In the southwest corner of the Mediterranean lies the small island of Ibiza, a pristine haven found within the archipelago of the Balearic Islands. The appeal of the vibrant nightlife draws thousands of visitors to its shores each year, while for others, it is the lure of the white sandy coves and translucent turquoise water. Seclusion can be found in the villas in Ibiza which are tucked away in the pine-clad hills, contrasting with the bustling nightlife vibe found in the main town. Ibiza really has it all!
Declared as a World Heritage site in 1999, Ibiza is not only well-known for its electric atmosphere after the sun goes down, but also its rich history and marine biodiversity. From the fortified old town of Dalt Vila which dates back thousands of years, to the sprawling underwater meadows of Posidonia seagrass which surround the island, Ibiza is an island of unique contrasts. Welcoming intrigued visitors from all over the globe, it is a playground for young and old, catering for weddings, celebrations or an idyllic vacation.
Whether staying for a week or a month, villas in Ibiza are the perfect accommodation choice, catering to your every need. If its total relaxation you’re seeking, consider a villa on the more peaceful side of the island. Towns such as Cala Llonga, Puerto San Miguel or Santa Eulalia are best for tranquility. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to be immersed in the party atmosphere, a villa near the Port of Ibiza on the eastern side of the island is the ideal location.
Read on for everything you want to know about Ibiza.
- History of Ibiza
- Areas of Ibiza
- Architecture in Ibiza
- Getting to Ibiza
- Getting around Ibiza
- Beaches in Ibiza
- Weddings in Ibiza
- Accommodation in Ibiza
If the historical sites on Ibiza could talk, they would tell you they have seen battles like no other. The small island has been conquered several times over the course of its 3000-year history, highly sought after due to its strategic location between Africa and Europe. The mild climate, fertile soil and natural beauty were amongst other reasons why this island was seen as a treasure trove that empires needed to conquer.
The Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Arabs, Catalans, Moors, Byzantines and even the pirates have all claimed this small island paradise at some point in time and called it their own. This has given rise to the unique selection of historical sites that have been unearthed on the island. Several watchtowers still stand and are dotted around the coastline of Ibiza, once used as lookout points for pirates. Dalt Vila is the fortified old town with cobblestone streets which overlooks the Mediterranean and was once inhabited by the Phoenicians. Whilst the Las Salinas Natural Park is another example of Ibiza’s unique history, home to the salt flats which have been used to produce salt for thousands of years.
From ancient castles to settlement ruins, Ibiza is a historian’s dream. There is much to explore, but to fully immerse yourself in the history of Ibiza, a trip to a museum such as the Archaeological Museum in Ibiza Town is an absolute must. Only then will you truly start to understand the complex and rich history of this island.
Ibiza is divided geographically into five areas: San Jose, San Antonia Abad, San Juan Bautista, Santa Eulalia del Rio and Ibiza Town. The northern area of San Juan Bautista is the least populated and much quieter than the other areas, with the area of Ibiza Town being the most populated. Due to the extraordinary beaches around the island, the coastal towns are generally very busy, especially during the peak tourist season in the summer months. Most of the luxury unique villas in Ibiza are located in the southern area, around San Jose where the land is lush and the beaches pristine.
Ibiza is well known for its extraordinary and unique architecture, stemming from its farming history when settlers made use of natural materials found on the island to build their homes. Wooden beams carved from Sabina trees have long been found in Ibizan homes, as well as natural stone, sand and clay. Whitewashed villas in Ibiza are found all over the island – these are typical homes that have been finished with a layer of white clay, dug from the ground. These traditional villas (or fincas/farmhouses) often have thick walls and small windows to protect the inside from the heat, flat roofs and simple lines.
In recent times, larger and more modern homes are being built in Ibiza, often by well-known architects who take advantage of the incredible views and surroundings. These sprawling homes have floor to ceiling windows, pool terraces and several living areas to cater for the wealthy clientele. But, despite the evolution of design in Ibiza, you’ll find that most properties still retain the identity of the culture and history by using natural materials and decorations where possible.
The fastest way to reach Ibiza is by flying to Ibiza International Airport. The airport connects visitors to the Balearics with direct flights on international carriers, from several European cities, each day. However, if you’d prefer to take a more scenic route, then consider a ferry from Barcelona, Valencia, Palma or Denia. Sleeper cabins are available on the longer ferry journeys and some ferries provide passengers with amenities including swimming pools, restaurants and bars – a prelude for what is to come in Ibiza…
Once you’ve stepped foot onto the island, you’ll no doubt want to explore all that it has to offer! Luckily there are several ways to travel around the island, including by bus, rental car, bike and scooter. However, if it’s the coastline you want to explore away from the crowds, kayaks, power boats and yachts are available for hire, enabling you to sail off and claim your own private slice of paradise. Many visitors to Ibiza choose to hire a boat to visit Formentera, a short, thirty-minute scenic trip away.
If your idea of a perfect holiday includes sun, silky sand and swimming, then Ibiza must to be on your bucket list! With over 80 beaches to explore around the striking coastline, there is a beach for everyone. Secluded coves that are tucked away underneath pine clad hills such as Cala Salada are popular for visitors who seek serenity, whilst others enjoy people watching at more commercial beaches such as Playa d’en Bossa.
As well as soaking up the sun, snorkelling is a very popular past time in Ibiza, due to the crystal-like waters found here. Native to the Mediterranean, sprawling underwater meadows of Posidonia cover the seabed in some areas around the island, producing oxygen and purifying the water that is so iconic in the Balearics. Exploring these meadows and the colourful marine life that call the Posidonia home, is an absolute must if you visit Ibiza. A treat for young and old!
Whilst Ibiza has been typically renowned for its lively nightlife and party atmosphere in the past, hundreds of couples each year are now choosing this small island paradise as the destination for their dream wedding. Only Spanish citizens and Catholics can legally marry on the island, however other couples opt to marry in their home country first, then proceed the civil ceremony with a spiritual ceremony or celebration in Ibiza. The island is now a sought-after wedding destination due to the endless variety of spectacular locations to celebrate. Whether you are hoping to marry on the beach, on top of a cliff face, in a luxury five-star hotel or a private holiday villa in Ibiza, this island retreat is the ideal place to create your dream Ibiza wedding!
Whether you are travelling to Ibiza with your partner, family or friends, there is an accommodation option to suit your requirements. Swanky hotels are abundant in Ibiza, most with comprehensive facilities such as swimming pools, restaurants and health spas. Wellness retreats are also becoming extremely popular on the island, offering detox, yoga or fitness holidays.
But if you’d prefer self-catering accommodation where you can retreat from the outside world then consider a luxury holiday villa in Ibiza. Traditional and modern villas are located all over the island, most with swimming pools, breathtaking views and ultimate seclusion. Holiday villas are popular for groups, families and wedding parties travelling together, as well as honeymooners who would like to hide away in opulence once the celebrations are over.