Things to Do in Ibiza – A Guide to the Quieter Side to the Party Island
Us, “We’re going to Ibiza for the weekend.”
Literally EVERYONE else, “You going to throw some shapes in Amnesia?”
So, it turns out no one knows anything about Ibiza other than it’s a place people go to party and the above was said by everyone we mentioned to that we were going to Ibiza. There must be some other things to do in Ibiza other than clubbing, right? Right. And that’s why we’ve put this list of things to do in Ibiza other than clubbing to give you an introduction to the picturesque and understated island that is Ibiza.
We weren’t meant to be going to Ibiza. We were meant to be going to Porto, Portugal, but we reached a point where we needed to decide whether to stick or twist with Porto. Portugal wasn’t accepting the NHS Covid Vaccine Pass, so we decided to change the destination to Ibiza to minimise the faff of travelling by not having to get a PCR test on entry.
As it happens, about a week after we changed the flights, Portugal changed their stance and started to accept the NHS Covid Pass. We opted to stick with Ibiza because it’s not somewhere we wouldn’t normally choose to go. After all, it’s just a place to go to party, right?
Ibiza you say, tell me more…
Ibiza, known for its lively nightlife, is a Spanish island in the Mediterranean Sea, located off the eastern coast of Spain and forms part of the Balearic Islands. Ibiza seems to be limited to the preconception of being only a clubbing paradise, but it’s undoubtedly more than that. Read on to find out a few things to do in Ibiza if you’re not interested in clubbing.
What can you do in Ibiza if you don’t want to party?
Ibiza isn’t just a party island even though it appears it’s the only thing Ibiza is famous for! There are all sorts of things to do in Ibiza if you’re looking for more than just a party or a laze on the beach. We hired a little Fiat 500 from Keddy to get us around the island. It appears everyone else did the same. Ha! The Fiat 500 must be the most popular vehicle on the island!
A Non Clubbing Guide to Ibiza
1 | Pretend You’re on the Lookout for Pirates
First up on our list of things to do in Ibiza is to visit the pirate towers. Ibiza became known as the “The pearl of the Mediterranean” because of the value of goods that could be stolen from the island by Pirates. Ibiza’s answer came in the form of these pirate towers.
There are several pirate towers of Ibiza still dotted around the island. They started life in the old quarter of Ibiza town, known as Dalt Villa, and became an early warning system created by the Catalans after they invaded Ibiza from mainland Spain. It was an effective form of communication before telephones were invented to inform the islanders of incoming pirates. The Catalans would light the nearest tower to where the pirates were spotted which would signal for the next one to be lit and so on, until everyone on the island was aware of the invaders and so could hide their riches…or anything worth stealing!
2 | Get Lost in Ibiza Town
Despite the buzzing party side of Ibiza, Ibiza Town has a very different vibe during the day, anyway. It’s a very relaxed town. So relaxed, the staff at restaurants may not even clock you are there! But remain persistent – they will serve you eventually!
There’s atmosphere in Ibiza Town with people spilling out into the streets with the bustling cafe culture that exists. Visit Croissant Show Eivissa that’s located near the gate entrance to the old town. It’s a great spot for people watching! You might even get lucky with a street performer playing right by the market. Coffee, people watching and street performers…is there anything better to do on a lazy day?! That’s why Ibiza town is a must of your things to Do in Ibiza.
If you’re visiting Ibiza town, taking a stroll around Dalt Vila is a must! A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 2,500-year-old fortified town will keep you entertained for hours with its independent retailers, cafes, winding streets and panoramic views. Dalt Vila is home to a cathedral, open-air cinema and a dramatic entrance in the form of a gate and stone drawbridge, named Portal de Ses Taules, that leads you into an old cobbled courtyard.
There’s a ton of history in Dalt Vila and there are information boards dotted all over the place if you’re interested!
3 | Visit an Art Installation
Time and Space Sculpture Ibiza, also known as the Stonehenge of Ibiza, is an art installation created by world-renowned sculptor Andrew Rogers. Erected in 2014, the thought-provoking sculpture sits on the rugged Ibizan coast, overlooking the bay of Cala Llentia and crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean.
In total, there are 13 columns, that are designed to represent the solar system. The tallest of the columns is topped with 23-carat gold to represent the sun. The Time and Space sculpture, also known locally as ‘Henge’, is an imposing and impressive structure, weighing in at an impressive 420 tonnes! The stone is solid basalt that was imported from Turkey with each piece placed using the Fibonacci sequence, whatever that is!
