Planning the ultimate stag adventure on the ultimate party island
Every so often you hear somewhere described as ‘the new Ibiza’. The real Ibiza isn’t worried. It’s the original and the best and when it’s up full volume on a warm summer night there really is nowhere else like it. But even without the DJs and club nights, Ibiza would still be wonderful. The sea’s impossibly clear, the beaches are almost all pure white sand, there are stunning historic towns and tiny, tucked-away villages and the islanders are friendly, relaxed and surprisingly unfazed by the hordes of visitors.
Ibiza at a glance:
- Famed as one of the world’s great clubbing destinations, there is nightlife and music to suit all tastes
- One of the beautiful Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean off the west coast of Spain
- Guaranteed to be hot and sunny from June to September with temperatures up to 30°
- From huge and pumping to tiny and hidden-away, Ibiza has some of Spain’s loveliest beaches
- Enjoying beers as the sun goes down on the Sunset Strip is one of the world’s most sociable chillout experiences
Ibiza Town - for big name clubs and big nights
Sitting between two of the island’s most popular beaches, Playa de Talamanca and Playa d’en Bossa, Ibiza Town is where you want to be for big name clubs and club nights. It’s also one of the most expensive places to live in Europe – just take a look at the little sugar-cube houses with their immaculate roof-gardens and it’s easy to see why. So, of course, there’s brilliant shopping. From Spanish brand names to international designers inspired by Ibiza’s beach-chic style and homegrown rising stars, if you can’t find something to wear in Ibiza Town you just aren’t trying. The historic Old Town is the place for beautiful, original art and gorgeous little restaurants (spot the smart locals and you know it’s good). And it’s also one of the best places to wander round around in the evening if you’re taking a club sabbatical – or just catching your breath before the night really begins.
San Antonio - possibly the clubbing capital of the universe
You spend a couple of thousand years being a quiet Spanish fishing village, along came a few DJs and within two decades you’re the clubbing capital of the universe, welcome to San Antonio. If your ideal Ibiza means beautiful beach by day and relentless clubbing until the sun comes up, this is the resort where that’s normal. Bright, brash, lively, young and constant just about sums San Antonio. After dark you want the ‘West End’, it’s just two streets but they’re packed with music bars, clubs, pubs and people looking to play. For committed clubbing with a sea view, Sunset Strip is one of the most famous parts of San Antonio and the mix of sounds makes it a great choice for one of those nights where you started off somewhere and ended up who knows where, but it was all great.
Best bars in Ibiza:
Café Mambo - www.cafemamboibiza.com/
A San Antonio Sunset Strip legend, Café Mambo is famous for its pre-club parties and hosting some of the world’s biggest name DJs.
Funky Flares - www.digitalibiza.com/hosts/funkyflares
Get over the name and get ready to party. Funky Flares is a riotous icon of all good times in San Antonio’s West End, just opposite Soul City.
Dune - www.dunesibiza.com/
Small, select and chic this is one of the friendliest bars on the island and the drinks are surprisingly reasonable – great place to start the night.
Savannahs - www.savannahibiza.com/
Fantastic DJs, cool terrace and amazing sunsets make this one of the best places in San Antonio to catch up with friends and cocktails.
Sa Trinxa Beach Bar - www.satrinxa.com/
Food, drink and astonishing views of lovely Las Salinas beach, what more could you want – apart from all the beautiful people that hang out here.
Tira Palla - www.ibizaexplore.com/restaurant-Tira-Palla
Hidden away in Ibiza’s fascinating Old Town this is the island’s best roof terrace and the views are unbeatable. Classic indie and rock only add to the atmosphere.
The Rock Bar - www.therockbar.co.uk/
Loved by locals and summer locals this is an island icon in Ibiza Port and everyone who visits the island ends up here at least once, with good reason.
Base Bar - www.sunsetbar.co.uk/page18.htm
Right next door to The Rock Bar, this is the place you want if celebrity-spotting is your thing. The customers might be high-end but the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming. Base Bar is a big part of the club scene and favourite hangout for Brits about town.
Bucaneros - https://www.facebook.com/BucaneroIbiza
San Antonio’s biggest party bar yet, right in the heart of the town and nobody cares if you’re cool or not.
Linekers - www.linekersibiza.com/
The most famous bar in Ibiza, right on San Antonio beach. Headline DJs are the big draw here and the views from the beach terrace are incredible.
Best clubs in Ibiza:
Pacha - www.pacha.com/
The oldest and best known club in Ibiza Town, Pacha is famous for VIP Tables and being a bit of a playground for the rich and famous.
