If binge-watching White Lines on Netflix got you hankering after the white isle, you may be considering a last minute 2020 trip, or planning ahead to a glorious 2021 in the most famous Balearic Island.
But while there may not be murder and a banana boat full of trafficked cocaine awaiting you; there is certainly more to this iconic destination than just ‘Beefa.’ Whether its raving till dawn or indulging in chilled, hippie daydreaming; Ibiza is an island with two distinct identities worth exploring. The pandemic – and all the changes it has brought – could provide an opportunity to explore Ibiza’s authentic, quieter side whilst sidestepping the crowds that usually flock to the island to party.
And for those looking to party the night away, with any luck the raves for which the Southern part of the island is known will be back on the agenda in time for 2021. Here’s how to get the most out of Ibiza’s two sides:
The Hippie Dream
Before Ibiza became the hotbed of EDM and rave-culture that came to fruition in the late eighties and early nineties; it was the ultimate hippie paradise. This side of the island has never really waned and, for the older, luxxy crowd, is the White Isle’s biggest draw.
Think you can’t find zen on Ibiza? Think again.
Head into rural Ibiza, away from the bass beats and super clubs and the influx of lads-on-tour carnage, and you’ll find some of the island’s most stunning scenery and gorgeous hotels.
One such dream spot is Atzaro – a sumptuous and secluded hotel with a Far East influence; turquoise pools embraced by lush gardens and a Balinese spa. Or, there is rustic farmhouse chic in Agroturismo Can Gall; a family-run rural retreat in the North of the island that exudes a quiet sense of luxury. If you want to be reminded that you are, in fact, in Spain; try the old-school glamour of Cas Gasi in the central Ibizan countryside; a pine and almond tree hugged idyll, with stunning interiors and delicious, homegrown food.
For those who still want to party, but without the sticky floors, wristbands and dawn-cab-ride home; Ibiza’s hippie side offers some seriously chilled vibes. One of the finest examples is Sunset Ashram; a beach bar and restaurant which feels carved out of the coastal rocks and is, obviously, very popular at sunset. Head here for a fun but relaxed night out, with great food, booze and- of course- a superlative sunset.
Other relaxed beach venues include El Chiringuito; which serves up some of the best food on the island (the seafood is exemplary) as well as a plethora of beach day beds to sunbathe away your lunchtime rosé hangover. Experimental Beach is a rival to Sunset Ashram for secluded, relaxed beach sundowners, and then there is the gorgeous Amante; a beach bar, and restaurant set in a secluded cove which looks like it was formed by Pirates. Pirates with a penchant for fine cuisine and daybeds in tasteful neutral hues, that is. Head here to snooze off your hangover in the ultimate style.
Of course, one of the most zen, luxurious destinations in Ibiza, is not Ibiza at all; but Formentera; Ibiza’s tiny neighbour. A short boat ride away – or ferry if you’re not feeling flush – it is peaceful and beautiful, boasting Caribbeanesque turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. Stay in the beachside Cala Saona, whose rooms come complete with their own scooter for zipping around the island. Sample the laidback charms of Beso Beach Club and treat yourself to the fine seafood dining of Es Molí de Sal; a favourite of the actual King of Spain.
The Ravers’ Paradise
It’s nice to dream about parties right now and there’s nowhere that embodies the party spirit better than Ibiza. From mega clubs on the -less then picturesque- San Antonio strip, to lush pool-clogged party spots to some of the best underground music venues; you’ll find something to suit your hedonism.
If you want the best in-the-know rave cave in Ibiza, it doesn’t get any better than DC10. Built at the end of a runway near the Playa D’en Bossa near Salinas Beach, DC10 offers fuss-free old-school clubbing in its legendary garden and beyond. It’s known for being under-the-radar, relatively cheap (for Ibiza) and primarily about the music; famed for its iconic opening and closing parties. Go on a Monday for Circolocco. You won’t regret it.
For more large-scale clubbing, there is the iconic Amnesia, which still puts on some of the island’s finest opening and closing events. Head there on Saturdays for Elrow; one of the best Ibiza parties. Or, of course, there is Pacha; an Ibiza institution which is more brand than club and sprawls over several resorts, restaurants and shops; where you can snap up stash with that famous cherry motif.
One such resort is Destinos, which offers a lagoon pool hugged by cabanas, a restaurant (try the sushi- it does not disappoint) and bar and chilled day clubbing which morphs into a full-on party atmosphere when the sun goes down. Book a room here and you can stumble from bed to pool to bar to club without ever leaving the premises.
Destinos is only one of several Ibiza venues which offer a one-stop-shop. If you want to eat, sleep, rave, repeat- head to the legendary Ushuäia; for the biggest parties in close proximity to lavish hotel rooms (with equally lavish prices). Whilst the food, drink, pool and party proximity is all top notch; a good night’s sleep is certainly not guaranteed.
But who comes to Ibiza to sleep?
Of course, the original hotel-come-party zone is obviously Pikes. It’s the perfect combination of Ibiza’s chilled Mediterranean vibes and party spirit. Founded by the ultimate Ibiza party animal, the late Tony Pike, in the 1970s, the club and hotel have a strong rock’n’roll lineage, with a roster of more famous guests – from Grace Jones to Freddie Mercury- than you can shake a piña colada at. This boutique hotel (only twenty-five rooms) is nestled in the San Antonio hills around stunning gardens and a pool best known for starring in Wham’s Club Tropicana video.
Social-distancing has put an end to clubbing for now. But there’s plenty to dream about for 2021.