Ibiza is one of the four main islands of the Balearic Islands, an archipelago of Spain located in the Mediterranean Sea. It is famous for its mega clubs and parties and is often frequented by celebrities and top DJs. Ibiza isn’t just one long stream of beach parties, though. It is also a beautiful island that drives people from all over the world to cruise to Ibiza on a Mediterranean cruise.
Taking a cruise to Ibiza, you will find secluded islets and coves to explore, a historic old town to walk around that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, cava and sangria tastings, delicious seafood, and relaxing spots on gorgeous beaches.
Whether it’s the dance club energy you’re most excited to experience in Ibiza, or the island’s soft and sandy beaches, you’ll find plenty of things to do to have a memorable day during an Ibiza cruise port of call on your Mediterranean cruise .
If you’re interested in experiencing authentic Balearic island life, head away from the main town and beaches to the rural areas of the island and visit one of Ibiza’s villages instead. Villages on Ibiza typically have a landmark church, a local bar and restaurant, and quaint little buildings and homes. Here are some of Ibiza’s best villages to visit: Sant Joan de Labritja, Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera, Sant Carles de Peralta, Sant Josep de Sa Talaia, and Santa Agnès de Corona.
Sunsets are famous in Ibiza and the prime place to see them is along Sant Antoni's Sunset Strip, or head off to search for your own perfect sunset-watching spot if you want to escape the crowds. Some good sunset viewing places are: Torre des Savinar, Benirràs, Stonehenge, Sunset Strip, Platges de Comte, and Ses Salines.
Ibiza has a rich history and exploring sites related to that history is an excellent way to spend the day for visitors who want to get beyond the massive clubs and beaches of Ibiza. Many of the historic sites are centrally located in Ibiza Town, the island’s main town. Ibiza Town's historic walled city of Dalt Vila is a UNESCO World Heritage site and contains several intriguing museums and beautiful churches. Beyond Ibiza Town, you can see the island’s prominent defense towers located along the Ibizan coastline; these towers were constructed to combat the threat of pirates.
Ibiza Castle, also referred to as Eivissa Castle, can be found atop a hill in the Old Town part of Ibiza. The castle was constructed in the 12th century, before the walls of Ibiza Town were built. It has a blend of medieval and Islamic architecture with barracks added in the 18th century. Today, you can take tours in the castle, and see the Governor’s House, citadel (Almudaina) and its 12 towers.
The western inlet is where you’ll want to head to see the top natural sights of Ibiza, including the iconic Es Vedra mountain. The western inlets include: Cala d´Hort, Cap Llentrisca i Sa Talaia Natural Park and the Es Vedrà, Es Vedranell and Els Illots de Ponent Nature Reserves. These islets are home to birds, lizards, and other wildlife – including the chance to see dolphins frolicking off the sandy coastline in the azure waters.
Dalt Vila is the aforementioned historic center of Ibiza Town. It is the oldest and highest part of the city, and a visit to Ibiza Town without stopping here would be remiss. Huge walls topped by artillery bastions surround Dalt Vila that date back to the Renaissance age. You can climb to the top of the wall for a panoramic view of Ibiza and the Mediterranean Sea.
Formentera is the smallest of Spain’s main Balearic Islands, and is much calmer than Ibiza. It makes for a peaceful escape from the non-stop clubs of Ibiza. Day trips to Formentera are offered from Ibiza via ferry or party catamarans, and once on Formentera, you can explore the island’s great natural beauty, which consists of white sand beaches, crystal clear water that’s great for snorkeling, and scenic paths to hike. You can also rent scooters on the island to explore it before returning to Ibiza and your cruise ship.
Located in San Miguel and the bay of Puerto San Miguel is a natural formation dating back more than 100,000 years: the Cueva de Can Marca. The caves showcase incredible stalactites and rock formations as well as history; the caves were used by smugglers in the past who would hide their loot there. You can even still see markings on the wall that showed an alternative way out of the cave in case the entrance was blocked and the criminals needed to escape another way. The highlight for many people is the waterfall light show inside the cave.
Whether your idea of a beach paradise is a luxury beach club with lounge chairs and drink service, or an off-the-beaten-path stretch of quiet coastline, you can find your ideal beach in Ibiza. Though there are plenty of sandy beaches in shades of white and tan, be aware some are pebbly, so water shoes are ideal to have on hand when cruising to Ibiza. If you’re looking for one of Ibiza’s famous beaches to visit, it’s hard to go wrong with Cala Bassa, which is situated on a gorgeous stretch of sand next to some of the most turquoise water around the island.
Puig des Molins is Ibiza’s first cemetery and dates back to the late 7th century. It is part of the Archaeological Museum of Ibiza and Fromentera due to its many historic artifacts that have been found among the tombs (over 3,000 of them!), and is considered to be the world’s finest collection of Punic remains. Sarcophagi, jewelry, coins, artwork and other artifacts have been found within the tombs.
