When I say I’ve just returned home from Ibiza, I get two reactions. Either a scoff that I went to rave island, or a fist pump…. that I went to rave island. And while, yes, I suppose we did ‘rave’ in Ibiza, the island is so much more than just a party spot. Would I make an effort to return? Not particularly. Was I pleasantly surprised by the non-club related activities? You bet.
Probably the biggest surprise was that the food in Ibiza wasn’t just ‘edible’ it was divine. I was anticipating bland flavorless tourist fare, but our meals were anything but. To the contrary, I would even say that Ibiza has some of the best restaurants in Spain. (mic drop).
When I thought ‘beach club in Ibiza’ I was picturing Scorpios in Mykonos, but with the intensity (and bass) turned up. What we discovered instead was laid back oceanside restaurants, great service, phenomenal food and, perhaps the most shocking, reasonable prices.
My favorite beach bars that we visited were El Chiringuito and Cala Gracioneta, but I also heard great things about Amante from my travel comrade @ashbashjacks & our Ibiza bride @alliebailey. This is actually a great place to honorable mention @alliebailey for all of her Ibiza recs that made this trip so lovely.
We also spent an afternoon lounging at Sant Joan de Labritja beach – it had a cool hippie sub-culture vibe and pretty lively restaurant. On Sundays there is a boho fair with clothing, jewelry and home accents for sale.
I mean, you can’t not go to a nightclub in Ibiza. The most infamous club, Ushuaia, wasn’t open the night we wanted to go. But, I can definitely suggest it just based on the fact that it’s outdoors. We went to Pascha and, to be honest, I was kind of disappointed. The club was pretty lackluster and felt outdated. I was picturing an outdoor beachside heart-pumping experience. Pascha is indoors and underwhelming. But it was packed, and we drank heavily until the wee hours of the morning – so, party in Ibiza – check.
For pre-club sunset cocktails, don’t miss cafe Mambo!
DAY TRIP TO FORMENTERA
This is a must on your itinerary. The boat day to formentera is quintessential to an Ibiza holiday. There are a trillion options for boats, but it’s ibiza, so might I kindly suggest to go big or go home. There is a restaurant on the island where most of the day trippers have lunch called Juan y Andrea. I suggest against it. The food is horrifically overpriced and service is painfully slow. Instead, have your boat crew fix a lunch.
-Sa Punta – Even if the food wasn’t divine I would recommend Sa Punta just for the breathtaking view. But it so happens that the food and cocktails are also exceptional.
–El Chiringuito and Cala Gracioneta – both of these ‘beach bars’ that I mentioned above have restaurants with phenomenal eats. Honorable mention to the strawberry cava sangria at Cala Gracioneta, it’s pretty life changing.
-Fish Shack. wow. you want the world’s freshest fish prepared perfectly in a no frills picnic table setting on a cliffs edge? This is the spot for you. I’m assuming this place is like In n Out in the sense that it’s the first and last place you want to eat when you’re on the island.
-Sa Capella. Located inside of an old monastery, this unique restaurant is dripping in romance.
–Bambuddah. You can get a tableside shoulder massage while you eat at this lively asian fusion spot – what more could you want?
Worth checking out for some shopping and a dockside gelato stroll.
WHERE TO STAY
If I return to the island, I would book a room at Hacienda Na Xamena or perhaps Nobu. But since we were traveling with such a big group, it made more sense for us to rent an airbnb for our brood of 16. I think that part of the fun of going to ibiza is staying with friends in an over the top party house. So, check again.
You should definitely rent a car so you can explore the island properly. Of course, for going out at night, you should use taxis to avoid drinking and driving on these narrow and difficult to navigate roads. You won’t find uber on the island, but there is ‘taxi ibiza’ which is essentially the same thing. Expect to pay a min of $30 euros anywhere you want to go.