Thought Ibiza was just about 24-hour partying? Think again.
While clubbing may be the first activity you think of when it comes to Ibiza, this island is so much more than just a party town. Here’s our guide to 24 hours on one of Spain’s – nay, the world’s – most celebrated island retreats.
6 am: See the sunrise right
Wake yourself up on the top of a board, with a stand-up paddle boarding class at sunrise. Paddle Ibiza offer just the thing – two hours of bobbing about the seas as the sun rises in yellows and oranges over the glittering water. It’s a peaceful way to fill the soul first thing, and it’s instructional too, so no experience is necessary.
10 am: Go to market
Back in the 1960s, Ibiza was a hippy hotspot, and the vibe remains outside of its club-tastic centres. One of the best ways to experience it is at the famed Hippy Market which dates back to 1973. It runs every Wednesday from 10am at Es Canar and features some 500 stalls peddling everything from jewellery to makeup and handmade crafts. There is even food, but we suggest holding back on that one, because your next stop is a culinary treat.
1 pm: Grab a seafood lunch
Lunch at El Bigotes in Cala Mastella is an Ibizan tradition. The restaurant is positioned right on the rocks and is essentially a jazzed-up seafood shack. Go for lunch between midday and 2 pm and all they serve is fresh, grilled fish, caught by the owner’s son-in-law, alongside a light salad. Then at 2.30 pm the ‘bullit de peix’ (a mixed fish stew beloved in Ibiza) is brought out. Oh, and wine; there is always wine. Make sure and book in advance (pop by, or call them on +34 650 79 76 33), as this place gets busy.
3pm: Spend the afternoon on the beach
Ibizan beaches are renowned for their beauty, so you’ll be hard pushed to find one that isn’t absolutely gorgeous. One of the prettiest is Pou Des Lleó, which isn’t far from El Bigotes. It’s small and quiet and wonderful for swimming. It’s also a favourite with locals, and even in high season, is often relatively quiet. You’ll feel miles away from the clubbers and noise and deliciously chaotic vibes that Ibiza is known for, which, for an afternoon, is rather lovely.
7 pm: Eat at Amante
Surrounded by gnarled cliffs and right on the beach, eating dinner – or even just stopping in for a cocktail – at Amante is a pretty special experience. With the water lapping the shore, you can while the evening away eating inky squid risotto or whole sea bass fresh from the sea, followed by thyme and honey tart.
10 pm: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em
We know we said it's more than just a party town but let's face it, Ibiza has that reputation for a good reason. Whether it’s a night at Amnesia or Pacha, Ibiza’s club scene is probably the most famous in the world. You’re here for 24 hours, so why not stay awake for every minute?
The wee small hours: Stay at Pikes
If you’re coming to Ibiza, you have to spend at least one night at Pikes: Ibiza’s rock and roll hotel. Not only has it hosted music legends like Freddie Mercury, Grace Jones and Bon Jovi, it was also the filming location for Wham!’s Club Tropicana video. Situated within a 15th-century farmhouse, visiting DJs bring the vibes to the onsite dancefloor, and there’s even a karaoke room. The hotel also plays host to music, and even literary, festivals – it’s basically impossible to be bored here. Just try to get a little sleep, OK?