Ibiza: More Than You Think

by farrah on September 2, 2014 · 4 comments

When my husband suggested that we go to Ibiza for our 8th anniversary trip I thought he was nuts. I had not heard of Ibiza before moving to the Netherlands, but somewhere along the line I learned about this island known for its wild parties, beautiful people and club scene. Knowing full well that this was something so out of my reality- I kept it in the background noise. My husband had a friend at work who along with his bachelor buddies rented a yacht and lived like rock stars for several days. Aquamarine waters, soft sand and blue skies. Sounds like a beautiful place, but party-wise not for someone like me. Definitely not.

FormenteraBeach on Formentera

I had to remind him that hello! I was 38- and a mom. The famous all-night club scene typically started long after I would go to bed. We were old. We were tired. We just didn’t  do that sort of thing. But he seemed to really be excited about it- and who was I to say no? He picked the hotel and we waited anxiously for the weeks to tick by and our imminent child-free freedom would be won.

Location

Ibiza mapAn island off the eastern coast of Spain, Ibiza is pretty small.

This little island off the coast of eastern Spain is well known in Europe as a great summer vacation destination. We easily flew out of Eindhoven airport and landed directly in Ibiza, took an hour long shuttle to the hotel, and had officially arrived.

Who is Ibiza for?

Ibiza beachWe saw full-day activities for kids led by the lifeguards.

Anyone. Mom, dad, kids, omas & opas too. Sure there are the crazy 20-somethings- but I’m pretty sure that they stay on their side of the island. Not once did I feel old, out-of-place or insecure. The entire time we said how much we’d love the boys to see this beach or that beach. Our hope is that before we leave Europe we come back with the kids. I loved last year’s Tossa de Mar trip, but I have to say, I loved Ibiza even more and I know the boys will too.

Where to stay & eat

If you’re not going with the kids, I recommend our adults-only hotel Invisa Hotel La Cala. Location was good and it was so quiet. Very clean, super friendly reception and management, nice pool and lovely restaurant. If you don’t mind having the view of another hotel, then this is perfect for you. I liked the side street that it was located upon- even though the view from our balcony was into an apartment. Note: The hotel is located on the non-party side of the island, so if that’s what you’re looking for, be sure to check out this area.

sa carboneria

Our last night we ate a fabulous meal at Sa Carboneria which was highly recommended by our hotel manager. The tiny little terrace and chop-house menu was unique and delicious. An awesome suggestion that I would absolutely say is a must do. Don’t forget to make your reservations though. This place is popular and small, we saw many people turned away.

Otherwise, we strolled along the marina and boardwalk at night, stopping at a place for a cocktail or a meal when we wanted. There are many places to choose from- and if you eat before 8pm you won’t have a problem getting a good table.

What to do

beachPlaya de Illetas on Formentera

 Hit the beach. Hands down my #1 tip is to make sure you make a trip to the island of Formentera. Take the ferry (about an hour ride), rush across the street to rent a scooter (around €40 for the day) and ride like the wind to the beach. Yachts like you’ve never seen dock here. Note: these beaches are small and very popular. They run out of chairs, umbrellas and space very quickly. You can also rent a car- which is probably more practical if you have the kids.

ibizacol

There are UNESCO World Heritage sites, gorgeous terrain, shopping galore, restaurants and of course nightclubs. Four days was not nearly enough time!

Yes, they’re topless. Get over it.

It’s Europe. You’re going to find woman of all shapes and size topless on the beach. Take advantage of this freedom and do it yourself without being self-conscious. You’re never going to see these people again, so go for it! I have strong feelings as to why is this a-ok and healthy (well, except for that pesky sun cancer thing) and the biggest reason being that it’s good to see real women. Not air brushed magazine pin ups who are mostly artificial.

Surprisingly British

I could not get over the fact that Brits were everywhere. Being unfamiliar with the vacation destinations for Europeans, I was floored when I realized that the majority of Ibiza’s visitors had to be from the UK. How do I know this? Every restaurant along the boardwalk proudly proclaimed a ‘proper brew of tea’ or fish and chips. I am not exaggerating when I say that everything is in English, and other than the beach and sand- you might as well be in Britian.

Going back

ferry

Overall, it was heaven. I realize that sounds like a trite exaggeration- but it really was. The only downfall was knowing that we had to leave after just a few short days. I was so wrong about Ibiza- it was friendly, easy to navigate, more beautiful than I imagined and so much fun. I’ve never ridden a scooter or gone snorkeling before- two things I did here. Once again feeling like the luckiest lady in the world to be able to visit places like this and hope that we get to go back with the crew at some point.

All photos taken by me except map of Spain.
Spain location map” by NordNordWest – own work, using United States National Imagery and Mapping Agency data. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Nothing to disclose in this post.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ellen September 2, 2014 at 2:19 pm

I would like to go there as well! In the ’70 Ibiza was a destination for hippies and I guess that is a kind of atmosphere you can stil feel. Nowadays a lot of famous Dutch people have their vacation on Ibiza, maybe you have seen them (but didn’t recognise them off course)
Groetjes Ellen

Reply

2 farrah September 2, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Ellen! Thank you for reminding me! There is this huge hippy market (za-spotlight.com/shopping/markets_i.htm) that our scuba guide, the hotel manager and others told us about. We just didn’t have time to check it out though. That’s my biggest regret. Guess we will just have to go back 🙂

And you’re right- I wouldn’t recognize anyone! You should absolutely go- it was fantastic!

Reply

3 Clare September 5, 2014 at 10:02 pm

Ah, I have such fond memories of Ibiza. It was the first place my parents took me abroad to, aged 5. We went back twice more on family holidays (I think I was 13 the last time), so I’ve always thought of it as a family place as well as a party island. But you’re so right to say it’s perfect for anyone. We daytripped to Formentera – I remember that and I tell my husband that we visited one of the most perfect beaches I’ve ever seen to this day. I’d love to go back. It’s such a short flight from the UK, so maybe we’ll take the baby!

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: