Club Ibiza: that’s not the Ibiza I know

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By Jeannette Hyde, a Travel Professional

Read more on Ibiza.

Overall rating:3.7 out of 5 (based on 3 votes)
Recommended for:
Beach, Short Break, Budget, Mid-range, Expensive

I’ve swum with dolphins in the Bahamas, stayed in the Amanjena in Marrakesh and floated in the Dead Sea in Jordan. But for me, Ibiza has the real magic.

As former Travel Editor of The Observer, people often want to know my favourite place on the planet. When I say Ibiza they often look disappointed to say the least. I’ve swum with dolphins in the Bahamas, stayed in the Amanjena in Marrakesh and floated in the Dead Sea in Jordan. But for me, Ibiza has the real magic.
Let’s clear up one thing straight away. Ibiza may be famous for its clubs, but it is easy to holiday on the island and never set foot in one. You don’t have to drive far out of Ibiza Town or San Antonio and Ibiza becomes the paradise that has long attracted hippies, writers and artists over the decades, and the odd wizened travel journo.
The first thing I love about Ibiza is the smell. The island is covered in wild bushy rosemary and lavender. Almost every dirt track down to every small cove is surrounded by it. It’s the smell of Neal’s Yard Remedies au naturel. Seek out Cala Oliveira, Cala d’Hort and Cala Mastella and you’ll know what I mean.
At Cala Oliveira you can clamber up the side of the rocks and park yourself on a private ledge if you fancy an all-over tan. At Cala d’Hort, a nature reserve, I once swam alongside a stingray (it also has the best sunsets on the island). Cala Mastella is all about the crystal-clear waters you often think you have to fly much further than two hours to experience. It also has the best fish soup on the island. El Bigotes (a fisherman with a big moustache) serves his catch boiled with rice daily in a shaded shack at the side of the beach.
And then there’s the food produced on the island. Enormous water melons, wild honey and barbecued lamb or chicken marinated in that wild rosemary I was talking about earlier. It’s really good. If you want a slow afternoon drink watching the world go by, try Anita’s (a converted post office consisting of tables under an enormous shady tree in the hippy village of San Carlos) or head early evening to Santa Gertrudis, the village full of small cafes serving nothing but bread drizzled in olive oil with jamon and lots of wine. Who needs clubs when you have all this?


Stay at the beautiful, laidback 10-room Can Curreu near San Carlos.

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More information on Club Ibiza: that’s not the Ibiza I know:

Jeannette Hyde
Traveller type:
Travel Professional
Guide rating:
Average: 3.7 (3 votes)
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First uploaded:
10 December 2008
Last updated:
4 years 22 weeks 1 day 14 min 59 sec ago
Destinations featured:
Trip types:
Beach, Short Break
Budget level:
Budget, Mid-range, Expensive
Free tags / Keywords:
food, swimming, nature reserve

Jeannette recommends


Price from Rating
(out of 5)
1. Can Curreu

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Community comments (3)

0 of 0 people found the following comment helpful.

Yes there is more to Ibiza than clubbing but this guide does little more than scratch the surface of this fascinating little island. Shame really as the writing style is very accessible.

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0 of 0 people found the following comment helpful.

Having visited Ibiza on numerous occasions over the past ten years I found this guide to be sadly lacking in the essential things that make Ibiza such a very special place.

No mention was made of the lovely old town of Ibiza with its great 'alleyway' resturants, art galleries and designer shops. Nor was mention made of the great harbour where you go after sundown to relax and admire the celebrity owned yatchs and watch the fabulously dressed 'clubbers' (boys and girls)appear and promenade along in a gorgeous stream on their way to their night parties.

Benerras - the hippy beach still has drumming parties on the sand at sunset - so much atmosphere !!

The lovely 'buzzing' town of Santa Eulria with its pedestrianised resturant street where you can eat international cuisine of traditional Spanish Tapas in one of the mant pavement bistros. Shopping here is also some of the best on the Island and you can finish with a cold beer in one of the harbour cafes and enjoy the views and the sights.

Transport around the island is on the whole good and the ferry services which call at many plcaes several times a day are worth using - providing that you remember that all transport as well as shops shuts down from 1pm. until every day (Shops stay open until fairly late though)

The magazine 'IBIZA NOW'- published monthly - in several languages (including English) is well worth purchasing at the newsagents on arrival. Not only is it full of great local gossip(sort of Ibizas answer to Hello) but lists dates of events, parties, concerts, art gallery exhibitions, Village fiestas, etc all around the island.

The guide was easy to read but wouildn't have inspired me to want to go and lacked the 'pulling' power it could have had. The places mentioned are fairly typical tourist attractions (even the moustacheod restauranteur) In all - it could have been any other guide I have read before.

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0 of 0 people found the following comment helpful.

Jeanette has really hit the nail on the head. Ibiza isn't just about clubbing. Spending a long weekend attending a wedding in ibiza staying at the uber cool Atzaro was a great experience. I must admit I was sceptical at first. My thoughts were 'wasting £1500 on a few days - what could we get for that'. It was definately the experience I was looking for. Weather in the 30's great hotel. Complimentary bottle of Laurent Perrier this is Ibiza I fell in love with in 2008. Would be great to tell people on a first time what to do in thier mid 30's when out of the clubbing scene like myself. A bit of celebrity watch is always fun. Check out Blue Marline. James Blunt is a regular and always happy to chat. As he jumps on a speed boat to zoom off to his Yatch - James you're beautiful it's true! One thing to watch out for though is the drinks 16e for a mojito! But the experience is well worth it. More please on the Ibiza I met with in 2008 i'd go back in a shot.

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