Tourist Information Guide

Ibiza - a quick Holiday Travel Guide

In this article, we take a quick introductory tour of Ibiza, including its stylish cultural capital - Ibiza Town. We hope it helps when choosing your next holiday adventure.

Author: Chris R. Wilson

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Ibiza Holiday Guide - what's Ibiza like?

Ibiza has a great mix of family-friendly resorts and renowned young & lively party hot spots, it has an atmospheric old town, authentic hippy markets and exclusive adult retreats. The island has a pleasant year-round climate and is just two hours flying time from the UK, making it perfect for summer sun beach holidays and year-round weekend breaks.

Ibiza is full of rocky coves, pristine white sands and warm turquoise waters. First views of the island include a stunning coastline, backed by sun-baked cliffs that 'stand guard' over Ibiza's centuries-old towns and villages. Many of the island's original villages contain traditional 'Ibizan white houses' that stand dazzlingly bright against cloudless blue skies. Ibiza's tourist slogan 'White Isle' dates from the 1950s, and was inspired by the island's traditionally styled white architecture.

Ibiza is unique in that it caters extraordinarily well for all types of holidaymakers, including the young and lively crowd looking for a hedonistic paradise, to families of all ages looking for relaxing beach holidays and fun in the sun.

Ibiza also caters for those looking for something different - such as luxury spa holidays, yoga and wellness retreats, educational and hobby breaks, or those looking for hiking and wildlife trails - there's also plenty of history and culture to be had at the islands ancient capital city, Ibiza Town.

Hotel Holiday Pool

Best Beaches and Resorts in Ibiza

Ibiza's beautiful sandy beaches range from lively large stretches to small intimate bays - most can be easily reached by either road or ferry.

Playa d'en Bossa Beach: One of the best-known beaches can be found at Playa d'en Bossa (the longest beach on the island) and conveniently just 4km from Ibiza Town. Playa d'en Bossa is home to top super-clubs, with plenty of bars, beach clubs and restaurants dotted along its 2km stretch. Just across the bay, you have the safe, shallow, calm and clear waters at Talamanca, with its long wooden promenade peppered with endless bars and restaurants (ideal for people-watching or pre-clubbing drinks).

Santa Eulalia, Es Cana and Cala Llonga Beaches: Santa Eulalia is an east coast family resort (with a large British expat community). The resort has a popular and busy beach good for sunbathing, relaxing and having fun; it offers plenty of water sports and nearby bars and restaurants. Within easy reach of Santa Eulalia are the smallish, pristine and picturesque beaches of Es Cana and Cala Llonga, where the pale golden sand is backed by a dense green fringe of pines. Both beaches offer sunbeds, pedalos, kayaks and paddle boards for hire. These beaches can become busy in high season, and although well looked after, seaweed and pine needles at Es Cana can be an issue for some. A renowned hippy market is held near Es Cana every Wednesday, which is definitely worth a visit; however, the market can add to the mid-summer busyness at nearby beaches.

San Antonio Beach: San Antonio has several small, sheltered and well-connected beaches along San Antonio Bay; these include Playa Xinxo (Cala de Bou), Playa Pinet, Es Pouet beach, and Port D'es Torrent beach at the far end of the bay (5mins by bus from the resort centre) and is popular with families staying in the San Antonio area.

Portinatx Beach: Ibiza is a wonderful place to explore, and hiring a car is an ideal way to discover the island's resorts, beaches and main attractions. Take a drive through scenic nature reserves and discover the 'wild & rugged' countryside in the north. As you wind your way to the coast, check out the pretty beach at Portinatx. Portinatx is a small resort in the north, offering magnificent panoramic views and a picturesque sandy beach, with fine white sands and calm, crystal clear waters. You'll find the usual facilities at Portinatx Beach, including showers, WCs, bars and restaurants.

Port D'Es Torrent Beach; This beach has all the trimmings, including showers & wc, pedalos, banana boats and other inflatables for hire - the water is clear & calm, perfect for families, swimming, diving and snorkelling. Conveniently, there are numerous small ferry services connecting Port D'Es Torrent to San Antonio and other beaches along the bay.

Other Popular Beaches: (1). Cala San Vicente in the northeast, a picturesque crescent-moon-shaped beach surrounded by beautiful cliffs and pine trees. (2). Cala Tarida is one of the largest beaches on the west coast and is known for its calm and beautiful turquoise and emerald green waters.

Good Vibes Ibiza

What to see in Ibiza

This little island boasts some of the liveliest resorts in the Balearics, however, the island has more than just mega clubs and top DJs. Scratch beneath Ibiza's surface and you’ll discover much more:

  • Tour the beautiful Cova de Can Marçà, the largest natural cave system in Ibiza and a welcome chilly escape from the heat.
  • Have lunch at The Beach by Ushuaïa - savour some of the best Mediterranean and Asian flavours on the island.
  • Watch the sunset over the beautiful and mystical (413m high) Es Verdra Island.
  • Have a beer at Bar Anita in San Carlos and experience a slice of Ibiza’s hippy history.

Ibiza is five times smaller than Majorca and is packed full of adventure - the best way to see the island is to hire a car and drive.

Ibiza Town (Eivissa) is the Capital

Ibiza Town is romantic, exciting and vibrant and is the cultural, economic and entertainment hub of the island. Ibiza Town is located on the southeast coast - known for its lively nightlife, high-end shopping, excellent dining, world-class bars and the most iconic clubs in Europe.

This intriguing city has a captivating history and a fascinating medieval old town to explore, especially around the narrow cobbled streets of the Dalt Vila (the old quarter), with much of the architecture and layout remaining untouched since it was built in the 1600s.

