Ibiza or Eivissa (in Catalan and officially) is one of the Balearic Islands, a group of autonomous communities of Spain. Known for being a party hotspot, Ibiza's part in the post-1950s package holiday boom mean there is something for everyone on this island. Long beaches, big nightclubs, historical towns, and Mediterranean sun mean Ibiza makes a great holiday for families and couples of all ages. Its much-loved status amongst European holidaymakers is testament to the Eivissa way of life - relaxed and easy-going, but with vivid enjoyment throughout.
Ibiza has 5 separate municipalities, which are the designated 'regions' of the Island. They are often named after their largest town, with some exceptions.
|Ibiza (City) (1)|
Ibiza City (or Eivissa) is the Island's historical capital city. Separated into the Dalt Vita or Upper Town and the Eixampleor Extension, the town combines the iconic walled fortress of the Vita with trendy shops and bars in a pedestrianised port.
Nearby towns and resorts within the Ajuntament include:
1 Playa D'en Bossa, Ibiza's longest beach and resort, packed with hotels, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. Known for its big-name nightclubs, the resort presents itself as an alternative to San Antonio.
2 Cala Talamanca is a long curved rough sandy beach, with a few restaurants scattered around its perimeter.
|Sant Antoni de Portmany (2)|
Also known as San Antonio, this huge area is known for its wild nightlife. Extremely popular with younger crowds, the resort often attracts the biggest DJs in the world. Cruises, parties, drinking, and music are a mainstay of any night in San Antonio.
Other towns in the region include:
3 Santa Agnès de Corona, a traditional sleepy Mediterranean town with a couple of bars and a church. Surrounded by beautiful countryside and fruit trees.
4 Sant Mateu d’Albarca is another sleepy town. Differentiating Sant Mateu d’Albarca from Santa Agnès de Corona is the town's renowned wine producers: the surrounding area is littered with vineyards.
|Santa Eulària des Riu (3)|
An authentic Ibizan town, a destination more ideal for families, given the more chilled-out tranquility this town is known for. Less nightlife than the other towns.
Nearby smaller towns that are part of the Ajuntament include:
5 Es Canar, a resort known for its sunrise, hippy markets, and beautiful environment.
6 Sant Carles de Peralta, a small inland town, known for being the original Ibizan hippy meeting place.
|Sant Joan de Labritja (4)|
The town of Sant Joan de Labritja itself is a quiet, sleepy place that defines the entire municipality: it is largely rural, save for the two predominant tourist resorts at its fringes:
7 Portinatx, a horseshoe bay family resort with everything needed for a week or two in the sun: plenty of small shops and supermarkets, chilled restaurants and bars, and a sandy beach!
8 Cala de Sant Vicent is much of the same: a small peaceful family resort - except Cala de Sant Vicent has a longer beach.
|Sant Josep de sa Talaia (5)|
A small village, home to the 'most expensive restaurant in the world' as well as various shops. Perhaps more relevant to holidaymakers are the beach resorts within the municipality, of which the largest are:
9 Cala de Bou, a resort bordering San Antonio - ideal for experiencing the nightlife there, but at a suitable distance to make it a slightly quieter location.
The island is 153 km off the eastern coast of Spain, situated in the Mediterranean Sea. The Island is split into five Ajuntaments, as noted in Cities above. Their role is much the same as a council: providing local government, services, and maintenance for both citizens and tourists. Sant Joan de Labritja occupies the north, with Santa Eulària des Riu in the east, Sant Josep de sa Talaia in the south, and Sant Antoni de Portmany in the west. Eivissa Vila (Ibiza Town) tucks in-between Santa Eulària and Sant Josep - but its small size shouldn't detract from its position as the third-highest populated municipality in all of the Balearics.
Outside of the towns, the municipalities are strikingly rural: their untouched simplicity and majesty being a strong contributor to the Island's position as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its biodiversity and culture. Their beauty is due to their preservation: many areas, such as the Ses Salines Nature Park, have strong restrictions on which areas can be walked on, whilst some beaches (even those within resorts) might have designated roped-off areas to access the beaches in order to maintain and preserve both the sand dunes themselves and the biodiversity within them.
