Ibiza does not immediately conjure images of total relaxation, tranquility and a peaceful holiday. But that is exactly what we were met with when we arrived on Thursday last week.
I can honestly say that Ibiza was not my first choice for a holiday destination but my friend Katie, who is very refined and does not wear fluffy rave boots, really sold it to me and thanks to a very good deal on budget flights and accommodation, we were able to get to one of our favourite countries – Spain.
The most important thing to note is that Ibiza is not a crazy, drug-fueled party island for the entire year. The ‘season’ runs from 18 May to 18 September, so if you aren’t into the huge party season then visiting outside these times is a great way to have a budget-friendly holiday in a gorgeous Spanish location.
The budget priced Hotel Maritimo is located within easy walking distance to everything in Ibiza Town, and more importantly, is right on the water. The hotel receives a mixed bag of reviews on tripadvisor but if you book a Sea/Ocean View room, you won’t be disappointed and you’ll have a balcony with a great view to enjoy a few drinks in the afternoon sun.
You can catch the #10 Bus from the Airport to Eivissa (Ibiza) for € 3.40 one way.
It seems the islands main towns reflect Goldilocks and the Three Bears: San Miguel is very sleepy and aimed at the older generation, San Antoni is jam-packed with super clubs and Ibiza Town is just right for those somewhere in the middle.
This is easy for me to say as we were there outside of the party season, I’m certain that between May and September the entire island is crawling with hot-pants and tank tops.
Dalt Villa (Old Town) is located near the water’s edge in Ibiza town and winds up the hill in a maze of beautiful cobbled streets and old houses, by far the best way to see the Old Town is by foot. The going isn’t too tough and you will have a lot of opportunities to see all of the amazing sites Ibiza has to offer, including incredible street art (featured picture).
The island is quite small and it’s very easy to get around, rather than spending your days on the public bus the best way to see the island is by hired scooter. You can hire a scooter from Europcar for €27 for the day and at just €7 to fill the tank, it’s great value.
Now that you’re mobile, you can easily navigate the many winding roads to see sleepy San Miguel, Benirras Beach and the Can Marca Caves or head to San Antoni for a cocktail at Cafe Del Mar, home of the original Chillout Sessions. The Hippy Markets at San Carles are worth the visit for good food and a spot of shopping. If you’re after some more beach time visit the gorgeous beaches to the south on your way to Es Vedra and the salt flats (Las Sallinas).
Food, Drink & Culture
Of course tapas and sangria are the first things you think about when you picture Spain, so be sure not to miss out on consuming copious amounts of both! Bide Bide located near Plaza Del Parque do amazing tapas.
Bon Profit in Plaza Del Parque do amazing food and wine at an amazing price and somewhere we consider a must eat, the lamb shank, fried squid and aioli are to die for – just stay away from the deserts!
Plaza Del Parque is surrounded by great food and drink spots, stake out a seat at one of the bars with a litre of Sangria and watch the world go by.
Lonely Planet’s Europe on a shoestring will direct you to The Croissant Show for breakfast, and with an amazing view of Dalt Villa it’s easy to see why. If you’re on a budget and just want a really good croissant and a really good coffee for €2-3 then head to Cafeteria Gran Via on Avenue Isidor Macabich – it doesn’t look like much from the outside, but get there at 8am for the best Croissant of your life.
Little Grey Tips
My five top tips for visiting Ibiza are:
- Choose your timing wisely – Ibiza can be the perfect budget-friendly beach-break for the non-ravers if you go outside the party season.
- Hire a scooter – don’t get stuck on the public bus or caught on foot, do yourself a favour and explore the island on your terms and in the best way possible.
- Eat breakfast out – if you love cold cuts and bad coffee stick with your hotel breakfast, if not then get out onto the streets for amazing croissants and coffee.
- Location, location, location – a hotel on the water and paying for the room with the ocean view will make a world of difference to your trip.
- Enjoy your room – don’t feel pressured to spend every minute of your stay out and about, find a local supermarket, buy some drinks, cheeses and prosciutto then sit on your balcony and enjoy your holiday. (Just don’t be alarmed if you see a ‘Supermarcat’ they are not selling Cats. Super or otherwise).