After spending seven days on El Costa del Sol (the Southern coast of Spain) with Scott’s family, we set off on our own to spend four days on the Spanish island of Ibiza. Of course, Ibiza has a reputation as the party mecca of Europe with it’s mega-clubs and easy access to substances of all kinds. This reputation spiked even more in 2016 with Mike Posner’s hit song “I Took a Pill in Ibiza”. We learned very quickly, however, that Ibiza has more to offer than a fantastic party scene and we had a blast exploring and learning about this amazing place.
The view upon flying into Ibiza was undeniably spectacular! I had been to the Greek island Mykonos before in 2011, but we took a ferry. This was my first time arriving on an island by plane and it was an incredible sight. We could see entire bays filled with super-yachts and turquoise waters turning into a deep blue. We weren’t able to get great photos from our airplane window, but we definitely tried:
Arriving in Ibiza felt similar to arriving in Las Vegas. You cold feel the excited energy on the plane (especially as people hit the runway and rushed into the airport). Everyone expected to have the time of their lives.
Our first order of business was to check into our hotel and get a refreshing beverage. We stayed at a super modern hotel called “Midjorn” in close proximity to some of Ibiza’s largest clubs and most popular restaurants. There was a pool in the center of our hotel that bumped dance music nearly 24/7. We went to the bar nearest to pool for our first drink. Scott was smart and ordered a delicious mojito. I tried to be adventurous and order something new (but with coconut which is my favorite) so I decided to try something called cachaça. It came in a bag and must be an acquired taste…
After a couple of cocktails, it was time to wander the beach and find a good place to score some grub. We ended up just following the noise of music and raised voices to an open-air restaurant called Bora-Bora Ibiza which opened up onto the beach. This was pretty much what most people expect from Ibiza…mass amounts of alcohol and people dancing on plastic table tops in the late afternoon. Unfortunately, the food did not align with the crowds of patrons at this restaurant, but we were hungry and getting exhausted from our flight so we chowed down and went back to Midjorn to pass out for an early evening nap.
We didn’t sleep long because the pool was still blasting music outside our window and we were excited to check out this famous club scene! The night scene in Ibiza doesn’t start until after midnight, but I threw on a sun dress and we hit the street. Luckily, Midjorn was on the same street as one of the clubs we had heard the most about called Space.
We stopped at an open-air bar to get a couple of drinks before the club and wait for things to really pick up. We watched as people in crazy clubbing outfits strutted past and drug dealers yelled at people blatantly on the street. They would advertise marijuana, but we would hear people ask them point-blank about more risqué inventory. Although this was some of the best people watching I had ever seen, it was eventually time to continue the walk to Space.
Unfortunately, we don’t have any photos of Space, but it was certainly a sight to be seen. It had tons of different rooms on different levels and each room had different music and an entirely different scene. One room was neon-tiedye-70’s themed and full of people reenacting the Summer of Love. Another, was mostly red and patrons were smashing their glasses all over the floor (we didn’t stay here long). Still another was a super-rave with a massive light show, DJ, and dance performers. We spent most of the time on a jungle themed patio with throw-back hits playing to people who wanted a more chill dance party. We arrived expecting to stay an hour or two, but ended up leaving at 5AM. The party was still in full swing and did not look like many people had any intentions of heading home. Space was purchased by a competitor and shut down within a month of our visit so I’m glad we saw this “super club” when we did.
The next day was all about exploring this stunning island. We woke up at a decent hour, grabbed a quick breakfast at the restaurant in our hotel and took our beach towels down to the sand. More so than the mainland, the women here had the tendency to sun bathe topless (including myself, when in Rome, right?) and club promoters would walk the beach interrupting conversations and trying to give special access to whichever attraction they were selling. We ended up talking to some of these promoters for quite a while and buying discount tickets to see David Guetta the following night.
After we felt good and crispy, we needed to find a good spot for lunch. We found another open-air restaurant with a much more grown-up vibe called Restaurante Moorea. We ended up eating here every day while we were in Ibiza. They had a huge variety of food, super friendly staff, and a good selection of wine.
After lunch, we took a taxi to the other side of the island. We walked down the coast to the edge of a cliff side that came straight out of the sea. We were able to see miles of coast line and some of the more popular places for Ibiza visitors to take their yachts. I wanted to come this way because I heard you could see a filming location from one of my favorite shows, Game of Thrones. The scenery did not dissapoint.
