Often hailed as the party capital of the world Ibiza is an island with far more to offer than just a good time. Situated in the Mediterranean just a short distance from the east coast of Spain the island is part of the Spanish Balearic Islands and is the third largest of the group.
Well known as the island with the nightclubs it is easy to forget that this hedonistic paradise also has a side of great beauty; dramatic cliffs, pretty whitewashed villages, olives groves and pine forests pepper the countryside in the north and the whole island has a coastline with coves that remain secluded even during the very peak of the summer season. Ibiza has far more than nightclub culture and finding the real Ibiza brings rewards beyond compare.
There is a great choice of accommodation throughout Ibiza from intimate villas to huge hotel complexes and there will be something that is perfect for you, the more important decision is your choice of resort- Ibiza has such a varied range of resorts that booking into the wrong one can totally change the tone of your holiday.
Es Cana is a friendly well established resort this is where you will find the famed hippy market and some of the best sandy beaches on the island, Portinatx in the north has some of the best scenery on the island right on its doorstep – the resort surrounds a beautiful cove and has a backdrop of dense green pine forests, there is nightlife but it is quite sedate making a perfect family resort. San Antonio has some of the liveliest nightclubs on the island and Santa Eulalia is the place for great shopping with its cosmopolitan feel – the marina is a great place to enjoy a meal or a drink. Ibiza has so many facets that there is the perfect resort for everyone.
There are two famed local specialities the ensaimada which is sold in most bakeries, resembling a flat pastry the consistency is more like a doughnut, these are perfect enjoyed with strong coffee after any excesses of the night before; the other famed dish is the Flao which is more of an acquired taste, combining mint and cheese with a sweet flavour may seem ill advised but once the initial reservations are overcome it is actually delicious.
Es Boldado in Cala D’Hort has the best views on the island, book a table on the terrace to overlook the sea and the imposing Es Vedra Rock, this restaurant although not a budget option serves probably the best seafood in Ibiza, also on the south west of the island but without the high prices is Sunset Ashram in Cala Conta, the terrace by the sea is a beautiful place to watch the sun set and the menu using locally sourced produce is an eclectic mix of beguiling cuisines.
Ibiza Town is great for a day out, the cobbled maze of streets lead to the 13<sup>th</sup> century cathedral taking in bars, restaurants and cafés along the way, Dalt Vila is the old town area and this is where you will find the cultural exhibits and the museums that give a clue as to the true heritage of the island. Once the sun begins to set Ibiza Town comes alive and this is the perfect time to sit and enjoy a drink whilst watching the revellers begin their night of excess, even if you don’t wish to partake it makes for some great people watching.
There is plenty in Ibiza for the whole family, whether it is taking a glass bottomed boat trip from San Antonio or wandering around the hippy market in Es Cana , the real joy of Ibiza is the many different sides that it has; artists and painters flood to San Josep to capture the natural beauty knowing that there is far more to this island than nightclubs, although it has to be said that those nightclubs simply are the best in the world.
The busy summer months generally come with the guarantee of good weather however the winter months are less predictable and rarely see highs greater than 60F, the Balearic’s are a less popular winter destination than some of the other Spanish islands but they can be perfect in the autumn and spring months – they have all the appeal and beauty but without the sometimes intense summer crowds.