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Ibiza

Ibiza (Eivissa) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, about 80 km form the Spanish coast. It is the third biggest of the Balearic Islands, which belong to Spain. The biggest towns on Ibiza are Ibiza (Spanish Vila d’Eivissa or just Vila), Santa Eularia des Riu and Saint Antoni de Portmany. With a car hire in Ibiza you’ll get the chance to see the main points of interest as well as all the hidden spots.

Balearic Islands are a group of islands in the west part of the Mediterranean Sea. Politicly they belong to Spain, but in cultural and lingual aspect they belong to Catalonia. The major islands are Mallorca in the middle, Menorca on the east and Ibiza and Formentera on the west. The islands form a Balearic Autonomous Community which has 5014 km2 and 846.000 inhabitants. The islands are hilly with a little forest. In the fertile, irrigated lowlands grow tropical fruits, olives and vineyards. Tourism is important.

At the time of the general Franco in the 1960’s artists and people with different ideas have sought refuge on Ibiza, which was just far enough from the mainland for them to live in peace. With the beginning of the Flower Power revolution and with the coming of hippies the island has transformed into something nobody has expected.

When in 1366 the airport was built the number of tourist rose from 40.000 people annually to 350.000. With the beginnings of the electronical music 20 years ago the mass tourism has begun and Ibiza has become the most visited island for fun seeking people. But Ibiza is more than just 24/7 party hub, it is also an island full of mysterious and unexplored corners. One of such spots is Es Vedra (an island off the coast of Ibiza) which has an unusually high magnetic field due to high levels of metals and minerals, which is why flights over the island are prohibited. Evidence that Ibiza is really special is the fact that it doesn’t have any toxic animals. It also doesn’t have running fresh water which is why beaches with a crystal-clear water are even more welcome in the hot summer days.

Car hire in Ibiza is the way to explore the island’s beaches: the most popular beach is Las Salinas (it’s got its name after the slat panes), where people can enjoy the sounds of chill out music and surrender to the summer’s pleasures while enjoying silly good sangria. If you would rather be alone, you can take a walk along the beach and look for a calmer cove. Just a little further you can find the nudist beach of Es Cavallet, know primary as a beach for gays. By far the most visited is Playa d’en Bossa, where the world-famous Bar Bora Bora is located where up until few years ago, house music was played for days and parties drew late into the night. If these beaches are where it is ‘’happening’’, then Aguas Blancas is quite the opposite. A long sandy beach, which due to the dark sand and red rocks reminds one a bit of the volcanic origin, is ideal for casual relaxing and book reading. One of those beaches is Cala d’Hort, which is located opposite Es Vedra and where you can enjoy magical sunsets. Even more remote are the beaches further in the north of the island. Since beaching is sometimes tiring, it is advisable to visit one of the many island villages. Santa Gertrudis and San Carlos are charming, so don’t forget to include them on your itinerary with a car hire in Ibiza.

Basic info and car hire in Ibiza

Location: Balearic Islands, Spain.

Capital: Ibiza Town.

Population: 132,637 (as of 2010).

Official language: Spanish.

Currency: Euro (€).

Weather: The climate on Ibiza is very pleasant which is mostly due to up to 300 sunny days. In the winter the temperature rarely goes below 6 °C in the summer months of July and August it can get above 30 °C or even 35 °C. The water has a very pleasant temperature for swimming from May to November. The best months for traveling to Ibiza are May and June as well as September and October because the temperatures in these months are extremely favourable and are great for swimming as well as other cultural activities. Besides that, the Island is covered with colourful flower shades in the spring. So, whenever you choose for a car hire in Ibiza, it’ll be just fine, the roads won’t be covered with snow and heavy rain is not common.

Public holidays in Ibiza: For public holidays in the Balearic Islands, click here »

Internet coverage : Internet access is possible in numerous local bars, restaurants and hotels. There are also many free Wi-Fi spots where you can connect. Mobile coverage is good and there are 4 different suppliers: Movistar, Vodafone, Orange and Yoigo.

Road conditions: Roads on Ibiza are well maintained. If you decide to hire a car in Ibiza you will have no problem getting around. Just be sure to stay off the unpaved roads since most car hire insurances don’t cover the damage done to the undercarriage, especially if you have driven your hired car on the unpaved roads.

Car hire in Ibiza: The most common pick-up location for car hire in Ibiza is the Ibiza Airport. If you opt for car hire in Ibiza it’s best to make a reservation 3 to 8 week in advance to ensure the best price for your rental.

