Ibiza, Spain – the perfect destination for a European summer getaway. Whether you go with your best girl friends or your significant other (lucky me, I went with both!), a great time is waiting for you at the sunny beaches and exquisite nightclubs.
Transport & accommodations
We flew into Ibiza via RyanAir from Frankfurt Hahn. The flights were conveniently timed to depart on Friday and return on Monday, which allowed us three nights on the island.
From Ibiza Airport, we rode the local bus over to Hotel Central Playa in Ibiza Town, located only a block away from Playa Figueretas. What a fun area to be! A long promenade runs along the length of the beach containing an endless variety of bars and restaurants. No matter what time of day you visit the promenade, it’s full of life – vendors, music, partiers, travelers, locals. It’s the type of place you can spend a week hanging out, people watching and enjoying every minute of it.
Our hotel was alright, but next time we’ll splurge on something right on promenade. I love the idea of sitting on a balcony overlooking the water and all of the action below. If you stay at Hotel Central Playa, get one of the superior rooms on the higher floors, otherwise you’ll miss having a view of the water. After checking into our first floor room and feeling a bit disappointed, we upgraded to a superior room on the top floor with a view from the balcony and felt much better.
Where to eat
We dined at Soleado on our first night in Ibiza – a lovely French restaurant along the promenade with tables as close to the sand and water as possible. We enjoyed the best (and cheesiest) mussels of our lives here, along with sangria, scallops and lobster risotto. It was a great dinner made even better by friendly and professional staff.
Home Loos Tapas Bar, just a block away from Figueretas near the Hotel Central Playa, was nothing short of amazing. We ordered a variety of tapas for our group along with a huge paella. The fact that the paella takes about 40 minutes to come out means it’s fresh – and you can certainly taste that. This place was amazing! I would absolutely return.
Retró Gusto, also right next to the Hotel Central Playa, offers an amazing brunch with a nice outdoor seating area. Skip your hotel’s breakfast bar and come here instead! You won’t be disappointed.
What to do
As mentioned above, walking along the promenade at Figueretas is always a good time. However, there is more Ibiza has to offer! We really only had two full days, so this is only a list of the things we had time for. The rest of the island is yet to be explored by us!
From Figueretas, hop on a ferry to Formentera, a stunning island with white sand beaches and the bluest water imaginable. Depending on where you’re staying, your hotel’s front desk may sell tickets for the boats, but you can also buy them from the ticket booth directly at the dock. After a little under an hour on the boat, you arrive at the stunning island of Formentera.
Exit the ferry and rent bicycles across the street from the port (bike rental may be included in your ferry ticket depending on which ticket you bought). Then, bike along the water for 15 to 20 minutes until you arrive at Playa Illetes, where beauty awaits.
We took the earliest boat from Figueretas to Formentera so we could enjoy the whole day there and take the last ferry home in the afternoon.
We packed our backpacks with snacks, lunch, beverages, towels and plenty of sunscreen and spent hours in the sun splashing around in the warm water and taking too many pictures.
On my next visit to Formentera, I’ll make sure I have an umbrella or something to shade myself from the beating sun – even reapplying sunscreen constantly throughout the day, most of us ended up with some really painful sunburns.
Tip: Pack sunscreen! We accidentally forgot and sunscreen is crazy expensive in Ibiza (we paid around €15 for a travel-sized sunscreen bottle).
Even if you’re not into clubbing (I’m not), the clubs in Ibiza are quite the experience!
The nightlife in Ibiza is considered by many to be the best in Europe and has been nicknamed the continent’s party capital since the 1970s. Similar to Las Vegas in the States, huge and fancy nightclubs line the streets and feature famous DJs and extravagant parties every night of the week. The parties go well into the early morning, so it isn’t uncommon for most people to start showing up after midnight. Take a post-dinner nap followed by some espresso to ensure you’re awake at 4 a.m. when the headliner finally takes the stage.
Tip: The clubs in Ibiza are not cheap. For both clubs we visited, we paid a €50 cover fee per person. The drinks inside range from around €10 for a small bottle of water, to €15-20 for a beer, and upwards of €25-30 for a cocktail. If you’re planning on drinking, it might be wise to do a little pregaming before you arrive. Just don’t show up acting like a sh*t-show, or the bouncers won’t let you in.
We visited Pacha, Ibiza’s original and most glamorous nightclub, on Day 2 after a long day at Formentera followed by a nap. We arrived shortly after midnight and found the club was nearly empty — it was still too early! However, by around 3 a.m. it was packed.
The club was decorated for Bob Sinclar’s Paris by Night, with elaborate lights, stunning burlesque dancers, Parisian vibes and confetti drops galore. Along with the confetti, every now and then huge blasts of cold air came down from above to cool off the crowd, hot and sweaty from dancing side by side for hours. Sinclar took the stage at around 4 a.m. and went well into the early morning. We left when the party was still going strong at around 6 a.m.
On our third night in Ibiza, we went to Ushuaia, an outdoor venue in the middle of Ushuaia Beach Hotel.
This party started early (5 p.m.) and ended by midnight, allowing people to hit up another club after if desired. The perfect weather paired with the fact that one of our absolute favorite DJs (Kygo) was performing made for an incredible night.
The outdoor venue allowed for great pyrotechnics and other large props and one of my favorite things was watching the planes go by frequently, since most planes leaving Ibiza fly directly over Ushuaia.
Ben and I went home after Kygo instead of going to another club because we were running off only three hours of sleep from the night before, but our friends went on to continue the party into the early morning again.
While I thought Pacha was a cool experience, I really loved Ushuaia and will remember it fondly as one of the best shows I’ve ever been to.
Good friends, good music, beautiful beaches and so much fun made this one of the happiest trips of my life. Unforgettable memories were made in Ibiza, and I now see why people return to Ibiza year after year as their summer ritual.
That being said, see you in summer 2019 Ibiza!