Santa Eulària Des Riu is one of the most visited areas of Ibiza due to its stunning beaches, quaint towns, golf course (the island’s only course) and historic monuments. Santa Eulària is located on the east coast of the island and has a quieter atmosphere than Eivissa and San Antoni since the bars and night clubs are set apart from the other attractions. Some of those attractions include beaches, a waterfront promenade, and Puig de Missa, a hilltop church built in 1568.
Ses Salinas is a natural park on Ibiza, centrally located between southern Ibiza and northern Formentera. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with 75% of it consisting of water. During a visit to Ses Selinas you will see a variety of flora and fauna, including flamingoes and other birds, and underwater plants like the ancient Posidonia Oceanica. Salt marshes, lagoons, beaches, and dunes are located within Ses Salinas as well.
You can find a variety of flavors when dining in Ibiza, whether you’re looking for local delicacies or international cuisine. Many of the ingredients you’ll find in the cuisine are local and organically grown.
If you’re wondering what specialties you should try in Ibiza, it’s hard to go wrong with fresh seafood. Some popular dishes in Ibiza are sofrit pages, which is a stir-fry of meat, veggies, and a paprika- and saffron-infused sauce; bullit de peix, which is a popular type of fish stew; and seafood paella. For dessert, try the flaó, a delicious pastry with a cheesecake-style filling tinged with spearmint.
When choosing where to dine on your Ibiza cruise, remember that top-end places will book up weeks or months in advance during high season, and a few days beforehand elsewhere, so don’t wait to make those reservations. When looking for eateries in which to dine, you can find cafes for breakfast, coffee, and light meals; restaurants ranging from beach shacks to glamorous fine dining; and beach clubs that also serve food.
If you’re taking a cruise to Ibiza and only have the day to explore, you likely won’t be spending much time at the clubs, but if you still want a taste of it and time allows, head to Pacha or Amnesia, both of which have top DJs and impressive dance floors. For a literal taste, head to one of the local bars and order an Ibiza drink specialty – sangria with chopped fruit or mojitos made with white rum, brown sugar, mint leaves, and lime.
Ibiza’s history goes all the way back to the Phoenicians, who founded a port settlement on Ibiza. Over the centuries, the control of Ibiza would switch (Carthage, Roman Empire, Moors, Spain), but it would continue to cement its reputation as a port town and major trading post in the Mediterranean.
In the late 1970s, Ibiza was part of the Statute of Autonomy of the Balearic Islands, and the island is still a part of the Balearic Autonomous Community. Today it is known more for its modern clubs and idyllic beaches than trading and commerce, but remnants of its varied past can still be seen throughout the island.
When cruising to Ibiza, your ship will dock at Port d'Eivissa (Eivissa is the Catalan name for Ibiza). The port is located just a few steps from shops and restaurants, and you can easily walk to other top sites in Ibiza.
You can rent bicycles or do a cycling shore excursion while in Ibiza. The island has designated cycle routes of varying degrees of difficulty and tourist offices in Ibiza will have route maps.
While on Ibiza you can get water taxis in between different coastal regions of the island. Routes include Sant Antoni to Cala Bassa, Cala Salada, Platges de Comte, Es Canar and Santa Eulària (plus stops in several east-coast beaches), and Ibiza Town to Santa Eulària and Platja d'en Bossa (via Figueretes).
Ibiza has an efficient bus system, especially if traveling between the island’s main towns. When using the bus network, keep in mind that the service frequency can be irregular or non-existent in more remote parts of the island.
Taxi service is available in Ibiza, though be aware there is a minimum charge to flag down a taxi or arrange one for pick-up. Also, wait times for a taxi can be quite long, especially in July and August.
Ibiza has some stellar shopping due to the clientele it attracts for the clubs; you can find some of the latest European fashions within its shops and boutiques. There are also local markets to browse through for fashion and other goods, a popular one of which is the weekly Es Cana hippy market that’s characterized by hundreds of tiny, colorful stalls selling homemade products.
A popular souvenir to get while in Ibiza is salt, as islanders who live on Ibiza still harvest salt from the sea in salt beds using evaporation, a process that dates back to the time of the Carthaginians. Another good souvenir idea is to pick up some sweet Hierbas Ibicencas liquor, which is made from Ibiza aromatic herbs, such as fennel, thyme, and rosemary.
The euro is the official currency in Ibiza and U.S. dollars or other currency are generally not accepted. There are currency exchanges and ATMs at the port and throughout the city where you can get euros. Also, credit cards are accepted at most businesses in Ibiza.
Tipping isn’t obligatory in Ibiza, though is appreciated. Tip amounts are often quite discretionary. For taxi drivers, a 5-10% gratuity is often given. Restaurants include service charges by law, which you should be able to see stated on the menu, but a small additional tip is usually expected.