The ancient stone wall on the cliff you see in the photos led all the way up and around the hill side to a castle in the distance (you can see it in the last photo). We decided we had to make this hike (even though I was in flip-flops) to explore this relic of medieval times. This walk straight up hill took some time, but we saw amazing things along the way: super yachts parked in the marina, alley ways with bright purple flowers hanging out of the windows, restaurants that set up their tables on the sidewalks where the locals would eat, monuments, a ridiculous amount of scooters and more breath-taking views.
Eventually we discovered a short cut through an ancient tunnel that had had electricity added in the relatively recent past. It took us up the remaining height of the hill to a castle and a chapel. The building was closed to tourists, but we were able to check out the outside and imagine what this place would have looked like in its glory days.
What goes up must come down: it was now time to make the hike back down the winding cobblestone roads. We ended this adventure the way we do so many when we are on vacation: with a delicious glass of wine. This one just happened to have a view of multimillion dollar yachts coming in and out of docks nearby, and locals walking their dogs on the boardwalk (I was more interested in the dogs than the yachts, of course).
We took a taxi back home and ended our second day on this island with a relaxed dinner and an early night.
The following day we had another long lounge on the beach and a refreshing lunch at Moorea. We knew we had a big night ahead so we took our day slowly and made sure to nap. Eventually, it was time for our only big show during our time in Ibiza: David Guetta at Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel. Unlike our experience at Space with a room for every level of party animal, David Guetta was a true rave in the open courtyard of a massive hotel. It was extremely crowded, but we found a spot against a fence at the far right of the stage. The fence was directly under the balconies of hotel suites so we watched hotel guests experience the show from their room in style. During the opening act, Afrojack, we took in the sights including large art installments throughout the courtyard. One of them was a faucet in mid-air with running water cascading down to the ground. It was hilarious watching people stare in awe not able to figure out how this was possible.
When the sun went down, David Guetta came on and the energy of the crowd changed completely. People rushed to the stage, got out props, and began dancing as only ravers do. I was overwhelmed so Scott took me to a bench to listen and watch the spectacle. Guetta’s set was SO SO GOOD and we ended up being some of the last people to leave. The show ended at 2AM which is extremely early for a night in Ibiza to end so we walked straight from the courtyard out onto the beach. We laid in the sand, listened to music on our phone, stared at the city lights along the coast and talked about how our life together is changing. After some comical encounters with other people ending their nights out (such as a girl who decided her friends weren’t as fun as we were and a man who had lost his phone AND his pants), we were pretty much alone on the beach in a pitch black night. As ridiculous as it sounds, we decided to take our shoes off, put my phone in Scott’s pocket, and slow dance knee-deep in the waves to the soft music coming from my iPhone. A night that began with a massive, overwhelming crowd full of loud and extreme music ended with just us, the city lights, a black ocean, and the quiet voices of Adele, Tom Petty and Bob Marley.
The next day was one of my favorite days of this entire trip! We took a catamaran tour to a tiny crescent beach a little ways out from the main island. Apparently, this beach continuously makes in onto the lists of most beautiful beaches in the world and I definitely see why. In all honesty, the catamaran ride wasn’t my favorite activity. We didn’t realize that this was marketed as a “family cruise” complete with face painting, pirate themed games, and a kid-friendly lunch. I love kids, but I’m prone to seasickness and my stomach was uneasy from the night before, a quiet cruise would have been nice. However, the less-than-ideal boat ride brought us to the place that I most want to revisit in the entire world (so far). We had to unload from the catamaran straight into the ocean which was crystal clear and wade to shore through schools of fish. Scott and I decided to trek far away from the catamaran (and the kids) to our own little slice of white sand and the hour we got to spend here was not nearly enough.
We spent one more (very exhausted) evening in Ibiza, went to bed early and boarded our flight for Paris the next day. Ibiza may have a reputation as the greatest place to party and dance in the world (which it more than deserves), but it is so much more than that. It’s an island filled with people from a plethora of different countries (I heard more languages here than anywhere else), history, architecture, food, and incredible beaches. Scott and I loved our time here, and fully intend to return.
Next time, we head to Paris! Although we only spent two nights here, we crammed in a multitude of new experiences and I will have plenty to write about.