See also: Where to stay in Ibiza
Famously known for its bustling nightlife, mystical historical sights and natural scenic beauty, Ibiza, the third largest and the most popular of all Balearic Islands, attracts thousands of tourists every year, especially in summer, from all over the world. This rocky island with sunny beaches provides an unforgettable holidaying experience for all vacationers. The following things are what one absolutely needs to have a pleasing touring experience of the city.
Discover Ibiza’s history and culture in Dalt Vila
Literally meaning “High Town”, Dalt Vila is the oldest and highest part of Ibiza. This two-thousand year old walled town is presently a UNESCO Heritage site. Fortified by 16th century Renaissance walls, the town still holds on to its medieval look. These walls were constructed in 1500 to guard the town from the attacks of pirates and the French forces by Charles I. Among all the seven bastions of the town’s fortifications, each of which tells a story, the Santa Lucia bastion containing a 1700’s era powder magazine is the most significant. Known as la Puerta del Mar (The gate of the Sea) or the Portal de ses Taules (Door of Boards), the main entrance of the town, having an arch-shaped monumental structure with two models of Roman statues, emblems of Philip II and a stone on which engraved are the names of the king and the governor of 1585, leads to a cobweb of beautiful walkways inside the town. The streets are lined with medieval restaurants, shops, museums, galleries and beautiful whitewashed buildings. Also, see the Old Castle and the Ibiza Museum of Contemporary Art.
Be mesmerised by Ibiza Cathedral
While wandering up through the cobweb of alleys you’ll come across interesting historic squares such as Plaza de la Vila and Plaza de Sa Carrosa until you reach the Ibiza Cathedral at the very top of the town. Named as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the principal Snows, it is the only church or cathedral of Ibiza. Built in the 16th century in a Catalan Gothic fashion out of an already existing 14th century structure, the church became a cathedral in the 17th century after many renovations. At present, the church has an exterior showing Gothic architecture and a combined Gothic and Baroque style interior. It displays works of art, gothic gold and silver monstrance and 14th & 15th century Gothic paintings. Once you see the breath-taking view of the ocean and the town’s lower part from this majestic church, you’ll be irresistibly mesmerised.
Be a part of Ibiza’s famous clubbing scene
Ibiza has been a popular clubbing destination in Europe since for years. The clubbing season in Ibiza starts from May and ends in September. Most of the island’s clubs like Pacha, Hï Ibiza and Privilege are in the Ibiza town, Playa d’en Bossa and San Antonio. Amnesia, known as the birthplace of Balearic beat (mixed musical genre introduced by DJ Alfred), is one of the best clubs that this Spanish island has. Being an all-time favourite partying spot of celebrities, it throws the craziest exotic party in the world namely ELrow. With electronic dance music, trapeze, open-roofed dance floor where tons of glitters and confetti are sprinkled and costumes are given, this Saturday night party goes on every week. One can party here all night till sunrise and take back home some awesome photos. Those who aren’t night persons can opt for day-time clubbing at Bora Bora Beach Club. Don’t shy away from dancing or chanting along with the upbeat drumming ceremony that occurs every Sunday night at Berrinas Beach. Keep reading to know more about the island’s clubbing scene.
Sunbathe at Talamanca Beach
Spend a day sunbathing in Talamanca beach which is one of Ibiza’s largest beaches. It’s a relatively safe and less populated beach where the water is gentle and shallow. The beach is beautifully covered with snow-white sand on which you can lounge or rest till sunset and after that. Surrounded by pine forest and small hills, it’s the best location for a family visit. The world-class restaurant Fish Shack here serves authentic seafood.
Climb the Sa Talaia
Sa Talaia, a cliff full of vegetation, is the highest point of Ibiza. Hike your way up through the steps for 2.4 km until you reach the topmost point. You’ll really feel heavenly while eyeing the panoramic view of the island and the sea. Don’t be surprised if you spot a native Balearic cat-like animal in the woods.
Have fun with water sports
Water sports are an integral part of the Ibiza-esque experience. Scuba diving is the most thrilling thing to do here as it enables the diver to see mind-blowing views of peculiar sea creatures along with under-water caves. You need not worry if you haven’t dived before because Ibiza’s beaches have about 17 diving schools which train first time divers. But if you are still afraid of venturing into the sea all by yourself, you can rent a kayak or charter a yacht to go from one coast to another. Captains will sail you through the sea. Boat trips combined with snorkelling experience is the most enchanting sightseeing tour of Ibiza's coastline as well as its underwater reserves. Kayaking, drinking and snacking that comes with it, will make you go awe at the dreamy view of the island from the ocean. If you want to go to solo-sail, you can do that too. Since all the sea-side clubs and beach resorts host different sets of water activities like parasailing, jet skis, water skiing and stand-up paddling, you can compare and select the most budget-friendly water sport for you.