Driving in Ibiza

The public transport in Ibiza is in the private hands. Almost all towns are connected with public transport (bus lines). Most of the connections go in the star shape from the town of Ibiza to the surrounding settlements. Bus tickets are fairly cheap and the connections are especially good between major towns such as Ibiza town to San Antonio. During the summer months there are many Disco buses – bus lines to the clubs so people don’t have to drive when they go out drinking.

There are many options for car hire in Ibiza. You can rent form major international brands as well as from local suppliers. Local suppliers are usually cheaper but you may not be so sure about the car condition. For car hire in Ibiza you need an international drivers licence and must be at least 21 years old (there might even be a young drivers fee for people under 25 years of age). The speed limit in towns is 50 km/h and 90 km/h on the non-residential areas.

All of the bigger towns have taxi stops where you will always have a taxi waiting but in the smaller towns you will have to call the taxi agency and order your drive in advance. You can recognise the taxi car by the green lines on the roof of the car and a sign with white “T”. The taxi driver will charge you according to the price list which he will show you if you ask for it. There are day and night rates. The price starts at around 3.5 € for the starting fee and then about 1.2 € for each additional kilometre.

  • Age limits: Age limit for renting a car in Ibiza is 21. Although be advised that the age limit may vary according to different car hire agencies. Also keep in mind that in order to be able to hire a car in Ibiza you must have your driving licence for a minimum of one year (this may also vary according to the car hire agencies up to 3 years.) There may also be a young drivers fee is you are under 25 years of age.
  • International Driving Permit: If you are a citizen of EU your driving licence will suffice for a car hire in Ibiza, otherwise you need an international driving permit to be permited to rent a car.
  • Additional papers: A valid driving licence and identification (passport). If you opt for car hire in Ibiza you also need at least one proof of address (it depends on car hire company.)
  • Additional requirements: All hired cars need to be equipped with two warnings triangles and a reflective vest. If you talk on the phone while driving you must use hands-free equipment.
  • Children in the car: Driver and all of the passengers are required to wear a seatbelt. If you drive children under the age of 12 in your hired car they must seat in the back and in an appropriate child’s car seat. The most convenient way is to book one with your car hire company. Be sure to check for availability before the pick-up.
  • Driving side of the road: right
  • General speed limits: Speed limit is 30 mph (50 km/h) in urban areas, 55 mph (90 km/h) on rural roads and 75 mph (120 km/h) on motorways.
  • Parking suggestions: On the outskirts of the Ibiza town there are many large free parking spots, some of which offer a shuttle service to the centre. In the centre of Ibiza there is a large car park which is open around the clock but parking here is quite expensive, especially in the summer. In most resorts and villages, parking is not a problem, even in the high season. On some beaches parking your hired car may be difficult in the summer.

What to see in Ibiza

There is much to be discovered on Ibiza, from hippy markets to the salt fields of Las Salinas and much more. Opt for car hire in Ibiza and you will have no problem discovering all of the island’s treasures.

For such a small island there is a lot to see – hidden coves, flowering landscapes, sleepy villages, historical sites, lively hippie markets.

In the heart of the island there are enchanting white villages, each with its own centuries-old church. Stroll through the narrow streets, shop in the local shops and enjoy a cheap homemade lunch menu in one of the quaint bars.


Our favourite spots

Hotels in Ibiza

Booking a hotel, especially in August, might be a problem, so booking in advance is advisable. There are many prestigious hotels in the city of Ibiza, for example, Mirador de Dalt Villa, Gran Hotel and El Hotel de Pacha. More affordable while still in the city are amongst others Lux Mar, El Puerto and La Marina Hostel. Whoever wants to get away from the city’s hustle and bustle, you can book a stay in some of the charming villages. With a car hire in Ibiza you can use the village of your choice as base for exploring the island.


Drive your rental car around Ibiza

Being such a small island, given that you have hired a car in Ibiza, you will be able to see it all. Drive around the island to see the picturesque white villages and beautiful scenery.

Hire a car in Ibiza and drive to the north of the Island, to the charming village of San Miguel which is practically the gateway to the rough cliffs of the north of Ibiza. This beautiful white village, with the church built between the 14 th and 18 th century, is located on the hill, overlooking the surrounding countryside and the former port and today’s resort of Puerto de San Miguel. At the top of the hill is the village church where in in the past the villagers have retreated to at the time of pirate attacks. There were even cannons on the roof of the church for the defence purposes. On the square in front of the church the performances with traditional dances take place every Thursday during the summer season. In the village there is a small but fine selection of bars and restaurants, amongst other the C’an Rei, a traditional restaurant with a selection of tapas.