The Island is largely flat, with rocky inlets occasionally rising above sea level. The sand and calcium-rich volcanic soil lend themselves to wildlife, resulting in thousands of pine trees and almond blossom lining the Island. The highest point on the Island is Sa Talaiassa which stands at 476 metres.
Given the multitude of languages spoken on the Island, the name for Ibiza has evolved gradually - the designation Ibiza only becoming a concrete moniker after the late-20th century package holiday boom. Ibiza is the Spanish name for the Island, which has led to its widespread use in English cultures. As detailed in Talk, however, the Island's official language is Balearic Catalan. In Catalan, the island's title is Eivissa - though this is now more often is used in reference to the island's capital city.
Historically, the Island's name was Ibossim, a Phoenician name that evolved into the Roman Ebusus. From this title, the modern name emerged - with the title Ivica being applied by the British army in the 18th Century.
Ibiza and Formentera are also known collectively as the Islas Pitiusas (from the Greek word "pitys" meaning pine tree) because of the abundance of pines that cover their landscapes. This phrase is an evolution of the original Pityoûssai, which literally meant 'Pine-covered Islands'.
There are about 111,200 inhabitants.
It is world-famous for its intense nightlife and huge clubs, and attracts top DJs from all over the planet.
The co-official language of the Balearic Islands, alongside Spanish, is Balearic Catalan, or simply Catalan, as in the Autonomy Statute, and all sign posts are in Catalan. Nevertheless, Spanish (Castilian) is more common as an everyday language on the island. English is also very widely understood throughout the island.
There is one main airport on the Island. Its capacity swells with the tourist season, and so it benefits from many charter and low-cost holiday flights in the Summer months, particularly from the UK, Italy, and Germany. These seasonal services are principally operated by Ryanair[dead link], Jet2.com, Easyjet, and Tui. Services in the winter are typically limited to other Balearic islands and Mainland Spain, through Iberia and its subsidiaries.
1 Ibiza Airport (IBZ IATA) (7 km SW of the city of Ibiza), ☏ , toll-free: 902 404 704 (non-geographic number). The airport is centrally located in the south of the Island. It connects directly to many European destinations in the summer, and internationally via connections in mainland Spain throughout the year.
There is a tourist information centre in the airport building itself, at the 1 Tourist Office, Terminal de llegadas del Aeropuerto de Ibiza (Desk in the arrivals hall next to the exit doors.), ☏ . M-Sa 09:00-15:30. These are also present in Ibiza town and the larger resorts too, and are extremely useful for maps!
The airport does have a paid-entry lounge, but it is on the smaller side. It's often worth checking if there is any space as soon as you enter the terminal - leave it too late, and you can really struggle, particularly if you are in a group. 2 Airport Lounge (Cap des Falcó), Boarding area, Floor One. A bright and open - but small - airport lounge. Max 40 occupants. Adult €35, Child €16.
There is no left luggage service at the airport building, but there is one in the vicinity at 3 [dead link] Ibiza Lockers (left luggage), Can Pep Cristoful, s/n Rotonda Aeropuerto Ibiza (Bar La Ponderosa and Bravo Rent a Car at the car park, approx. 400 m (1,300 ft) from the airport), ☏ , , (02:00-07:00 – emergency number – also Whatsapp and Viber), email@example.com. 24 hr. Automatic lockers, also on FB. Standard lockers €1.50/hr; king lockers €5/hr.
Bus lines link the airport with the various towns and resorts on the Island. Follow the signs for buses once in the arrivals area to reach the bus station.
- Line 10 links the airport to Eivissa (Ibiza Town), from which buses run to most resorts and towns on the Island. Ibiza-San Jorge-Airport (Line #10). Nov-Mar: 07:00 - 23:30, every 30 min; Apr-Oct: 06:00 - 24:00, every 20 min (Jul-Aug: every 15 min). €3.50.
