The island of Ibiza has a global reputation for being the clubbing capital of the world. You would therefore be forgiven for thinking that Ibiza’s sole holiday market is for groups of hedonistic 20 somethings with a craving for sun, sex and debauchery. This side of Ibiza certainly exists and the island’s eclectic mix of clubs means it absolutely exceeds expectations for music lovers of all genres, but there’s an even better side to Ibiza than this; the side that completely blows your mind like no party in the world ever could; Ibiza’s unbelievable natural beauty and sense of tranquility.
Back in the late 1950s and 1960s, Ibiza was an island famed for its open mindedness, freedom of thought and expression and bohemian attitude. It was for this reason that many writers, artistes, musicians and politicians (yes really!) flocked to Ibiza and it quickly became known as the European answer to San Francisco’s Hippie movement.
This is how the whole party era began (with super clubs such as Pacha and Amnesia opening in the 1970s), but like I said, Ibiza’s sense of freedom is so much more than just a big rave. The bohemian vibe is still going strong all over the island and the hippie movement is far from the historical legend you think of in other parts of the world.
If you want to experience what Ibiza is really about, it’s not hard to find the more relaxing side of the island…
The Hippie Side Of Ibiza
With such a rich history of bohemian minds and wild parties from some of the world’s greatest musicians (Freddie Mercury, Bob Dylan…) you have to experience the hippie side to Ibiza when you visit here.
Every Sunday on Benirras beach (in the north-west of the island) there’s a gathering of like-minded, bohemian musicians who play the drums as the sun sets across the western horizon. Take a big beach mat, some sangria and a picnic or grab a pizza from the stone-fire pizza restaurant on the edge of the beach while you soak in the last golden rays of the sun and immerse yourself in the magical combination of music and island life.
How to get there: Benirràs, Sant Joan de Labritja, Illes Balears, Spain
Ibiza is also famed for its amazing hippie markets, in particular Las Dalias which takes place every saturday in San Carlos (near Santa Eularia on the east-coast). Expect an eclectic mix of local stalls, music, great food and beautiful clothing and jewellery. The atmosphere at Las Dalias is totally chilled and a perfect setting to spend a saturday afternoon in Ibiza.
How to get there: Carretera San Carlos, Km12, 07850 Sant Carles de Peralta, Islas Baleares, Spain
The Fancy Side Of Ibiza
With such a fantastic reputation, Ibiza has attracted the rich and famous for decades. This means you can indulge yourselves in some really fabulous dining with the island’s decadent restaurant and bar scene.
With world famous beach clubs such as Nikki Beach, Blue Marlin and Cala Bassa there’s plenty of champagne and sun bathing activity on the island.
My favourite beach clubs include Cotton Beach Club and Amanté – they have a gorgeous chilled out yet luxurious vibe for a really special day spent sun bathing and relaxing in the glorious Ibizan weather.
If you’re feeling extra flush, you can hire a boat for the day from many of the yacht charter companies that operate from Ibiza town marina. They offer morning, full day or evening trips to watch the sunset and often provide refreshments.
Ibiza boat hire seems a popular charter company to use.
For £1200 per head, you can eat in one of the most expensive restaurants in the world. Sublimotion is a double Michelin starred restaurant in the Hard Rock Hotel that invites 12 diners to an immersive culinary experience… it looks absolutely mental and with that price tag, it’s definitely just for the luxurious few.
The Foodie Side Of Ibiza
Eating good food is what holidays are all about and Ibiza is full of restaurants from the simple, tapas style eateries to fine dining experiences. As there’s so much going on all over the island there isn’t really one place where all the best restaurants are – in fact they’re kind of dotted around and can mean a bit of driving or a longer taxi journey depending on where you’re based.
You must try El Deseo – a mexican restaurant in the small town of Jesus near Ibiza Town and Playa d’en Bossa. It’s delicious, affordable and seemingly very popular with locals in the area.
How to get there: Carrer des Cap Martinet, 7, 07819 Nuestra Señora de Jesús, Illes Balears, Spain
Another fantastic restaurant is Bambuddha; however it’s very pricey here so if you’re on a budget it’s not the ideal choice. The food is pan-asian fusion, with incredible sushi, thai and vietnamese cuisine as well as a gorgeous bar.
How to get there:
Amanté beach club has a fantastic restaurant serving mediterranean favourites and healthy plates of fresh fish, summer salads and a deliciously tempting wine menu.
How to get there: Cala Sol d’en Serra, Calle Afueras, s/n, 07849 Cala Longa, Islas Baleares, Spain
Sa Capella is a bit of a special gem near San Antonio on the west coast of Ibiza. A Spanish restaurant set in an old chapel, it has fantastic food and even better atmosphere. Definitely one to try while you visit.
How to get there: Carrer Capella, 07820 Sant Antoni de Portmany, Illes Balears, Spain
The Beachy Side Of Ibiza
Ibiza is definitely not short of beautiful beaches. From pebbles to fine white sand, Ibiza has it all and if you choose a spot on the western side of the island then you’re sure to catch one of the most breathtaking sunsets in the world.
My favourite beaches include:
Es Cubells (see my post on Ibiza’s best secret beach here!)
The Photogenic Side Of Ibiza
If you’re after the perfect Instagram-worthy shot, then Ibiza has absolutely loads of photogenic scenery for you to strike a pose in front of.
The number one photo opp has to be at sunset. Head over to the west side of the island and towards Cala D’Hort beach. Before you descend the hill down to the beach however, look out for signs towards Torre Des Savinar (Pirate Tower). This secluded watch tower has the most unbelievable view of Es Vedra – a rock formation that ascends from the sea and is said to be the 3rd most magnetic point in the world.
How to get there: follow signs to Cala D’hort, turn up a dirt track when you see the yellow sign for torre des savinar
Where We Stayed
We stayed in an absolutely stunning boutique hotel near the marina in Ibiza Town and a stone’s throw from Talamanca beach. Hotel Rocamar had fantastic reviews on TripAdvisor, but was even better than I anticipated with excellent service, memory foam beds and the coolest mood lighting ever!
Watch my Ibiza vlog for more on my trip to the white isle here: