Blessed with a beautiful Mediterranean climate, sun-kissed beaches, and some of the best nightclubs in the world, Ibiza is known as the party hard island of the Balearics.
And indeed, when the local population is swallowed whole by the seven-million-odd tourists that arrive en masse each year, partying hard is what most travelers tend to do.
But for those who don’t wake in in Ibiza with a hangover (it’s possible, I promise you!), there are a huge range of other fantastic things to do.
From stunning nature, to rich cultural heritage, if you’re willing to truly explore the island you may discover that Ibiza has a surprisingly peaceful side; hushed churches and secluded north-coast coves.
The following are our favorite ideas for things to do in Ibiza. More about Ibiza can be found on the internet portal Iberostar.com.
Things to do in Ibiza (That Don’t include Partying!)
Splurge on a Luxury Hotel
Ibiza is home to some of the most stylish hotels in the Mediterranean, and if there was any time to splurge on a luxury hotel, this would be your opportunity.
Luxury hotels in Ibiza are usually equipped with everything from pristine pools to sleekly outfitted guest rooms. They feature luxury spas facilities, incredible sunsets, and embody the Mediterranean lifestyle with beautiful indoor / outdoor spaces.
They are also spread across amazing locations including Ibiza town, Salinas, Santa Eularia des Riu, and most are within walking distance of the beach, if not on it!
In summer the cream of the world’s DJs (David Guetta, Sven Väth, Armin van Buuren et al) descend on the island, making it the ultimate destination for clubbers, and the ultimate destination to spot celebrities.
You probably won’t bump into celebrities on group tours, as most A-listers visiting Ibiza prefer to charter a yacht and enjoy the privacy of their own vessel, but you have a very good chance to running into various celebs at the islands various 5 star hotels.
In June, Cristiano Ronaldo stayed at the 5-star Hacienda Na Xamena resort on the northern coast. Kate Moss was spotted at the Ibiza Rocks Hotel, and Pikes Hotel is a favorite of Idris Elba, Naomi Campbell and Jaime Winstone.
Also keep an eye out for celebs eating at the island’s many glamorous restaurants. Celebrities heading out to party will usually begin their evening at Lio Restaurant. People like Michael Jordan, Eva Longoria and Gerald Butler have been seen here.
Spend Time at the Beach
Ibiza is famous for it’s party scene, but it also has an extraordinary number of sensational beaches, from wild-and-free bays to perfect little white-sand coves. And these are the type of beaches you want to appreciate, not pass out on!
There are 15 Blue Flag Beaches in Ibiza. This simply means that the beaches are environmentally friendly, safe, possess good water quality, and meet the highest standards. They feature unbelievably stunning turquoise water, and sand so white it could pass as sugar.
Bring your snorkel and mask, or, if you’re more adventurous, the Don Pedro Boat is known as one of Europe’s finest shipwrecks for divers. If you’re hoping to take in secluded coves and hidden beaches off the main tourist route you should hire a car, or a scooter. Public transport doesn’t go everywhere.
Check out this post for a list of Ibiza’s best beaches. Though don’t miss Cala d’en Serra. “This beach lies in the northern part of the island and is still something of a hidden gem. The bay has clean water and steep cliffs as well as an appealing sandy beach.”
While spending time at the beach is a big part of most traveler’s itineraries, water sports are readily available for those who want to spend time on the water.
There are plenty of watersports centres offering equipment hire and lessons in activities like sailing, scuba diving, wakeboarding and kite surfing all around the island. Speedboats, jet skis and banana boats are also incredibly popular.
“Banana boats, ringos, parasailing and flying mattresses are among a range of inflatable fun to be had on the sea. Pedalos, paddleboards and kayaks are available for hire at most of the bigger resorts, usually from the beaches.”
And then there are independent activities you don’t need to hire equipment for, like snorkeling (take your own mask to save on hire costs), cliff jumping, and swimming.
Dedicated to Santa María la Mayor, Ibiza Cathedral is located right at the top of the old city, and is a fascinating attraction for the history buff, as well as anyone seeking a scenic outlook over the water.
In 1235, Catalonian troops under Guillem de Montgrí promised that if they managed to conquer Ibiza they would build a church. It was initially built in the 14th century in Gothic style, though today features a combination of Baroque features, as it was restored in the 18th century in this style.
The exterior is severe and sober, with strong buttresses, and the cathedral today keeps many works of art, like gold and silver artefacts that date back to 1399. You can also view gothic paintings from the 13th and 14th centuries, take in the Gothic bell tower, and visit the Museu Diocesà.
Museu Diocesà is a popular museum featuring Ibizan jewellery from the 18th century and religious sculptures, such as the one of Rosary Virgin (Verge del Roser) and the Las Almas, which is quite spectacular with devil figures and demons.
Image credit: Jim Bowen
A UNESCO-listed site, Dalt Vila is the highest and oldest part of Ibiza town. It was built in the 16th century as a defence fortification, and the walls mark the perimeter of the oldest part of the town.
Constructed to fend off the threat of attacks by Berber pirates as well as invasion by sovereign forces like the French and the Turks, the walls took forty years to build. The narrow cobbled streets are well-preserved, and magnificent views await on top of the castle complex.
The walled enclosure is in the shape of a heptagon and a defensive bastion juts out at each angle. It’s well worth taking a little tour of the fortifications to check out the seven bastions, each with a slightly different story to tell.
A gorgeous island right next to Ibiza in the south, Formentera is known its sparkling waters and incredible beaches. In fact, some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe are found here.
The unspoiled beaches will transport you to the Caribbean, with turquoise waters and sugar-white sand. It has an ambience and appearance a world away from most Mediterranean destinations.
From the small port of La Savina you can hire a bike, car, or moped for the day and set off along dusty tracks that snake through little whitewashed hamlets and an unspoiled island interior. As you go you’ll never be more than a few hundred metres from the coast and another immaculate sandy beach.
The ferry crossing from the port of Ibiza Town to port La Savina is a short half hour journey.
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