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Thumping music, flashing lights, and late-night clubs are some of the first things that come to mind when someone mentions Ibiza. It makes sense when you consider that this island is one of the world’s most notorious party destinations. While this is certainly still true, there’s much more to Ibiza than mixed drinks and beach bars. There is a broad spectrum of things to do in Ibiza, ranging from visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites, experiencing what it’s like to be a real hippie, and exploring those crystal-clear waters in multiple different fashions. If you’re considering a holiday in Ibiza on your next trip to Spain, don’t hesitate. Here are 10 things to do in Ibiza that should peak your interest.
Ibiza's capital (also of the same name) is a very walkable city with plenty of historic and cultural things to discover. Also known as D'Alt Vila (meaning Upper Town), Ibiza's Old Town has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the island’s biggest tourist attractions. Even though you're still just a stone's throw away from the party-hardy Ibiza town, you'll feel like you've stepped into a completely different country.
Enter via the Portal de ses Taules and wander through Plaza de Vila (the main square). Prepare to be charmed by the white-washed buildings and winding cobblestone streets that lead to the top of the hill overlooking the town. The panoramas get better and better the higher you climb and the ancient history of this area becomes obvious once you reach the top. Not only are visitors treated to amazing views, but multiple historic artifacts dating back 2,500 years.
- Highlights: The 14th-century Catedral de Eivissa (Cathedral of Our Lady of the Snows) and the ancient battlements with cannons still intact.
- Good to know: Mass is still held inside the Catedral de Eivissa every Sunday. Unrelated, but also noteworthy, is the amazing sunset views that can be had from the cathedral grounds.
Only a few hundred meters away from Old Town is another one of Ibiza’s main tourist attractions — the old fisherman's section of town known as Sa-Penya Quarter. Here you can spend hours browsing the hippie markets for handicrafts and art while appreciating Ibiza’s original port and marina, known as Barrio de la Marina. The strip running along the water’s edge is lined with boutique shops, art galleries, and original Ibizan linen shops.
In the evening, this area becomes even more lively when all the bars and restaurants prepare for the night owls. The late-night scene draws quite a diverse crowd; street performers, go-go dancers and drag queens patrol the area. Clubs are open late and parties last all night long.
- Good to know: Barrio de la Marina is home to the only monument in the world that pays homage to piracy. Erected in 1915, the monument is a tribute to the Ibizan corsairs (pirates) who defended their coastline from invaders.
No trip to Ibiza is complete without a little late-night revelry, right? It is one of the things to do when on the island. The two most famous beaches for nightlife are San Antonio and Playa d’en Bossa. The former was more famous in the 80s and 90s, however the west-facing beach is still a notorious party place with killer sunset views. The latter, located in Ibiza Town, boasts the longest beach on the island.
- Highlights: Days can be spent lounging under beach umbrellas, jet-skiing, or paddle boarding while nights can be spent in two of Ibiza’s biggest nightclubs, Space and Ushuaia.
- Good to know: San Antonia’s heyday may be behind it however, it still houses two of Ibiza’s most famed nightclubs, Eden and Es Paradis. Buses run to both these clubs all night!
Drive north from Ibiza Town to family-friendly Santa Eulalia for a break. This beachside resort town is a stark contrast to Ibiza’s wilder side. The golden sandy beach stretches along a shallow bay with inviting waters just right for swimming. The promenade running behind the beach is framed by perfectly manicured rows of palm trees and is chock-full of cute cafes and restaurants. The quaintness of the area is a breath of fresh air after the Ibiza town beach party scene.
- Good to know: Santa Eulalia has been crowned the gastronomic capital of the island. Tuck into some fresh seafood or other traditional Ibizan dishes at any one of the town’s excellent restaurants. Ca Na Ribes, in operation for over 80 years, is highly recommended!
Located just a short jaunt up the road, between Santa Eulalia and San Carlos, is one of the world’s original hippie epicenters. This village was once inundated with hippies in the 60s and 70s and is now considered a current-day cultural hub. No visit to Ibiza is complete without a visit to San Carlos’ Las Dalias venue.
- Good to know: What you find here depends on the day. Saturdays are reserved for the Las Dalias Hippie Market, a sprawling spread of colorful stalls with vendors selling handicrafts and art. Every Thursday the venue hosts a DJ, Wednesday is Namaste Day, and things get a little psychedelic on Acid Sundays.
