Flights to Ibiza
Ibiza is the third largest of the Balearic Islands, covering just 225 square miles (585 square km), but in recent times it has become the best known of the archipelago and a hugely popular destination for young revellers, middle-class European package tourists and gay travellers, whose collective character imbue the island with a chic and trendy atmosphere that is well expressed by its famously frenetic nightlife.
Ibiza has plenty to offer besides night clubs - its jagged coastline contains dozens of dreamy white sandy beaches, hidden coves and bays, villages of white-washed houses tumbling down cliff sides, and a green, hilly interior landscape decorated with fig and olive trees. The island's main town is the port of Ciudad de Ibiza - known as Eivissa to the locals and Ibiza Town to the Brits. Located in the south, it is the centre of the island's nightclub scene and has a lively marina and quaint old quarter with some great restaurants. It lies close to the beautiful beaches of Figueretes, Es Cavallet and Ses Salines.
San Antonio is the main resort town of the island and is blighted with high-rise hotels and apartment blocks though it is making efforts to clean up its tarnished image. The main attractions for many British holidaymakers are the two clubs of Es Paradisand Edenbut there are also some beautiful coves nearby with glorious beaches. It's best to get there early to reserve a spot. Just three miles (5km) offshore is the 'satellite' island of Formentera, a little haven reached by ferry, with less crowded stretches even in the height of the sweltering summer season.
There is good public transport between Ibiza Town and San Antonio, and to and from the main beaches and resorts. Taxis are good value and the best way to get around in the evening, although there is also a 'disco bus', travelling from San Antonio to the main clubs in Ibiza Town during the peak season. Cars and scooters can be hired by the day or week for those wanting to explore the island. Rent directly through the operator as intermediaries such as hotels mark-up prices considerably. Ferries run from San Antonio and Ibiza Town to nearby beaches between May and October.
Ibiza's nightlife offers one of the best clubbing experiences in Europe with unrivalled mega-venues, featuring the world's top DJs, and countless cafés and bars. The main venues are clustered around San Antonio on the east coast of the island and Ibiza Town on the west, linked by a half-hour drive along a good road. There are very few nightlife venues on the rest of the island, which is quiet and rural. An ideal foundation for a big night out is the place that gave birth to the Ibiza legend in the first place: Café del Mar, in San Antonio. The trademark ambient music and chilled-out atmosphere is still in place, making this an essential visit. Innumerable other bars have sprung up around Café del Mar, so there is no shortage of vantage points to enjoy the justly famous sunsets. The top clubs open around midnight, with long queues forming by 2am. In Ibiza Town one can find Pachawhich is the only super club to stay open all year round, and Spacewhich opens for after-hours clubbing between dawn and dusk. Toward the middle of the island, near San Rafael, is Privilege, largest nightclub in the world hosting 10,000 revellers and including circus acts, indoor gardens and a mega swimming pool. Nearby Amnesiahas legendary lasers and theme nights. Continuing to San Antonio, El Paradisis a top rated super club with nine bars inside its enormous pyramid-shaped structure, while Edenis famous for its foam parties. Clubbing in Ibiza is certainly expensive. Entry fees can reach EUR 60, and drinks EUR 15 each. Most clubs will only have hot water available in the bathrooms to prevent you drinking cold water for free - instead you'll need to pay around EUR 7 for bottled water. Cash-strapped young clubbers will hand out flyers and promos in the early evening with details of special offers, happy hours, and discounts. They are earning a commission for getting people through the door but the information can be very useful if you want to get maximum value for your night out. As for getting around, use the disco buses which transport clubbers along the road linking San Antonio, San Rafael and Ibiza Town. Additionally, taxis are cheap, especially if there is a group of you. The clubbing season runs from June to September although there are big parties around New Year's, Christmas and Easter. Dress codes are non-existent - in fact, the more outlandish and extroverted your appearance, the better your chance of gaining free admission. Drugs are widely available, and although tolerated for personal use by the local police, they are illegal.
Ibiza has plenty of boutiques and unique stores catering to international visitors. During high season (June to September) shops in the port are open until well after midnight. However, in the off season they may be closed entirely during the week. For gifts that invoke the Ibiza spirit, check out Ceramica Es Test, which sells unique ornaments, vases and sculptures, and Only T-Shirts, a favourite stop for good-value souvenirs. Natura sells organic and free-trade goodies. La Calle De La Virgen is the centre of a vibrant gay community - and the place to go for adult accessories. Ibiza has some great markets. The best and most famous is the Hippy Market at Club Punta Arabí running from April to October. The San Jordi Car Boot market on Saturdays is also fun, as is the night market at Las Dalias in San Carlos. Leather goods abound, but quality is hard to come by. Two exceptions in Ibiza town are Pedro's, selling leather and silver accessories and home furnishings, and Sandal Shop which does custom-made footwear.
There is much more to Ibiza than its famous nightlife, and plenty to attract those with no interest in dancing and partying. The most obvious Ibiza attraction are the beaches, dotted around over 200km (120 miles) of coastline also affording abundant scuba diving opportunities. Ibiza's Old Town is lined with picturesque cobbled lanes leading to ancient courtyards with buildings dating from the 10th century. Further up the coast is the charming village of Santa Eulalia with excellent beaches, and the nearby caves of Can Marca.
Ibiza is a great destination for children, with plenty of gorgeous beaches and healthy natural attractions to keep the little people occupied. In addition to the options below, check out Ponylandia, near Ibiza town, which combines flea market shopping with pony rides for the younger children. Another worthwhile excursion is to catch boat ride or yacht across to the island of Formentera. If visiting Ibiza with kids, remember to select your accommodation carefully: you want to be far away from any nightclubs or concentrations of nocturnal clubbers.
Ibiza has an ideal climate for holidaymakers with little rain and average temperatures kept below 86ºF (30ºC) even in mid-summer. Temperatures remain nice in the spring and autumn and even in winter rarely drop below 50ºF (10ºC), though rain is more likely at this time of year. Water temperatures range from 64ºF1 (8ºC) in May to 79ºF (26ºC) in August making Ibiza ideal for watersports.