Ibiza: The life of the Balearic Islands

Ibiza: The life of the Balearic Islands

by Mary Del Rosario
Stripes Europe

Situated in the Mediterranean, there is a gem. Though this beauty may be known for its vivacious atmosphere, the towns, locals, food and beaches are what make this island one worth coming back to. We’re talking about Ibiza, the “Isla Blanca” (white island) of the Balearic Sea.

PICTURESQUE TOWNS

The components of the towns in Ibiza are comprised of white-washed small buildings, a few small restaurants and bars, a market and a church. However, each village and town on the island offer a special kind of magic in their own way.

Eivissa

The town of Ibiza, or Eivissa, is brimming with beautiful, white-washed buildings and pops of color seen in the hanging bougainvillea and boutique shops. In fact, the Old Town, or Dalt Vila, is so picturesque that in 1999 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While there, be sure to pay a visit to the Ibiza Cathedral located in the Old Town. A word to the wise: bring comfortable walking shoes, as you’ll need to walk up a steep hill to get to it. Another can’t-miss site is the Sant Lucía Bastion where you’ll be able to see an old gunpowder magazine in the center, as well as the most captivating views of the harbor your eyes will have the pleasure of seeing.

Santa Gertrudis

Situated at the heart of Ibiza, the charming village of Santa Gertrudis is one you’ll come to love. Encompassing bohemian flare, this village houses eclectic works of art in their galleries, boho-chic cafes and the famous Bar Costa, where back in the day, starving artists would swap paintings for food. Though the village may have adapted to the modern taste of tourism—it is aptly known as the chicest town in Ibiza—the Bohemian beat still marches on. Be sure to roam around the village square for an authentic old town experience.

Es Cubells

One visit to Es Cubells will have you feeling as if time stood still. Though your “to do” list here may be scant (there’s the Nuestra Señora del Carmen Church, two bars and an area for the kids to play in), the views from the church overlooking the cliffs make up for it. If you’re wanting a quiet reprieve, there are also many luxury villas to choose from, ranging from all-inclusive to your own calm respite.

Santa Eulària des Riu

 

Wanting the best of both worlds? Head to Santa Eulària des Riu, where you’ll not only be able to suntan the day away but will also be able to continue living the lively atmosphere Ibiza has to offer. In this town, many shops and restaurants await you and will not leave you feeling disappointed at all the options. Be sure to put Puig de Missa on your itinerary. This imposing church dates back to the 16th century and also lends itself as a great photo-op.

THE LIFE OF THE PARTY

It’s no secret that Ibiza holds the title of the party spot in Spain. Chances are, if you’ve come to the island, partying until you hear ringing in your ears from the loud music is the main agenda for your trip. Below are the party hotspots to remember:

Pacha – The island comes alive at night at Pacha, the famous nightclub, where they house some of the island’s biggest DJs. Be sure to dress to impress! Beachwear is prohibited.   

Playa de’n Bossa – Perhaps the most popular resort on the island, Ushuaia, the well-known open-air club is the epitome of what you think when you hear “Ibiza.” Sankeys, a smaller club, can also be found at this strip.

San Antonio – The nightlife in San Antonio can only be described as legendary. This buzzing resort area is a treasure trove for anyone who wants sun, beach and nightlife. Check out Es Paradis, Eden and the O Beach Ibiza beach club for a fun night.

MUST-SEE BEACHES

Ibiza is also known for its jaw-dropping sunsets and crystal-clear beaches. Whether it’s with your friends or family, dipping your sandy toes in these waters is a must.

Cala Conte – This beach, located on the west coast, is the perfect place to learn how to swim as the water is shallow. Note that because the coastline is rocky, there isn’t much sand here.

Cala Tarida – With the long stretch of fine, white sand, Cala Tarida is a beach the whole family can enjoy. There is also an array of watersports to partake in such as waterskiing and diving.

Aguas Blancas – The locals may be mad their secret has been spoiled, but this less-touristy beach is perfect for those who want to avoid the crowds. You can even lather mud from the red clay from the cliffs on your body!

Benirras – Located in the northern part of Ibiza, Benirras is the beach to be seen. This beach is particularly known for its sunsets and is the place where the local “hippies” play their drums as the crowd dances along.

THE GASTRONOMIC SCENE

Though everyone knows the classic staples belonging to Spain—Iberic ham, tapas, sangrias and paella to name a few—the dishes below are worth trying as they are native to Ibiza.

“Sofrit Pagés” – Stew (chicken, lamb, Ibizan sausages and other meats can be used) that is served with potatoes and vegetables.

“Sobrassada” – The national sausage of Ibiza. It’s made from pork mixed with paprika and other spices.

“Bullit de Peix” – Fish stew that came about when the fishermen used whatever fish they had on hand that day.

“Zarzeula” – Similar to paella, this dish is a mixture of shellfish and is cooked in a saffron-flavored stock with rice.

“Frigola” – After dinner, it’s suggested to drink frigola, a thyme-based drink, as a digestive.

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