Ibiza is known as a party island but, there’s much more to this enchanting Spanish paradise. It’s full of gorgeous natural parks, tranquil beaches and pristine turquoise waters.
To really escape the madness, head inland to discover the more laid back side of Ibiza. Explore stone farmhouses and agroturismos, or stay in a stylish resort with sweeping sea views.
1. Ibiza’s history
Ibiza has a history that has been shaped by different peoples from around the world. The island was occupied by a number of cultures including Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Celts and Moors, among others.
The first recorded settlement on the island was by the Carthaginians in 654 BC, who called it Ibossim and made it a centre of trade, religion and industry. The Punics left a trail of ruins and sites that can still be seen on the island today, such as Es Culleram cave in Sant Vicent de sa Cala, dedicated to the Goddess Tanit (symbol of Ibiza).
In the 5th century, the Romans invaded Ibiza and took control of the town, renaming it Ebusus and converting it into a military outpost. They built massive city walls, and the area that you can visit today is still dotted with remnants of their influence, such as the Roman statues that are found at the entrance to Ibiza’s old town.
During this period, Ibiza was also occupied by the Byzantines, Vandals and Moors, who all contributed to changing the island’s landscape. These peoples influenced the island’s culture and language, which still exists today in some parts of Ibiza.
This time of isolation and lack of trade meant that the inhabitants were mainly farmers, craftsmen or fishermen. But all that changed in the 1930s and 1960s when Ibiza began to attract large scale tourism.
Ibiza has a rich history and is full of interesting facts and relics, so it’s important to know your way around the island. It’s easy to get lost in the tourist hot spots, but it’s also worth taking the time to discover some of Ibiza’s lesser known sights, such as the Ibiza Salt Flats, which have been in use for over 2000 years and make for incredible photos.
2. Ibiza’s beaches
Ibiza’s beaches are a key reason why so many people from all over the world choose to spend their holidays on this enchanting island. Whether you want to bathe in bright turquoise waters, snorkel among isolated coves or hang out with celebrities at famous beach bars, this magical Mediterranean island has everything you need for an unforgettable getaway.
If you’re looking to escape the crowds, head North and explore the pristine coastline on foot. Starting at Babylon beach, you’ll pass some pretty bays and secret swimming spots on your way to Es Canar.
Cala Jondal, a 225m-long stretch of pebbles and pine trees, is one of the most exclusive beaches in Ibiza. It’s also home to vogue-friendly beach clubs and restaurants, including Blue Marlin Ibiza, where you can indulge in a refreshing cocktail and a delectable meal while admiring the scenery.
There are a number of other fantastic beaches in Ibiza’s south-west. Cala Gracioneta is another perfect spot for a secluded dip in the sea, while Cala Vadella is a gorgeous horseshoe-shaped bay with rustic fishing huts and crystal clear waters.
Located near Santa Eulalia, Sa Caleta is a small, quiet beach surrounded by pine trees and reddish rocks. It is a wonderful place for families and couples who enjoy peace and tranquility. The area is also ideal for people who enjoy taking long walks, as there are a number of trails leading to the beach.
3. Ibiza’s nightlife
Clubbing is Ibiza’s speciality, with a huge range of superclubs to choose from, all hosting the biggest names in music and offering party goers a truly unforgettable experience. Some clubs are open all year round, while others only operate during the summer.
The best nightclubs to visit in Ibiza can be found in Ibiza Town, Playa d’en Bossa and San Antonio. You can also find clubs dotted around the island, but these will be more spread out and less accessible.
Ibiza has a rich and diverse music history that dates back to the 1970s. Rock’n’roll, in particular, has played a major role in shaping the island’s party scene. Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Freddie Mercury all partied in Ibiza during this time period.
Balearic house, meanwhile, began its reign in the 1990s. As the rave scene took off, a number of clubs emerged, many of which still exist today.
There are a few superclubs on the island, such as Pacha, Heart and Octan. These are large spaces that host hundreds of thousands of people each and every season, making them a must-visit if you’re looking to party hard in Ibiza.
Alternatively, there are many smaller clubs that cater to a more intimate crowd. Delilah’s, on the west end strip, is one such bar that offers a unique night out. This friendly bar has a large presence of Wales flags on the outside and has plenty of karaoke to keep you entertained throughout the evening.
Another top choice for clubbing in Ibiza is Ocean Beach Club, which is known for its famous pool parties. It’s a great place to dance until the sun comes up, with DJs playing a variety of music from pop to house. The atmosphere is lively and the crowd skews younger, so it’s a great place for a fun night out.
4. Ibiza’s culture
Ibiza’s culture has been shaped by many different people over the centuries. It’s one of the oldest urban environments in the Western Mediterranean, and its past has a rich cultural legacy that’s still present today.
For a long time, Ibiza was an important port and trade centre. Founded by Phoenicians in 654 BC, it soon came under Carthaginian control and became a major trading post. Salt was the main commodity traded, with the salinas (salt mines) used to extract it from sea water.
In the Roman period, Ibiza’s status as a trading post was strengthened when the island negotiated a favorable treaty with the Romans. This allowed the island to retain its Carthaginian-Punic institutions and traditions while avoiding further destruction during the Second Punic War.
Over the centuries, Ibiza has been invaded by a number of different cultures. From Punics, to Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs, each culture has made their mark on the island.
There are a lot of cultural aspects to Ibiza’s heritage, from the way the island is cultivated and its winemaking tradition to the way the people live their lives. Ibiza is a unique place, and it’s important to understand how the island has developed over time.
To get a better idea of the history of Ibiza, it’s a good idea to read a few books about the island. These can be found at bookstores or online, and they’re a great way to learn more about the island.
Some of these books are published by local writers, and they’re a fun way to learn more about Ibiza’s history. They include a children’s book about the island’s explorer Gaston Vuillier, an archaeological fantasy about an underwater treasure hunt and a series of Edwardian travel accounts.
5. Ibiza’s shopping
Ibiza is known for its shopping culture, which ranges from small boutiques and markets to high-end brands. Whether you’re looking for a designer dress, some traditional handicrafts or something unique to wear, there’s something to suit everyone.
The island offers a wide variety of stores to choose from, but the best areas to shop in Ibiza are the town centre and around the port. There are also a number of large commercial shopping centres, which offer a wide range of goods.
There are many shops open in Ibiza all year round, but the opening times vary. The larger stores, such as department stores and hypermarkets, tend to be open all day until late evening during the summer season. However, some of the smaller shops shut for a siesta during the day and return to opening again after lunchtime.
If you’re looking for an artisan shopping experience, you can explore the local market in Santa Gertrudis. This area has small alleyways and tiled streets, and is full of vintage shops, cute boutiques, and stores of all kinds.
You’ll find everything from colorful clothing to beaded bracelets and inexpensive accessories with a true boho flair at the Las Dalias Hippy Market. This is an open-air market that’s been running since 1985 and is a great place to shop for handmade items.
If you’re into interior design, then you should check out Sluiz. This store has a large selection of home textiles, cookery, vases, candles, cushions and hammam towels. It’s a must-visit for anyone who wants to bring Ibiza style home.