I recently went on holiday to Ibiza with my boyfriend for a luxurious two weeks. This was our first time in Ibiza: I know Ibiza is known for its party atmosphere, BUT, it is so much more than that as I’ll prove!
In part one I talked about the hotel we stayed in and about Santa Eulalia: in this post, I will be sharing with you what we got up to and where we went.
What did we get up to?
When we go on holiday, we like to do a little bit of sunbathing like everyone else, but our favourite thing to do is to go exploring. We choose to go on holiday in May when it’s not too hot, so we can do lots of walking and see the sights.
When we have visited other holiday destinations before, we always look for local travel agents that provide coach trips. We always enjoy these trips, but there are no coach trips operating in Ibiza, unfortunately. We booked our package holiday with Thompson; they always have an excursions leaflet for you, but these trips are usually overpriced, however, we did go on one of their trips.
On the days we didn’t go out, we just enjoyed the sun, and we went walking to get some much-needed exercise from overeating, like any other guilty holidaymakers.
There is an excellent local bus service on Ibiza which makes getting around easy. The bus station in Santa Eulalia was only a twenty-minute walk from our hotel. The timetable and pricing were easy and straightforward to understand: for two adults to get to Ibiza town and back again only costs €8.
The main attraction in Ibiza town is the Dalt Vila (pictured below); Dalt Vila basically means ‘old town,’- it is still inhabited which is pretty cool. If it’s not too hot and you have enough energy, you can walk to the top and be awarded an amazing panoramic view. There is a cathedral located at the top, but we didn’t go inside. I don’t know when the old town and fortress was built, but it’s still in pretty good condition. While we were there, people kept asking us for directions; we found this quite funny because we didn’t know where we was going either! It would be worth a visit at night time as well when it is all lit up.
At the base of the old town, there is a maze of cobbled streets with hidden shops and restaurants which we enjoyed wandering around. We also had a walk around the harbor; it is very big and busy. If you need a retail therapy fix while in Ibiza, there is a road featuring many familiar high street shops: Zara, Mango, Rituals, Pull and Bear and Superdry to name a few. I resisted temptation and just bought one top from Pull and Bear.
Sunset Cruise in San Antonio
This is the trip we booked through Thompson. I love to watch the sunset while on holiday; it is so relaxing. Santa Eulalia is on the wrong side of the island to see the sunset, so we had to visit San Antonio on the west of the Island. Thompson picked everyone up from their hotels at 18:30, and we arrived back at 23:30. The trip cost €35 each which is quite expensive, but we wanted the experience.
Once everyone had boarded the boat, we got a free glass of Sangria! The boat we were on could seat 200 people, but there were only 50 of us. It was nice being able to sit where ever we liked, and walk around the boat freely.
We were a bit early for the sunset, so we just sailed around for a little while, and got the opportunity see some cool rock formations. The sunset in San Antonio always attracts a crowd; the beaches were lined with people, and people were sitting on the cliffs (dangerous!). There is no guarantee you’ll get a picture-perfect sunset; unfortunately for us it was cloudy, but we still managed to take some memorable pictures.
When the boat trip finished, we had an hour of free time before we had to meet back on the bus. We were starving, but there wasn’t enough time for a hot meal, so we just grabbed a few snacks from a supermarket and watched the world go by. San Antonio is known as clubbing central, but I’m sure it is nice during the day when everyone is sleeping off their hangovers!
A novel way to get around the island is to take a ride on the tourist road train! There is a choice of four different trips (we did three of them): all the tours cost €16 and last for approximately three hours including travel time.
The first train trip we went on was to the Punta Arabi hippy market in Es Canar: there are a few other hippy markets in Ibiza, but this is the biggest and most popular one. It runs every Wednesday, April- October, and is open 10:00- 19:00.
We had just under two hours to walk around the market, which was plenty of time. Before we arrived, I thought it was going to be quite small despite its popularity, but I was wrong- there were hundreds of stalls! We didn’t go there to look for anything in particular, we just wanted to go for the experience. To be honest, there was a lot of overpriced tat being sold, but the stalls selling handmade goods were nice. The only thing I purchased was a handmade lizard picture (I have 2 Leopard Geckos so HAD to get it!).
