Ibiza is synonymous with all-night raves and the best parties in Europe. You’ll certainly find such things in plentiful supply here.
You don’t have to go far, however, to discover a world apart from DJs and drinks, where history takes precedence and small villages entice you to relax on a peaceful coastline overlooking the glimmering Med.
With limited time on the island, there’s no need to leave Ibiza Town. The capital is a short bus ride from the airport and features some of the most interesting sights and biggest clubs on the island.
Stroll up to Dalt Vila, the historic centre. Sturdy fortifications from the 16th century encircle some of the island’s beautifully preserved historical treasures. This UNESCO-protected area oozes history and part of the appeal lies in just wandering around the network of interlinking alleyways and enjoying the atmosphere. It was founded by the Phoenicians over 2,500 years ago and has been built upon in subsequent centuries. Don’t miss Ibiza Cathedral, a 14th-century Gothic marvel, or the Archaeological Museum that sheds light on the area’s layered history.
Rest your sore feet after all of that exploring in the Port of Ibiza. This scenic spot is lined with luxury yachts and fishing boats bobbing in the harbour, making it an atmospheric place to grab dinner. Rest up over dinner in one of the numerous restaurants and bars that line the waterfront before heading out to party at night.
Ibiza Town features some of the island’s most famous clubs. Here’s where you’ll find the legendary Pacha and star-studded venues such as HEART Ibiza, where you can dance through the night to sets by world-famous DJs. Calle de la Virgen is particularly beloved by LGBT visitors to the island, while Dalt Vila hosts Anfora, an immensely popular gay nightclub.
A weekend in Ibiza allows you to see different sides of the island’s personality. Spend your days exploring the coastline, then head to a town in the evening for hearty food and a night of partying with Ibiza’s constant stream of revellers.
On your first day here, explore Ibiza Town and the surrounding area. Saturday-morning markets in Dalt Vila allow a quiet start to your weekend, shopping for local goods and soaking up the atmosphere of the historic town. Stop for lunch in the city centre then head to Las Salinas Nature Reserve. This scenic corner of the island features salt flats, woodlands and lagoons visited by flamingos. After birdwatching, head to Las Salinas Beach for an afternoon of sunbathing, swimming and water sports.
Nighttime promises unforgettable partying in some of the most famous clubs in the world. Ibiza Town itself hosts the legendary Pacha, but leave the centre and it won’t be long before you reach the equally celebrated venues Privilege and Amnesia.
On your second day, seek out some of the most scenic swimming spots on the island. Atlantis, in the south-west corner of the island, is a pool carved out of the coastline when the rocks were quarried to build the walls of Ibiza Town. It’s a tricky walk down to the sea, but the reward is clear, warm water and views of Es Vedrà.
Drive north from here to San Antonio, one of the major resort towns on the island. Head outside the bay to find Punta Galera, a beach surrounded by large, flat rocks that are ideal for a spot of sunbathing. Lie back and watch yoga groups and swimmers making the most of the sun-drenched bay.
Grab a cocktail and listen to mellow music in the evening at the famous Café del Mar, one of the most popular places to watch the sunset. The night is still young, by this point, so end your weekend here with a trip to San Antonio’s clubs. Es Paradis and Eden are among the biggest in town, attracting world-class DJs, but you can equally spend your night exploring the smaller venues in the West End.
Make the most of a full week in Ibiza by travelling further afield to see the sights of Ibiza and the Balearics. There is plenty of time to visit some of the clubs that have made the island so famous, but you also have the opportunity to discover places of stunning natural beauty and quiet rural corners of the island.
Start your week by leaving Ibiza altogether and heading to the neighbouring island of Formentera, opposite the Port of Ibiza. Hop on a boat at the port and spend a day and night exploring this compact, beach-lined island. It’s blissfully undeveloped, offering golden beaches such as Illetes and Platja Migjorn that have a laid-back (sometimes clothes-free) atmosphere. Cycling trails, local markets and scenic vineyards further cement the appeal of this tranquil island.
Sail back into Ibiza in the morning, after an evening watching a Formentera sunset, and begin by exploring the capital. The old town features an array of fascinating museums, such as the Archaeological Museum, which charts the history of the town, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Other museums in the area are dedicated to local painters and Ibiza’s Moorish era, and the ancient necropolis is also worth seeing. You could easily spend a whole day here hopping between these attractions before hitting the clubs of the capital.
Board a boat to Es Vedrà, two islands off Ibiza’s southwest coast. These rocky outcrops are rich with mythology. Various accounts claim that this is where the sirens called to Odysseus, where stone was mined to build the pyramids and where the legendary city of Atlantis used to stand. Full-day boat trips leave Ibiza Town and skirt the spectacular coastline of Ibiza before reaching these rocky islets and the disused quarry of Atlantis, now a swimming area.
Days four and five
For the next few days, take your pick of other corners of the island. Before visiting San Antonio’s famous Café del Mar, for instance, take time to explore the scenic Santa Agnès de Corona, a traditional village with a 19th-century church and cycle paths winding through almond groves.
For a truly relaxed time, unwind in the laid-back north-east. Yoga retreats, bohemians and self-styled hippies all head here for its sun and scenery. Take a guided tour of the C’an Marça caves, browse the hippy market at Las Dalias and find a quiet beach to while away the hours.
Days six and seven
Embrace the sort of late-night lifestyle that has made Ibiza famous. The famous Playa d’en Bossa just outside Ibiza Town is famed for its long, sandy beach and hard-partying lifestyle. What better way to end your week here than with a night dancing beneath the stars at Ushuaïa, a club where the dancefloor is the beach?