Ushuaia - www.ushuaiabeachhotel.com/
This is Ibiza’s legendary outdoor club and a home from summer home for the world’s celebrity DJs. Just outside Ibiza Town. Look out for daytime clubbing, the amazing swimming pool and light shows. Be sure to get tickets in advance.
Space - www.spaceibiza.com/en
Ibiza Town’s superclub sprawls over five vast spaces. Go for international cross-mix DJs, the island’s best opening and closing parties, Sundays at Space, Carl Cox, The Terrace and low flying planes (it’s close to the airport).
Gatecrasher - www.gatecrasher.com/venues/ibiza/
It used to be Eden, it used to be Star Club and now it’s Gatecrasher. The British megaclub brand has brought back all the original superclub energy to its San Antonio venue, the sound system is one of the best on the island and it looks amazing.
Hush - www.hushibiza.es/
San Antonio’s top club hosts some of Ibiza’s best DJs and mixes it up with weirdly wonderful events like Champagne Sushi, Dubai to Ibiza, Hush House Mafia and Ibiza Plush.
Amnesia - www.amnesia.es/
In San Rafael, between Ibiza Town and San Antonio, the club that invented clubbing is Amnesia. The heaving dance spaces, water cannons, ‘shared’ moments, club nights, parties and legendary DJs have kept this icon right up there for nearly 25 years and it’s still brilliant.
Booom - www.booomibiza.com
If it’s sheer sound you want, Booom in Ibiza Town doesn’t disappoint. Big on events, amazing light shows and loads of energy.
Food: eat like a local:
The traditional Ibizan diet is Mediterranean and the seafood is fantastic. Olives and fresh bread appear on your table at the start of every meal as standard (best culinary custom on earth). And if you’re a meat lover, what the island does to steak is unbelievably delicious.
Moorea Grill is is the biggest and busiest restaurant in Playa d’en Bossa. It’s open 18 hours a day and you’re still advised to book ahead. Great meat and fish, perfectly cooked to order and an amazing choice of sides – plus glorious views too.
For a big slice of Americana right in Ibiza Town head to Hard Rock Café (http://www.hardrock.com/cafes/ibiza/
). All the usual Hard Rock signatures only with the addition of a sensational view of Ibiza Old Town with your perfect burger and fries.
Ibiza without tapas? Don’t think so. Rincon de Pepe (http://www.rincondepepe.net/index.php/en/
) is a San Antonio institution, about as authentic as it gets and loved by the pre-club crowd.
Kama Sushi (www.facebook.com/kamasushi.ibiza
) is the place to be for Japanese tapas in some of San Antonio’s coolest surroundings with special menus and happy hour sushi and cocktails.
Right on San Antonio’s Pinet Playa, On The Rocks (www.ontherocksibiza.com/en/
) is a pretty restaurant with fantastic views and a delicious breakfast.
La Bodega (www.labodegaibiza.es/
) is a beautiful pavement café close to Ibiza Old Town (charming as standard). The tapas menu is excellent and original and there’s a really relaxed typically Ibizan atmosphere.
When to visit:
Ibiza’s weather is pleasant in spring and winter, but if you want real sun and all the stuff that the island does better than anywhere, it has to be summer. Temperatures hit 30° easy in July and August (even the sea’s about 26°) and all the bars, clubs, parties, events, gigs and festivals are centred around summer.
Ibiza Town and San Antonio are crowded out from June to early September, you wouldn’t expect anything else. But if you want a break, the good news is that most of the rest of Ibiza is less busy, quiet beaches are easy to find and, if you really want to get away from it all, hire a car or a moped and tour the island’s interior – not a party, but pretty lovely.
Best view of the island:
Flat shoes, bottled water and a late afternoon are the only things you need to walk up to the battlements at the top of Ibiza Old Town for the island’s best panoramic view of the gorgeous town itself, the sea, the port and the unbroken horizon.
Most of the clubs lay on buses for events and parties and club nights, so check when you buy tickets. Taxis are a good way to get about at night and if you’re sharing they’re not too expensive. There are local bus services but the timetables aren’t always accurate and there’s a definite ‘go-slow’ during the siesta hours of 2-5pm. And if you really want to get the most out of Ibiza, have some freedom and explore beyond the bars and clubs, hire a car.
Ibiza’s big resorts are busy so there are all the usual petty crimes to look out for, just pay a bit of attention like you would anywhere. And, if you’re swimming, watch out for jellyfish. Ibiza seems to specialise in a quite small species that’s a bit of a pack animal and carries a hefty sting.
Hi = hola
Goodbye = adios
Beer = cerveza
Thank you = gracias
Cheers! = salud!