During the first 2 weeks of May 2015 I was lucky enough to visit Ibiza for a short few days with my friend, Stuart. It is a beautiful island but after visiting, I realised that people just don’t know how much it has to offer.
Don’t get me wrong, the party and clubbing scene is incredible, with great venues and some of the world’s best DJs. However, as I visited at the start of May it was still before the well-known party season. The opening parties for the season usually start towards the end of May and start of June.
Initially when I realised that I had booked flights just before the party season, I was terrified thinking to myself….is there anything else to actually do in Ibiza? Will there be anyone there? Thankfully there was and I learnt about a whole different side to the island.
During my visit I was based in the south of the island after finding a great apartment through AirBnB. My host was very helpful and welcoming, as were the local community.
The bus system is pretty easy to get used to and reasonably cheap, but I would actually recommend walking or hiring a bicycle if it is your first time on the island. It will help you to get acquainted with the area you are staying in quickly, but also give you opportunity to just go exploring on routes that are not included in the usual guides that you find online. Car hire also is readily available and not extremely expensive (during off season)
The fresh seafood is an absolute must for anyone visiting the island, try the seafood paella at least once and make sure you get this from a seafront restaurant. You are guaranteed some fresh, intense and unbelievable flavours.
Apart from this, most of the restaurants cater for the European market and have a varied selection of food available.
Have a look at a few of the restaurants that are in close proximity of the area that you would like to eat. This allows you to look at the range in pricing but also at the variety in their menu. Whilst I visited, I was on quite a tight budget but I still managed to limit my spending on food to 20-30 EUR which was for 2 meals per day. The service in most restaurants was very good and friendly.
Places to visit:
Beaches – explore as many of the beaches on the island that you can, each of them have unique features and the views available from each beach are stunning. Some have great pool/beach parties available which reps passing by will help you find. Most of these are free also.
Ibiza Old Town, Dalt Vila – the fort in old town is definitely worth a visit with panoramic views, photo opportunities and a lot of history.
The Marina/Port of Ibiza – there are two main one; Puerto Deportivo Marina Ibiza and Marina Botafoch – if you ever wanted to see an impressive marina….they are up there.
Formentera – this is a small island that you can visit via boat from the marina. A return trip for this visit is between 15-20 EUR with most services. We also hired a bicycle each through the boat company which cost 10 EUR each.
The bicycle helped us explore the island and see all that it had to offer. The restaurants were great with some really affordable food and drink.
Maybe plan your bicycle routes beforehand though. We managed some incredible off-road mountain biking on the heaviest road bikes I’ve ever been on #FunnyNotFunny. Maps are available from the boat or just look up the island on the internet before your trip. Also don’t be afraid to ask the staff on the boat for advice, they gave us some and we were super pleased that we took it.
At this point in my trip I did think to myself that I had seen enough beaches. However after speaking to the staff on the boat they said we MUST visit Cala Saona beach and the surrounding area. The bicycles did help us get around, we planned a route and took the advice of the staff on the boat.
We got some food and drink and had a little rest and then carried on our journey to the area of Cala Saona. When we got there, we realised that we were going to experience something new; a cliff edge with views that could only be described as unbelievable and magical. As I sat on the cliff edge I was overwhelmed and blown away by the views. I don’t know if it was the bike riding and the heat that had killed me off, but as I looked off into the distance I really couldn’t think of a time that I had seen anything more beautiful. Some of the locals do mention that the island and the surrounding islands are magical…
Apart from this cliff edge there is a small beach to the side of it with the same breath-taking views. We found a small shop that had seating. They sold drinks and ice cream. I sat there eating a feast (reminded me of the UK), looking out into the sea and just couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky I was to see this natural beauty. Visiting Formentera really did make my holiday for me, I can’t recommend visiting enough.
Towards the end of the holiday we decided to make sure we checked out the party scene, we managed to pre-book some tickets to Pacha and it was a great night. Mainly the locals attended which I think added to the night; relaxed, fun but peaceful with feel good vibes all round. To top this evening off we decided to head to the beach and watch the sunrise. Another unbelievable views, which you will get no matter where you are on the island. I would recommend getting to a beach if you can though.
At the end of my break in Ibiza, I knew that I would have huge holiday blues, but I also knew that I had fell in love with Ibiza and came out feeling rejuvenated and genuinely healthier! How many people can say that about Ibiza? There is a lot that Ibiza has to offer as a holiday destination so don’t think that you have to go just purely for the partying and clubbing scene.