Over the last five or so decades, Ibiza has firmly stamped its mark as not just Europe’s, but also the world’s top party destination. And there is no denying that it truly delivers on that front, no-holds-barred style.
It may be one of the top clubbing capitals on the globe, but this Mediterranean gem first appealed to visitors because of its natural beauty and that unmistakable chilled, mellowed-out vibe. Today, that’s hard to see if you do Ibiza during the high season when close to half of the world has congregated here.
If you truly need to discover the authentic side of Ibiza, you need to hit its towns and villages, especially the villages. And if you can, low season is best.
It is these parts of Ibiza some untapped, that we would like to introduce you to; places that are worth going out of your way for.
Often overlooked during the peak season as many opt for the beach, Ibiza is also home to some quite charming towns.
Some of the top ones that should be on your radar include:
Also known as Eivassa, Ibiza Town is one of the most famous towns on the Balearic Island. It has been a hideaway for the rich and famous through the years, and this – if not any other – should also be a daytrip for any visitor looking to explore the island.
It lies on the southeast coast of Ibiza and is divided into two – the UNESCO World Heritage Site-recognised Old Town (also known as Dalt Villa) and the new town. In between the two is the impressive La Marina area and Vara Del Ray.
Of course, options abound on what to see and do in Eivassa, especially considering this is one of Europe’s oldest towns, dating as far back as 2,500 years ago.
Whether it is wandering the narrow cobbled alleyways of the Dalt Villa, immersing yourself in the rich culture, exploring the museums and stunning architecture, soaking up the history, dining at some of the island’s most iconic hotels (Hard Rock Café and Ushuaia, for example), taking in the views of the town and the Mediterranean, relaxing in beach resorts, shopping antiques and jewellery, Ibiza Town has it all.
If you are in the mood for a relaxed and carefree outing, few towns in Ibiza can deliver it as good as Santa Eulalia can. The third-largest resort on the island is a sedate kind of town characterised by elegant refinement which makes it a great place for families.
Santa Eulalia boasts a beautiful palm-lined promenade most ideal for saunters, and those who like the more exhilarating stuff in life can bank on a variety of watersports, in addition to boating.
Many will associate the resort town with gastronomy, which is understandable considering it’s the island’s culinary centre with some of the best restaurants on the island. It also doubles up as the cultural centre, a fact emphasised by the presence of multiple art galleries. The Santa Eulalia Barro Museum is a great opportunity for art lovers to explore the works of one of the island’s most revered artists who moved there in 1910 at the age of 47, featuring some 200 of his most illustrious works.
You’ll also find some nice bars and a wealth of shopping opportunities offering everything from handmade jewellery (the Craft Market at San Jamie is a must-stop) to seasonal local ingredients.
Located 20 minutes from Ibiza Town, San Antonio is another beautiful resort town on the White Isle perhaps best known for some of the most awe-inspiring sunsets on the island. The Sunset Strip, located in the coast of Ses Variades, is a legendary viewing spot, and it’s a common occurrence to find literally hundreds viewing the magical sunsets, especially at the Calo d’es Moro beach.
The resort town is also a firm favourite among clubbers, especially on the so-called ‘West End’ area, home to an endless strip of bars and clubs. Some popular ones include the Es Paradis and Eden.
San Antonio is a contrast of sorts because the bustling party scene aside, it is engulfed by a beautiful landscape and bays, the result of which is a blanket of tranquil ambience that envelopes it, allowing you to reconnect and be one with nature. Little wonder some love to call it Ibiza’s yin and yang.
The town is home to spectacular beaches such as the Cala Bassa, Cala Conta and Cala Tarida, and a great spot to partake in a variety of watersports, never mind other activities like boat trips, walking, hiking, cycling and mountain biking.
If you truly want to get in touch with Ibiza, you need to explore its quirky villages. They are unlike anything you’ve seen before, and you’ll be glad you did. It just might be the best thing you ever do in Ibiza. Seriously.
Here are some top selections that won’t frustrate.
The charming little village is set in the middle of Ibiza and is quite a convivial place to be in, anytime of the year.
It has an arty past, and this means you’ll find a bunch of resident artists and locals, both homegrown and outlanders. Santa Gertrudis has witnessed some developments lately and this has led to the village assuming a more upmarket feel, with its streets lined up with bars, cafe