Thanks to the ‘Ibiza Uncovered’ style documentaries and news coverage Ibiza has developed a reputation for wild, anything goes partying. Some four million visitors head there every summer in search of the notorious nightlife that the island of Ibiza has to offer. However, there is a lot more to this stunningly beautiful little island than its nightlife.
It comes as no great surprise that Ibiza is one of Europe’s tourism hotspots. Summers here are hot, hot, hot with very little likelihood of any rain. Daytime temperatures in July and August will frequently surpass the 30ºC mark with lovely warm evenings lasting late into the night.
Visitor numbers peak during these months with resorts packed to the seams. The notorious nightlife attracts vast numbers of young party goers to the main resorts such as San Antonio during these months whilst the more family orientated holiday resorts such as Santa Eulalia march to a different beat.
When to Visit Ibiza
If you aren’t tied to school holidays then a lovely time to visit pretty much anywhere on the island is during the months of May, June and September when you get all the advantages of the lovely climate but without the hords of people. Temperatures tend to be only slightly lower during these months with lovely blue skies all day long and little chance of rain.
Winters are a different matter and can be quite unpredictable. In a good winter temperatures usually remain mild for most of the daytime with clear blue skies but with chilly evenings. October tends to be the wettest month but on average the winter months are usually fairly dry. Accurate predictions for the winter months aren’t as easy as they used to be since the issue of climate change raised its ugly head. Just pack accordingly and you can enjoy visits to Ibiza during many months of the year.
Ibiza Airport is located just 7km southwest of the island’s capital, Ibiza Town. Whilst there are limited services during the winter months it isn’t surprising that it’s in summer when the vast majority of flights to Ibiza are available. Most services are offered by the well known tour operators and budget airlines whose timetables change frequently due to the seasonal nature of tourism to the Balearic Islands.
No matter where you choose to stay in Ibiza you’re never far from the airport which makes car hire a sensible choice. Not only does it provide you with your airport transfers but also allows you to get out and see the island during your stay.
Ibiza Airport Transfers
Car Hire at Ibiza Airport: Driving around Ibiza is really quite straightforward and car rental prices tend to be very reasonable especially if you book online before travelling. This provides you with transfers to your accommodation and transport whilst you’re on the island.
Bus Services: Frequent bus services operate throughout the day from outside the arrivals terminal . Line 10 just goes to the the main bus station in Ibiza town whilst line 9 goes to San Antonio. If you’re going anywhere else by bus then you’ll need to go to the main bus station where you can take other buses to destinations all over the island. Check the Ibiza bus website for latest timetables and routes. Please note that ‘Eivissa’ is the local Catalan name for Ibiza Town.
Taxis Services: Realistically the bus option is only feasible if you’re carrying little luggage and isn’t a good move if travelling with children as it does get packed. In this case your other options are to take a taxi or pre-book a shuttle transfer to your resort. Taxis to Ibiza Town cost around €20 and to San Antonio they’re about €30. There are always plenty available outside the arrivals area of the airport.
Shuttle Bus & Private Transfers: More often than not you’ll get a better deal if you pre-book a shuttle transfer with one of the specialist shuttle companies. They offer services to all the main resorts including San Antonio, Es Cana, Ibiza Town, Portinatx, San Miguel and Talamanca and they cater for all group sizes. With your driver waiting for you on arrival, this is certainly the most hassle free way to begin your holiday and rates are very competitive.
Where to Stay in Ibiza
Ibiza is notorious for its nightclub scene which attracts vast numbers of visitors during the summer months. Most of the clubs are located in Ibiza Town, San Antonio and on the road between them. The rest of this beautiful island is far more suited to family holidays.
Ibiza Town (Eivissa)
The capital of the island is Ibiza Town (Eivissa) which is a mere 7km from the airport. This charming, historical town has a vibrant nightlife centred on Sa Penya near the port and is home to some of Ibiza’s best nightclubs as well as many great bars and restaurants.
