The word Ibiza does not immediately conjure images of total relaxation, tranquility and a peaceful holiday. I don’t know about you, but when I think of Ibiza the thing that immediately springs into my mind is ravers, loud music and clubbing! But when we arrived in Ibiza in April a few years ago, it was completely different to anything I had imagined.
Ibiza is a beautiful island set in the picture-perfect Mediterranean Sea. It’s off the coast of Valencia in the east of Spain and is a stunning destination for a relaxing holiday (outside of party-season). The water is cool, blue and incredibly inviting, the myriad of winding streets and beautiful old buildings make it the perfect backdrop for a fantastic getaway.
The most important thing to note is that Ibiza is not a crazy, booze-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.
There are so many interesting places waiting for you to discover them including cafes, tiny tapas bars, winding steps, boutique shops and incredible restaurants. A trip to Ibiza should definitely be on a travellers bucket list because you get to enjoy all the beauty of an intriguing, beautiful Spanish island set in a stunning part of the world.
Where to stay
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’ll have a balcony with a great view to enjoy a few drinks in the afternoon sun.
The hotel is definitely budget, so don’t book it if you’re after a luxury getaway. If you are on a shoestring budget, like we were, then Hotel Maritime is a great place to stay as the staff are friendly and helpful, the rooms are clean and tidy, the view is fantastic and it’s very cheap.
You can catch the #10 Bus from the Airport to Eivissa (Ibiza) for € 3.40 one way. This will land you in a central part of town where most of the hotels are located. From here you should be able to find your way on foot to your hotel and if you have any trouble, just ask a local.
If you’re trying to choose where to stay in Ibiza, the three main towns on the island are as follows: 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 (i.e. me).
Things to do
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 and 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 around every corner. Just be sure to wear comfortable shoes!
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 and 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 great prices and is somewhere we consider a must eat. The lamb shank, fried squid and aioli are to die for and the restaurant was recommended to su by a local. Be sure to get there early though as it does get quite busy later on in the night and don’t let the chilled out exterior put you off!
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 and delicious food 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.
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).