I remember the excitement as I packed my suitcase, ready to head to the airport and hit Ibiza with a group of my best friends. I was 21 and a visit to ‘the white isle’ was a rite of passage. When I thought of Ibiza, images of the ultimate party island sprang to mind – hours of excessive drinking, booze cruises and dancing till dawn in some of the world’s most famous superclubs and guess what? That’s exactly what it was because that was exactly what I went looking for. Unfortunately (or maybe that should be fortunately), my wild child days are long behind me and I have, for the best part, hung up my dancing shoes, but should that stop me returning to Ibiza? Even nearly 15 years on and Ibiza still has all that going on with people flocking to the Balearic island year on year. However, Ibiza is certainly NOT just for the 18 – 30 age group looking for a week of living to excess. Ibiza is indeed an island of two sides and the other side is one of pure beauty and unadulterated luxury. Maybe you have never even considered visiting yourself because you thought it was just a place for youngsters and/or party animals? Well, I can confirm categorically, it is absolutely not.
Here are our suggestions on where to stay, what to eat and what to do on this beautiful island and why it should be on your list of places to visit.
Location, location, location
Ibiza is the third largest Balearic island (behind Majorca and Menorca) and a very popular holiday destination. Choosing the right location to base yourself is a vital decision you need to make when visiting Ibiza. If luxury and relaxation is the name of the game then I urge you to stay away from San Antonio Town, yes it is beautiful, but then again most places in Ibiza are, however, this is the party capital of the island and loud, late-night antics are commonplace. Instead, head to somewhere like Santa Eulalia, Portinax, Cala Llonga or Puerto San Miguel, for a quieter, more relaxed holiday, perfect for families and couples alike. Staying in one of the smaller towns or villages on the island will also allow you to see and experience the more unspoilt, traditional and authentic side of Ibiza too.
Choose the right hotel
Once you have decided where you would like to stay on the island the next big decision, and one that could make or break your holiday, is choosing the hotel you would like to stay at for the duration of your trip. The good news is there is accommodation on the island to suit every taste and every budget, from hostels for those willing to sacrifice the luxurious extras and save some cash, right through to 5-star luxury including this hotel, Aguas de Ibiza in Santa Eulalia which is Ibiza’s third largest resort, meaning you can choose to either fly and flop or explore the local area as there is a lot to see and do. If an all round transformative holistic wellness experience to nourish the body, mind and soul is something that sounds more like your cup of tea, then Ibiza is the place to head as it is home to over 70 yoga retreats, what better place to chill out and re-centre?
Eat great food
I love al fresco dining and always try to make the most of it when travelling, because being a Brit, the ability to do it at home is very limited, even in summer. Yet in Ibiza glorious weather during the summer months is near enough guaranteed, therefore grab a table, order some fantastic local food (and wine of course) and enjoy spending time with your travel companion(s) or simply people watch whilst enjoying your meal. With so many fantastic restaurants in Ibiza, choosing where to eat first is a tough decision. Again, regardless of budget, there is somewhere for everyone from fast food joints to fine dining options, for those looking to add that extra touch of luxury to their holiday. Seafood and shellfish can be found on almost every menu and traditional Spanish dishes such as gazpacho (cold tomato and pepper soup)and paella are easily found too. Also, because of the popularity and the fact that people from all over the world visit, many international restaurants can also be found throughout the island.
Explore the natural beauty
Apart from the West End in San Antonio (the main party street littered with bars and nightclubs), the island is a nature lovers paradise with flora and fauna in abundance, exotic reefs, vineyards, extensive wildlife and so much more. Ibiza has two National Parks of particular ecological interest, the Ses Salinas National Park (Las Salinas) which covers an area of 16,000 hectares, of which 13,000 are marine and includes Es Freus, the strait that separates Ibiza and Formentera (another of the Balearic islands) and also the nature reserve of Es Vedra, Es Vedranell. However, some of the most beautiful places in Ibiza are definitely the stunning beaches, from secluded hidden coves perfect for couples who want to get away from it all to busy bustling beaches with watersports galore. Therefore, regardless of what you are looking for, there is a beach for you.
DO let the sun go down on me
One of the best (and free) things in Ibiza is without a doubt the breathtaking sunsets, regardless of the time of year, they are considered to be the best in Europe, if not the world and something you should see for yourself whilst visiting Ibiza. Even though no two sunsets are the same, each one is truly beautiful, Mother Nature certainly puts on a great show. There are many places on the island where you can experience it from but nothing beats a private romantic cruise on the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea – the ultimate luxury activity. With your own skipper and the boat all to yourselves, what a way to end a great day on a great island.
We hope we have convinced you that Ibiza has something for everyone, regardless of age, tastes and even budgets and that it is not JUST a clubbers paradise but a perfect place to head if luxury travel is your thing too. This beautiful island is just waiting for you to explore and I am sure you will be blown away by its beauty and what it has to offer.
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