Benirrás, Ibiza

Ibiza by day: Things to do when the party island isn’t partying

Boom, boom, boom goes the bass in the clubs of Ibiza, which has long had one of the best clubbing scenes in the world. But how does the party island sound miles from a dance floor when the clubbers are sleeping off their hangovers? Surprisingly peaceful is the answer.

Image © Eric Holcomb

With Ibiza’s long hot summers not cooling off until October, there is plenty of time to hop on a plane for some sun, sea and relaxation – and yes you really can leave your dancing shoes at home if you want to.

Discovering the real Ibiza isn’t likely to happen in San Antonio: a haven for bars, clubs and too many bodies on one beach. That said, San Antonio is still a great place to stay, with excellent transport links across the island. Hop on a bus to Ibiza Old Town, a UNESCO Heritage Site with over 2000 years of history in its roots and stone buildings.

Ibiza old town – Image © Mick Gallagher

Climb to the top of the hill to either have a look at the old Santa Maria Cathedral or to simply marvel at the glorious views of the port and New Town.

Ibiza Town – Image © Jess Loughborough

To enjoy beaches which are unspoilt and spacious, try heading to Aguas Blancas, a favourite of the locals, more likely to host Spanish family picnics than young tourists participating in hair-of-the-dog drinking games. There’s also the “beach” at Punta Galera, which in actual fact isn’t a beach at all but a collection of flat rocks perfectly formed for sunbathing, hailed by locals as the best beach on the island. Another quiet beach worth visiting is S’Estanyol, reminiscent of the hippy Ibiza of days gone by before the super clubs took over. This small, authentic beach cove isn’t easy to find, but it is worth asking for directions from the locals as it remains a calm place to spend a few hours swimming or snorkelling.

Ibiza is also an island of hidden historic treasures like the secret cove of Atlantis. So called because it is believed by locals to have once been the location of the lost underwater kingdom of Atlantis, this mesmerizingly impressive rock formation can be found on the south west of the island. You’ll have to trek for up to an hour to get to the coast, but the walk, which takes in a pirate watch tower and hand drawn murals dating back to the swinging sixties and seventies, is worth it even if just to take a dip in the bath-like waters of a beautiful sea-filled swimming pool that nature has kindly carved out of the rock.

More marvels of nature can be found at Caves of C’an Marca, which used to be a hideout for pirates passing by or needing somewhere to stash their loot.

Image © Ivo Schwalbe

Believed to be over 100,000 years old, these caves are full of stalactites, stalagmites and fossils as well as serving as a nice break from the sun.

Image © Matthew Kirkland

Close by is Benirras, another family friendly beach which is more popular than S’Estanyol but still comparatively calm. It has however become known for its impromptu African drumming and dancing at sunset. Experience and rejoice in the primal ancestor to Ibiza’s modern superclubs, without the blaring and bustling and booming.

Image © Palencas

Image © Ivar Abrahamsen

Feel inspired? There is still plenty of time to book your own Ibiza escape. View the range of accommodation options, or why not share your own tips and favourite things to do in Ibiza in the comments below?