and start of a close relationship with Stoli elit.
If you simply want to go to the beach and kick back then you have a million options. I explored the nudist beaches; I mean why have bikini lines if you don’t have to? My favorite beach spot is Es Cavallet in St Josep, home to El Chiringuito Beach Club, as well as a sea of full frontal nudists kicking back on a long strip of golden sand. Sa Trinxa next door in Salinas has natural baths and Sa Caleta beach in Es Cubells is a small local Spanish beach famous for its mud cliffs packed with minerals. If you take a bottle then you can mix the mud with water, coat your body with a layered mask and lie in the sun until it dries, smoothing your skin with rich minerals. Cala d’Hort beach looks over the stunning Es Vedra rock while Cala Conte (another nudist beach) boasts a stunning sunset spot called Sunset Ashram, the perfect location suspended on the corner of the cliff. Benirras in San Juan has a Sunday sunset drumming ceremony and night market although it gets very busy. For total seclusion, escape to playa S’Estanyol, Cala Gracioneta, Cala Xuclar, Calla Xucla or Cala D’En Serra.
Aside from the 9-euro waters and 15-euro spirit and mixer club drinks, Ibiza is the home to a variety of stunning new cocktail venues with pioneering bar tenders. Experimental Beach is obviously a must visit, however Bar 1805 in Ibiza town is the after hours home for industry personalities due to their abstract cocktails and love for absinthe. Enjoy their bespoke fusions paired with incredible food on the cobbled streets of old Ibiza town. My adventures unveiled new venues such as the Hidden Bar in Cala de San Vincent, Monkey Bar in San Juan and Sansara in Santa Eulalia for the best magueritas on the island.
My aim was to find the unknown treasures of the island for passionate dancers, foodies and lifestyle gurus. The dining scene in Ibiza has truly exploded but don’t be sidetracked from the true winners, mainly off the beaten track. My shortlist was reduced to Fish Shack, good luck in finding it in Es Pouet de Talamanca, Santa Eulalia. Visit La Paloma for the best locally sourced produce and trendy hipsters, Nagai in San Josep and Bambuddha in Santa Eulalia for the best asian style. If your feeling extra fancy then book to visit The Hard Rock Hotel in Playa d’en Bossa for SubliMotion by Paco Roncero for a 20-course gastro-sensory meal that will cost €1,500 per person, or more than $2,000 a head.
Wild Beets is the best spot for vegan dining and Macao café in St Gertrudis is a stop off if you’re passing through. In contrast, for meat lovers Can Pilot serves the best traditional meat and many island regulars recommended Juanito for local meat and home baked bread. I was most proud of discovering Heladeria Venecia in San jordi. A stunning café, juice bar with eclectic furniture, a bakery, the best homemade ice-cream on the island, fresh organic juices for half the price of anywhere else and large overflowing salads. The owner looked Penelope Cruz’s mother. I will be back.
What to do with all these incredible options? Select a few key spots and leave plenty of time to chill; the island offers the perfect resources for hedonism and rejuvenation. I lapped up the day’s beach hopping, drinking juices, and exploring the various towns across Ibiza. You can tour the whole island in around 4/5 hours if you have a few stop offs. There are bountiful yoga and Pilates centre’s opening seasonally, although most people like to have everything delivered to the villa, home chef, luxury lifestyle and all that jazz.
If you want to try the markets, as well as the infamous hippy stalls then Sunday’s at Benirras or Cala Llenya Flea Market are great options. On Saturdays, St Jordi hosts a weekly Car Boot Sale 09.00 to 15.00 hours in the Hippodrome in Sant Jordi. Also, make sure you sort out the right accommodation for your purpose on the island. Try www.rentibizavilla.com for some great share options.