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A beachy Balearic isle with buzz

While you might think Ibiza holidays are all about non-stop partying, a trip to the westernmost of the Balearic Islands can be a relaxing affair all about beaches and natural beauty. Each part of the island has its own feel – Ibiza Town is all high-end glitz, with a brightly-lit harbour full of huge yachts. Dalt Vila, the old town, is a flurry of whitewashed charm, hidden behind the town’s impressive 16th-century ramparts declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. This international award acknowledges its historical, cultural, and architectural value. Dalt Vila’s acropolis is filled with alleys and monuments such as the castle and the cathedral and it is considered one of the best preserved coastal fortresses in the Mediterranean. Here, as well as plenty of tapas and seafood restaurants, are places to appeal to every crowd – cool bars rub up against museums and picturesque churches.

On the western side of the island, lively San Antonio is famed for both its beautiful bay and beaches, amazing sunsets and rural essence making it a magnet for young holidaymakers, families and sport lovers. At its southernmost salt plains, however Ibiza’s broad beaches are studded with laid-back ‘chiringuito’ – beach bars, playing mellow music – while in the north there’s countryside dotted with charming old ‘fincas’ (farmhouses) and a family-friendly feel. Yoga and wellness retreats, and hiking and wildlife trails make it popular with couples and those looking for a calmer break. Formentera, a small island just a short ferry ride to the southeast, is worth visiting for a day trip to admire its quieter beaches. Whether it’s seaside wellness or wild nights out you’re after, holidays to Ibiza have it covered.

Your Ibiza questions, answered

Yes, but there are ways to save. Book club tickets in advance, only go to events you’re super keen on, and enjoy the island’s many bars beforehand.
Whenever you like – Ibiza starts to get going at about 10pm, dinner is available until 1am, bars open until 3am and clubs shut at 7am.
Go to Ibiza from November to February for activities and nature, when you'll get a warm and sunny 15ºC climate. In April you'll usually see the Easter parades, and temperatures begin to rise and, in May, there's a medieval fair. You'll find it very pleasant in May, September and October when the action is fairly low key and temperatures in the low 20s. From June to August you'll see the island in full swing, starting with Ibiza's Gay Pride celebrations and continuing with the super-club parties. Temperatures can reach 30ºC or more, so you'll be best off on the beach.
Seafood features heavily, with a surprising number of sushi restaurants. If you want to dine somewhere that looks special or serves great food, book early.
You have 80 beaches in Ibiza to choose from, including 10 with Blue Flags. Cala Llonga is one, with its 200-metre semicircle of sand and clear, shallow water. You'll find many other small coves nearby, and the beach is backed by hills where you can hike in the pine forest. You'll get some peaceful sunbathing at Cala Gracio and its neighbouring cove, Cala Gracioneta. Choose Cala Benirras for the sunset and another Blue Flag, and Talamanca for watersports. You can take your pick around San Antonio and its Bay, Ibiza Town and Playa d'en Bossa, including a naturist beach.
Ibiza, also called Eivissa in the Catalan language, lies in the western Mediterranean, off the northeast coast of Spain. It's the third largest and the farthest west of the Balearic Islands, and is located 80 kilometres south-west of Majorca. It's part of the autonomous community that makes up the four islands, which shows a distinct Spanish influence. Valencia is five hours away by ferry, and it's about nine hours from Barcelona. You can also travel by ferry to Majorca and Menorca, allowing about two hours for each island hop.
You can find quiet seclusion in many parts of Ibiza, especially in the north and northeast. The vibe here is more geared towards organics, spiritualism and wellness, with an increasing number of spas. Portinatx is on the northern point of the island and is a favourite choice for families. It has a sandy beach, with lots of water sports and activities. For yoga and healthy food, head for bohemian Santa Eulalia, often regarded as the island's foodie capital. Cala Llonga and Puerto San Miguel will also provide a more peaceful holiday, with great scenery and local eateries.
Ibiza is known for its clubbing, but you'll find it's mostly confined to three areas. There are a handful of famous clubs around Ibiza Town, but you should head south to Playa d'en Bossa for the super-clubs with DJs and all night dancing. Over on the west coast, the action centres around San Antonio, where you'll find a hub of nightlife in the town centre and famous sunset strip. You can party in the daytime by the pool or on the beach, moving onto larger clubs next to the prom for dancing till dawn. Many resorts also have party boats.
You'll find many family-friendly resorts in Ibiza, especially in the north and east. Portinatx has lots of activities and a good beach, while at Playa Es Cana you'll also get the weekly Punta Arabi hippy market. Your kids can see live music and mime artists while you browse the various handicraft stalls and sample the street food. You'll find San Antonio Bay and Cala Llonga are welcoming to families and usually have masses of things for kids to do. The big resorts around Playa d'en Bossa are also good when you find a quiet location away from the clubs.