Party at Playa d’en Bossa
Lying beside the island’s longest beach, Playa d’en Bossa is an exotic partying beach resort. After the dusk, this place lights up with slow music and dancing. Party hard and when your feet can’t go on anymore, go off to sleep on the beach. Hire loungers or daybeds to relax during daytime. Many visitors who’ve partied here previous night, rest here during the day to catch up with the next night’s partying events. Also, have fun with skiing and paddle boating.
Watch sunset at Cala Comte
To some this west coast beach is the best of all Ibiza’s beaches, perhaps because of its peaceful and serene ambience. Away from the island’s crowded sandy beaches, Cala Comte is all about witnessing spectacular offshore views of turquoise coloured water around a wedge shaped island. Stretching for about 800 metre, this rocky coastline has cliffs and sandy beaches on which one can spend a lazy day and watch the magical sunset while reclining in a deckchair or enjoy Sunset Ashram’s DJ playing sunset sessions. Evenings here are breezy and calm. Up on the cliffs are bars and eateries which get filled up in the summer.
Jump into the sea from the cliffs of Cala Tarida
Cliff jumping is very typical of Spain. Though Ibiza presents you with a few opportunities to do cliff jumping from some of its rocky beaches, Cala Tarida can give you the best feel of it. Climb up the cliffs at either end of the beach and jump into the greenish blue calm and cool Mediterranean water. Do it again and again until you are satisfied.
Go clubbing again at San Antonio
The second largest town of Ibiza, San Antonio, is widely reputed to be "arguably the clubbing capital of the universe”. Many people flock to party at Antonio’s world famous bars and clubs. It has narrow beaches and crystal clear ocean water. Situated in the west coast of Ibiza, this place has the hottest clubs providing amazing nightlife experience. When you are here, you have to go to Café del Mar to watch the jaw-dropping view of golden sunset while having a cocktail. There’s also the monument of Columbus Egg which stands for a claim that Christopher Columbus was born here.
Roam around in Cala Saledeta & Cala Saleda
If you are tired of partying and clubbing, visit these intimate hillside beaches. One can while away one’s time by going back and forth from one clove to another. You can come to Cala Saledeta from San Antonio by a car or a bus which will drop you at the parking area. Thereafter take the steps to go down to the sea. It’s better to carry your own stuff as there’s no shop or eatery here. Cala Saleda has a restaurant and is a bit more spacious than the former. You’ll be amazed by the pictorial scenery here, featuring crystallised blue sea and surrounding cliffs covered with beautiful pine forests.
Take a ferry to Formentera
Located to the south of Ibiza, this little island has beaches appearing like Caribbean beaches of Mediterranean Sea. The island’s pristine white beaches like Playa de Ses Illetes and Calo des Mortare are surrounded by a turquoise sea water. The ambience here is completely different from that of Ibiza. Rent a scooter to explore the island or experience deep sea fishing. Make your way to the lighthouse at the top of Cap de Barbaria cliff to be awed by a splendid oceanic view.
Go on a shopping trip in the island
Ibiza renders a unique shopping experience to all its tourists. The village square in Santra Gertudis is occupied by a variety of shops and restaurants where you can taste Spanish delicacies while shopping. Though Libro Azul, an international book shop, possesses a good collection of souvenirs, the best place to shop for souvenirs is Sant Joan Craft Market. Las Dalias market, composed of 200 stalls selling Iberian products for nearly 60 years operates every Saturday in summer. Ibiza Town Marina has good boutique shops. The hippy markets held on a weekly basis, reflect the Bohemian culture of the city. Two such well-known markets remain open on Wednesday and Saturday in Es Canar and San carlos respectively.
You won’t mind shopping in the Punta Arabi Hippy Market at Es Canar as the Pine trees on both sides keep the place cool. Platja de ses Figueretes presents a 300 metre long sunset market featuring local hippy products and handcrafted decorative pieces by Ibiza’s local artisans. Bringing together delicious street food and live performances, the hippy markets, held at Sant Joan de Labritja sell locally produced wood cravings, vegetables and fruits. A second-hand hippy market, Claya Lenya, offers the best bargaining deals.
