“You can’t explain Ibiza. You either feel it or you don’t, and it’s not for everybody. Ibiza forces you to release your grip. People who come with too much of a plan – maybe it doesn’t work out for them.” – Bobby Dekeyser, founder of Dedon.
If you’ve ever been to Ibiza you’ll probably read this quote and smile, knowingly. Nothing sums up the White Isle better. It’s the reason why I – and countless other Ibiza-ites – go back again and again. One Ibiza friend puts it down to the magnetism of Es Vedra, aka the ‘magic rock’, while another is more mystified by the fried squid and cava sangria. Whatever the allure is for you, we’ve got the top trending places in Ibiza that you need to know.
Ibiza still remains the reigning champion of Instagram summer takeovers.
Partying, beaches, vibe or um, excellent squid, Ibiza has it all. And, yes, while it’s wise to not fly out with too much of a plan (those superclubs don’t close at 6am for nothing, y’know), there’s a lot you can do besides hit the dancefloor.
Being an Ibiza regular (the island’s taxi firm started remembering my name), here’s my take on summer 2018’s hotspots.
Embrace your inner Ibiza hippy via your suitcase. Think brights and whites – and plenty of tassels – and you’re on the right track. Check out Lisa Haynes’ packing edit to get instant Ibiza babe status.
the ibiza packing edit
People watch here Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay
The place to see and be seen this summer – if you can bag a prime Bali Bed spot. Celebrities casually mingle around the pool like it’s a Hollywood hangout – little surprise when you consider Robert De Niro is the starry co-investor behind the one-year-old hotel. Once the sun sets, the pool transforms into an outdoor cinema for scheduled beachside movies under the stars. As you might expect, sushi feasts and fine dining are high on the hotel agenda with the recognised Nobu, plus three other restaurants: Chambao, Peyote and Celicioso (the latter with an emphasis on gluten-free). Tucked away in the corner, we love Chambao for its beachside rustic charm, authentic Valencian paella and signature Key Lime Pie. And if it all gets too much? Make to the Six Senses spa beds for a zen massage in the private tented sun decks that overlook the ocean.
Chill out here Atzaró Agroturismo Ibiza
You know a place is good when it makes its own version of limoncello – aka organecello – made with oranges grown in the garden directly behind the restaurant. Atzaró is one of the most peaceful sanctuaries you’ll find in Ibiza, housed in a century-old orange farm that you wished you lived in. With no music, the surrounding wafts of orange blossom, rosemary and lavender feel even more pungent. Day beds are scattered throughout the lush gardens and each restaurant has vine-covered al fresco terraces that tie in seamlessly with its rustic surroundings. If the relaxing space of the Instagram-recognisable ‘Love’ pool isn’t enough, hit the spa. Roam the gardens and you’ll also find a stark modern sauna overlooking the rugged farm land – you can basically watch the vegetables grow as you get your sweat on.
Beach lunch here Aiyanna Ibiza
If Instagram did Ibiza lazy, long lunches, it would probably be here. Punctuated by giant multi-coloured parasols, Aiyanna (little sister to Amante) gives good panoramic view across the sea as you’re doing pica pica food. If you don’t fancy a sit-down feast, try the cute silver artisan food truck that serves healthy juices and beach snacks. Also of the note: the waiters and waitresses all wearing cool Hawaiian print shirts. It’s laidback but luxe all at the same time. Pack your SPF, shades and a fan and lounge there right until sunset.
Sing & dance here Lio Ibiza
Looking for a low-key dinner? Lio isn’t it. Ibiza’s legendary cabaret club is an all-singing, all-dancing spectacle from the second you sit down for your aperitif. By the time you reach main course, your waitress is serving you with a jive. And by dessert, you’ll most likely be joining in.
This open-air venue has serious open-air views of Dalt Vila across the port, as well as the non-stop (moving) stage of performances. As you’re dining on your Japanese fusion feast, expect a cabaret conveyor belt of Burlesque, musicians, acrobats and dancers (not forgetting the performers dancing around your dinner table). A word of warning: it’s tricky to schedule in a loo break and not miss out on the action.
Practice yoga here Amante Ibiza
If you want to get spiritual, Amante’s daily yoga sessions are the ultimate place to do downward dog with a breath-taking view. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Instagram-able Sol Den Serra bay, Amante’s yoga terrace is surrounded by dramatic rocks and lush greenery to take in as you’re practicing your pranayama. You’ll need to set your alarm as the yoga sessions starts at 8.45am sharp (pre-booking essential, €30), followed by a healthy buffet breakfast. You can leave feeling slightly smug about doing a yoga session in Ibiza when everybody else is still in bed with a serious hangover.
Dinner here Aubergine Ibiza
The farm-to-table concept doesn’t get much more authentic than Aubergine. The tables on this rustic terrace overlook the exact farmland where your dinner is freshly picked from. It means the Mediterranean-inspired menu changes regularly, dictated by seasonal product. But, as the name suggests, you’ll usually find an aubergine signature dish or two. Our advice? Book a table right before sunset so you can witness the idyllic setting’s lighting transform from ambient sunset-pink to twinkly romantic fairy lights. Plus, if the barbeque menu is fired up, opt for a chargrilled main from that and watch it being cooked as you sip on overflowing fruit sangria.
Clothes shop here Annie’s Ibiza
You might go to Ibiza with a no-fuss fashion aesthetic (me: guilty) but you’ll probably enter Departures clad in crochet, tassels, pom-poms and lace. Ibiza has its very own brand of bohemian style – and anything goes. If you need to step up your clubwear for Bob Sinclar at Pacha on a Saturday night, Annie’s is the spot. Based in the heart of the old castle of Ibiza, you’ll find one-off pieces and curated vintage so you won’t dance into any doppelgangers in the club. Other cool brands on Annie’s rails include Rixo, Midnight Tales, Georgia Hardinge and Pam Hogg.
Festival here Midsommar Festival
Where else would you find flower crown making and tarot card reading combined with a 12-hour DJ line-up but Ibiza? Elrow and Absolut joined forces for the first ever Midsommar day-to-night festival in mystical Cova Santa, which is built around an ancient palm tree-fringed cave.
The fiesta began with a civilised Scandi-inspired feast on never-ending tables and ended with acrobats, glitter explosions and performers on stilts dancing through the crowds. Magic.
Stay here OD Talamanca
Who needs bike hire when you’ve got a line-up of Smart cars that match your luxe hotel? Guests staying in luxury or junior suites have access to their very own white Cabrio cars – perfect for zipping around the island to check out our Ibiza hotlist (when cava sangria isn’t on the menu). Overlooking Talamanca Bay, OD is close to the old town and nightlife mecca, but situated in a refuge away from the island’s hedonism for chillout/recovery days. With views of the cerulean sea, this design-focused hotel features a minimalist palette. Think subdued shades of mustard and off-white against a backdrop of contemporary art-deco design. Check out OD’s new Sky Bar, a cool rooftop space for hosting art, music and fashion events beyond the crowds.
Party town to dining destination? The clubber’s paradise is in the middle of a food revolution. Check out Ibiza’s best sustainable dining options here