Eivissa can also serve as a great base from which to explore the island. Just a short drive or bus ride to the south leads to some of the island’s finest beaches such as Platja de Ses Salines and Platja d’es Cavallet. A visit to the weekly Hippy Market at Es Cana is another popular excursion.
Playa d’en Bossa
Just east of Ibiza Town, on the coast, are three popular tourist destinations which have the advantage of being at the beach yet being within walking distance of the capital’s nightlife. Playa d’en Bossa is the largest and has a great nightlife of its own whilst Figueretas and Playa de Talamanca are smaller but are also popular destinations.
The notorious resort of San Antonio (Sant Antoni De Portmany) on the west coast is where the worst (or best, depending on your point of view) of the ‘Ibiza Uncovered’ behaviour is to be found. It’s packed with mainly young singles from northern Europe who sleep by day and rave by night at well known clubs with famous guest DJs.
Day Trips: If you’re awake during the daylight hours there are some nice beaches within proximity of San Antonio. Notable ones to the south-west include Cala Bassa and Cala Vadella. Another recommended trip is to head out of town to the north to Santa Ines and visit the lovely beach at Cala Salada. An attractive inland excursion goes through lovely countryside to the relatively large town of San Miguel before winding its way to the quaint northern resort of Portinatx.
Not all of Ibiza is dedicated to wild nightlife. In fact, most of the northern half of the island is made up of unspoilt forest which proves very popular with cyclists and walkers. Santa Eulalia (Santa Eularia de’es Riu) on the east coast is Ibiza’s third largest tourist destination which is a long established resort particularly popular with families and couples. It’s nightlife is considerably more laid back and there are some nice sandy beaches in the area such as the beautiful S’Argamassa. The nearby resorts of Es Cana to the north and Cala Llonga to the south are also popular with families.
The coastline of northeastern Ibiza consists of countless small coves and some of the island’s most charming beaches. Two great bases from which to discover the north are the laid back family resorts of Portinatx and Puerto San Miguel which provide easy access to lovely inland villages set amongst the wooded landscape as well as fabulous little beaches well away from the tourist masses.
Top Nightclubs in Ibiza
Pacha was Ibiza’s first major club having been established in 1973 and remains a favourite of Ibiza’s ‘beautiful people’. It is located in Ibiza Town just opposite the marina. If you’re coming from San Antonio take the Discobus which leaves hourly.
Privilege is the largest club in the world with room for 10,000 people. Its facilities include twenty odd bars, a swimming pool and gardens. The club is 5km outside Ibiza Town near Sant Rafel on the road to San Antonio. Just take the Discobus from Ibiza Town or San Antonio which runs every 30 minutes and drops you off outside the main entrance.
Amnesia was one of the island’s original discos along with Pacha in the 1970s and is famous as Ibiza’s original open air nightclub. It remains true to its origins as home to the Balearic music style. Its foam parties are very popular. Located just 4km outside Ibiza Town on the road to Sant Rafel it is serviced by the Discobus.
Lying next to the beach at Playa d’en Bossa, Space has received awards recognising it as the best club in the world. Its dance floors are packed both day and night as the place only closes for two hours a day. There are regular buses and boats from Ibiza Town to Playa d’en Bossa and the resort is serviced by the Discobus.
Es Paradis stands on the waterfront at San Antonio and has long been one of the resort’s most popular venues. Its sound system is spectacular and its notorious water and foam parties ensure a full house every Saturday night. If you’re arriving from Ibiza Town take the Discobus otherwise just look out for its glass pyramid roof which you can’t miss.
Eden has firmly established itself as a favourite amongst mainly British clubbers. It’s also a top venue for guest DJs from the UK including Judge Jules and Dave Pearce. Located next to Es Paradis on the San Antonio waterfront it is serviced by the Discobus from nearby San Antonio Bay and Ibiza Town.