Things To Do In Ibiza When You're Not A Hardcore Raver
Ibiza has never been somewhere that I've ever wanted to visit. Renowned for its 'party isle' status, full of banging clubs, house music, underground DJs, music worshippers, recreational drug users and €9 bottled water, it's never really taken my fancy.
Don't get me wrong, I love the odd raving night out but I'm fast approaching the wrong side of my 20s and quite frankly, I'd much rather spend my evenings eating good food and drinking good wine and not battling my way through a club packed with sweaty teenagers. So, when my close friends asked me to join their wedding party in Ibiza this summer, I was expecting a week of loud monotonous music, extortionate ticket prices, lairy drunks, bad behaviour and no sleep. A week that isn't really my scene but knowing I was going to be part of a beautiful wedding and see two souls come together made the thought of Ibiza bearable.
But I was wrong. Yes, it was full of banging clubs, house music, underground DJs, music worshippers, recreational drug users and €9 bottled water but it turns out, Ibiza is way more than its club scene; and it's actually rather beautiful. It just goes to show that you shouldn't judge a place before you've been there and that you don't need to be into that scene to have fun on the White Isle. So, here's a list of things to do in Ibiza when you're definitely not a hardcore raver.
Hop on a boat to Formentera
Only an hour's boat ride away from Figueretas Beach, Formentera is the smallest of the Balearic Islands but definitely the prettiest. With glorious white sandy beaches and perfectly clear waters, the feeling is so tropical it's easy to forget you're only in Spain! And at €22 for a return ticket, it's an absolute steal.
Getting around the island is really easy too: you can walk, hire a bike / scooter / car or if you feel like being chauffeured and admiring the views, you can flag down a taxi. It may sound like the most romantic idea to jump on a scooter and wrap yourself lovingly around your other half, but if you're inexperienced riding abroad it can be a bit stressful as there are so many people on the roads (and it's quite difficult to navigate a tiny map when your hands are preoccupied).
By far, the best beach on the island is Playa Illetes but in the height of summer, it can get extremely busy as it's closest to the port. Playa Migjorn is further from the port but also gorgeous and has some lovely places to eat along the sea front, while Playa Es Arenals is perfect if you're looking for a beach closer to civilisation.
If you want to experience an Ibizan club and you can't get enough of festival feels, then Ushuaia is the club for you. Situated in the centre of Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel, the atmosphere in the open-air venue is indescribable. Made for those who want to experience a different kind of pool party, Ushuaia hosts an impressive stage with a mesmerising lighting set up, a phenomenal sound system, gorgeous dancers and a line up of some of the world's best DJs.
So, take all your friends because this is definitely a night you will want to remember. Entry is priced from €40 depending on the lineup but the only downside is that drinks are extortionate (I'm talking €24 for a gin and tonic) so if you don't want to splash the cash, it's best to get a few drinks in elsewhere first.
Sometimes, the heat abroad can affect seriously your appetite so it's important to make sure that you're fuelling your body well (especially if you're having a few cocktails!). Located in the marina of San Antonio, Skinny Kitchen is the perfect way to start your day. From pancakes and waffles to smoothies and big breakfasts, everything on their menu is homemade with love and packed full of goodness. Trust me, you won't regret a Skinny Kitchen breakfast.
Walk the cobbled streets of Dalt Vila
A holiday is not complete without a bimble around the quaint cobbled old town of your chosen holiday destination and Ibiza's is up there with the best. Ascend the dramatic sloped entrance, cross the drawbridge and hidden inside the great walls of Dalt Vila, you will find a treasure trove of narrow, winding streets steeped in history and lined with lovely restaurants, bars and unusual works of talented local crafts people.
With stunning panoramic views, it's one of the most relaxed and romantic places on the island. There are lots of little places to sit and hang out but if you're looking for interesting places to eat, I'd thoroughly recommend La Dispensa and La Olivia - located right in the middle of the old town, you can experience Dalt Vila at its best while treating your taste buds to some delicious Spanish cuisine.
When I think of Spain, the first thing that comes to mind is paella. To me, it's the real taste of Spain so the best way to eat it is to have a local cook it for you. Served in a wide set pan and made for sharing, this traditional Spanish rice dish hits all the right notes and whatever your dietary requirements - meat eater, seafood lover or herbivore - there's a paella for you.
Party in the pool at Ocean Beach Club
With an impressive swimming pool surrounding by luxurious sun beds, cabanas and booths, Ocean Beach Club is home to the ultimate VIP pool party. So, don your most dazzling bikini, put the champagne on ice and let your hips do the talking.
By day, the vibe is chilled - that is, until the sprinklers are turned on unexpectedly to soak the gorgeous girls posing around the pool (is it rude to laugh?). Let the sun kiss your skin while aerial performers enchant you from above and the resident DJs pump out old-school anthems. And as the sun goes down, the beats get bolder, the pool lights up and the whole place comes to life!
Entrance costs €20 and VIP tables can cost up to €5000 - but the best thing about Ocean Beach Club is that everybody can have a good time, regardless of their budget.
Just outside of Ibiza town, there is a restaurant like no other; a fine dining restaurant, a rooftop Lebanese restaurant and a cosy Asian restaurant all under one roof. Sa Punta, Patchwork and Ginger respectively. Each restaurant is bursting with personality and if you're a foodie like me, you will find it very difficult to decide where you want to eat!
We ate at Patchwork, which offers a menu of Lebanese mezze including falafel, lentil salads, houmous, filled pastries, meatballs and kebab skewers. The food was lovely but for me, the deciding factor of choosing this restaurant lay in the visuals. Although Ginger has the most adorable theming (think colourful Asian umbrellas and ornate flora-inspired furniture), dining at Patchwork offers gorgeous views of the sunset and there't nothing more impressive than nature.
Have you ever been to Ibiza?