Explore at Atlantis
A less explored beach of Ibiza in the island’s south-west corner, Atlantis, doesn’t have a proper beach. To go to the sea, you’ll have to brave the steep and slippery surfaces of the quarry. Centuries ago this place was quarried for building the Citadel and the watchtowers of Ibiza. Appearing to be a maze of sea pools, rocks formations and caves, it is the local people’s favourite remote spot. On your way to Atlantis stop to see Cala d’Hort.
Attend fairs and festivals
Though clubbing vigorously dominates Ibiza’s ambience, it doesn’t stand in the way of other festivities. Celebrating Dalt Vila’s anniversary of being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the medieval history of the place, the Medieval Fair takes place for three days every year in May. This fair features musicals, street theatre performances, dance shows, falcon and handcraft exhibitions. Atzaro Fashion festival highlights fashion shows models walking the ramp wearing local designer clothes. Bloops Festival is all about graffiti and street artists championing a social message by decorating the streets with theme-based murals and photographs. Watch Bohemian artists perform live music, theatre and art at WooMoon Arts Festivals. When done with this, attend the island’s colourful festivals namely the spring flower festival held in Santa Eulalia on the first Sunday of May and the Festa de Nostra Sanyora held in Port de Soller on the second Sunday of May where scenes from the 1661 attack of Turkish pirates is recreated.
Admire sea life in unique Aquarium Cap Blanc
The uniqueness of this marine aquarium makes it one of the special attractions of Ibiza. Located in one of the underwater caves where fishermen used to set traps for lobsters, this aquarium is a storehouse of diverse marine species grouper, rays, morays and colourful fishes such as the rainbow wrasse, sea sponges, starfish, and shark eggs. Most of these species are kept in huge water tanks. As the water here is of good quality, the aquarium shelters rescued sea turtles before they are set free again. All these underwater creatures can be watched from a raised walkway.
Try Ibiza’s amazing cuisines and drinks
Ibiza presents mouth-watering seafood delicacies. You just have to taste Ibiza’s iconic Sobrasada and Bullit de peix. The former is a kind of sausage made up of paprika and soft, ground pork and the latter is a typical fish stew. Seafood paella is a special rice dish in which rice soaked in juicy seafood extractions is served with squid, prawn, shellfish and other sea fishes. Try this out at Tropicana Beach Club. Also forget kebabs, pizza, burgers and start having Spanish paella and tapas in local food shops. Kalissol Ibiza, one of the finest restaurants in the island, serves a great variety of best paellas and tapas. Once you’re tired of all these, visit Paloma, another famous restaurant in the city’s centre having spacious seating arrangement and beautiful gardens, that provides innovatively prepared homemade Mediterranean food. Croissant Snow delivers supremely tasty breakfast, coffee and pastry. Coming to drinks, the Cava Sangria and Surf Lounge’s cold beer have to be mentioned. You may also happen to see a celebrity dining in any of these places.
Get intrigued by the mystery of Es Vedra
Associated with many myths and legends, this uninhabited rocky island of Es Vedra lying off the coast of Ibiza, is counted in the list of the most mystical places on earth. Frequently visited by falcons, lizards and amphibians, Es Vedra presents visitors with picturesque sights of wildlife and landscapes. Some consider it to be one of the top three magnetic places in the world, while some others believe it to be the abode of the Phoenician Fertility Goddess, Tanit. Rumours of UFO spotting have also gone around. Popular beliefs also assert that it is a part of the lost city of Atlantis and its 1,250 feet high monolithic limestone slab was used to build the Easter Island, Pyramids and Stonehenge. Currently it is conserved as a natural park.
Fall in love with Can Marca Caves
Explore these beautiful natural underwater caves which were once used by smugglers to store their illegal goods. Entering through the route that smugglers used to arrive by, you’ll spot stalagmites and stalactites. The 40-minute tour of the cave in its chilly cold natural atmosphere including a light and music show and an artificial waterfall, all presented to show how the cave looked in the earlier times will turn out to be one of the most thrilling underwater experiences you’ll ever have in your life.
Experience Ibiza’s world famous Spa
The Ibiza tour is incomplete without relaxing at its world class holistic spas. There are about 15 spas on the island. All of them are either part of complexes or clubs and offer services to both members and visitors. Being a part of an agritourism complex shaded by citrus and olive groves, the leading Atzaro Spa, offers treatments like massages, peels, facials, yoga classes, fitness workshops and much more. Get pool side spa treatments at Pikes Hotel.
If time and budget permit, go bird watching at Ibiza Salt Flats, touring the peaceful North-eastern beaches and photographing the port of Ibiza or attend yoga, meditation or other healing sessions at beaches.