A guide to Ibiza without the clubbing

Lydia Wilkins

Ibiza is a location typically associated with nightlife, housing various famous clubs and bars. However, there is another side to the island; you just need to know where to look. With that in mind, we set out to find out more about the location and its history

Stay 

Ibiza has a huge variety of accommodation, if you would prefer a peaceful stay, it’s worthwhile shopping around. Try Agroturismo Atzaro, a hotel review website reviewed it as being an “oasis of calm”. Also reccommended is the stylish W Hotel, with its 162 rooms. Ibiza Town is also full of places to stay. 

 

Transport 



Ibiza sunset view from formentera Island

Be warned that the available buses can occasionally be very bumpy, so cabs may be a better option which are available in most locations. You can also cycle or hire a scooter and walking is also a fairly easy way to get around. 

 

Explore

There is far more to the island than just clubs and bars; Ibiza has a rich history and cultural heritage. You just need to look for it. 

Firstly, there is Pikes, a notorious hotel. Founded in 1978 and based in San Antonio, the establishment became known for featuring in Wham!'s Club Tropicana video, as well as being a hangout for those seeking a private refuge, including people such as Freddie Mercury. Founder, Tony Pike, died recently; you can read more about the legendary individual here. The hotel also has an open air cinema, as well as art exhibitions.



Ibiza cathedral at night

If street art interests you then make sure you attend the must-see event, known as Urban In Ibiza

And if you’re visiting the island for more than just two days, it’s worthwhile to spend at least a day exploring both the Old Town, as well as Ibiza Town. (According to the Thomas Cook website, the Old Town, known also as Dalt Vila, is situated within Ibiza Town.) There is a lot to see, a lot to do, as well as take in. 

 

Eat

Simply put, there is a huge variety of places to eat, and there is a wide range in food. Although it can seem very westernised at times—think fish and chips, burgers, pizza—there are still places serving delicacies from the island. They just may need to be sought out a little more. 

In some parts, there is an emphasis on healthy eating, in addition to the idea wellness. There are seven different Passion Cafes across the island. Wild Beets is also another well-recognised outlet; if you’re curious, visit their website. The sometimes exotic and unexpected combinations are well worth a try. 

If you're looking for something more filling than a health shot or smoothie for your evening meal, Ibiza Town is the place to go. This place relies on lots of small stalls and shops that sell jewellery, handmade clothing, food, occasionally items that have been whittled out of wood, souvenirs, and other miscellaneous items. Between them are various restaurants that cater to all tastes and dairy requirements—including El Pirata, recognised for its delicious pizza. (This I cannot emphasise enough!)

The ibizan ice-cream is not to be missed. From Gelato to more mainstream brands, these are the ‘cool downs’ you'll for after a long, hot day. Just be warned that parts of the Old Town can be very busy at what may be considered peak times.

 

Relax

If you need somewhere to relax alternative to a hotel swimming pool, head to a beach. Ibiza has many to offer, and although they may be slightly hidden, many are often undeveloped and untouched, known for their beautiful landscape. 

Parts of the island offer boat trips out in the bay, some of which even let you feed Seagulls. (Be very careful of your fingers. I can testify to the fact that it stings to be accidentally bitten by a seagull.) Here, you can also see underwater aquatic life, including turtles. More information is available from the tourist office. S’Illot des Rencli, Sant Joan de Labritja looks like the place to be this year. 

 

Shop

A trip to Ibiza cannot be concluded without attending a hippy market or two. (Maybe even three.) Depending whether they are during the day or night, these markets are a huge tourist attraction, and are not to be missed. Based in Las Dalias, make sure to check where and when the markets are open here. 

Amongst the hustle and bustle, while jostling for space, a gem can be found. The many stalls sell trinkets and bits and bobs including perfumed oil, handmade clothing suitable for the climate, Indian themed scarves, as well as occasionally odd and sometimes sinister looking artwork. The market that takes place during the day also has delicious food; make sure you don’t miss out on the deliciously huge pizza slices when it comes to the night market! 

Hippy market of Ibiza, Spain

Dependent on your location, there may be a bus ride, or a coach tour, that will take you to the hippy market. 

Ibiza Town is also perfect for shopping. It mixes the mainstream with the niche, handmade with the factory made. Ladies, if you are looking for a handbag, this is the place to visit; make sure to be savvy in spotting potential conterfeit designs, however. You'd also do well to be early when visiting this place; stalls can close at around four or five o’clock in the afternoon. 
 

Learn

Before you go home, take a dive into Ibiza’s rich and sometimes turbulent history. At times the island has encountered many different eras—it was once a bohemian hotspot, prior to the more hedonistic times in recent years. Go past that, and there is fascinating detail. 

If you prefer art, make sure you visit the B12 Art gallery; the work is largely based around what the island has to offer, as well as artistic interpretations, andhe gallery is known for having a modernising effect on the island. 

Anyone who visits Ibiza should take a tour of the Old Town, however, do note that the uphill walk may be trying for some. Among the white-washed walls, the cobbles and plenty of sun, you can learn about the island, its history, and a Catholic shrine. 

 

Other travel notes

If you wish to avoid the clubbing scene, make sure to time your trip and where you stay on the island. San Antonio is a lively spot, but also look out for large music events such as the opening and closing parties of the season.