Only those unfamiliar with Ibiza generally think of it as a place for partygoers only. In reality, the island is one of Spain’s most cosmopolitan and attractive corners: affluent, purposeful and the custodian of an intriguing heritage and a vibrant local music scene with global reach and influence.
The bohemian charm of the Balearic Islands attracts talented and passionate musicians from all over the world. Venues are broadening their horizons, giving more and more space to genres such as grime, rap, UKG, funk and disco, rather than the usual house and techno. Pool and beach parties are also embracing the new trends.
Enjoy relaxing on the beach
The best places to lay down your towel are Ibiza’s hidden coves. Portitxol is one of the island’s most spectacular attractions: a 50-metre wide, horseshoe-shaped pebble cove dotted with giant boulders, surrounded by small wooden and stone fishermen’s huts and dominated by monumental cliffs that seem to isolate the beach from the rest of the world.
Another fascinating beach is Cala d’Hort, in the southeasternmost part of the island: a charming, quiet tongue of sand and pebbles that is home to three excellent fish restaurants.
Party at Pikes
This quirky and creative hotel, run by the Ibiza Rocks crew, hosts some of the best parties on the island – treat yourself to a carefree evening of Ibiza’s coolest activities.
This legendary club has a rock ‘n’ roll past. Over the years it has hosted the likes of Grace Jones and Bon Jovi, and still attracts many celebrities. You might bump into them at the poolside bar (the same one that served as the backdrop for Wham!’s Club Tropicana video).
DJ Harvey is at home at Pikes, while the famous funk, soul and disco-music genius, Melon Bomb, is on stage regularly in the summer.
Attend a typical local festival
A long-standing institution in Ibiza, Las Dalias hosts bars, restaurants, street food and stalls, and welcomes mixed hordes of tourists, hippies and locals.
On Saturdays it offers a day market, while in summer it offers a night market and various weekly events. Namasté, on Wednesdays, is an Indian-themed evening with live music and dancing. Thursdays are for concerts, while Sundays are psychedelic with DJs, bands and live performers.
Hiking in Santa Agnès
Pack your hiking boots as well as your dress shoes: an excursion to Ibiza may not be in your plans, but it would be a shame if you never strayed far from the beaches and clubs during your stay. Especially now that the walking routes have been marked and mapped out to make the experience easier.
Santa Agnès is one of the stretches of coastline with the most beautiful views in Ibiza, to be explored by following a path that skirts steep cliffs and crosses terraced fields covered with pine forests.
This circular route (4.5 km/2 hours from Santa Agnès or 3 km/1.5 hours from the restaurant Las Puertas del Cielo) allows you to explore remote coastal landscapes, imposing cliffs and dense forests, and to dive into the sea, provided you have the courage to descend into the rocks.
Try your hand at kayaking in Atlantis
Paddle your way to an unusual cove, Sa Pedrera, in the Cala d’Hort nature reserve, nicknamed Atlants. Along the way you will also find another Ibiza landmark: the legendary rock of Es Vedrà, vaguely triangular in shape.
The stone removed from Atlantis was used to build the imposing walls of the city of Ibiza. Much of this ancient quarry has been decorated by hippies with mystical images: blunt-nosed figures reminiscent of Mayan deities, abstract doodles and graffiti carved into the stone.
At the edge of the promontory, stands a wonderful sculpture, partly painted, depicting a Cleopatra-like queen. And as if that were not enough, the emerald and indigo pools of water trapped between the rocks shimmer in the sun, adding an ethereal touch to the entire landscape.
To visit this natural wonder, you can buy a complete holiday package or join one of the guided excursions organised by Ibiza Kayak (4 hours for $60), departing from Cala d’Hort.
Explore the many nightclubs
As the spiritual home of house music, Ibiza hosts a choice of top DJs almost every night of the week in the summer months.
Admission to the clubs costs between $25 and $60, and venues are generally open between midnight and six in the morning – try getting a pass to get into one of the port bars.
Pacha is one of the best clubs, a real attraction in Ibiza. Fun-loving people come here just to visit and sit on one of the terraces surrounding the whitewashed exterior of an old finca, framed by illuminated palm trees.
Now famous throughout the world, the island remains the capital of this style of dancing based on the chic parties typical of the Balearic Islands, and is home to top international DJs, including Pete Tong and Solomun.