Ibiza has a well-deserved reputation as a party hotspot and the dance-music capital of the world. But there is more to island life than thumping basslines and flashing disco lights. Venture away from its half-dozen clubs and Sant Antoni’s raucous West End and you’ll find a world of tranquillity. From the saltpans of Ses Salines to the piney hills of Sant Joan, via fields that have been cultivated since Roman times, Ibiza offers an intoxicating blend of nature and culture. The best way to slip into the authentic rhythm life is to follow the locals. We’ve selected five of our favourite destinations where you can shop, dine, party and unwind like a true ibicenco.
Main City Madrid
Surface 571.6 km²
Density 231.6 /km²
There’s no better place to witness one of Ibiza’s magical sunsets than from the terrace of Restaurant S’illa des Bosc, on the westernmost tip of the island. Perched on a bluff overlooking the most perfect pool of turquoise sea imaginable, this laidback restaurant offers cuisine to match the views. It specialises in fresh-off-the-boat seafood ranging from simple but delicious grilled squid to lubina salvaje a la sal: whole wild sea bass baked in salt and expertly filleted at the table. If possible, save room for the mojito sorbet or a slice of tarte café caleta – a booze-infused coffee cake.
The Mercado Viejo (old market) is a 24-hour musical hotspot in Ibiza Town. Set at the base of the walls of Dalt Vila, the fortified old town, it houses an eclectic jumble of vintage shops, tattoo parlours, market stalls and Croissant Show, the island’s favourite patisserie. During the day, a variety of buskers from one-man-and-an-accordion to fully-fledged bands meander through, offering impromptu performances of everything from pop tunes to polka. In the evening the municipality often hosts free music events – especially during the Ibiza Jazz Festival in late August.
If you want to immerse yourself in Ibiza’s spectacular scenery without tripping over sun-loungers and screaming children, head to Hostel La Torre’s terrace. This petite bed-and-breakfast near Cap Negret on the west coast of Ibiza is set amidst cool green pines and boasts impressive panoramic sea views. Day visitors are welcome on its large open terrace, which is the perfect place to escape the afternoon heat. Enjoy a lazy lunch and while away the afternoon with a cocktail or two. Free wi-fi is an added perk – you can drive your homebound friends into fits of jealousy by tweeting pictures of your stunning surroundings.