There are definitely plenty of things to do in Ibiza. Everyone knows Ibiza is the party place for the European rich and famous, where they go to work on their tan, do some bar hopping and dance the nights away.
But there is so much more to Ibiza than clubs and bars and it is not easy to decide what are the best things to do in Ibiza if you are there for a short time only.
Ibiza is a lovely island in the Mediterranean, with beautiful beaches, ancient forts, quaint villages, and secluded coves. You can join one of the many tours that will show you Ibiza’s top sights. But if you’re an adventurous spirit, go on your own. Hop on local buses, rent a bike or walk, nothing is too far away. There are certain parts of Ibiza you shouldn’t miss and in this article, I’ll show you what makes Ibiza a unique travel destination.
How to get to Ibiza?
Ibiza is such a popular destination that almost every European big city has a direct flight to the island. It’s fast, easy and not expensive.
You can also take a ferry from Barcelona. It takes nine hours, but you can have a nap, work on your tan or watch the dolphins frolic around the ferry.
When is the best time to go to Ibiza?
You can go any time of the year, but there is a season for everything.
From May to October, the temperatures are 70-80 °F (21-27 °C), and the party crowd starts arriving in droves. The prices of hotels and airfares are sky-high.
Between November and April is the so-called low season. The temperatures drop to 50-60 °F (10-15 °C), flight and hotel rates significantly drop and the party crowd is gone, probably to some ski resorts.
10 top things to do in Ibiza Spain
1. Visit Dalt Vila
It’s only right to start the list of the best things to do in Ibiza with its Old Town or Dalt Vila.
Dalt Vila is Ibiza’s famous fortified “old town” built by Charles V in the 16th century. This stunning example of Renaissance military architecture was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999.
Within the old walls lie remnants of the many cultures that made Ibiza their home for thousands of years. The walls were erected to protect Ibiza from Berber pirates and the invasion by foreign armies such as the French.
The fort has seven bastions, each slightly different, with a unique story to tell. The Santa Lucía bastion houses an 18th-century powder magazine. It provides a spectacular view of the harbor and the old fishing district.
The old town is a fabulous place to explore. Besides the castle and its ancient walls, it has a cathedral, a monastery, and several museums, but also charming narrow cobblestoned streets lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops. The deeper you venture into the old narrow passageways, the more of the true Ibiza you will see, with masses of purple bougainvillea, laundry drying on the lines, people dining on their balconies, or kids playing soccer on the street.
Some of Ibiza’s biggest events are held in Dalt Vila. If you are lucky to be in Ibiza on 29 April this year, you should not miss the IMS – International Music Summit that includes a dramatic open-air concert with some of the most famous names in electronic and pop music.
2. Go to Torre des Savinar
The Torre des Savinar is the tallest defense tower in Ibiza. At about 200 meters above sea level, it provides spectacular views of the entire Ibiza and the islets of Es Vedrà and Es Vedranell in front of it. At the foot of the Tower is Atlantis or Sa Pedrera de Cala d’Hort, one of the most famous beaches in Ibiza.
Torre de Savinar is also called Torre de Cap des Jueu for the cape on which it is perched. It is also known as Torre del Pirata, as its main function was to monitor the arrival of pirates to the coast of Ibiza.
The tower was completed in 1756 and it was supposed to have some heavy artillery pieces, but its function was limited to surveillance. Ibizans are proud to let tourists know that no pirate has ever set foot on this tower.
The Torre des Savinar is privately owned. Access to the interior is not permitted anymore and there is an entrance fee of two euros just to see it from the outside.
3. Explore Es Vedra
The islet of Es Vedrà is a massive rock pyramid in the southwest part of the island, in front of Cala d’Hort, in Sant Josep de Sa Talaia municipality. The rock is a nature reserve and part of the Parc de Cala d’Hort i Es Vedrà, because of its high ecological value.
The islet is home to a variety of birds and lizards. The pitiusa lizard is an endemic subspecies that differs in color and size from others of its species. Es Vedra is also a very important breeding ground for birds of prey and seabirds. There are also many endemic plants that only exist on the island, so a visit here is one of the best things to do in Ibiza for nature lovers.
Es Vedra’s attraction is in its colossal size (382 meters above sea level) and unique pyramidal shape. You can see it from many parts of Ibiza, Formentera, and even the Iberian Peninsula.
You can reach the islet by driving or taking a local taxi. Once you get there, find a nice spot on the cliffs and watch the rock, the vast sea that stretches to the horizon and if you have the time, wait for the sun to color the sea and the sky as it sets for the day.
4. Visit Ibiza Cathedral
Located at the top of the fort within the walls of Dalt Vila (Ibiza’s Old Town) is the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Snows. It’s simple and stark, built in Gothic style.
Its construction started in the 14th century. The Ibiza cathedral was built on top of previous religious buildings that stood in the same spot in the past. The former Santa Maria church, which was built in 1235 after the Catalan conquest, stood where the Cathedral is now.
Walk around its cool interior and pay attention to the gothic silver and gold monstrance, dating allegedly to 1399, and gothic panel paintings from the 14th and 15th centuries. The views of the sea from here are spectacular.
The Old Town has some steep sections and stairs you need to climb to reach the cathedral. Unfortunately, this is one of the things to do in Ibiza that may be very difficult or even impossible to visit for people with reduced mobility.
