Things to see and do in Ibiza
Attractions in Ibiza
This former coastal quarry (the source of Ibiza Old Town's defensive walls) was christened by the name of Atlantis by local hippies in the 1960s. A now popular destinations for hikers, its striking rock formations are full of hand carvings created by local artists and beachgoers.
This is one of the local's favourite beaches on the southern side of the island. It's by no means large, but the atmosphere is relaxed and the view of the dramatic Es Vedra rock rising out of the sea is magnificent. This is also one of the most magnetic (literally) points on the planet.
This multilevel labyrinth of caverns was once a hotbed for alcohol and tobacco smuggling. Today these caves now offer multilingual tours that showcase the incredible ancient rock formations. Visitors can also delight in a spectacular sound and light presentation at the heart of the caves, where a 10-metre cascade of water sparkles.
Dalt Vila, Archaeological Museum
The museum explores the ancient histories of Ibiza and neighbouring Formentera. With some excellent displays and explanations in English, the museum sits amongst the well-preserved Ibiza Old Town, over a Carthaginian burial site thought to contain over 4,000 graves.
Dalt Vila, Museum of Contemporary Art
This small gallery holds an impressive sample of permanent and touring contemporary art inspired by the island. Located in an emblematic 17th-century building in the Dalt Vila, it contains an outstanding representation of the artistic creativity that emerged on the island in the 1960s, as well as an important collection of engravings and beautiful gardens.
Dalt Vila, Santa Maria Cathedral
Santa Maria Cathedral is located in the crown of the Old Town and is bursting with gothic and baroque splendour. Admission is free, and inside there is a fine collection of silver and gold, tracing the history of worship on this site back to the 13th century.
Dalt Vila, sightseeing
The narrow and well-preserved alleys and streets of this UNESCO World Heritage site are an outstanding example of a fortified citadel. The walled 16th-century Old Town crowns Ibiza Town. It offers a charming selection of shops, restaurants and museums, as well as some of the best views on the island. Santa Maria Cathedral, whose Baroque style architecture towers over the city walls, is a must-see for visitors.
Es Vedra is the most famous part of Ibiza’s landscape, with a towering 400m (1300 ft) island of limestone jutting out of the Mediterranean Sea. Steeped in legend, it is reputedly the tip of the sunken city of Atlantis, the island home of Homer’s wailing sirens, and the location of numerous UFO sightings in Ibiza. Head up to the lookout point of Torre des Savinar (the old pirate watchtower) for a truly breathtaking sunset view.
The smallest of Spain’s Balearic Islands, Formentera is known as the Mediterranean’s ‘last paradise’. The 30-minute ferry crossing takes visitors to the unspoiled beaches and clear waters of Cala Saona, Illettes and Llevant. Catch a bus, hire a car, moped or bicycle from La Savina and explore this lovely tranquil island.
Ibiza’s Hippy Markets
Like a time warp back to the 1970s, these large markets have an enormous variety of exotic batik clothing, tailor-made leather moccasins and East Asian silver jewellery. They’re held every Wednesday on the grounds of Club Punta Arabi, Es Canar and every Saturday in San Carlos (Las Dalias).
'White Gold' can be found at the salt fields on the island's southern tip. One of Ibiza's most visited landmarks, Las Salinas has been mined for salt for over 2,000 years and now offers a sparkling natural attraction, with a wealth of flora and fauna. The long, wide crescent of glowing sandy beach is bordered by pinewoods; the water is crystal clear and, on windy days, the waves are perfect for bodysurfing.
Portinatx is on the northern-most tip of Ibiza. This small, pretty resort is known for the crystal clear waters of its two bays (ideal for snorkelling) as well as some lovely coastal hiking along the cliff tops. A favourite for families, a myriad of bars and restaurants line the shoreline, and the many resorts and hotels offer quality and fun entertainment.
Puig des Molins
The archaeological site of the Puig des Molins, situated at the foot of the mountain of the same name, has been the cemetery of Ibiza since the foundation of the city by Occidental Phoenicians, at the end of the 7th century BC. The burial grounds are spread over a hill (puig) dotted with olive trees and you can make a descent into one of the interconnecting burial chambers.
Sant Antoni de Portmany, Pikes Hotel
After going through some financial difficulties, legendary Pikes Hotel was sold, refurbished and rebranded but it’s still where the rich and famous hang out. Wham's 'Club Tropicana' video was filmed around the pool, and though drinks are far from free, you can still breathe in the atmosphere left by guests such as Kylie Minogue, Freddie Mercury, Grace Jones and Ed Sheeran, to name but a few.
The village is the island's main centre for pottery and the only artisan zone on Ibiza. Traditional pottery shops line the streets, and authentic workshops churn out crafts, using old traditional Mediterranean techniques. A good choice of shops will be happy to sell you their beautiful wares whilst you enjoy the views of nearby Ibiza Old Town.
Spanish National Tourist Office in the UKAddress: 1st Floor, 100 George Street, London, W1U 8NU
Telephone: +44 20 7317 2011.
Mon-Thu 0900 to 1600, Fri 0900-1400 (by appointment only).