Ibiza may be synonymous with some of the world’s most legendary nightclubs and DJs, but there’s more to the White Isle than meets the eye. Long before this Balearic island developed a reputation for hedonism, it had a far more laid-back, bohemian past.
Nowadays, it boasts a beguiling blend of the two, and travelers of all stripes will find no shortage of things to do in Ibiza. Above all, this is still a heart-stoppingly beautiful place, surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean and dotted with almond trees that bloom white in season.
Whether you’re seeking wellness, fine food and wine, or historic sites, Ibiza has a little bit of it all.
Visit Beautiful Cala Conta Beach
With its eye-searingly blue waters and roughly a half mile of amber-hued sand and rocky coastline, Cala Conta is easily one of the loveliest beaches in Spain.
Located about a 20-minute drive from Sant Antoni de Portmany, the beach feels far removed from the main action of one of the island’s busiest resorts.
Cala Conta is dreamy all day long, but the best time to visit is in the late afternoon, when the final solar rays hit the western-facing shoreline. Sunset Ashram, located directly on the beach, is by far one of the best spots to dance to a chilled-out house as the sun begins to set.
Wander the Historic Streets of D’Alt Vila
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, Ibiza’s historic old town has been host to all sorts of civilizations since the Phoenicians first settled here around the 7th century B.C.E.
For those who think the White Isle consists of little more than beaches and nightclubs, the cobblestone streets of medieval D’Alt Villa (which means “high town”) offer a decidedly different sort of charm. A stroll here is one of the best things to do in Ibiza to get a perspective on the island’s history.
Wander through the city gates, inside the chunky ramparts, and lose yourself in the narrow alleys, climbing upwards to the hilltop cathedral, dating back to the 14th century.
The views from the Spanish landmark down over the port and across the aquamarine sea to Formentera are worth the climb.
Ibiza is home to a small, but impressive design scene. Browse the boutiques of D’Alt Vila for one-of-a-kind dresses, beach cover-ups, stylish party clothes, and jewelry. When you’ve shopped to the point of dropping, replenish your strength at one of the many top-notch Ibicenco eateries.
Restaurante Jardín La Brasa has a leafy garden patio, which is pleasantly shady during the afternoon heat and nothing short of magical in the early evening. It’s hard to order wrong here, but the saffron-stained paella with locally caught calamari and langoustines is exceptional.
For an after-dinner tipple, pay a visit to 1805, a wildly inventive cocktail bar from French mixologist Charles Vexenat. Order the Green Beast, a classic absinthe drip for up to four people, served in an ornate birdcage. If you’d prefer to sip goblets of G&T surrounded by drag queens and off-duty burlesque performers, head to the LGBTQ-friendly Bar Monalisa Ibiza.
Go for a Sunset Stroll Through Sant Antoni de Portmany
Situated on the western side of the isle, Sant Antoni de Portmany sees some truly spectacular sunsets. For the best views, make a beeline for the Puesta del Sol, an esplanade lined with cafés and bars pouring up spritzes and Champagne from late afternoon.
Café del Mar remains one of the most famous of the bunch, while Savannah and Café Mambo are also popular. Sip your drinks slowly while soaking in the ambiance, listen to the bongo drummers, and feel the magic of Ibiza wash over you.
Lounge at a Beach Club at Playa d’en Bossa
If you’re looking for a taste of Ibiza’s famous beach party vibe, Playa d’en Bossa should be your first stop. There may be far more beautiful beaches in Ibiza, but the people-watching here is hard to top.
While the whole beach here is free and open to the public, booking a lounger at one of the many beach clubs that line the sand makes for an especially enjoyable way to while away an afternoon.
Bora Bora Beach Club is right in the heart of the action. For more sophisticated cocktails and food with a similar vibe, swing by Beachouse Ibiza, where you can spend the afternoon sipping ice-cold rosé from a sun lounger.
Should you find yourself growing hungry, dig into platters of grilled meats and seafood, as well as an extensive raw bar selection, while wiggling your toes in the sand.
Dance the Afternoon Away at Cala Jondal
When it comes to daytime dance parties, Blue Marlin Ibiza still consistently ranks among the most glam venues on the White Isle. The club’s location on Cala Jondal, one of the prettiest pebble-and-sand beaches, certainly doesn’t hurt.
Framed by a scruff of pine, the seashore itself is very much worth a stroll—even if you’re mostly here for the scene. DJs and live vocalists here get the party started early in the afternoon and continue well after sunset.
Don’t be surprised if you bump into a celebrity or two when sidling up to the bar here. It’s a perennial favorite spot for the European jet-set, in part because of the exceptional menu. This is a great place to splash out on mammoth shared platters of Wagyu steaks, king crab, and Iberian ham.
Of particular note are dishes starring locally caught seafood like red prawn carpaccio and the spaghetti Jondal, with twirls of house-made pasta coiled around Spanish lobster.
Experience the Mystery of Es Vedrà
Many places on this island exude an enchanted aura—none more so than this enigmatic rock formation rising dramatically from the sea. Standing at more than 1,300 feet above the waves, Es Vedrà’s imposing silhouette has captivated generations of people on the island.
