Since I moved to Europe, I always wanted to visit Ibiza, but somehow it just did not happen until last month. It was 30th birthday celebration of two of my very good friends and that gave us a perfect reason to visit this amazing island. I was even more pleasantly surprised than I thought. It is a perfect European island for all occasions. It is great to visit alone, with friends, better half, or with families. The island has so much to offer and if you want to get in the feel, my suggestion would be to stay for at least a week and spend your time both in the south and the north.
Sooo, first thing everyone tells you about Ibiza is the crazy party scene, which is very true for Ibiza, but only in certain areas (primarily close to Ibiza town and Sant Antonio). The rest of island offers you much more – beautiful landscape, cliffs, caves, breathtaking beaches, amazing weather, and great food choices.
About the island:
The island is not very huge, but big enough to spend even a whole week and still you won’t be able to finish half of the island (especially the beaches). You can get anywhere on the island by car in 30 to maximum 60 minutes. And you can visit the island on Schengen visa.
South of the island is where all the party happens and if you are heading to the island for hitting the clubs, this is where you should stay. Most of the famous clubs (with renowned DJ lineups) are close to the Ibiza town. Having said that, south is also the most crowded part of the island. Ibiza town and Sant Antonio are always crowded and busy. And after these two, Santa Eularia (east) is the most touristic town on the island.
The north is relatively quiet and is the perfect choice if you want a relaxing holiday escape (I loved it). Portinatx, in the very north, is one of the best spots on the island to stay and explore the beauty and serenity of the north. You can also experience one of the most beautiful sunsets on the island on a hill in Portinatx.
North of the island is also famous for its hippy culture, but that unfortunately is slowly dying and is not as it used to be (from what I heard). But still, you simply should not miss the hippy markets while in Ibiza. The two most famous and big ones are Puta Arabi and Las Dalias. They are happening only once a week so check the latest schedule online (Good place to check: Ibiza Spotlight). My personal favorite was the one in the town center of the Sant Joan in the North.
In terms of beaches, the whole island is full of amazing beaches. So not matter where you stay, you will always be able to find a nice beach close to you or an easy 20 to 30 min drive. You can also make a day trip to Formentera island. The fast ferry from Ibiza town takes about 30 minutes and costs 45 Euros return ticket (2017). There is a cheaper ferry for 20 Euros that takes an hour easily. If you get sea sick easily, fast ferry is your choice.
The beaches in Formentera are one of the best ones I have (so far) experienced in Europe. They offer crystal clear water (especially Playa de illetas – bring your snorkeling gear). If you do not care about other day activities and only looking for a beach holiday without hangouts at night, Formentera is a great choice to stay as well.
Note: Ibiza island is not the cheapest island you can visit in the region. Going out and eating out can be a bit pricier than most of the European cities you would visit, but that can be avoided if you plan well and research well. And I would recommend our Airbnb in Portinatx at any time.
Best time to visit:
Mid Aug till mid Oct, in my opinion, is the best time to visit. It is warm enough to swim, enjoy the sun and roam around in a T-shirt or a summer dress (even at night). The sea is good warm from the hot days before, but to roam around, it does not burn. It also gets a bit less crowded around that time. If you are heading to the island for parties, this is when the closing parties are happening as well and you might have some great line-up of DJs.
NOW SOMETHING YOU DO NOT HEAR VERY OFTEN:
Here comes the most interesting part that you do not hear very often about Ibiza. The island has one of the most amazing and stylish restaurants with amazingly unique food choices, especially fusion cuisine. And below, I share with you my top 5 restaurants on the island. They made this list not only because the food is awesome, but the whole décor, ambiance and the experience is wow. And if you would know me a bit better, I am very particular about food, and can totally be labelled as a food person. Bad food can spoil my mood, and that I do not want while I am enjoying my travels (com’on, no one wants that, right?)
Listing them alphabetically because would be hard to rank otherwise. All are my favorite 😉
- El Bistro de Stephan – Sant Antonio
This place is a hidden gem for tapas. It is located in one of the smaller town streets, but whatever you will try from their tapas menu, you would remember that for a long time. Do not forget to try the tapas with pears and goat cheese, green peppers and the one with mussels. Amazing place and very friendly staff. (Av. 20 to 30 Eur/person for food only)
- Ginger and Patchwork Restaurant – Ibiza
Now this one is a must kind of place. The place is divided into 3 restaurants – Sa Punta (Mediterranean), Ginger (Asian Fusion) and Patchwork (Lebanese). All 3 with different set up, but all offering a great view to the old Ibiza town and the fort from their terraces. We did not eat in Sa Punta, but we tried both Ginger and Patchwork and it was hard to pick the favorite. Though, if you have only one eve and you want to pick one, pick ginger > unless you do not like Asian food – but why wouldn’t you ;). Other than great food choices, both Ginger and Patchwork have breathtaking terraces, amazing décor and very nice live DJ. And if you can make it, try to go there for the sundown drinks. (Av. 35 to 40 Eur/person for food only)
- Giri Café – Sant Joan
Giri café is perfect for breakfast, lunch or a snack during the day. The garden is very well maintained with a great ambience and lots of love. The food choices would not disappoint you (healthy options available). The coffee was one of the best I tried on the island. (Av. 15 to 25 Eur/person for food only)
- Kumharas – Cala de Bou
This place was my favorite sunset spot in the south of the island. It is very close to Sant Antonio. You can enjoy lovely sunset at the bar terrace with live DJ hitting the best of the best Ibiza beats. And later, you can head to their restaurant for food. The whole place is just magical and the whole structure of the restaurant is something to look at. A very good (and I would say even better) alternative to Café del Mar. (Av. 20 to 30 Eur/person for food only)
P.S. I liked the DJ there so much that I had to ask her if she has a website. Do listen to some of her amazing Ibiza tunes at Eva Pacifico.
- los enamorados – Portinatx
I already mentioned how I loved Portinatx and staying at this part of the island for few days. The whole area around the natural port is super chilled out and relaxed. And then right at the beach front you have this restaurant that will surprise you with its food choices, especially the fusion cooking with Peruvian influence. Every single dish we tried, had some of the most amazing taste combinations. They also offer some rooms to stay and the whole place has a great style to it. I only wish that the staff was friendlier. That was the only bummer, but I would still highly recommend to not miss this place if you are around the town. Going for sunset meal would be a cherry on top. (Av. 30 to 40 Eur/person for food only)
Note: reservation recommended for most of these!
Secret Local Tip: Now most of us love Spanish paella. It is difficult to not love this dish. But it has to be done really right and unfortunately you can be disappointed if you end up in some kind of touristic trap. So when we asked our Airbnb host on where can we find best local paella in Ibiza, he pointed us to Madame Paella, who does not have a restaurant, but can be contacted (especially if you are in the North). Her paella you will remember for a long time. She delivered the paella at our flat. You can find her on Facebook > Madame Paella.
So, if you are heading to this beautiful island, I hope I have solved the food problem for you. Make your tummy yummy 😉