Ibiza Travel Guide - online information for your trip
It is often assumed that Ibiza is nothing if not predictable: its popular image is of an island filled with clubs and crowded beaches, lacking in culture or tranquillity. This image is very far from the truth, and it only takes one visit to the White Isle to realise that it has so much more to offer than overpriced drinks and loose-moralled clubbers.
The towns themselves - of which the main ones are Ibiza Town (Eivissa), San Antonio and Santa Eularia - are where the majority of the nightclubs and hotels are based. Ibiza Town in particular, however, is a major key to much of the island's long and fascinating history. Dalt Vila - Ibiza Old Town - was built as a defensive fortification between the eighth and fourteenth centuries, although the site of the town has been strategically vital to the invaders who have conquered Ibiza over the past few millennia. Nowadays, Dalt Vila is one of the island's most beautiful and cultural artefacts, made all the more impressive by the fact that it is inhabited mainly by Spanish families. The cobbled streets and winding lanes are a far cry indeed from the packed streets of San Antonio's West End.
When it comes to beaches, Ibiza excels. Whether you're looking for a party beach amongst beautiful people - Salines and Platja d'en Bossa - or a family beach with great sand - Cala Llonga and Cala Tarida - or a secluded spot - Cala Conta and the secret beach known as Atlantis - Ibiza has it all on offer. Most of the beaches are sandy, and many are flanked by stunning cliffs on either side. On the north coast in particular, there are some challenging coastal walks to be done.
Of course the island's best-known feature is its nightlife, and, though expensive, it certainly doesn't disappoint. From aircraft-hangar-style clubs such as Privilege to the more intimate and trendy (Pacha) and the downright fabulous (Space), there's something for everyone. Clubs aside, there are numerous cafés, bars and restaurants all over the island, and a night out need not be extravagant or expensive.
As well as being famed for its hedonistic nightlife, Ibiza has a rich spiritual heritage from its Hippie Ibiza visitors in the 1950s and 1960s. As a result, Ibiza is notorious for its trance parties and chillout sunsets, its laid-back attitude and hippie markets - the most popular being at Es Cana.
Ibiza's dubious reputation is one propagated by people who have never been there; it takes only one visit to realise that the island is without doubt one of the most varied, exciting and unforgettable experiences of the Mediterranean.