- Line 9 links the airport to Sant Antoni, meaning no trip to change in Eivissa is necessary. Sant Antoni-San José-Airport (Line #9). Jun Sep: 08:00 to 01:00, hourly; Jul Aug: 08:00 to 03:00 hourly. Out of season take bus #10 to Av. Isidoro Macabich in the city of Ibiza, then change to #3 or #8 (longer route) to Sant Antoni €4.
- Line 24 runs through some of the Island's other popular holiday resorts, taking in Santa Eluaria, Es Canar, and Cala Nova on its route. Ideal for holidayers in the eastern resorts. Cala Nova-Es Canar-Santa Eulària-Airport (Line #24). 07:00 to 23:00, hourly. €4.
The airport has a variety of official car rental services on site, as well as firms that operate a shuttle bus to a larger site nearby. The airport-mandated firms are Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, Europcar, Goldcar, and Sixt.
Those travelling on package holidays and those seeking a slightly cheaper alternative to a taxi might find a coach transfer useful. Departing from the 1 Coach park directly opposite the terminal exit, they will service resorts across the Island. Various companies offer them, and their minibuses and coaches are often more practical than Taxis for luggage. A good comparison tool can be found using Dipesa.
The airport has an official 4 Airport Taxi rank (Exit the airport terminal and turn right.). Make sure you take a taxi from the official rank, as it is serviced by official, licensed taxis, which are reportedly more reliable and cheaper. Should the taxi rank be empty the airport site advises to call Radio Taxi de San José (971 800 080)
Ibiza is regularly serviced by ferries from across mainland Spain, as well as ferries between the other Balearic Islands. The majority operate to the Port of Ibiza town, with some terminating in San Antonio. Ferries often accept passengers and vehicles, and can be used for day trips around to the other islands.
Other Balearic Islands
If entering from the other Balearic Islands, the bulk of journeys will terminate in the Port of Ibiza. The Island is only directly accessible from Mallorca and Formentera: in order to enter from Menorca, then a transfer between ferries will need to be made in Palma de Mallorca. Several Car Hire companies are located around the perimeter of the Port, alongside ample car parking. Do consult Get Around for information regarding transfers with Formentera.
The principal inter-island Ferry companies are:
- Baleària, ☏ .
- Acconia Trasmediterranea, ☏ (non-geographic number).
- There was a third company, Iscomar, that ceased operations in 2016.
Prices and times are extremely reliant upon demand, so do check their websites.
The same companies identified above also operate to the mainland. The following destinations can be reached directly from Ibiza Town Port:
- Denia from Ibiza (Eivissa) with Balearia. There are 9 weekly sailings.
- Barcelona (all year): Trasmediterranea (5 sailings weekly), Balearia (3 sailings weekly).
- Valencia (all year): Trasmediterranea (6 sailings weekly) Balearia (8 sailings weekly).
The most popular destination for ferries is Formentera, given the high volume of day trips to the nearby Island. Some of the larger resorts might even have direct routes to Formentera - Playa D'en Bossa and San Antonio certainly do - so do check the local port for any information. Sailings will often be an early morning and late afternoon/evening to maximise the time on the Island.
Operators include: AquaBus. Check website for sailing times.. Operating from Ibiza Town Port, Playa D'en Bossa, and Figueretes. Adult Return €29..
Balearia. Check website for sailing times.. Operating fast (30min) and slow (1hr) boats from Ibiza Town Port. Adults return on the slower boat is €18, a return on the faster 30 min crossing is €48. Prices scale according to demand, so do check the site..
Mediterranea Pitiusa. Check website for sailing times.. Operating fast 25-min and 30-min crossings hourly from Ibiza Town throughout the peak season. Adult Return is €40, no matter the crossing time or duration..
Trasmapi. Check website for sailing times.. 30-min sailings every hour from Ibiza Town port. Adults return crossing €40..
