Best places to stay in Ibiza
Ibiza Town sits on a rocky outcrop and is exciting, extrovert and outrageous. Visitors can mingle with international celebrities who come to visit some of the world’s best clubs, hotels and restaurants. The ancient walled upper town or Dalt Vila spans 2500 years of history and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spectacular hotel accommodation can be found in the upper part of the town with harbour and castle views but there is something for all tastes and budgets to be found in Ibiza Town.
In the Plaza del Parque street entertainers amuse the daytime crowds but beware as anything goes when night approaches. The clubs of Boom and Pacha are close by and scantily clad dancers will do their best to lure you in. Stilt walkers, leather clad models and people in the most extravagant costumes will be out and about strutting their stuff.
Calle de la Virgen is one of the main streets where the shops and bars don’t open until midnight and a stroll along here makes for a fascinating insight into the Ibiza clubbing scene. All tastes and preferences are catered for in clubs that stay open until the sun rises. Look out for Privilege, Es Paradis, DC10 and Amnesia.
Pacha is one of the biggest names in the clubbing world and Pacha Ibiza recently celebrated 40 years of being on the island. To complete the Pacha experience there is the Destino Pacha Ibiza Resort set on a cliff top at Talamanca Bay.
Playa d’en Bossa
This is the most popular resort on the island and is very close to the airport. The water sports facilities are amazing and there are cool beach bars, chill-out sunbeds and great music all day long. How about dancing on the sand at Bora Bora or sharing a pedalo with friends or maybe a thrilling ride on a banana boat. You can do it all at Playa d’en Bossa and all at sensible prices. Accommodation ranges from budget hotels on the beach to five star luxury.
Away from the beach there is an extensive shopping area with brand names and the latest in beachwear. The Aguamar water park is nearby for an alternative to the beach and glass bottomed boats will take you on trips to Formentera and to see the mysterious Es Vedra rock off the south coast of the island. If you want a change from the clubs there are themed bars, traditional Irish pubs and lounge bars that celebrities can sometimes be spotted chilling out in. This is a resort that encompasses everything from laid back to outrageous all in one go.
Playa d’en Bossa is the main destination for party loving tourists to Ibiza with the three biggest clubs all in close proximity to each other. Space is part of Ibiza’s clubbing history while newcomer Ushuaia is an open air club and luxury hotel all rolled into one. Sankeys is a long-time favourite with clubbers and has a huge worldwide following. This is a resort that really does have it all for serious party types. There are opening parties, closing parties, tribute bands, Biergartens and ad-hoc beach party sessions where the vibrant atmosphere on the warm sand is perfect for pre-clubbing drinks.
The pace here is slower and more relaxing and the year round community means that whenever you visit there is always something going on. The palm tree lined promenade runs the length of the wide flat sandy beach where children can play safely to their hearts content. Excellent hotels along the promenade are great for quick access to the beach while a few streets back a variety of apartments can be found. An Agroturism hotel can be found just a few minutes outside the town set in vast parklands but still being close enough to the action.
Santa Eulalia is known as the cultural and gastronomic centre of Ibiza as well as being home to the only river on the island. If you walk to Mariner’s Beach you can continue along the river up to a restored Roman bridge which makes a pleasant change from walking along the promenade.
The main street of Calle San Jaime is where anyone and everyone meets for daytime coffee and conversation and to sit and watch the world go by. The Street of Restaurants is close by and in the early evening when the road is closed to traffic the street becomes alive with a fiesta like atmosphere as restaurants set out their chairs and tables.
A small craft market in the centre of the town and the impressive Santa Eulalia marina complete the town’s amenities. The stylish marina has become a firm Mediterranean favourite for the yachting population who come from far and wide to enjoy the classy dining, shopping and entertainment opportunities.
Once you arrive in Portinatx it hard to leave as there is just everything you need here for a blissful, stress-free holiday. The crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean coupled with white sand and a back drop of rocky outcrops and lush green tress make for a striking setting.
There are three beaches in the Portinatx area; Playa Porto, the larger S’Arenal Grosa and the more private S’Arenal Petit. Whichever one you choose it will only be a short walk from your chosen accommodation. All three beaches have caféterias, sunbeds and lifeguards to ensure a safe and happy time on the beach. The clear water is simply amazing and favoured by scuba divers and snorkellers.
If sunbathing all day becomes too much of an effort there are plenty of walks, including one up to the highest lighthouse in the Balearic Islands. Accommodation is plentiful with a wide choice to suit all pockets and one of the hotels has its own water park. Restaurants abound offering locally caught fish dishes as well as typical English pub grub and there are music bars and small clubs which are great for a spot of dancing after dinner.
For lovers of watersports this is a great choice. If you want to parasail, windsurf, water ski or take part in any water based activity you will be sure to find it on Cala Martina beach where there is also a well-respected diving school. The crescent shaped beach is ideal for chilling out on or why not spend some time exploring the underwater world of the clear blue Mediterranean.
There are plenty of friendly apartments and hotels to choose from and a good selection of night-life and reasonably priced bars and restaurants. Es Cana is well connected by bus to the rest of the island as well as by ferry to Santa Eulalia and there are beautiful walks in every direction to suit all abilities.
Es Cana is famous on the island of Ibiza for the Hippy Market of Punta Arabí which is held every Wednesday. Tourists flock to this original market from across the island to bag a bargain in leather, clothing, silverwork from India or local art and crafts. If you do miss the Punta Arabi market don’t worry as there is a similar one close by every Saturday. Las Dalias Hippy Market is on the road to San Carlos.
The little tourist train leaves from Es Cana on a round trip of three hours and this is a great way to see some of this fascinating island. The train stops at the village of San Carlos with its restored 17th century farmhouse with enough time to explore. On the way back there is time for a quick drink at Cesar’s beach bar before winding its way upwards to Es Cana.
San Antonio and San Antonio Bay
Just 20 minutes from Ibiza Town and with excellent transport connections to just about everywhere on the island San Antonio and San Antonio Bay offer diversity and fun for all ages. The main beach at San Antonio is wide, safe and shallow with numerous watersports and ferries that leave for various destinations on Ibiza.
San Antonio is famed for the spectacular sunsets that can be seen from Caló d’es Moro a short stroll from the centre of the town. This is where the original Café del Mar sunset bar is with its yacht like design although others like Café Mambo and Savannah have now opened up. Hotels and apartments close to here are very, very popular and get booked up months in advance.
The central Plaza in San Antonio is lined with cafés and bars with their gaily coloured umbrellas making splashes of colour under the bright sun. Much of the town centre is now traffic free and in the heart of all this hustle and bustle stands a fine 14th century church.
The quieter Bay of San Antonio area is a short walk away or hop on the ferry that chugs across the bay all day and most of the night. In both areas there is a huge variety of accommodation from hostels for single holiday makers to good quality hotels offering family rooms. Many tourists are British but an increasing amount of Italians, Spanish and German visitors are coming to try out this super resort every year.