- Highlights: Las Dalias has been hosting events since 1954! This is definitely the place to visit to experience the true bohemian vibe of Ibiza. Another must-visit place in town is Anita’s Bar, a popular hangout in the 60s, due to it having the only phone in town. Make a phone call from the original phone booth — it’s still intact and fully functional!
Not a certified scuba diver and don’t have the money to shell out for a boat charter? That’s not a problem on Ibiza. There are other ways you can explore the Big Blue. Snorkeling tours are a great way to spend the day out on the water while simultaneously enjoying a tour of Ibiza’s breathtaking coastline.
There are many snorkel tour operators in Ibiza. Most used speed boats and offer various different tours; half day, full day, or late afternoon/sunset snorkel tours are all available. Snorkel tours bring guests to several different sites inside the bounds of the Marine National Park surrounding the island.
- Highlights: Snorkeling in and around a naturally formed cave! After the cave snorkeling the boat will take you to an amazing beach for lounging, swimming, and more snorkeling.
- Good to know: Expect to spend between USD 60–90* per person, depending on the tour you choose. Many tours run out of scuba diving shops, so don’t be shy to stop in and ask about their snorkeling tour schedule!
A spa day isn’t the cheapest way to spend your time, but it’s certainly one of the best. Luxurious pampering is the name of the (spa) game in Ibiza. And something that may be much needed after a few late nights at one of Ibiza’s notorious clubs! Massages, body wraps and scrubs, manicures and pedicures, facials and peels, anti-aging treatments, and couples’ treatment are all things you can expect to find. Many spas use natural products with active ingredients native to Ibiza to bring each and every guest extraordinary results.
- Good to know: Most quality spas and wellbeing centers are located inside luxury hotels; however, they are open to outside customers as well.
Cruise around Ibiza’s gorgeous, rocky coastline with the option to explore some other Balearics Islands. If you choose to stick around Ibiza, there are day trips you can enjoy around the south-east, north-west, and south-west shorelines. Discover a bevy of beautiful beaches and lagoons for swimming and lounging. You won’t be able to get enough of the bright sun, orange cliffs, and sapphire waters. A day out on the azure waters is one of the top activities to do in Ibiza.
- Highlights: Take a slightly longer ride to Formentera, an island just off the south coast of Ibiza. Here you’ll enjoy powder-soft white sand and excellent snorkeling.
- Good to know: Longer cruises lasting several days are available running to all the Balearic Islands like Mallorca, Menorca, and Cabrera.
Who could resist the sparking allure of Ibiza’s turquoise waters? There are scuba diving operators all around the island who can’t wait to take you on an exploration beneath the waves. Ibiza’s claim to scuba diving fame is the impossibly clear water, made possible by the posidonia seagrass that flourishes around the island. Wrecks, caves, sunken platforms and a plethora of marine life make Ibiza a hot-spot for divers of all experience levels. Advanced divers will flip for the Don Pedro wreck, sitting 47-meters deep!
- Good to know: Scuba diving in Ibiza is a year-round activity. Winter water temperatures hover around 14° C and in summer they soar as high as 28° C.
Take to the trails on a mountain bike and get a taste of Ibiza’s natural beauty. There are multiple mountain bike outfitters all over the island that rent bikes for self-tours as well as provide professional and experienced guides to take you around the trail.
One of the most popular routes follows a large loop, starting and ending in San Antonio. The first leg leads to Port d’es Torrent, passing the San Antonio harbor and other small beaches and bays on the way. Then, a turn inland finds you at San Agustin. This pretty little village with its white-washed houses and traditional architecture is one of the most picturesque places on Ibiza. The next stop is Cala Tarida, a golden sand beach nestled in a tranquil bay. The trail then starts to head back toward San Antonio, stopping in Cala Conta for swimming and soaking up the views. You’ll hit Torre d’en Rovira, an old pirate look-out, and one last beach — Cala Bassa — before finishing up the tour at the starting point.
- Good to know: The above outlined trail covers a distance of just over 33 kilometers and can be completed in one day.
Now you know Ibiza is more than just a party heaven. It’s a Spanish paradise boasting water sports, quality spas, excellent restaurants, and plenty of unique history. Whether you came to play, explore, or relax, the things to do in Ibiza don’t stop — just like their world-famous parties!