Experience alternative Ibiza! The best things to do besides clubbing
If someone says Ibiza, you think party. Crazy, wild, stay-up-all-night parties. It is THE place to go if you want to let loose and dance in some of the best clubs in the world. Although the Balearic island has a reputation as being a party destination, it’s actually way more than that.
Behind all the nightlife is an island filled with history, white sand beaches, bohemian markets and some pretty damn good food. You just gotta know where to find it. We made a list of 18 things to do in Ibiza that’s not clubbing, in case you crave a party break.
Hike to the top of Sa Talaia
While dancing in a club all night is great exercise, it might be worth it to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. You can hike to the tallest point in Ibiza, called Sa Talaia, located in Sant Josep. It’s an easy, uphill, 2.4 km walk. Start the hike by walking up a street called Sa Talaia, until it forms into a path with vegetation on each side. Keep your eyes peeled for an exotic Jineta (a ferret/cat-like creature native to Africa and the Balearic islands) that might be relaxing in the trees. Once at the top you’ll get panoramic views of the whole island. Go during sunset if you really want to be blown away.
Cliff jumping at Cala Tarida
There’re a few spots to cliff jump in Ibiza because of the rugged cliffs that make up the coastline, but the best spot (if you’re looking for a lower jump that still gives you an adrenaline rush) is at Cala Tarida. The white sand beach is located 20 minutes (by car) from San Antonio. Look for the rock formations at either end of the beach and don’t be shy about climbing them. The rocks aren’t too high, so it’s a fun jump into the cool, Mediterranean water. Don’t forget to pack the GoPro!
Lay off the kebabs and eat paella
When surrounded by clubs and beach bars, there won’t appear to be many gourmet food options — but you will notice heaps of late night shops selling that greasy food we all know and love at 3 a.m. Kebabs and pizza are great and all, but have you tried Spanish paella? If you’re craving something less greasy, more local, take a trip to Kalissol Ibiza Santa Eulalia del Rio and treat yourself to a mouth-watering meal. It has some of the best paella on the island (take our word for it). Refuel, then continue with your alternative Ibiza activities!
Yoga on the beach
It might be a challenge to focus on anything other than your hangover in Ibiza, but be sure to take some time to calm your mind and body. Amante Ibiza offers yoga classes in the morning on the beach. Literally, right on the beach. The classes are taught in English and in Spanish, so you don’t have to worry about the language barrier. Amante’s yoga sesh is followed by a breakfast buffet that’s included in the price of your yoga class (about €30, score!). Ahhh, there’s nothing like starting your day with good vibes and energy.
Shop for hidden gems at the hippy markets
Ibiza is known for having a super chill, bohemian style. It also has a few crafty markets that occur on a weekly basis, known as the hippy markets. The one in Es Canar usually happens every Wednesday, while the one in San Carlos happens on Saturday’s. You’ll find countless stalls of handcrafted jewellery, clothes and souvenirs. It’s a colourful and lively atmosphere filled with live music and street food. So go on, shop for something other than a shirt that says “I’d rather be in Ibiza”. Maybe buy something for your fam that proves you weren’t partying 100% of the time (just 97%).
Rent a kayak and explore the island from the ocean
If you head down to the beach, chances are you’ll find a few kayak rentals or tours that we definitely recommend that you do. You’ll get to see Ibiza from a whole new perspective. Most kayak tours will guide you through the crystal clear waters and through secret caves. It’s also a great opportunity to meet other travellers! One company, Kayak Ibiza (based in San Antonio, Figueretas and Es Figueral), takes you on an adventure along the coast of the island to a beach for a snack and to snorkel. Take a break from sunbaking and hop in a kayak.
Pack a picnic and watch the sunset in San Antonio
While San Antonio is an area in Ibiza that’s known for its nightlife and super clubs, it’s also one of the BEST places to watch the sunset. Head to Sunset Strip an hour before the sun sinks and snag a spot at a bar or a cafe. Order a cocktail and prepare to witness one of the most mesmerizing sunsets you’ll ever see. It’s a great way to take a step back and really appreciate where you are in the world. Dude, you’re in IBIZA and probably having the time of your life! Take it all in.
Explore Ibiza Old Town (Dalt Vila)
Did you know that Ibiza is home to multiple UNESCO World Heritage sights?? One of them being Ibiza Old Town (Dalt Vila)! Drag yourself away from the beach and explore it. Old Town is filled with cobblestone streets, castles, 14th-century cathedrals, stone statues, canons, and Gothic architecture. Put the phone away and take a walk through town. You’ll find tons of hidden gems and narrow alleyways filled with cute restaurants and shops. Plus, you’ll learn a lot about Ibiza’s ancient history (it’s way more than a party island!). Word to the wise: don’t wear sandals while exploring Old Town. Those cobblestone streets are gnarly!