Just over 2000 years ago, the Carthaginians founded the port in Ibiza Town and it has seen many civilisations come and go, including Roman, Byzantine, Arab and Catalan. Interestingly you can still see traces of different cultures in the architecture, local customs, and spoken language.

Places to visit in Ibiza Town. The cosmopolitan port city of Ibiza Town is divided into two main parts, the old town and the new. Ibiza Town is known officially as Eivissa (the Catalan name for the city dating back more than 2500 years). The old town is known as Dalt Vila (meaning “high town”) and is a treasure trove of history, intriguing ruins and spectacular views.

Dalt Vila: The elevated old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you'll find the Almudaina, Castillo de Eivissa (Ibiza Castle), with its breathtaking views across the old town, and the city's 14th-century Gothic cathedral 'Cathedralde Santa María' which stands bold and dominates the square on which it stands. Top Tip: Visit the square just before dusk for spectacular sunsets and a relaxed chilled-out atmosphere.

The city's most impressive sights and views can be found around the Renaissance-era fortifications and ancient elevated walls. The walls were built to protect the 'citadel of Dalt Vila' from frequent raids and attacks - the most consistent threat came from The Corsairs (16th–18th-century pirates operating along the southern shores of the Mediterranean).

Beautiful Dalt Vila is a labyrinth of steep cobbled streets (not suitable for flip flops) that lead to the cathedral-topped summit (note! The whole area is highly atmospheric and exciting to explore). The Dalt Vila is home to several key cultural sights and museums, including the archaeological museum and the stylish Museum of Contemporary Art - you'll also find numerous relaxing bars, chilled-out restaurants and chic boutiques.

The nearby Puig des Molins (high point) is home to the world's largest and best-preserved necropolis - and in ancient times it served as the city's cemetery; (tours of some of the underground tombs are available). Top Tip: If you spot cruise ships in the harbour, the narrow streets of Dalt Vila can become busy with shore excursions, so come back later.

The Port & Marina: The Port & Marina: The capital's waterfront has three super-yacht-sized marinas; Ibiza Magna, Marina Ibiza and Marina Botafoch, all three marinas are fun to explore. You can admire the floating palaces lining the jetties and do a bit of celebrity spotting along the way. The upmarket marina is home to the island's finest restaurants and stylish party bars, often frequented by the rich and famous (with their luxury mega yachts and super-sized cruisers moored conveniently opposite).

The Marina area is excellent for luxury window shopping, especially at nearby Av. de Bartolome de Rosello and Vara de Rey. Alternatively, you can 'relax and chill' in one of the many cafes overlooking the marina. Top Tip: Head to 'the terraces' for spectacular coastal and sea views - or visit at sundown to watch superb sunsets over the Dalt Vila, then try your luck at the Casino.

As night falls, the party lights are 'turned up' and the Marina transforms into a floating catwalk full of glitz and glamour. The Marina is home to the famous Pacha Nightclub, slightly set back on Av. 8 d'Agost, plus the exclusive Lío Ibiza cabaret bar and restaurant at the Marina Eivissa- a haven for the rich and famous. The Destino Pacha Resort can be found in Talamanca (8mins away by car).

Eivissa Harbour: Across the harbour at the foot of Dalt Vila lies the popular and busy Port area, just a 2-minute walk from the centre of the Old Town, which helps lend an added vibrancy to the buzzing atmosphere. The Port area is a commercial entity providing marine services for cruise liners, fishing and cargo vessels. The harbour area is also packed with pre-club bars and party venues (especially along the promenade and the small narrow streets running off it). The old fisherman quarters are where you'll find chic boutiques, fashionable restaurants and LGBT-friendly bars, particularly around the Calle de la Virgen (the street of the Virgin), located halfway between the port and the Dalt Vila's steep cobbled lanes.

The Port is popular with pre-clubbers and is often busy from early evening onwards, with many party peeps enjoying a diverse selection of waterside restaurants or bar-hopping the Port's buzzing bars and party atmosphere. The Port remains one of the liveliest areas in Ibiza, providing plenty of fun for all.

Ibiza Sightseeing Tips

  • Experience the Ibizan artisan lifestyle, visit the Punta Arabi Hippy Market on Wednesdays and feel the authentic essence of the first and largest hippy market on the island, located on the outskirts of Es Cana.
  • Ibiza remains Europe's nerve centre for electronic dance music, with Ibiza Town attracting serious club seekers. The two main party resorts are San Antonio and (perhaps the more grown-up) Playa d’en Bossa, both are worth visiting day and night.
  • Head to Carrer de la Mare de Déu in Ibiza Town at around midnight to experience the colourful nightly parades advertising the super-club parties held around the island.
  • There's more to Ibiza than relaxing beaches and great music - Ibiza offers cultural and active breaks, including mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding tours, especially around the northern forested hills, nature reserves & mountains.
  • After visiting the cool hippy bars - it's time to hit the clubs. Pacha is the grandmaster and the pioneer of Ibiza's dance and cultural movement.
  • Dalt Vila (Upper Town) – The oldest part of Ibiza Town is full of wonderful architecture and fascinating history. Here you'll find Ibiza cathedral, cosy bars, shops, sidewalk cafes and stylish art galleries to browse.
  • A must is Sunset Ashram - a popular and beautiful beach with calm turquoise waters and resident DJs - renowned for its spectacular sunsets and guest DJs playing sunset sessions. Top Tip: There's a rustic and unpretentious beach bar & restaurant serving Mediterranea, Sushi and Hindu dishes.

Ibiza Town's main quarters of the Dalt Vila, Port and Marina all provide a unique taste of everything that's fascinating about Ibiza (another plus - most shops and boutiques stay open late into the night).


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