According to local legend, this small island in the Cala d’Hort nature reserve possesses mystical energy. Some say that it inspired the home of the sirens, the seductive songstresses that lured sailors to their doom in Homer’s Odyssey.
Whether or not you believe that, it’s hard not to experience a sense of awe when gazing at the otherworldly sight, either from a boat trip or a kayak.
Cycle Along the Coast
Explore Ibiza’s southern side on two wheels on a guided bike tour. The route takes you from busy Platja d’en Bossa along quiet roads to the natural park of Ses Salines, where salt pans reflect vast skies.
You’ll pedal via the long, sandy beach of Es Cavellet, separated from the salt flats by dunes studded with vegetation, and see the Torre d’es Carregador, which was built in the 16th century to protect the valuable salt flats. Along the way, you’ll have views of neighboring Formentera, and looking back, the ramparts of hilltop D’Alt Vila.
Sample Fine Wines
Ibiza’s warm Mediterranean climate makes for some very fine wines, as anyone who’s ever visited Can Maymó near the north of the island will attest. First started in 1995 in Sant Mateu, this family-owned winery offers tours and tastings.
Each guided tour kicks off with a drive through the impossibly scenic countryside, followed by an inside look at a small winery’s production methods and aging cellars. Wrap up by indulging in a few of Can Maymó’s vintages—accompanied by cheese and nibbles, of course.
Explore the Caves of Can Marça
Generations of smugglers and marauding pirates once stashed their precious cargo in these winding underground limestone caverns. Today, the caves of Can Marça draw a decidedly different sort of crowd.
Venturing into this space not far from the Port de San Miguel feels like entering a whole subterranean world, complete with striking stalactites, stalagmites, and vast, eerily placid pools.
The natural rock formations would already be impressive, but locals in Ibiza opted to up the ante a little bit with a colorful light and sound show next to a waterfall. Each 40-minute tour culminates in this display, which makes for rather spectacular photographs.
Go Kayaking Along the Shore
Athletically inclined travelers will love the opportunity to explore the nooks and crannies of Ibiza’s coastline from the water.
Join a kayaking tour from peaceful Cala Martina, and take your snorkel gear as there’s a chance to take a cooling dip in the glass-clear water to admire the marine life.
Friendly, knowledgeable guides are on-hand to offer anecdotes and insights about the history and biodiversity of this Spanish island. Even if you’re a novice to kayaking, never fear—each of the trips includes a short training session that will have beginners hitting the waves in no time.
Visit Santa Eulària
Roaming around the peaceful streets of Santa Eulària des Riu and you might find it hard to believe you’re even on the same island as Playa d’en Bossa. Anchored around a palm tree-lined promenade, this resort town represents the more family-friendly side of the White Isle.
The local marina is home to an enviable array of luxury yachts. In the place of clubs blasting tech-house, you’ll find low-key sidewalk cafés pouring glasses of chilled cava all afternoon.
A long, white-sand beach peppered with loungers runs most of the length of the shoreline, making Santa Eulària ideal for anyone looking to just kick back and unwind. After a few hours of basking in the Balearic sunshine, stroll along the main streets admiring the art galleries and upscale boutiques.
The town also happens to have a fantastic dining scene that Spain is known for. Among the many top-tier options, Chiringuito Blue Beach Club remains a classic for a reason. The menu here keeps it beautifully simple with an assortment of impeccably fresh grilled and raw local seafood, as well as well-executed renditions of tapas.
Enjoy Ses Salines Natural Park
Sun-dried sea salt has long been one of Ibiza’s most flavorful exports. If you ever wondered where generations of Ibicencos procured the prized commodity, head to this protected nature reserve, which boasts UNESCO World Heritage status.
Encompassing sandy dunes, wetlands, salt flats, stunning beaches, and much of the salt water channel that separates Ibiza from its smaller sister isle, Formentera, Las Salinas is truly breathtaking. Bird-watchers should be sure to bring their binoculars, as a number of migratory species pass through here.
After you’ve had a chance to survey the natural splendor, take a moment to pause for refreshments on this Mediterranean beach, which is long, sandy, and extremely glamorous.
This is a top spot for toes-in-the-sand dining accompanied by chilled DJ sets. From lunchtime onwards, superyachts drop anchor in the turquoise water and their occupants head ashore for lunch.
Jockey Club, which opened right in the nature park in the early 1990s, has stood the test of time here. Choose from a menu of classic cocktails, as well as more wholesome fresh-pressed juices like the Ginger Boy, a zingy blend of pineapple, apple, lemon, and lots of ginger.
For some of the best tipples on the whole island, swing by Experimental Beach Club, an achingly hip number from the team behind London’s Experimental Cocktail Club, also located on the long sands beside the salt reserve.
The expert mixologists here specialize in inventive creations like the Señor Carota, made with cardamom- and grilled pineapple skin-infused pisco, as well as mango, carrot cordial, tamarind, and lemon.
If you’re traveling with a large group and feeling festive, the bartenders can scale every cocktail on the menu to serve four to eight people.
By far the best way to succumb to the legendary charms of the White Isle is by luxury cruise. Browse our cruises to Ibiza and book your Balearic escape today.