48 Hours in Ibiza: An Insider's Guide | Daily Telegraph
Published by telegraph.co.uk, May 2019
Blissed-out Balearic paradise with a party heart
Ibiza has exerted a potent pull on the world’s wandering spirits for centuries. The Carthaginians were the first settlers to be drawn to its shores, and in the ensuing years the Moors, the Romans and even pilfering pirates all took turns to stake their claim on this magnificent island in the Med.
Such checkered heritage no doubt contributes to the mesmerising melting pot of influences visible on Ibiza today, not to mention its reputation as a cradle for everyman. It was, and remains, entirely without discrimination – a place for free thinkers to doze and dream.
Consequently, it’s been home to everyone over the years, from creatives fleeing suppression to hippies on the hunt for limitless liberty – and while these days it’s probably most famous for its dazzling sunsets and thundering nightlife scene, that quintessential bohemian spirit lingers. Whether on a beach, a dancefloor, or a yoga mat, few are able to resist its unmistakable magic.
Let’s assume that Ibiza has already had its wicked way with you and so you’re either still up from the night before or in desperate need of a reviving morning dip. Either way, Aguas Blancas – on the island’s northeastern tip – is an excellent place to start the day. A long stretch of golden sand backed by cliffs and met by the iridescent sparkle of the Med, this is one of the first spots on the island to witness the sun creeping over the horizon at daybreak. A sight not to be missed.
Once refreshed, hop down to the frisky little village of Santa Gertrudis (the easiest way to get around on Ibiza is by car), where myriad lively cafés are on hand to dispense a much needed hit of caffeine. Take a seat on the outdoor terrace of Bar Costa (Plaza de la Iglesia; 00 34 971 19 70 21) order a tostada (open sandwich), then spend an hour or two watching the world go by. Dip in to some of the excellent local shops before you leave. Es Cucons La Tienda (Plaza de la Iglesia; 00 34 971 19 77 56) is fabulous for homewares; The Rose (Carrer Venda de Fruitera; 00 34 971 19 79 35) is a hub for fashion.
Now finding your stride again, head back to Ibiza’s salt-kissed shores and to El Chiringuito Es Cavallet (Playa Es Cavallet; 00 34 971 39 53 55), a beach club-cum-restaurant specialising in laid-back but fizzling vibes and hearty portions of mouth-watering food – everything from the grill is outstanding. Settle on a sun bed for the afternoon and nourish the soul with sunshine, cocktails, salads and sharing plates – on your part, there’s very little effort involved.
Alas, you can't see sunset from this side of the island, so hotfoot to San Antonio on the west coast – where nature’s greatest show unfolds before thousands of expectant eyes. For an authentic experience climb the red-hued rocks of Punta Galera (Carrer Núm. 3 Punta Galera, 5) where locals doing yoga are silhouetted against the skyline. Or for something more upmarket – but still quintessentially Balearic – try La Torre (Cap Negret, 25; 00 34 971 34 22 71), where you can sip glasses of cava on the restaurant’s clifftop terrace as the sky beams crimson all around.
Once night descends, mischief beckons – so discover Pikes (Camí de Sa Vorera; 00 34 971 34 22 22) in the San Antonio hills where moods like this are enthusiastically indulged. A hotel renowned for unbridled hedonism, here the drinks, music and chitchat are free-flowing. You’ll aim to be home by midnight but you won’t leave till dawn. Mark our words.
Expect a sore head the following morning, but dry your eyes and plough on: this is Ibiza after all. Aim for Ibiza Town institution The Croissant Show (Plaça de la Constitució, 2; 00 34 971 30 41 26), where the moustachioed owner has been serving coffee to nightclub stragglers since 5am. Take 20 minutes to grab a café con leche and a pastry, then ascend the cobbled ramp up to Dalt Vila – the old town, a 16th-century Unesco World Heritage Site. Here you can get lost among the castle walls and labyrinthine streets while soaking up the ancestry of a true living monument.
History buffs sated, make haste for Las Salinas, driving past ancient salt flats along the way. There, on the island’s original party beach, you’ll board one of La Bella Verde's eco-catamarans (00 34 663 65 76 36). Powered by solar panels and electric engines, it’ll whisk you around Ibiza’s craggy coastline before stopping for a picnic lunch on a slick of fine, white Formentera sand. You’ll emerge sun-kissed and windswept and it’ll be worth every second.
Back on dry land, dip round the coast to Experimental Beach Ibiza (Playa des Codolar Salinas; 00 34 664 33 12 69), where an abundance of cocktails, snacks and sunset views combine for an explosive end to the day.
But the party doesn’t stop there, naturally. After a freshen up, return to Ibiza Town to sample some of the island’s notorious nightlife. Wander through the town’s bustling squares before eventually plumping for a session at Paradise Lost (Carrer del Passadís, 14, Eivissa; 00 34 627 58 92 05), a bar nuzzled amid the streets of the gypsy quarter, and nearby Bar 1805 (Carrer Santa Llúcia, 7, Eivissa; 00 34 651 62 59 72), where absinthe-heavy concoctions are delivered with a healthy side of French sass.
If your stamina’s still raging post-midnight, the glitzy dance floor at Pacha (Av. 8 d’Agost; 00 34 971 310 959) lies just a 20-minute walk away, or jump in a cab to Playa d’en Bossa, where the slick surrounds of a club like HÏ Ibiza (Platja d'en Bossa) or the gritty underground edge of DC-10 (Carretera las Salinas; 00 34 971 93 20 13) are enough to delight every wide-eyed night owl.