The Best Of: Ibiza

Some say that Ibiza has had its day but that's just wishful thinking on the part of those who mistake this sun drenched, spiritual isle as a clubbing hellhole.

Some say that Ibiza has had its day but that's just wishful thinking on the part of those who mistake this sun drenched, spiritual isle as a clubbing hellhole. The Carthaginians first came here in 654 BC and much of the island's magic comes from its sense of age and mythical history. In the Sixties, the hippy generation stopped off here en route to Goa and Bali and made it their hippy home. And today, that spirit is very much back. Ibiza just oozes boho-chic and many of the trendy come here for a week in the summer in search of sun, sand, relaxed living and possibly the occasional visit to one of the superclubs.

Best Places to Stay

Secreted away in the north of the island, the Hacienda Na Xamena (020-7978 5842; www.relaischateaux.com) is Ibiza's only five-star property. Perched on a cliff top with amazing views over the Mediterranean from the exotic sun and pool terraces, the hotel attracts a glitzy international crowd and houses several good restaurants. Rooms are large, the design has Zen-like Eastern influences and many of the rooms have terraces with their own hot tubs for lovers' trysts. Double rooms from £221 per night on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis, excluding drinks, based on two sharing, quoting the special "lys de bronze" offer.

Hotel Es Vive (00 34 971 30 19 02; www.hotelesvive.com) in Figueretas just outside Ibiza Town is the hip choice of those in search of the nocturnal Ibiza clubbing experience. This is also the Hed Kandi hotel, and if you need to ask, then don't even think of booking in here. (Hed Kandi is a record label, a radio show and an international club phenomenon.) Expect a striking Art Deco interior, 24-hour bar service and live DJs playing on the cool pool terrace. Double rooms from £105 per room per night, including breakfast, minimum stay four nights.

Can Pep Musonet in Can Guillermo booked through James Villa Holidays (0870 085 0722; www.jamesvillas.co.uk) is a restored old farmhouse, complete with its original flagstone floors, beamed ceilings and ancient watchtower. The four-bedroom villa is well-equipped with a large open-plan living and dining room plus an additional upstairs balconied sitting room with great views over the countryside. Ideal for families or a group of friends. Seven nights costs from £372 per person, including return flights and hire of a seven-seat vehicle, based on six sharing. The villa is available for £529 for a week's rental departing 22 May.

Best Restaurant

Set in a flower and palm-filled courtyard against the old Roman wall of Ibiza Old Town, La Brasa, Carrer Pere Sala 3 (00 34 971 30 12 02), specialises in regional and seafood dishes with the emphasis on simple fare. Try the seared lobster or the salmon with lobster sauce and don't miss the exotic cactus fruit dessert. The dress code is smart or glamorous so dress to impress. Booking ahead is advised. About £40 per head for three courses including wine.

East meets West at Bambuddha Grove, Ctra San Juan Km 8.5 (00 34 971 19 75 10), which is on the Ibiza Town/Sant Joan road about 15 minutes from Ibiza Town by car. Expect plenty of bamboo, Buddhas and open-air lounges strewn with silk cushions. The diners are a mix of young and old who come for the excellent Thai-fusion fare. Live DJs spin ambient beats and the long menu includes favourites such as prawn dim sum and Japanese soba noodle salad with grilled teriyaki salmon. Booking ahead is essential. Around £30 per head for three courses, including wine.

Kumharas, Cala de Bou, Port Des Torrent (00 34 971 80 57 40), is focused on a ruined stone windmill that now serves as its bar. There are lots of hippy stalls, too. This is a spot to unwind with a sundowner early evening. The cuisine is a good mix of local and international fare with an oriental twist, so expect everything from pasta dishes and fish to curry. Three-course set menus from £13 per head, excluding wine.

Best Cultural Attraction

Visit the Phoenician settlement at Sa Caleta and see the excavated remains of a village that dates from the middle of the 7th century BC. To get to grips with Ibizan folklore, check out the Ethnological Museum of the Pitiusa Islands in Santa Eularia des Rui. The Pitiusa Islands are Ibiza and neighbouring Formentera and the collection reflects a time when the islanders had to be self-sufficient and all things had to be made at home. The exhibits include jewellery, household utensils and tools, folklore and weapons. Opening hours from 11am to 1pm and 5pm to 8pm. Closed Sundays and Monday mornings.

Best Shopping

For unusual summer clothes and jewellery, trawl markets such as Las Dahlias, near Sant Cares on Saturdays. On Wednesdays go to the old hippy market in Es Cana. Bring back some Hierbas Ibicencas, the lethal local liqueur flavoured with aniseed, thyme, rosemary and citrus peel.

Best Sightseeing

Thankfully, Ibiza is short on big draws and part of the island's intrinsic magic is driving around and discovering the sleepy whitewashed hilltop villages such as Santa Agnes and Santa Gertrudis, both of which have plenty of good restaurants and bars. There are also secret gems to be unearthed, such as the Can Marca cave in Puerto San Miguel. The vast natural cave, more than 100,000 years old, was used by smugglers in days gone by. At all costs avoid the town of San Antonio, the hormone-heady high-rise hell as seen in the television series "Ibiza Uncovered".

Best Nightspot

Ibiza still reigns supreme in the world of clubbing and all the big summer hits are heard here first. The superclubs, such as Amnesia, Privilege, Pacha and El Divino, are confined to San Rafael in the hills, the marina outside Ibiza Old Town and Playa d'en Bossa. The really cool sessions such as Matinee at Space and DC10 play during the day so you don't even have to stay up all night to enjoy them.

How to get there

EasyJet (0905 8210905; www.easyjet.com) flies from Stansted and Gatwick to Ibiza from £118 return, including taxes.

Ibiza Town is compact and relatively easy to explore on foot. Public transport is erratic so the best way of getting around the island is by hire car. Holiday Autos (0870 400 0010; www.holidayautos.co.uk) offers one week's fully inclusive car hire from £89.

Taxis are plentiful and can be hailed in the street. A journey by taxi from the airport to Ibiza Town costs around £10.

For further information contact The Spanish National Tourist Office (020-7486 8077; www.spain.info).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
    Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

    Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

    Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
    Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

    Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

    Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
    Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

    Join the tequila gold rush

    The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
    12 best statement wallpapers

    12 best statement wallpapers

    Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
    Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

    Paul Scholes column

    Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?