Ibiza Old Town hums with life when the sun sets (Photo: Getty Images)

Ibiza has a special magic. Even the sun sets differently here, bathing the island in waves of intensely feel-good rays, so that you don’t want dusk to end. But then it does, ushering in the enchantment of night-time Ibiza, and you pray that the morning light won’t come and spoil the fun. Yet, when day does break, it is oh-so beautiful, with Ibizan sunrises as sweet as its sunsets, soothing tired clubbers and bringing yogis to their mats – and so the cycle begins again. From its world-class nightlife and superb restaurant scene to spectacular beaches and action-packed excursions, everyone benefits from a break in this sun-kissed Mediterranean paradise.

A place to call home

For blissed-out days, take up residence at Hotel Riomar, Ibiza, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, where rest and regeneration are given all the time and space they need to unfold; for a more uptempo stay, head to nearby W Ibiza, where the island’s best DJs play poolside and the atmosphere ramps up at night. 

Both properties grace the Santa Eulalia municipality, where rolling green hills and pine-clad valleys stretch right down to the sea. While you're in this perfect corner of Ibiza, 14km from Ibiza town, take a walk up to the stunning hilltop Puig de Missa church, which offers magnificent views of the Mediterranean and the gorgeous scenery all around. For a different vantage point, charter a boat at Santa Eulalia's marina and see the island glide by from on deck, cocktail in hand.

Heavenly beaches

For a relatively small island, Ibiza boasts an incredible diversity of beaches, each with its own character. From sweeping stretches of golden sand and coves backed by towering cliffs, to tiny inlets with crystalline waters and shorelines packed with beach clubs, there are over 80 picture perfect options to choose from. For spots near Ibiza town, head for Talamanca, a locals’ hangout lined by restaurants around five minutes from the centre by car, or Las Salinas, where spontaneous seaside parties continue well past dusk. For a family-friendly option, try Cala Llonga just south of Santa Eulalia. Pine-clad hills enclose this wide, pretty bay and shallow turquoise waters make it perfect for children's paddling.

The municipality of Santa Eulalia's coastline is full of secret coves, little cliffs and irresistibly crystal-clear waters. With 46 kilometres of swimmable coastline and almost 300 days of sunshine a year, you're sure to find your own perfect corner of sun-kissed sand in Santa Eulalia: Cala Llonga, Cala Llenya, Cala Pada and Cala Martina are a few of our top picks.

An Ibizan beach

Ibiza's beaches encompass everything from sweeping stretches of golden sand to coves backed by towering cliffs (Photo: Getty Images)

Family fun 

Speaking of little ones, there’s a huge selection of activities designed to keep children occupied on Ibiza. Head to Little Beachouse, a children's beach club on the shores of Playa d’en Bossa that's designed to nurture creativity through a range of island-inspired games and crafts. Or hop aboard a Meet the Sea boat trip. With departures from both Santa Eulalia and San Antonio, these 'snorkel safaris' are overseen by marine biologists using subaquatic drones, so children of any age can discover the fascinating marine life that lies beneath the Mediterranean. 

Markets galore

Ibiza's so-called 'hippie markets' are world renowned. Perhaps the most famous of all is Las Dalias in San Carlos, which takes place every Saturday. Home to live music, an array of artisanal wares and a deluge of tasty snacks, visits here are a rite of passage. Try heading, too, to the far northern beach of Benirrás on a Sunday, when a range of stalls selling jewellery, clothes and local crafts set up for the few hours before sunset. It’s also a chance to witness the beach’s famous live drumming sessions that accompany the last light of day. 

Another Sunday market is held in the charming village of San Juan, also located in the north of the island. A joyous celebration of the handmade, San Juan offers a fabulous display of local craftsmanship, with islanders also coming here to buy their fruit and vegetables or to pick up some organic food against a soundtrack of live music. Spilling out among the streets of this quaint village, the market feels like an authentic slice of island life.

