I visited Ibiza, one of the Balearic Islands off of the coast of Spain, in August 2017 as part of a budget family holiday. While it is famed as a party destination, the island has plenty of other activities to offer. I was not interested at all in the nightlife and so was actually dreading the holiday to start off with, but the island is beautiful and I ended up having a wonderful time. I have learnt my lesson never to judge a place by its reputation. Since it was too long ago for me to be able to recollect a full account of my visit to the island, I have decided to write this post about the top experiences I had there.
Watching the Sunset from the Sunset Strip
The bars along the Sunset Strip in Sant Antoni de Portmany are expensive, but the beach next to it is free. We watched the sunset from here several times over the course of our holiday, and each time was a delight. Unfortunately for us there was a barrier of cloud on the horizon every evening, but the sunset was still beautiful.
Hippy Market Punta Arabi
The largest hippy market in Ibiza, held every wednesday between April and October, was definetly an interesting place to stop by. I visited it at about midday, which was a mistake as it was unbearably hot, which somewhat hampered my experience of it. The market was full to the brim with people, all milling about the hundreds of stalls which were selling a variety of hand crafted products. Located in Es Canar, it was reasonably easy to reach by bus and surrounded by a choice of places to eat at, although food was also available at the hippy market itself.
Exploring Dalt Vila
Translating as “high town”, this maze of narrow twisting streets and small tucked away chapels on the hilltop in Ibiza Town, was one of the highlights of my visit to the island. The strenous climb from the main gate to the battlements on the hilltop was rewarded with stunning views of Ibiza Town. Free to visit, this was definetly a worthwhile and rewarding place to spent some time exploring.
Visiting the nearby island of Formentera was my favourite experience of the trip. Formentera is a much more laid-back island than Ibiza, blissfully peaceful and lined with beautiful beaches. We booked a day excursion to the island which included a tour by coach of the main landmarks. At 20km long, a day was the perfect amount of time to explore the island, the trip on the ferry from Ibiza took around half-an-hour and was an enjoyable experience in itself.
I hope that one day I will be able to return to this beautiful island with a greater appreciation for it than I arrived with on this past visit. It greatly exceeded my expectations as a travel destination, and while the nightlife can be overwhelming and unwelcoming to someone who does not enjoy participating in it, during the day Ibiza is a truly magical island.