At the entrance of Puerto de San Miguel, turn right to the Cova de Can Marça cave . In the past, the cave was used by smugglers as a hiding place. Today there are guided tours through the small cave system where you can see interesting dripstone formations, which are especially exciting for children.

Continue along the spectacular coastal road to the pretty beach of Cala Benirras , where the hippies of the island are still drumming and singing every Sunday at sunset (but please leave the video camera in your pocket and do not destroy the special charm like many other do).

Another charming site to visit with your hired car is the village of Santa Inés which is located north of San Antonio, away from the tourism of the big cities. This picturesque village consist of a church, a supermarket, several bars and restaurants and a few whitewashed houses and that’s it – a true rural idyll. Santa Inés is one of the most original villages on the island with its rural char and incomparable tranquillity. It is surrounded by extensive fields with orange, lemon and almond trees. A truly beautiful sight as the green of the trees nicely contrasts the red of the clay. The time seems to stand still in this tranquil village, but in January and February, Santa Inés suddenly becomes a destination for masses of tourists. The reason is the almond blossom. If you drive over the serpentine road from San Antonio to the high plateau during that time, you will witness the most fantastic view. At first it looks like as if it had snowed. Hundreds of almond trees are covered with small white and pink flowers – beautiful!

If you have decided for a car hire in Ibiza and are looking for ideas for day trips look no further than the traditional village of Sant Jordi . Located in the south of the island, close to the airport and the Playa d’en Bossa, as well as Ibiza town. It is one of the few places named almost exclusively by its Catalan name ‘Sant Jori’ instead of Spanish ‘San Jorge’. In the centre of the village is the impressive Church of Our Lady – the best-preserved church on the island. Its origins date back to the 14 th century. The thick walls and battlements of the church were once erected to protect the valuables of the local inhabitants from pirate raids. Next to the church you will find a picturesque square, surrounded by trees. On the square and the streets around you will find nice restaurant, small bistros and traditional bars. Rasca Lobos offers traditional dishes with local ingredients and a wide selection of tapas. In Sant Jordi there are several large supermarkets because tourist from Playa d’en Bossa set somewhat cheaper food here than in the resort. San Jordi host flea marker Mercadillo Sant Jordi in the Hippodrome. There you can find treasures among the second-hand books, jewellery and clothes form India on the stalls spread over the sandy plaza. Take your time and stroll around the market, perhaps you will find a bargain or test your negotiation skills.

Visit the small village of San Rafael, located on the main road from Ibiza town to San Antonio. Right at the entrance of the village, the pretty white church from the late 18th century, with a magnificent view of the Ibiza town, with its medieval old town and the lively harbour. If the church is open, take a few minutes and have a look inside. San Rafael has a wide selection of snack bars and restaurants, both with good local cuisine and more exotic dishes from the Mediterranean countries. Apart from the many restaurants, San Rafael is known for its ceramics workshops, so San Rafael is the only place in Ibiza to be named "of artistic importance". The ceramics can be bought in two shops in the village or in one of the shops, which are found all over the island, mostly on the main streets. The "Icardi" workshop produces ceramics in the way it was introduced thousands of years ago by conquerors in the Mediterranean.

Best scenic routes near Ibiza

One of the ultimate best ways to see Ibiza is to rent a car and explore all the beauty of this Mediterranean island on your own terms. Known as the perfect party destination thanks to its packed clubs, bars, and pubs, Ibiza has gained the reputation of being the ultimate party island. But is there something more to it? Below is a comprehensive outline of some of must-see destinations and events you shouldn’t miss out on during your trip to this Spanish island.

Beyond the busy nightlife – Ibiza's hidden gems

The fact that Ibiza was declared a world heritage site back in 1999 reveals a deeply cultural and historical side of the island. Many first-time travellers claim Ibiza has truly mesmerised their vacation experience and left them in awe of all its charms. The island is united in its cultural liveliness and offers a true luxury retreat. Enthusiastic locals, rich historical areas, crystal clear sea, affordable cost of living and rustic villages all make this Spanish island a destination that simply can’t disappoint. Moreover, its incredible diversity on such a small part of land makes it the ideal road trip destination, allowing you to see the perfect mix of nature, culture and contemporary activities. Wherever you decide to stay, Ibiza’s main attractions will be just over half an hour drive away!