Luckily, it wasn’t too hot when we went, but I can imagine the heat is unpleasant when the place is jam-packed. I wouldn’t recommend taking small children; I saw quite a lot of parents getting stressed out with pushchairs. Otherwise, it is nice to go for the experience.
Tourist Train Trip Two: Three Beaches
On this trip, we visited three different beaches: Pou Des Lleo, Cala Boix and Es Figueral. In the little brochure we had, it stated there would be plenty of time to ‘have a drink and sunbathe’….nope, there wasn’t! We had fifteen minutes at the first two stops, and 40 minutes at the last beach. We enjoyed the journey through the countryside, but it took quite a long time to arrive at the first beach. I feel like the brochure was a bit misleading. Nevermind. It was quite a cloudy day (no point in sunbathing), so thought we might as well go out. All three of the beaches are small and are relatively unspoiled; we just did a little bit of walking and took some pictures.
Tourist Train Trip Three: Farmhouse Museum
Like the trip above, this was another three-stop trip. The first stop was to a typical old farmhouse from the 17th century- it was like stepping back in time! The point of this farmhouse museum is to show how people used to live in Ibiza many years ago. You also get the chance to taste typical liqueurs of the island (we hate liqueurs, though!). Everything in the house is so small- look at the pictures below.
The next stop was to San Carlos to visit the 18th-century church. I wish I took a picture of it from the outside because it is a typical whitewashed Ibizan building: in the hotel, there were canvas pictures of the church along all of the corridors. We had half an hour here, so we had time to have a little walk around San Carlos. When we sat on a bench, we saw a cat sitting inside a tea trunk; I wish I was quick enough to take a picture before it jumped out, it was hiding from the sun.
The third and final stop was Cala Nova beach. Some people went for a swim in the sea here, but we just enjoyed an ice cream and had a drink. We also walked up the cliff a little way and took some impressive pictures.
Day trip to Formentera
We visited the island of Formentera on our final day (Formentera is the baby of the Balearic Islands). We debated a little bit about going, but I knew I would regret not going once home. We have been to Mallorca before, so we just need to visit Menorca now (maybe next year!).
We got the ferry from Santa Eulalia’s Marina, which leaves once a day at 10:30, and returns at 17:15 (there will be an additional ferry at 9:30 in the summer). The tickets cost €35 each for an adult return ticket. For some reason, I thought it would only take half an hour to get there, but it took close to 90 minutes. The ferry was a similar size to the one in San Antonio, but this one packed with people- we got rubbish seats downstairs away from the windows. There were quite a lot of children getting sea sick, not nice.
Before we got off the ferry, there were men asking everyone if they wanted to hire a bicycle; they kept saying the beach is too far away to reach by foot. We knew this was a scam to get your money, so we politely declined the bikes. Once off the boat, we noticed a long queue of people waiting to pick up their bicycles! We walked to the beach; it only took twenty minutes to get there along a footpath.
As it was a last minute decision to visit Formentera, we didn’t plan what to do, so we just walked around the beach, took some pictures and did some sunbathing. We were hoping to have lunch at the beach restaurant, but it was so expensive- €20 for a simple Ceasar salad, no thanks! So, we headed back to the town to find somewhere cheaper (€14 for two meals!).
We also saw some salt flats while there, and saw the little lizards which are only native on Formentera- they were everywhere, and mega cute! On the way back, we managed to get a seat upstairs on the boat (open-air deck), so we could take some pictures.
Firstly, I’d like to say sorry that this post is so long, but I wanted to record my experiences so I can look back on this post. I have enjoyed writing about my Ibiza experience very much; I wish I could go abroad more than once a year.
To be honest, I booked this holiday because it was such a bargain price, otherwise, I don’t think Ibiza would have been on my radar. I know Ibiza has been branded ‘the party island’, but I can confirm this is not true! The island has a lot to offer and kept us busy during our two-week stay. I would return to Ibiza, but not anytime soon because I feel like we had time to do everything we wanted to do.
I loved the hotel, I loved Santa Eulalia, I loved the people, I loved our experiences, I loved the sun, I loved Ibiza….what more could I ask for?