WE’RE GOING TO IBIZA
A mini-guide to making the most of Spain’s party island
Words by Monita Pesumal
Every year, nearly six million tourists visit the sun kissed Mediterranean island of Ibiza. If you’re wondering why, it’s because the island, which is located in the seas between Palma and Valencia, boasts something like 10 hours of sun-shine 300 days a year!
WHY GO TO IBIZA?
You mean besides the sunshine and the beaches? For the nightlife, of course! From mega clubs and white parties, to foam parties and the chance to bump into David Guetta spinning a disc, Ibiza is where the party is. Liter-ally.
Ibiza is home to the world’s largest nightclub the Privilege Ibiza, which has a swimming pool and can house 10,000 rev-ellers. The island also boasts five ‘super clubs’ – namely Pacha, Space, Amnesia, Eden and Es Paradís. These hotspots can house thousands of partygoers and they have their own distinctive theme, vibe and genre of music to entertain audi-ences.
The island is also famed for parties out at sea where revellers can choose their favourite boat, book their tickets in ad-vance and enjoy dancing in the sunshine, looking out to sea and the alluring Ibiza coastline. Most boat party packages include at least one free drink on board while some even run a free bar.
Ibiza also hosts the annual DJ awards with the 20th edition of the event taking place recently.
From mainland Spain, a domestic flight to Ibiza on a low-cost airline like Ryanair or Iberia will set you back only US$ 60. The flying time is only an hour and visitors are admitted with a valid Schengen type ‘C’ visa, which ap-plies to nationalities that require a visa to visit Spain.
WHERE TO STAY
The good news is that at the last count, Ibiza had 57 idyllic beaches. The better news is that you’re only an hour away from sun, sea and sand no matter where you stay. The island is compact, and well-served by taxis and bus-es. And if you thought things couldn’t get better, it is mandated by law that all hotels on the island must be five stars or above – which means you’re in safe hands no matter where you stay. Having said that, it’s best to opt for the known devil and stay at a recognised chain such as Meliá Hotels.
WHAT TO SEE
Even if you’re a party pooper, Ibiza has you covered! For starters, in addition to being classified as ‘a club-bers’ paradise,’ the island has also been labelled a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999 in recognition of its architec-ture, coastline and marine life.
The Ibiza old town with its picturesque harbour and ancient fortress is a pleasant place to spend time. Walk up through the Portal de ses Taules (a large arched gate) between fortified walls that lead to the streets of the old city, passing the six bastions that are the strategic lookout points from where cannons are fired. The walls date back to the 4th century BC but were reinforced in the mid-16th century to protect Ibiza against threats from outsiders.
The old town is also home to old churches, a cathedral and a couple of museums with numerous cafes in which to chill out and refresh yourself along the way. Wander around town and get lost in the maze of paved streets that are lined with souvenir shops and restaurants. Ibiza is also known for its weekly hippy markets and amazing sunsets.
WHAT TO EAT
Sangria (a mix of red wine, spirits and fruit juice with fresh fruit) is the perfect drink to sip while enjoying traditional dishes like paella (rice steeped in seafood flavours and mixed with fish or meat); bullit de peix (arguably Ibiza’s signature seafood dish); Catalan fish stew; fideuà (paella made with noodles); or sofrit pagès (a delicious combo of chick-en, lamb, Ibiza sausages, potatoes, garlic and spices).
Other Spanish and Ibicencan specialities include tapas (bite size snacks) and bocadillos (hearty sandwiches with crusty bread). One of Ibiza’s delicacies is called ‘Sant Joan’s weird macaroni,’ which is cooked in water with milk, cinnamon, sugar and lemon to give it a rice pudding like finish.