Ibiza is a haven for the young, the young at heart, idealists, artists, musicians, liberals and party animals, but it’s also a beautiful island filled with mysticism and unspoiled wilderness. While summer is the time most visitors fill its shores, its almost unlimited sunshine and friendly atmosphere makes it an ideal place to spend your holiday any time of the year. Everything is more expensive during its six months of summer, from airline tickets to food, but it’s the most likely time you will be able to arrange a direct flight. During the off-season of mid-October to early May, your visits to Ibiza can be arranged by taking a flight to Barcelona or Madrid, then using a domestic carrier into Ibiza. There will be fewer services but the inhabitants of Ibiza will welcome you any time of the year.
The people of Ibiza are very proud of their island and have a number of World Heritage sites that preserve their ecological diversity and archeological heritage. UNESCO World Heritage sites include the fields of Posidonia of Ses Salines Natural Park, the Phoenician settlement of sa Caleta, the fortifications of the Ibiza City and the cemetery of Puig des Molins. Visitors are welcome to explore these sites, but must stay on the walking trails.
With the exception of Ibiza town, the island is sparsely settled. You may travel outside the national parks to visit its numerous beaches and wilderness areas, but be a conscientious tourist. If there is no place to dispose of your rubbish, take it with you until you find a trash disposal container. Recycling is approved, so check for places that will accept your recyclable items.
Most of the water in Ibiza is provided from wells. If this bothers you, buy bottled water. The well water is very clean, however, and you might find it more refreshing.
Even in the winter, sun exposure can be intense as the water reflection amplifies the sunlight. Unless you’re already bronzed, bring sun screen with you unless you don’t mind looking like a lobster.
Before going into the water, check with the locals for safety purposes. Jellyfish can get trapped in the small coves. Although Ibiza jellyfish are not deadly, they can still leave a terrible sting that will remind you of your heedlessness for several days.
The sun is hottest at 14:00, and in the summer, this can mean the sea temperature is warm as well. Do what the locals do; take your siesta during the hot hours, or find a café for a bite to eat in the shade. It is illegal to sleep on the beach, so don’t think about flinging your back pack onto a spot and making yourself at home. The police patrol the beach areas regularly and are not kindly disposed to beach campers.
Taxis can be very expensive in Ibiza, but the local busses are very accommodating. If you rent a car, beware of deals that require you to pay for a full tank of petrol in advance. The “in house” fuel prices can be as much as fifty percent higher than filling station prices.
The best view of Ibiza is from the village of Sant Josep de sa Talaia. It’s a strenuous walk but it will lead you to Ibiza’s tallest hill and on a clear day you can see both Mallorca and the mainland. Just follow the painted arrows behind Bar Bernat Vinya. Wear comfortable shoes, a hat and carry a bottle of water.
For a perfect view of the mysterious island, Es Vedra, drive the road from Es Cubells to Cala D’Hort. Look for a left-hand turn to Sa Pedrera. Park at the end of the lane and walk a short distance to view the island from the cliff tops.
Although the clubs are expensive, if you’re good looking and well-dressed, there is a chance you can get in without paying a cover charge. Act like you own the town and that you plan to spend a lot of money on drinks.
The most expensive time to go clubbing is in August. Tourism is at its height, and scalpers are taking advantage of the numbers. If you buy your tickets to a club online, you generally won’t have to stand in the queue and can get in as soon as the doors open. However, the clubs are very crowded, so sometimes queuing is inevitable no matter what arrangements you make ahead of time.
Hotels have started to cater more and more toward family holidays. While the pool may look enticing, don’t invite a number of friends to join you while you’re in the party mood. Respect the families who have brought along their children to enjoy the cultural and water activities and want a quiet vacation, and it will keep you out of trouble.
Ibiza is very relaxed about drugs. In fact, possession of any drug is not a criminal offense, although trafficking drugs is illegal. It is not legal to partake of drugs in public. It is not legal to drink and drive or drink alcohol while walking around the town. Penalties for drinking and driving are very severe, so be sensible.
The legal age for buying alcohol is eighteen, and legal age for tobacco, sixteen. You must be eighteen years of age to enter a club. The legal amount of alcohol you can have in your system when driving is equivalent to two cans of beer or two glasses of wine. There are disco busses that will take you anywhere in town if you have been drinking.
Drinks can be very expensive. However, many of the bars have a happy hour, when drinks are a lot cheaper. Do not try to smuggle alcohol into a club, or you will be thrown out and banned.
If you have been imprisoned on drug or alcohol related charges, contact your consul, although they may not be able to help you get out of jail. Drug and alcohol offenses are taken seriously and you may just have to wait out your sentence.