Overview Ibiza - Travel Destinations Spain

Ibiza is famed for its clubbing scene, and every year thousands make a pilgrimage to this Balearic Island to dance through the summer nights.

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Of course it has a history, a beauty and a charm which owe nothing to clubbing, but it is for dance-fuelled hedonism that Ibiza has earned global renown. At least, that's the summer story. From October to May, when the clubbers are tucked up in the UK, Germany and mainland Spain, Ibizan life becomes tranquil again.

The island was an important staging post for trade between Africa and Europe, with its salt flats providing salt both for export and for preserving the food of passing ships. Skip forward several centuries and it was 'discovered' in the 1960s by the hippies, who loved its beaches and relaxed vibe. Come the Eighties, and it was in the vanguard of the development of acid-house music; the club scene mushroomed and tourism took off.

Throughout all this, Ibiza Town, the capital, has retained its charisma and is without doubt the best place to base oneself for a 21 st -century visit. With medieval walls, a 14th -century cathedral on the site of a Moorish mosque, a maze-like harbour and a Unesco World Heritage Site - the Dalt Vila enclave, the oldest part of the city - it has plenty to offer the tourist who's up and about in daylight.

The clubs are spread around the south of Ibiza, mainly in Ibiza Town and Sant Antoni. A special bus runs from disco to disco, but entry fees in excess of 40 euros might stop you visiting more than one a night anyway. Pacha, Privilege and Amnesia are probably the best known clubs and regularly host big-name DJs from the UK.

During the day the action shifts to Ibiza Town's two nearby beaches, Ses Salines and Es Cavellet, which can be easily reached by bus. Both have pines, dunes, beautiful sands and clear waters, plus the requisite chill-out bars.

On the west coast, the town of Sant Antoni is mainly aimed at British clubbers and epitomises package tourism. You may struggle to get a bed in high season. It is less cosmopolitan than Ibiza Town but is starting to rescue its image from the boozy depths.

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