Taxis can be used to get around the island and cost €20-30 to travel between cities. Don't use the fixed-prices taxis right after you leave the airport. Instead queue to use one of the licensed taxis - prices will be around 50% lower.
Driving a car requires an extra care, as the locals are terrible drivers. Many tourists have been run off the road trying to avoid deadly head-on collisions. New road construction has led to the temporary development of detour roads which are poorly marked and dangerous. During the summer months many tourist drivers under the influence of alcohol, pose a potential threat.
Renting a car on Ibiza is easy as long as you can show your driving license. During the summer months of July and August renting a car can be difficult due to high demand, best to book early. Car hire prices are highly competitive.
- Es Vedra, the mystical island rock off Ibiza's west coast
- Atlantis, a hidden cove, but only if you can find a local who'll tell you its secret location
- Passeig de ses Fonts in Sant Antoni de Portmany
- Sunset Strip in Sant Antoni de Portmany
- The old centre of the city of Ibiza
- Visit nearby Formentera by boat
- Explore the many beaches all along the coast
- The famous Es Canar Hippy Market (held only on Wednesdays) on the east coast of the island and Las Dalias Hippie Market in San Carlos on Saturdays
- Visit Bar Anita in San Carlos, the historical venue where the artists and writers of the 1950s, 60s and 70s used to collect their cheques and stop for a drink
- Visit Cova de Can Marçà in Puerto de San Miguel, the biggest natural caves in Ibiza, a must in Ibiza 
Many young people will be seen flocking to pay for daily rentals on beach chairs, and hawkers scan the beach looking for young adults to attend their club of choice.
- Explore some of the traditional countryside of this beautiful island that few people take the time to enjoy
- Take a boat ride
- Go parasailing
- Learn Spanish in some of the language schools around the island. Some of them specialise in teaching Spanish as a foreign language. Most of them are located in the city of Ibiza, where you also will be able to make use of your knowledge the best way and it also will be easier to stay in hostels near a school
- Explore the wharfside festival. Hundreds of locals flock to the carnival-style stands for fresh foods, enticing smells, and quality made trinkets. In addition to incredible tastes and smells, there is a strong visual aspect to the festivals. A snake charmer is seen leading a small parade through the different stands at the glee and fright of small children everywhere
Don't forget to try two local specialities: ensaimada, a sort of flat, soft pastry coil - what a Danish pastry would be if it was more like a doughnut - and flao, a sweet cheese and mint flan. Most pastelerias and many bars sell ensaimada - flao is a bit more difficult to track down.
Ibiza is famous for its nightlife. During the day most tourists are soaking up rays at one of the gorgeous beaches or sleeping off the past night's drinks. Bars do not get busy in the city of Ibiza or San Antonio until early evening, about 19:00.
Nearly every bar, particularly in the busier summer months, has "drink specials" that will be advertised (more like hawked) on the street outside the bar. These are good options to save some cash in a notoriously expensive destination. Usually this will be a beer and a shot for €5, but the terms vary depending on the area, the time of night, and the bar.
The West End, near San Antonio center, is a long, wide street packed with bars and revelers. The party shuts down at around 03:00 or 04:00 here.
Ibiza is most known for its large clubs. Some famous examples are Privilege, Pacha, Eden, Amnesia, and Es Paradis. Most of these clubs have hefty entry fees and the drinks will be extremely expensive. Plan on paying €30-80 for admission (unless you are able to find a special deal from one of the hawkers on the street) and from €15 per drink (prepare yourself to pay €10 for a bottle of water).
Ibiza clubs attract some of the best DJs in the world who play a weekly 'residency' at a particular night.
- Jockey Club and "Malibu" (both on Salinas beach) - perfect places to drink and watch the beautiful people lying in the sun while DJs spin deep house and chill out tunes, one of the residents. Nati Holland plays every Saturday afternoon during the summer season.
