Ibiza Island holidaysThe sample prices are per person based on two people travelling!
IBIZA ISLAND HOLIDAYSSpain
Although Ibiza is a part of Spain, Catalan is the official language. However, most people on Ibiza speak the Castilian form of Spanish. Many Ibiza locals also speak English or German, with English being widely understood throughout the island, particularly in tourist areas.
Like the rest of Spain, Ibiza uses the euro as its main form of currency. Money can be changed at registered bureaux de change and at most banks and large hotels, many of which also cash travellers’ cheques. ATMs are commonly available; almost every bank will have one as well as many supermarkets, and they exist in almost all small towns. Cash is the most common form of payment although credit cards are widely accepted.
Visitors of most nationalities, including British citizens, can stay for up to 90 days in Spain, including Ibiza, without a visa on the condition that they hold a return or onward ticket. Passports need to be valid for at least six months after the date of entry into Ibiza. As Spain is part of the Schengen Agreement, holders of Schengen visas can travel to Ibiza from other Schengen areas without further immigration checks.
Ibiza has a mild but seasonal climate with warm, mostly dry summers and cool, wet winters. Summer runs from June through August, with average temperatures ranging between 17°C and 30°C. Spring showers are common in April but they largely dry up by May, with spring temperatures averaging from 9°C to 22°C. Autumn, September to November, tends to be mild and warm with temperatures from 12°C to 27°C. Winter is often wet and sees temperatures of between 8°C to 16°C.
Being a small island, Ibiza has just one commercial airport, Ibiza Airport (code IBZ), located nearly five miles (7.5kms) from Ibiza’s capital, Ibiza Town. British tourists generally fly to Ibiza from London, Birmingham or Manchester. There are also regular air links to Ibiza from Madrid and Barcelona on the Spanish mainland.
As Ibiza is a major tourist destination, about 50 different carriers service Ibiza Airport, including main carriers Air Berlin, Air Europa, British Airways and Iberia. Many of the operators only offer flights in the warm months, but British Airways services Ibiza year round from London and Air Europa flies all year from Barcelona and Madrid. Tourists can also get to Ibiza from Düsseldorf with Air Berlin or from Palma de Mallorca with Iberia all year round. The flight from London to Ibiza generally takes just under 2 hours, 30 minutes.
Those willing to fly early or late can find bargains with budget carriers like Ryanair or easyJet. Prices to Ibiza are highest from June to September, so travelling during the shoulder months of April, May or October can provide savings. Visitors who arrive at Ibiza Airport can take the half-hourly direct bus to Ibiza Town, which is the cheapest method of transport. Taxis and private transfer services such as shuttle buses are also available, although taxis have an airport surcharge. For greater autonomy you can hire a car or scooter.
Visitors can reach Ibiza by boat, as regular ferries cross from Barcelona, Mallorca, Denia and Valencia to the ports at Ibiza Town and San Antonio harbour. The trip takes about 9 hours from Barcelona, 2 to 3 hours from Denia, and between 3 hours, 30 minutes and 5 hours, 30 minutes from Valencia.
Most tourists arrive to Ibiza by air although some come by ferry. At roughly 25 miles (40kms) long and about 12 miles (20kms) wide, Ibiza is a manageable size, making it fairly easy for tourists to get around by bus, taxi, hire car or scooter. A reasonable, well-maintained road network connects the resorts towns and beaches of Ibiza. Half-hourly buses link most destinations on the island and are a cheap and comfortable means of transport. For those who prefer a little more flexibility, hire cars and scooters are readily available, as are taxis. Remember to drive on the right-hand side if hiring a vehicle.
The bus is a cheap and popular means of transport for travelling around Ibiza. Buses tend to be air conditioned, comfortable and frequent, linking most towns, resorts and beaches. There are four main bus companies: Autobuses San Antonio, Autobuses Voramar-El Gaucho, Autocares Lucas Costa and HF Vilas. A night bus service is provided by Discobus from 18:00 onwards.