Not far from the Time and Space sculpture are the secret doors of Cala Llentia. If you’re after an iconic Instagram shot of your time in Ibiza, this is the place! The secret doors of Cala Llentia have a direct line of sight of Es Vedrà, which you can read about below, and offer the perfect shot for your next Gram!
4 | Head on a Hike
As you know, we love to hike, whether it’s up Ben Nevis, around Yorkshire or Wales, we are always prepared to get lost on a little adventure and that’s why this is on our list of things to do in Ibiza. Ibiza has a dramatic coastline, lined with its beautiful shade of rough red rock. There are interesting walks all over the island, including around the towns and villages.
We stayed in San Antonio Bay, which is known as the party town of Ibiza. Surprisingly, there is a beautiful esplanade that enables you to walk almost the entire way around the bay. It’s a popular route for cyclists, runners and walkers alike.
We recommend visiting Santa Eulària des Riu, which is located on the eastern side of the island. It’s lesser-known to tourists and it’s a good example of a local town where you can get a better feel for how the locals of Ibiza live. It has an interesting waterfront, plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants to feed and water you and a few points of interest, including the Pont Vell and Museu Etnogràfic d’Eivissa, which is a history museum of Ibiza. Be aware, it’s only open from 10-2 and closed on Mondays!
Check out this link for a load of walks around Ibiza.
5 | Marvel at the Myths of Ibiza’s ES Vedrà
Es Vedrà is imposing. It’s a massive bit of rock that’s just…THERE. It reminded me of something out of Transformers like it was going to come alive and break away from the seafloor. But it is just a rock. I’m not entirely sure why it attracts so many people. Maybe it’s because it’s shrouded in myths, like the myth of it being one of the most magnetic places on earth. This isn’t backed up by science, but as we say in the navy, “don’t let the truth get in the way of a good dit”, which translates as ‘don’t let reality ruin the story!’.
Es Vedrà was also thought to be home to the sirens. In Greek Mythology, the sirens were dangerous creatures who used song to lure sailors to their death by causing them to shipwreck. I’m not sure how this myth came about…Greece is miles away at the other end. of the Mediterranean!
6 | Visit the Hippy Market
Visiting one of the hippy markets is a must of things to do in Ibiza. There are a few hippy markets dotted around Ibiza and if you’re into any kind of market, then this should definitely be one of your things to do in Ibiza! We opted to visit the Las Dalias Hippy Market, located in the northeastern part of Ibiza.
We advise you get there early! We arrived shortly after opening and it was already busy. The Las Dalias Hippy Market is open every Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm, and every Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm and there’s a night hippy market that operates during the summer. Check this website for further details.
By the time we left, there was a queue of traffic about a mile long! You can opt to park at the market where you will pay for the privilege. If you’re willing to walk a little, head north, past Las Dalias Hippy Market, and you will see signs for ‘gratis parking’. It’s a free car park a short walk from Las Dalias and it’ll save you some pennies to spend on yourself in the market!
There are a bunch of other markets dotted around Ibiza. Click HERE for more information on them.
7 | Stay at One of the Ibiza’s Trendiest Hotels
Last on our list of things to do in Ibiza is this…OK, so this isn’t really a ‘thing to do’ as such, but it’s definitely something you should do if you’re visiting Ibiza. And that’s to stay at the Cubanito Hotel. Located near the beautiful bay of Cala Gració, Cubanito combines Cuban style and modern comfort in a stylish Art Deco building.
The Cubanito Hotel belongs to a hotel group known as Concept Hotel Group, and they offer an experience, unlike anything we have known before. Cubanito is one of a series of retro hotels dotted around Ibiza. So, if you’re looking for a cool Ibiza hotel but don’t fancy a Cuban inspired one, check out THIS website to view Cubanito’s sister hotels.
We have stayed in some fantastic hotels around the world, especially during my tenure at Downing Street working as the Official Photographer to the UK Prime Minister. But these fancy hotels are just…hotels. They are upmarket but lack character. They have nice rooms but lack atmosphere. Cubanito WAS the atmosphere and oozed character throughout.
As it happens, we stayed at the Cubanito until it closed for the season. And on the final night, the Cubanito held a closing party on the roof terrace. There was dancing, cocktails, sunset, a Cuban band and an atmosphere imported directly from Cuba! I say there was dancing. There was, just not from the two English folk in the corner…we left it to the Spaniards who brought all the moves!
The hotel features two open bars, a swimming pool and is adult only (woop, woop!) What more could you want to accompany the brilliant design of the place?
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