Snorkel or scuba dive in Ibiza’s clear waters
Ibiza’s crystal, clear blue waters are perfecttttt for snorkelling (or scuba diving, if that’s your thing). There are a few companies who offer budget-friendly snorkel excursions, so definitely check them out (your Ibiza hostel can help you). But if you want to rent gear and explore on your own, make sure to jump in the water at Cala Conta, Aguas Blancas or Cala Salada. Each of those beaches offers heaps of marine life, little coves and clear water.
Spend an afternoon at the Surf Lounge
Make time to visit the Surf Lounge in Ibiza. While it’s not technically a club, it’s a huge beach sports area (plus restaurant, pool and bar) with heappppsss of activities like beach volleyball, FlowRider, shopping, and you can even get a relaxing massage! The Surf Lounge also hosts DJ sunset sets (okay, a little clubby) by the pool that get pretty wild during peak season. Our favourite part? Wiping out on the FlowRider surf simulator. Meet you there!
Visit Es Vedra
Es Vedra is one of those odd places on Earth, like Easter Island or the Pyramids, that’s full of mystery. Basically, it’s an uninhabited rock island off the coast of Ibiza with a few myths and legends tied to it. We’re talking UFO sightings (WTF??), being home to the Phoenician goddess of fertility, being the third most magnetic place in the world (whatever that means?!), one of the settings in Homer’s Odyssey, speculation that it’s part of the lost city of Atlantis, AND it’s believed that the limestone rock of Es Vedra was used to build the Pyramids, Stonehenge and Easter Island. SERIOUSLY!! This place is nuts and there’s no conclusive evidence to any of its myths. You’ll have to grab a boat tour and check it out for yourself.
Day trip To Formentera
Cross another Balearic island off your bucket list and hop on a ferry to Formentera. It’s Ibiza’s well-rested sister, just five miles away. It’s known for long stretches of beach, food that Italians would approve of, and a quiet atmosphere. Even celebs go there to relaxxxx. While it might sound way less fun than Ibiza, it’s still a beautiful area to explore and get away from the crowds for a few hours. Then head back to Ibiza, tanned and refreshed for the rest of the night.
Lay topless at a beach
If you’re looking for a local experience, head to a nude beach and #freethenipple. The beach at Aguas Blancas (aka white waters) is great for snorkeling, but also for getting an all-around killer tan. It’s surrounded by cliffs that offer a little bit of privacy and shade during the day as the sun shines perfectly overhead. Pack a picnic, leave the bathers at home and get one of the best tans of your life.
San Marca Caves
Get out of the sun and explore Ibiza’s hidden sea caves. Head to Puerto de San Miguel and explore Cueva Can Marca (you’ll see the signs). It’s a secret cave that was used by smugglers back in the day to store contraband. It’s kind of eerie, but super cool! You descend into the caves via a narrow staircase on the side of a cliff. Once you’re in the cave you’ll find bright green colours and creepy rock formations. It’s a fascinating experience!
Okay, not the real Atlantis, but a hidden beach on Ibiza (also known as Sa Pedrera on the south-west corner of the island). Take the road to Es Cubells and turn toward Cala d’Hort, turn left on a dirt road before reaching Es Boldado. Once you park, it’s a steep hike down to the old quarry (you don’t wanna do this hungover). Make your way to the water (there’s not an official beach), and you’ll see Es Vedra ahead of you off the coast, a bunch of man-made rock formations and some rock pools. Don’t be surprised if you come across a lot of locals, they love this spot!
Jump on a banana boat
… And prepare to be thrown into the Meditterannean. Yeah, we know you can do this anywhere in the world., but it’s so tempting (and worth it) to do this after a few drinks in Ibiza. It doesn’t even have to be banana boating! Go to the beach and you’ll find parasailing, SUP, and hoverboard activities. Sometimes it’s hard to sit on a beach and sunbake, so grab your mates and jump on a banana boat. Good luck holding on!
Rent a scooter and zoom around the island
The best way to explore the island is at your own pace via scooter. This is how you’ll come across different beaches, food that’s not kebabs, and hiking trails. There really is a beautiful island waiting for you outside of San Antonio and Ibiza Town. We highly recommend renting a scooter or a bike for a day and quite literally getting out of town. You don’t even need to have a plan. Just ride around (and be careful!).
See a show at Lio
Throw on a fancy outfit and check out Lio. It’s an upscale restaurnat with daily dinner shows that feature acrobatic performances, comedians, singers and dancers (kind of like a low-key Cirque de Soleil). Yeah, yeah – it’s part of the Pacha Group and technically becomes a club after the dinner show. But it’s a really cool scene with live performances that you should definitely check out! Just be prepared to shell out a few bucks. This isn’t a budget-friendly experience *shrug*.
About the author:
Marina Nazario is a food and travel writer from America, currently living in the land Down Under. She’s passionate about meeting people, immersing herself in different cultures, and eating her way around the world. You can follow her misadventures on Twitter and her blog Marina’s Milestones.
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