There are many car hire operations in Ibiza, including most of the major international chains. Tourist can hire a car from Ibiza’s main towns, resorts or the airport. Ibiza has good roads and driving is on the right. Some of the driving can be fast or erratic, particularly in high tourist season when the population of the island increases enormously, so tourists are advised to drive with care.
Ibiza, one of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, is known the world over for its outstanding nightlife and beaches. However, while this reputation holds true, history and marine life also make it and appealing spot for those into heritage, water sports, diving and archaeology.
No visit to Ibiza would be complete without exploring Ibiza Town, home to the World Heritage listed Ibiza Castle (Dalt Vila). Apart from historic sites, churches and a necropolis in and around Ibiza’s old town, there is also a vibrant clubbing scene, including some of the island’s most famous night spots.
San Antonio is a clubbers’ paradise, offering 24-hour partying that is popular with the young British and European crowd. It is a photogenic town, and visitors can snap the best known landmark, a statue of an egg commemorating Christopher Columbus, or stroll along the Passeig de ses Fonts, the harbourside promenade, taking pictures of the gardens, fountains, harbour and ocean.
Santa Eulària des Riu is the southeastern region of Ibiza, known for countryside, hippy markets and beaches. The small, fortified harbour of Sant Carles de Peralta is a relaxing, pretty town. Visitors can explore the nearby chimneys and ruins of the ancient Carthaginian lead mine, snorkel at Pou des Lleó Beach or see the Torre d’en Valls pirate tower.
Ibiza’s northern region, Sant Joan de Labritja, is renowned for scenery and attracts visitors to some of Ibiza’s most stunning resorts, including beautiful Portinatx and family-friendly Cala de Sant Vicent with its sandy beaches and fascinating caves.
The Sant Josep de sa Talaia region, in the middle of the island, has the most beaches and coves on Ibiza. Apart from enjoying the beaches and World Heritage listed attractions, tourists can visit Ses Païses de Cala d’Hort to see the old Punic-Roman farm settlement or stop in at the World Heritage-listed Phoenician village at Sa Caleta.
The World Heritage-listed Ibiza Castle (Dalt Vila) is Ibiza’s walled old town and can be entered through five different gates. The most impressive is the Ses Taules Gate, flanked by two Roman statues that are reproductions of ancient originals which are now housed at the Archaeological Museum. Within the walls and perched atop the mount sits the 12th century cathedral of Santa Maria d’Eivissa.
Visitors will be charmed by the whitewashed Puig de Missa church at Santa Eulària. This town’s cobbled streets and traditional buildings also house two museums. One is the Museum of Ethnography of Ibiza and the other is the Barrau Museum, dedicated to Laureà Barrau i Buñol, a Catalan painter who lived and worked in Ibiza from 1912 to 1932.
The port of San Miguel hides the fascinating Can Marça Caves, formerly used by smugglers and now a tourist attraction. Visitors can navigate the old smugglers’ paths to marvel at the cave’s rock formations, underground lakes and waterfalls.
No visit to Ibiza would be complete without visiting one of Ibiza’s pirate towers, lookouts built by locals to watch for pirates. The round Torre d’en Valls tower at Pou des Lleó is a fine example and offers stunning views of the coastline.
Ibiza and its waters are home to some unique natural environments, including the salt lakes of Ses Salinas National Park in Ibiza’s south. The area is rich in wildlife, and visitors may be lucky enough to spot a fishing eagle or the migrating flamingos that frequent the area during late summer.
Visitors to Cala dHort beach area can marvel at the mysterious, rocky island of Es Vedra, which some say is the remains of Atlantis; others claim it was the isle of the Sirens from Homer’s stories.
Ibiza is an island which has become dedicated to the entertainment of visitors, from the world famous nightclubs and large music venues to smaller restaurants and bars. Most of the action is centered around Ibiza Town and San Antonio, where predominantly British and European holidaymakers party the days and nights away with hedonistic abandon.