Planning out your dream-like route in and around Ibiza

Start out in Ibiza Town, just minutes’ drive from Ibiza airport, with plenty of opportunities to rent a car. This old town has it all – latest fashion trends, one-of-a-kind quirky local shops, busy nightlife and heaps of incredible local food.

While exploring all the beauty of Ibiza Town, don’t forget its rich underground full of tombs and other ancient ruins.

Head out west towards San Antonio , a part of the island that shouldn’t be missed on any road trip. The drive between Ibiza Town and San Antonio will take less than half an hour, but because of Ibiza’s small size, feel free to take longer by taking small detours, exploring the nature, making unexpected stops to gaze at Ancient ruins and taking in the local lifestyle with every fiber of your being.

Once you arrive in San Antonio , this truly idyllic, lively resort draws you in with its numerous opportunities to enrich your holiday experience. The emerald beaches, palm trees, and laid-back atmosphere will offer plenty of opportunities for every traveller. If you’re looking for sports or adrenaline, San Antonio is the place to be! Try out the jet ski or fly- and hoverboard experience, diving, cliff diving or challenging escape rooms.

Just a short drive from San Antonio takes you to Cala Basa and Cala Conta . They boast some of the island’s most stunning beaches with crystal clear water and warm, dream-like sand.

If you’re a lover of nature and adventure, head out all the way to north Ibiza where you can enjoy terrific pine forests and mountains – on a horse!

When returning back to your original destination Ibiza Town, do not miss out on Ses Salines , located directly opposite Ibiza’s Airport. This impressive natural park will be a perfect destination to recover from your busy trip and enjoy the last few vacation days. Enjoy the 16 th century Sal Rossa watchtower, giving you a truly remarkable panoramic view of the nearby beach or take part in one of the major activities – bird watching. Hundreds of flamingos, stilts, ospreys and countless other bird species arrive to the island between late August and October, making their way to a warm winter retreat in Ibiza’s mild atmosphere.

Throughout your trip, don’t be afraid to take detours and discover hidden gems or simply observe the nature as you go by. Ibiza is a wonderful spot for professional or amateur photographers looking for striking diversity and colourful landscapes.

Where to eat, drink and party in Ibiza

NIGHTLIFE

This famous Balearian Island is definitely the queen of the night life. Here the party never stops and you can choose amongst many bars and clubs where you can party day and night.

Night life in Ibiza is mostly concentrated in the towns of Ibiza (Eivissa) and San Antonio: in Ibiza mostly in the marine area (Puerto de Ibiza) where most of the bars and night clubs are while in San Antonio restaurants and clubs are located on the west part of the town.

An important part of Ibiza night life are numerous music bars around the island where people go to listen to the music in a relaxed atmosphere before going to the discotheques. Most of them have a free entry and drinks that are usually cheaper than in night clubs. Most of the clubs are open from the early afternoon at around 5pm to midnight while other clubs open at midnight and stay open to the early morning hours.

Ibiza offers a Disco bus service, a bus that takes you to most of the major clubs on the island and makes its rounds every 30 minutes and connects most of the areas with an active night life. That way you don’t have to drive a car when you go out drinking.

But Ibiza is much more than just clubs, bars and music. You can spend the evening taking a stroll down the streets full of people as well as participate in the social and cultural events organized in the fortress of Dalt Vila in Ibiza.

Pacha is one of the most famous discotheques on Ibiza. It is located near the town of Ibiza and has been open for 40 years. The club has different levels on which different music in played. Each level offers a completely different experience. Pacha is also one of the most expensive clubs on the Island. Here you will spend from 40 to 60 euros just for an entrance fee, not including any drinks. The people that you will meet there differ depending on the type of the event taking place but it almost always includes celebrities so it doesn’t matter much which night you pick to go there, you will most likely see famous people. With years the Pacha has become an international trade mark with other clubs open under the same name, not only in Spain but also in New York, Buenos Aires and other cities. The season is from June to the beginning of October, but the Pacha is open for the rest of the year on Fridays and Saturdays as well.

Another place worth a visit is the Space Beach Club . Open from May to October it is located on Playa d’en Bossa (about 5 minutes from the town of Ibiza). Space Beach Club is visited by thousands of people who come to listen to the world’s best DJs each year. It opens at 6 in the morning when most of the other clubs close. The place has received numerous awards, including World’s best club where it has been stated as one of the top 100 clubs in the world due to being fashionable and offering different atmosphere each night. The entrance fee starts from 25 euros.