Las Dalias market, Ibiza

Ibiza is rightly renowned for its markets, with Las Dalias in San Carlos one of the most celebrated (Photo: Getty Images)

Designer fashion

Wandering among the labyrinthine, cobbled streets of Ibiza town is a joy in itself but fashionistas will adore the mix of high-street brands and local designers. For high-end fashion and a selection of the world’s most exclusive sunglasses, you can’t beat reVOLVER, while further up among the ancient walls of Dalt Vila, you’ll find Annie’s Ibiza. Adored by celebrities like Kate Moss and Rita Ora, this store specialises in one-offs vintage finds and top tier designers. For something more local, try Charo Ruiz, an expert in quintessential Ibizan aesthetic — think soft, neutral linens and lots of fringing. 

Fabulous food 

With a solid shopping session under your belt, now’s the time to indulge in a long, leisurely meal, Mediterranean style. Ibiza town is home to a bounty of brilliant restaurants. La Oliva is a luxurious locals’ favourite in the heart of Dalt Vila, while Chidas is a low-key, lively dinner hub bursting with Mexican pizzazz. Over in Santa Eulalia, the words on every foodie's lips is La Llama, an immersive dining experience within W Ibiza where the flame and smoke from a simple grill combine with Middle Eastern flavours to bring the finest quality ingredients to life. Be sure to start with cocktails at the Bridge next door. 

The famous Ibiza sunset

As dusk gathers, make towards the west coast for an iconic Ibiza sunset, where sorbet shades of pink and lilac fuse in the memory long after the day has bid farewell. There are tons of boat parties that depart from San Antonio, serving drinks and feel-good tunes, and dropping anchor just in time to see the sun dipping below the horizon. Back on dry land, head to the legendary Café Mambo, which hosts daily pre-parties featuring a slew of the world’s best-known DJs (for free), or neighbouring Café del Mar, the original iconic sundown spot. For a more sedate sunset experience, try Sunset Ashram further south along the coast.

An Ibiza sunset

A long, lingering sundowner is often a daily treat when holidaying in Ibiza (Photo: Getty Images)

Action-packed activities

There's a whole host of additional ways to burn off extra energy, too. Get to know Ibiza's wild side on a day excursion with Balearic Outdoor Adventures, on which abseiling down vertiginous cliffs and swimming through underwater caves is par for the course (there are easier options if children are in tow). Mountain biking is also a popular choice thanks to the island's web of first-rate trails that pivot through lime-green pine forests and past isolated beaches. Bike Ibiza has a range of bikes available. 

Clubbing from dawn till dusk

No trip to Ibiza is complete without a visit to one of the island’s internationally famed super clubs, and dance music fans are spoilt for choice. There’s Amnesia, where DJs like Jamie Jones and Steve Aoki have weekly residencies; Pacha, Ibiza’s oldest club, home to parties like Marco Carola’s Music On and the sixties-inspired Flower Power; and HÏ Ibiza in Playa d’en Bossa, a high-tech space famous for spectacular production and high-profile names like Black Coffee and David Guetta. If, on the other hand, you’d rather be at home and in bed by midnight, there are certainly options. Ushuaïa Ibiza puts on daily parties with a festival vibe, while O Beach over in San Antonio is the definition of free-spirited fun in the sun. 

A boat party in Ibiza

In Ibiza, the parties take place just about everywhere – even out at sea (Photo: Getty Images)

Low-key Formentera

With your club craving fixed, hop on a ferry across to Ibiza’s sister island, Formentera, the antidote to Ibiza’s high-octane pace. If you’re one of the lucky few who can bag a reservation, book a table at Juan y Andrea, situated on the sugar-white sands of Ses Illetes and a favourite of the Hollywood A-List. Otherwise, head to the other side of the island and bar hop down Playa Migjorn. Don’t miss the quirky, alien-themed Blue Bar, which makes for a memorable sundowner spot. White sangria savoured, head back to Ibiza to welcome in the night once more.

Published: August 22, 2022

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