Ibiza Town is the ideal place for a night out. Home to some of Ibiza’s most famous clubs, including Pasha, Amnesia and Privilege, the visitor is spoilt for choice. For gamblers, there is the small but reasonably equipped Casino de Ibiza. Alternatively, a handful of live music venues are on hand.
The real nightclub centre of the island is Ibiza’s legendary San Antonio. Clubbers flock to this harbour town to visit super clubs like Eden on the waterfront or Es Paradís and its famous water party. There are also numerous bars and restaurants to choose from, covering almost every cuisine.
Space is a nightclub that has frequently won the International Dance Music award for the ’Best Global Club’. Situated at Platja den Bossa, in the Sant Josep de sa Talaia region of Ibiza, this venue offers visitors a stellar day (yes, it’s open in the day) or night out.
Outside the main towns of Ibiza and San Antonio, nightlife at the seaside resorts such as Santa Eulària and Portinaxt tends to cater to the preferences and tastes of visitors. With less in the way of nightclubs, there are nonetheless some good bars and restaurants that keep all ages entertained until late.
As Ibiza is one of the Balearic Islands, the traditional cuisine here tends to be Mediterranean with a strong Catalan influence. Dishes are generally high in vegetables and low in fat. With Ibiza being an island, seafood and seafood stews feature strongly, as do olive oil and almonds, which are grown throughout the Balearic Islands.
A typical meal might begin with burrida de ratjada, stingray with almonds, or one of the famous Balearic style vegetable and bread soups, such as las sopes mallorquines. Mains may include el guisat de peix (seafood stew) or coques - meat and vegetables wrapped in a square pastry - all accompanied by red wine or sangria.
One of the most famous dishes of the Balearic cuisine is caldereta de langosta, a lobster stew made with local lobster, garlic, onions and tomatoes. The Spanish chicken and seafood rice dish paella is also common.
Be sure to try local other local specialities such as sobrassada, a pork and paprika sausage, and ensaïmada, a coiled pastry made with pork lard, both typical to the Balearic Islands. In Ibiza, leftover pieces of ensaïmada are used to make a sweet desert called greixonera.
Maó is the local hard cheese and is similar to parmesan. Ibiza also produces its own herb liquor - Hierbas Ibicencas – which is made from about 18 local plants and packs a punch at 26 per cent alcohol.
Being a top tourist destination, Ibiza also boasts a vast variety of restaurants covering all cuisines, including Chinese, Indian, Japanese, German and Italian for those who don't fancy the local fare. There are also specialist vegetarian restaurants.
Beaches are one of the things that Ibiza does best - there are an estimated 60 to 80 around the island. Ibiza Town has only one, Figueretas Beach, which is surrounded by classy hotels but can get busy in peak seasons. Playa d’en Bossa is a delightful alternative close by. Lined with bars, it is Ibiza’s longest beach. San Antonio has five beaches around its bay and laid-back Cala Gracio Beach is another gem not far from San Antonio. Sant Josep de sa Talaia has the greatest number of beaches, while Santa EulÃ ria has a wide range of charming seaside village beaches.
The Mediterranean is known for spectacular sunsets, and Ibiza is the pick of the bunch. Couples can head to Cala d’Hort to hire a boat and cruise around the mysterious Es Vedrá islet. Frolic on the sandy beach during the afternoon then head up the cliffs to the pirate tower to watch the romantic sunset.
Despite being popular with clubbers, San Antonio Bay is also an ideal family destination. Children can enjoy safe swimming at Cala Gració and check out the aquarium built in a natural cave. Sirenas waterslide park is nearby and there is also go-karting, banana boating and fun aplenty at San Antonio.
Ibiza is a great destination for active holidaymakers, particularly those who are into water sports as Ibiza has world class diving and World Heritage-listed marine areas. Tagomago, off the east coast, is particularly noted as a diving spot. Those who prefer to stay on land can enjoy paintballing or go-karting at San Antonio. Nature lovers can hire mountain bikes and take in the gorgeous scenery of the Santa Ines Valley.