Located just fifty miles off the coast of Valencia, Spain, this fairly petite-sized Balearic Island is much more than it’s party reputation proceeds. With clear water as far as the eye can see, pristine beaches, secret coves, and parties that last for days, it’s not wonder five million tourists flock to this paradise every year. Although the parties are legendary and the island hosts the biggest nightclub in the world, this island’s beauty, culture, and energy are also definitely something to write home about.
When To Go: When planning your trip to Ibiza always keep in mind what time of year you’re going. There are a few things to consider. the weather and the prices. The high season is June-August, and the low season is September-May. The high season is the high season because that’s when the biggest parties happen and the weather is the hottest. However, do know the prices during the high season will sky rocket! The pros are the huge parties and the energy of everyone coming to have a good time in the summer months, it’s what Ibiza is all about! The cons are that during these months it can sometimes feel overly crowded, a little chaotic and you’re going to be spending much more money.
The low season may be nice for couples looking for some alone time or the retirees island hopping, but sometimes the weather and liveliness can be a little iffy during those months…but nonetheless, the prices of everything will be much less expensive. I know first handed, if the weather isn’t good, your trip can be a little less than you expect. It was May when we went to Ibiza for a three-day weekend. The first day was beautiful, with sunny, clear skies. The next two days were freezing and raining, which was a major buzz kill. People were still out partying, but those infamous beach parties were nowhere to be found.
Money/Expenses: This is probably the most important thing to know about Ibiza. For anyone looking for the stereotypical party experience, be prepared to clean out your piggy bank. This island is pricey! Big parties and household DJ’s mean big price tags. It’s overflowing with exclusive clubs and hangouts for the famous as well as the everyday young traveler looking to dance the night away. Either way, you’re going to have to pay a hefty sum to see your favorite DJ playing at a pool party or nightclub. When I was in Ibiza they were charging 120 Euros to get into the club where David Guetta was performing. That’s almost $200 USD, before drinks AND transportation. Outrageous. Budget accordingly for these things. Make your own drinks and take them to the beach rather than getting them from the bar, or if you have a kitchen buy groceries and cook to save on food costs.
Different Areas of the Island
North of the island: This part of the island is fairly quiet. Many families stay here where the noise doesn’t keep people up all night and the beaches are almost untouched. Recommended for families.
West: This west side of the island is known for the stereotypical parties Ibiza is so famous for. However, there are great hotels, resorts, and unique finds that make this part of the island more than just a place to party.
Southeast: Historic Ibiza town is located on the SE side. There’s a surplus of restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and shops in this area. Although there is no beach located right in town, it’s only a short ten-minute walk!
Playa d’en Bossa: This is a very popular destination for every type of traveler. The single traveler looking for a good party, the couple looking for some alone time, as well as the family hoping to enjoy the beach and family time. This is where we stayed for our three-day stay in Ibiza; I go into more detail about this part of the island in the section below.
Lodging: We chose to stay in Playa d’en Bossa on the Southeast side of the Island. A short ten-minute drive from the airport and you’re right in the heart of it all. The beach extends for miles and there are food markets, restaurants, bars and clubs all up and down. There’s plenty to choose from in this part of the island. You can stay on the beach right down in the middle of the craziness, stay a few blocks up from the madness, or stay on a quieter end of the beach and get some R & R. Right on the water many of the hotels and huge resorts are lined up one after the other with sexy pools and loud beach bars. Right in the middle near the downtown area of d’en Bossa is where all of the beach and bar action is. Some of these lavish resorts, like the Hard Rock, can charge party entrance fees that will cost you an arm and a leg. However, if you don’t need to stay in such an extravagant place, you can splurge on their pools parties and spend plenty of time on the nice grounds. (The pool parties vary in entrance fees but many are around 50 Euros.)
Saving on Lodging: *Tip: Staying in an apartment is probably the best way to go. There are several complexes in this area. Especially if you are traveling in groups, apartments are the most cost efficient solution for lodging.
We stayed in an apartment type complex, Bon Sol Apartments, three blocks up from the actual beach. It was one of the cheapest options we found. *Take note, this was right before high season. I have been told the prices can almost triple during the high season! Although at many times there was no hot water, the gas was out, and our room keys wouldn’t work, the space was nice and the location was great considering the extremely cheap price tag. Ibiza is like anywhere else, you get what you pay for. When I go back someday, I’d probably stay in Playa d’en Bossa three nights, and another, quieter part of the island the other four. Best of both worlds!
Dealing with Party Promoters: If you’re going to the island to party, there are some general rules to live by. NEVER sign up for anything the first time you hear about it. Even if it sounds like the greatest deal you’ve ever heard in your life, chances are it’s not, and if it is, it’s not going away right away like they’ll make you believe. Ask around! When you’re spending that kind of money you want to make sure your decisions are on point and also you don’t get too ahead of yourself. Don’t buy a ticket to Space nightclub for 100 Euros and stay up until 9am…with a Booze Cruise planned at noon the next day that you already paid 85 Euros for. You’re not going to make it and there are no refunds. Just be smart about it.
The promoters also all work together. They have little tricks like failing to mention free transportation, or selling you on free drinks only to find they’re only free until midnight. Make sure you ask questions and always cover your entire basis! Ticket, transportation, drinks, everything…ask!
Give Yourself Enough Time or Plan Out Your days: Give yourself enough time to explore as much of the island as you can. Of course Ibiza is known for it’s parties but this beautiful Balearic Island is inundated with secret beaches, caves, beautiful landscapes and quaint village-type towns. My one regret is only going to Ibiza for a weekend. Although weather played a huge role in why we didn’t get to see much of the island, it would’ve been so great to be able to explore. When I go back I’m definitely renting a motorbike and visiting as much of this stunning island as I can.
Drug/Club Culture: Be careful in Ibiza when going out and drinking and/or going to clubs. The island is very catered around partying, thus making things like drugs a given. Whether you want to see and hear about them or not, you most likely will. Just be alert when setting your drink down, be aware of your surroundings and never get in cabs or go home with someone you don’t know. I’m not saying the island is dangerous by any means, I felt safe the entire time I was there, but when there’s drinking and drugs involved anything can happen.