There are two wonderfully distinctive sides to the Balearic island of Ibiza… we spent a weekend in search of both
Over the past two decades, Ibiza – the third largest of the Balearic Islands – has become synonymous with riotous all-nighters at world-renowned night clubs; a self-styled playground for the young and up-for-fun. But whilst the island still attracts the party crowd, there’s a wealth of beauty and history for families and travellers of a more chilled-out persuasion to enjoy.
WHICH IBIZA IS PERFECT FOR YOU?
For those who’ve set hi-energy dancefloors in their sights, the resort of Playa d’en Bossa or San Antonio town are established hotspots, and clubs such as Amnesia, Sankeys, Pacha, Ocean Beach and DC10 remain hugely popular. However, seekers of a more low-key Balearic adventure should head to the laidback town of Santa Eulàlia, with its generous selection of waterfront bars, restaurants and shops.
Sun seekers escaping the hustle and bustle of UK city life will adore the coves and enclaves that lace Ibiza’ stunning coastline – they’re ripe for discovery and away-from-it-all chillaxing.
Autumn and winter are the ideal seasons to sample a more realistic taste of day-to-day Ibiza life, and also discover the island’s rich history; in particular, its World Heritage Sites. These impressive, precious sites include the Phoenician settlement of Sa Caleta and the cemetery of Puig des Molins (the largest necropolis in the world, housing up to 4,000 tombs) – both of which date back to 600-650 BC.
And, if active holidays are your thing, both the island’s coast and countryside lend themselves to walking, cycling and snapping Insta-perfect pics.
WHERE TO STAY
For relaxation – Palladium Hotel Cala Llonga
This stylish and peaceful hotel (for adults only) is built into the side of a hill in Santa Eulàlia and boasts spectacular views of Cala Llonga beach – which is, quite literally, on its doorstep. As well as swimming in an up-on-high pool, you can indulge fine dining at one of three restaurants or kick-back and enjoy an evening of live entertainment. If you fancy expending a little energy, you’re only 4km away from Ibiza’s only golf club – that’s if you can pull yourself away from the comfort of a deluxe room, complete with direct access to the sandy shores.
All-inclusive deals available, http://palladiumhotelgroup.com
For best of both worlds – Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza
This Playa d’en Bossa-based hotel blends family-friendly luxury with beach club vibes, and even boasts its very own private beach area. The state-of-the-art Rocks Spa® and wellness centre (the biggest on the island) is the place to be pampered, whilst those keen to sample the ‘rock star experience’ can learn to DJ or play guitar. There are two outdoor pools (one even has underwater sunbeds!), suites complete with glorious views of the turquoise sea, and the rooftop bar is a must-visit for a sunset tipple before heading to an in-house gig for free. Child and teen activity areas, and five restaurants at which to refuel, are also on site.
Selection of special packages available, hrhibiza.com
For partying – Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel
This complex is made up of two equally impressive sites – The Ushuaïa Club and The Ushuaïa Tower. Together, they are the best spot for party-harders and trendsetters to be seen. Home to what Deejay Magazine called ‘the best beach club on the planet’, the Ushuaïa sits on the island’s longest stretch of beach – Playa d’en Bossa – and perfectly blends sun-lounging and cocktail sipping by day with committed partying come nightfall. Downtime at this energetic destination can be spent admiring spectacular views (from poolside or the famous tower) or – ahead of a live DJ performance – recharging your batteries in the spa.
Wide range of superior rooms and suites on offer, ushuaiabeachhotel.com
Fine fun dining
Tucked inside the Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza, you’ll find Tatel, a new restaurant and music venue where fine dining meets fun. A few famous faces lie behind its creation, including tennis star Rafael Nadal, NBA champion Paul Gasol and the legendary Spanish singer Enrique Iglesias. Together with private investors Abel Matutes Prats and Manuel Campos Guallar, the guys have mined Spain’s rich culinary history to produce food that’s wonderfully delicious and authentic, and served in friendly, lively surroundings. Open from 7pm until 3am, starters are priced from €14, mains from €28, tatelrestaurants.com/ibiza
Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Club
Asia meets the Mediterranean at this perfect-for-lunch fusion dining destination and, whether you fancy a light salad or a hearty bowl of pasta, unforgettable flavours and combinations are guaranteed. With the sea air providing nature’s aircon, bite into the ever-popular Ushuaïa-style Kobe hamburger or dive into a platter of super-fresh sushi. Open daily from noon to midnight, daily specials available, starters priced from €14, mains from €22, ushuaiabeachhotel.com/en/eat-and-drink/beach-club
We flew British Airways from Manchester Airport. The carrier recently launched new flights to the popular Spanish sunspots, including Ibiza. Flights to the island operate three times a week. Basic each-way fares from Manchester to Ibiza from £48, click ba.com to book today.