The jet set has made a bold return to their favorite European summer spots, with Ibiza, high on the travel list. Life in Spain’s hottest seasonal playground looks a little different given the hedonistic super clubs are on hiatus so enjoying the spoils of this sun-soaked paradise at night is a little more cultured experience. Enjoy our guide to the chicer, softer side of Ibiza nightlife.
The Private Villa Party
Ibiza’s legendary European super clubs – think Pacha, Eden, Space and Es Paradis which have ruled the party scene in San Antonio on the island’s west coast for decades and are traditionally the crux of a trip – are currently closed, it’s all about hanging out at glamorous private parties. A night out now means booking a luxury private villa stay – Villa Calipto we are looking at you – and discreetly throwing a party or texting a friend to drop a pin to one that they have found. If you think you are going to get more sleep, think again – many of these private villa parties run all night and well into the next afternoon.
Dinner in an Elegant Eatery
Not friends with an oligarch? No worries. Chic, elevated eateries are on the rise on the white island, which is fast gaining a reputation for its gastronomy scene. I stayed at Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay on the shores of Talamanca Bay, which has a glamorous beachy meets wellness vibe and so many amazing food choices from the signature Japanese Nobu to Chambao, a laidback chiringuito (Spanish-style food truck) beach restaurant.Be sure to try Casa Maca at Casa Maca Hotel, a charming rural hotel in the peaceful hills of Can Palau just outside Ibiza Town. And don’t miss Downtown Ibiza Cipriani in the luxurious Gran Hotel where stunning views of the harbor make for the perfect backdrop to enjoy delicious Balearic cuisine (think fresh seafood, tapas, and plenty of yummy stews) with a dose of that warm laid-back Spanish culture. Or Post dinner, take a stroll past the endless rows of luxury yachts by the water below. Perhaps you’ll be invited by a socialite or any of the many A-list celebrities that flock to Ibiza each summer on board.
Stroll the Old Town at Sunset
Ibiza’s Old Town (also known as Dalt Vila), is a historical marvel that will take you on a journey back 2500 years. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the fortified city was built in the 16th century, its walls constructed to fend off attacks by Berber pirates and invasion by sovereign forces like the French. Take a tour of the fortifications to learn the stories behind the seven bastions. The Santa Lucía bastion houses an 18th-century powder magazine and has fabulous views over the old fishing district and the harbor. Beyond Old Town’s facade are a labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets, whitewashed houses, cute boutiques, and amazing little restaurants. If we had to name a favorite – though you won’t go wrong with any of the culinary choices in Old Town, try Plaza del Sol, which evokes the Bohemian spirit of Ibiza. Guests sit on benches filled with colorful cushions from the island’s hippy markets and at nightfall, the terrace is lit by dozens of lanterns. Seeing Old Town at night is beyond dreamy and romantic.
Daylife is the new Nightlife
Given that nightlife is cancelled, beach clubs and day parties are having their moment in the sun. The genius app, MyPlace, lets you share your private home with your friends, and has also launched a series of brunch parties – scenes of breakfasts with beautiful people often shared on their Instagram. Cova Santa, which calls itself a gastroclub and mixology (so expect amazing food and cocktails) hosts spectacular afternoon into evening events – one even designed by a former Cirque du Soleil protégé. Also, on our beach club radar are Beachhouse Ibiza at the chilled end of Playa d’en Bossa beach, a luxury rustic Caribbean-inspired retreat serving Mediterranean meets Italian fare and El Chiringuito overlooking a cute little cove in San Antonio Bay. Relax back here on a four-poster bed on the beach over fresh seafood and sangria. And lest we forget the legendary Café Del Mar, serving lounge tunes, great cocktails and epic sunsets since the eighties.
The other side of Ibiza
What many travelers may not realize is Ibiza is not all about non-stop partying and pleasure seeking, there’s a softer, sensual, mellow side to the Spanish island. Once the home of hippie communities, the boho vibe lives on through its laid-back lifestyle, whitewashed houses, rustic glamour, and deep connection to community and nature. And of course its low-key,yet breathtakingly beautiful beaches like Cala d’Hort in San José, a small, beloved, local beach with a fantastic view of the mysterious island of Es Vedrà just offshore. It’s here at the end of the day you’ll see hippies and drummers serenading the sun goodbye as part of a long-held daily ritual. In line with honoring Ibiza’s free-spirited, spiritual past while bringing it firmly into the present is the arrival of the luxurious Six Senses Ibiza. A crystalline Cala Xarraca located on the northern tip of Ibiza, the secluded property, set on a 400-year-old sustainable olive and agricultural farm, is an exercise in tranquility and mindfulness. Guests stay in townhouses, pool suites, and spend their days exploring artisan villages, hiking through the pine forest, indulging in fresh organic fare from the garden, and exploring the beachfront caves where at sunset kindred spirits gather to listen to live music and salute the sun.
Take the ferry for Formentera
You should not leave Ibiza, without visiting its cute little sister, Formentera, off the island’s south coast. This tiny strip of paradise is just a short ferry ride from Ibiza’s harbor, yet feels world’s away from the mainland and the other popular summer Mediterranean destinations. The beaches here, try Playa de Ses Illetes and Calo des Mort, appear tropical with their turquoise waters and white as white sand and there’s plenty of authentic, rustic, cozy, and lively beach bars and eateries where daytime drinking and dancing Spanish-style is the norm. Salud.