- Pacha. The island's most expensive club - plan on €50 entry and €10 for a beer though! Pacha devotes a large proportion of its floorspace to VIP tables at the expense of areas for 'regular' clubgoers. If the VIP experience is your thing, Pacha will be your #1 choice on the island, but expect your credit card to glow red-hot.
- Es Paradis. Located in downtown San Antonio, the pyramid shaped club is decorated in a roman theme and is most famous for its water party Fiesta Del Aqua.
- Eden. Eden is also in San Antonio, next door to Es Paradis. It is one of the newer clubs on the island, having travelled a long way in a short period of time, thanks to hosting nights by UK Radio One DJs Judge Jules and Pete Tong.
- Amnesia. One of Ibiza's most popular nightclubs offering two large dance floors, regular shows, go-go dancers and DJs from the international dance music scene.
- Privilege. The biggest club on the island and according to its promoters the largest dancefloor in the world. Hosts superstar DJ Armin Van Buuren as its headline act.
- DC10 Plays mostly underground dance music and techno.
- Cas Gasi. Fancy restaurant an excellent example of authentic Mediterranean cuisine in Ibiza
- [dead link] ECO & ACT (The Village), Plaza de España 5 (north of the island). Lunch, brunch, snack or dinner place.
- Ibiza Rocks, Ibiza Rocks Hotel (C/ Estrella, San Antonio, Ibiza). A live music venue. The concerts happen every Wednesday at the Ibiza Rocks Hotel. Previous headliners have included Arctic Monkeys, The Prodigy, Kasabian, Keane, MGMT, Kaiser Chiefs and Dizzee Rascal.
When it comes to choosing a place to stay on Ibiza, it really depends on what type of vacation experience you are after. Ibiza offers everything from basic hostel-style modest accommodation to five star mega-bling, such as the Ibiza Grand Hotel in the city of Ibiza. Unless you enjoy surrounding yourself with mainly large groups of rowdy drunks who rarely leave their comforts in "San An", then avoid the central 'West End' bar strip of San Antonio, although its peripheries are far classier, offering sunset viewing at the hugely popular 'sunset strip', including Cafe Mambo for the Pacha pre-parties, the legendary Cafe Del Mar next door, plus a selection of other bayfront bars. If you just want to relax and chill, and visit nice unspoilt beaches, then it's better to spend a little more on a nice villa (and, of course, rent a car).
The resort area of Playa D'en Bossa has upmarket beach bar/restaurants such as Nassau and Coco Beach adding to a market of upscale clientele that was once monopolized by Blue Marlin in Cala Jondal. The resort area has a wide range of hotels, with its proximity to the city of Ibiza and the airport being an advantage (although Ibiza is a small Island with a decent road network).
If you prefer a hotel, you have plenty to choose from. There are more than 300 licensed accommodation possibilities on Ibiza, that cover the entire budget range, from hostels to exclusive and intimate rural hotels, and most are represented with web pages online and in numerous travel guides, but do not go there in August without a reservation. You could wind up on the street or on the beach (also illegal).
There are also plenty of apartment and villa bookings for those looking at tailor made vacations, especially since the birth of sites, such as Airbnb and Holiday Lettings there has been a boom from property owners renting vacation rentals. This can be a much cheaper option than booking a hotel room.
- [formerly dead link] Sa Talaia.
- San Miguel Park / Esmeralda Mar Apartment Resort.
- Playa Den Bossa / Hotel Garbi.
- [dead link] Cas Gasi. / Camino Viejo de Sant Mateu
- Can Talaias. Can Talaias a privileged spot. Villa accommodation in Ibiza
- Harissa Villas Ibiza, Office: Carrer de Cala Carbo 2 – Cala Carbo, ☏ . Luxury villas.
- Amàre Beach Hotel Ibiza, Carrer La Rioja 9, 07829 Sant Josep de sa Talaia (on the beach front of Bou Cove), ☏ . Adults-only holiday destination.
- Formentera - a neighboring island – more quiet and less spoilt, set in some of the cleanest, most turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. Take a beautiful boat ride to get there.