5. Relax on Playa d’en Bossa
Playa d’en Bossa is Ibiza’s most famous and most popular resort town. In front of it is the island’s longest beach covered by sunbeds, loungers, and parasols. It’s lined with cool, fun beach bars and restaurants of all kinds.
With the constant background of low-key music, crowds of last night’s party-goers are resting and gathering energy for another night of dancing and drinking. It’s no coincidence that some of the most popular clubs such as Ushuaia and Space are right in the resort, so a night here is one of the most exciting things to do in Ibiza on vacation.
For those travelers who are more interested in the sea and the beach, there are some great water-sport facilities such as stand-up paddleboards, jet skis, catamarans, and plenty of other water toys. And you do not have to worry about sharks in the Mediterranean Sea!
Once the sun goes down, the beach becomes the island party central, loud, lively, and fun.
6. Travel to San Antonio
San Antonio is located on Ibiza’s west coastline, overlooking the Bay of San Antonio. It’s Ibiza’s second-largest city and like Ibiza town, it offers a perfect mix of lovely sandy beaches and world-famous clubs.
During the day, thousands of tourists descend on the city’s narrow beaches overlooking the crystal clear Mediterranean waters or stroll along the promenade by the bay. The best spots to enjoy the view of the bay and the many luxury yachts bobbing on the water are charming cafes and restaurants lining the promenade.
Before the day ends and you get ready to hit the clubs, stop by the legendary Cafe del Mar which has been around for more than two decades. There are also plenty of clubs to choose from but superclubs Es Paradis and Eden are still the most popular.
Try to find some time to explore the city’s surroundings and visit the cave of Cap Blanc, once a lobster nursery and now converted into an aquarium. La Cova de Ses Fontanelles is famous for the original cave paintings discovered in 1917. The cave once served as a wine cellar and its walls still have traces of its Punic origin. A visit here is one of the unique things to do in Ibiza you can try.
7. Take a break on Talamanca Beach
Only about a 15-minute walk north of Ibiza Town is Talamanca, the town’s most popular and most beautiful beach. Wide and long, with perfect soft white sand, it attracts locals and tourists alike. Fortunately, it is so big that it never feels crowded, even at the peak of the high season.
There are no massive hotels towering over the beach so it feels tranquil and peaceful. The water is shallow and warm, of beautiful turquoise color, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and relaxing on the sand. Shallow, protected waters make the beach perfect for the kids.
Talamanca is surrounded by small hills covered in ancient pine trees. A small holiday community of Cap Martinet is nearby. Add a visit to Talamanca to your list of things to do in Ibiza and I promise you won’t regret it.
There are plenty of great little local places that serve cool drinks and authentic Balearic food such as bullit de peix.
8. Explore Punta d’es Moscarter
If you want to see Ibiza the way it looked before tourists discovered it, walk to the northern tip of the island. You will pass through fragrant pine forests, small farmlands, and along the wild coastline with small coves hiding tiny holiday communities.
If you take the trail from Portinatx along the clifftop, you will reach the famous Punta d’es Moscarter lighthouse. The Faro d’es Moscarter striped tower is 52 meters tall and is the highest structure on the island.
The walk through juniper and pine bushes can be a bit challenging, but the view and the photos you can take from the cliffs are well worth it. Definitely one of the best things to do in Ibiza on vacation!
9. Visit the Archeological Museum of Ibiza and Formentera
If you fell in love with Ibiza’s old town, you should add a visit to the archeological museum to your list of things to do in Ibiza, to learn more about the island’s fascinating past.
The Archaeological Museum’s original exhibit was the collection of the Ebusitan Archaeological Society excavated in numerous places in Ibiza and Formentera. The original collection was eventually expanded with exhibits collected from Portmany, Ses Torres, the Illa Plana, and Es Culleram sanctuaries, which were donated in 1913 by the Roman family.
The exhibits span three thousand years of Ibiza history, from the people who originally settled in the islands to the Catalan conquest in 1235.
Please note that the Archaeological Museum of Ibiza and Formentera is temporarily closed for renovations, but will hopefully be reopened soon.
10. Enjoy local delicacies
There are so many great eating spots in Ibiza you will have to do some exploring on your own. Here are just a few that should not be missed:
- Calma is the best spot in town for fantastic views, authentic Ibizan cuisine, and a great atmosphere. You can find it in Ibiza port, right on the edge of the water and it is open from early morning for the traditional breakfast, until late at night.
- Mar a Vila is snuggled in the old town of Ibiza, a popular local joint that serves amazing island foods. When you see a restaurant full of locals, it is always a good sign. This is not a hole-in-the-wall place, the food is fantastic and it is listed in the Michelin Guide, so be prepared for some true delicacies.
- Yemanja is a true beach restaurant where you eat with your feet in the sand. The food is traditional Spanish, the cocktails are cold and the atmosphere is unbeatable.
There are so many things to do in Ibiza that you need at least a week to even try to get the feel of the place.
Ibiza is delightful and you will have fun whether you partied every night till dawn or explored local ruins and quaint coastal villages. Turquoise blue sea, long sandy beaches, narrow cobblestoned streets smothered in purple vines, fabulous food, and smiling people, Ibiza is a little slice of paradise.
Lorena Maia is a fellow blogger and traveler. She has lived in Europe, America, and Oceania with her husband and daughter. They love exploring new cities, history, and good food. Find their experiences at their TravelCroc site.
You too can become a guest blogger on The Travel Bunny. Just submit a free guest post.