FOOD

Ibiza is the crossroad of different cultures and different lifestyles and this is reflected in the local cuisine. Here you can find everything from simply prepared dishes to fusion food, where flavours from all over the world intertwine with the Mediterranean. During the day when you get hungry on the beach you can go to one of the bars for excellent sandwiches or refreshing salads. With a car hire in Ibiza you’ll broaden your options for a perfect culinary tasting, so if you do so, we highly recommend you to visit the restaurants out of the city of Ibiza (and those as well). On Las Salines you have at your disposal bars Jockey and Sa Trinxo and on Aguas Blancas bar Chiringuito. For those hungrier the right choice of restaurants is Sa Caleta, known for its excellent paella and other sea delicacies. During the day trips around the city there is a choice of excellent local restaurants but be careful and don’t forget that the Spaniards have a siesta between 14:00 and 18:00. If the evening when the island is finally breathing you can indulge in a number of gastronomic pleasures. In the centre of the city of Ibiza, you can enjoy the excellent pizzas in the El Pirata, Mediterranean delicacies of Can den Parra or specialities such as lobster mousse and cactus pudding in the restaurant La Brasa. For the true pampering of all senses, the French restaurant L’Elephants is the right choice. After you have finished eating their excellent food you can enjoy comfortably placed on their terrace with a cocktail in your hand and a fantastic view of the city of Ibiza in front of you. Another treat for the eyes and taste is the Moroccan restaurant El Ayoun where you feel like you just stepped into the magical world of 1001 nights. The most famous restaurant on the island is certainly Bambuddha Grove, which is Mediterranean and Asian fusion. Their sushi with tuna, strawberries and caramelized sugar will not leave you indifferent. The cherry on top is their famous sangria with Spanish sparkling wine.

SHOPPING

If after all the parties and dinners you still have any money left you can easily spend it in many designer shops, which are mostly located in the old part of the city of Ibiza. In the streets around the city’s market, you can find everything from classical high fashion boutiques to the boutiques with the craziest, most colourful clothes and accessories. Walking along the street of Calle de la Virgen, popular especially among the gay population, you can see quite a few boutiques with a ‘bed’ fashion. Next to the port (Puerto) you come across the original Pacha shop, selling fashion accessories with the famous and popular Pacha cherry logo. Since Ibiza is all about the music, it’s no wonder that on almost every corner you can come across CD stores primarily offering compilations of Ibiza’s discos and bars. For those who prefer a hippie touch, it is necessary to visit at least one of the two hippy markets. The largest is located in Punta Araba and is open every Wednesday, and the smaller one is in Las Dalias and is open every Saturday. You will need to take a lot of time and money to walk from the stand to the stand, because beautiful handmade jewellery made of ivory, silver boxes and colourful clothes can pull you into a shopping frenzy.



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• For more on nightlife click here »

Major events and festivals in Ibiza

There are plenty of opportunities all throughout the year to enjoy Ibiza’s local traditions as well as big international events and festivities – regardless of where on the island you’re staying. It doesn’t come as a surprise that summertime is the peak of social and cultural events on this Balearic island. The world-renowned Ibiza Rocks music festival is a fantastic occasion to enjoy chart-topping international bands and DJs from all over the planet. All the way throughout May and June visitors can rejoice in numerous extravagant club openings and parties, which last until October.

One of the most popular festivals which celebrates local traditions is Sant Ciriac in early August, which celebrates the Catalan request back in the 13 th century. The procession lasts the whole day and is the perfect place to be if you want to retreat from the contemporary clubbing atmosphere and enjoy something intrinsically local, while at the same time getting to know the local folklore in the heart of Ibiza Town. For lovers of cinema, there is the International Film Festival in early May and for lovers of art and culture, there is the Eivissa Medieval festival, giving free access to many museums and galleries.

Despite the peak of summer activities, the rest of the year still provides visitors of Ibiza island with plenty events to take part in. One of the main ones is National Day (Dia de la Hispanidad) which takes place everywhere throughout Ibiza on 12 October and celebrates Christopher Columbus’s discovery of America. Carnival parades in early February are another annual festivity full of colour, dancing, and delicious food. Try out the local favourite rice dish (arroz de matanza) and enjoy several concerts that are held in the evening of this giant carnival all over the island.

All in all, Ibiza’s small size makes it the absolute ideal road trip destination, giving you enough time to discover all its beauty. There are plenty of small villages all throughout the island where time seems to have stopped. Scenic towns and extraordinary nature will make sure even the most far-travelled visitor will remember Ibiza as a true plethora of cultural, historical and natural wonders.



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