If you’re heading to Ibiza, take some time to learn about the common mistakes that could cost you time and money if not heeded. Ibiza is a deceptive island as it offers different faces to different travellers. When most people think of Ibiza, it's the world-famous and raucous nightlife that comes to mind.

    But you might see it as a hippy hideaway, a playground for celebrities, or a family destination for a week on the beach. In truth, it’s all this and more. Have a look at our Ibiza tips for first-timers to arm yourself with a bit of knowledge before your trip to the White Isle.


    Basing yourself in the wrong town or resort

    Ibiza is about far more than just nightlife

    The biggest mistake people make in Ibiza is booking accommodation in a town or resort that is unsuitable for their type of holiday. For example, if you are travelling with a young family, the last thing you want is to be next door to some late-night club. Conversely, that’s exactly what a group of young revellers could be looking for.

    The island is blessed with areas devoted to different types of activities. If you’re looking for a relaxing beach break, consider Playa d’en Bossa. For a wellness retreat, Cala Benirrás is best thanks to its yoga studios and vegan restaurants. If you’re looking for bright lights and late nights that won’t break the bank, San Antonio on the north coast is highly recommended. For the best dining and cultural attractions on the island, Ibiza Town is the definition of laidback luxury.


    Spending all your time in one part of Ibiza

    Make the most of your time on this gorgeous island

    One of the best things to do in Ibiza is to explore the entire island. Don't make the mistake of spending all your time in 1 little part – make sure to head inland and enjoy Ibiza’s diverse natural beauty. To really get away from it all, visit Es Amunts, the largest nature reserve on the island. It’s a rugged and untouched area of rocky headlands and arid forests in the northwest of Ibiza.

    The coastal region of Ses Salines is beautiful and peaceful in equal measure. It’s made up of pristine beaches, salt lakes, and small villages. You could also consider a boat trip to the rocky islet of Es Vedrà – it’s said to possess special magnetic powers.  


    Missing out on the local cuisine

    Eat like a local

    Ibiza is home to some fantastic local ingredients and age-old recipes. While it’s always nice to dine at a trendy restaurant, it would be a mistake to miss out on the local taste of the island.

    If you’re not sure what to look out for, paella de mariscos is a seafood rice dish that’s ideal for a long, lazy lunch by the sea with friends and family. It’s loaded with local seafood, such as prawns, mussels, clams, crab legs, and shrimp. But it’s not all seafood in Ibiza. For meat-eaters, sobrassada is a soft, spicy sausage that combines minced pork and cloves, nutmeg, paprika, and cayenne pepper.


    Visiting the wrong hippy market

    Different markets are open on different days of the week

    Hippy markets are a great place to shop and hang out in Ibiza. You’ll find fashion, homeware, one-of-a-kind jewellery, and live music to entertain the crowds. Come hungry because you can also find food stalls selling baked goods, fruit juices, homemade paella, and other Spanish delicacies. 

    However, different markets take place on different days. A mistake some people make is to visit on a wrong day. The Punta Arabi Hippy Market on the far east coast is the biggest in Ibiza, taking place every Wednesday throughout the summer. Las Dalias Market is also on the east coast and takes place every Saturday through the summer. Sant Juan Market is a lesser-known hippy market in the north of Ibiza, which is hosted in a quaint village square on Sundays.


    Expecting clubs to start before midnight

    People in Ibiza eat, party, and sleep late

    If you’ve ever been to Spain, you’ll know the Spanish enjoy a bit of a party and are happy to stay out late. This is especially true on the Balearic island of Ibiza, where clubs don’t really start getting busy until after midnight. It might sound late to some, but clubs are usually open until 6 am, so there’s still plenty of time to party. 

    This is also true of dinner – in Ibiza, many people have dinner at 9 pm. It's not unusual to sit down for your evening meal as late as 11 pm.


    Buying tickets at the door for the biggest clubs

    Jump on those early-bird prices

    A mistake many people make on their first trip to Ibiza is to wait until they get to the nightclub to buy their ticket. Instead, you should buy your tickets beforehand at a reduced fee.

    Not only does pre-booking tickets save you money, it means you are sure to get in – the most popular events in Ibiza do sell out and you'll avoid a long queue. This means more time to enjoy yourself inside with your crew. Some clubs have packages that you can book, which might include drinks or, in the case of Pacha Ibiza, even a meal.


    Underestimating the price of drinks in Ibiza

    Staying hydrated can really burn through your budget

    There’s no getting around the fact that drinks can be expensive in Ibiza. You’ll notice it in trendy bars, beachfront restaurants and especially in late-night clubs. You can – and probably will – stock up on great value drinks at the supermarket before you head out on your night adventures in Ibiza. This helps to bring the cost down, but there are some other savvy tips to consider.

    For a start, you can choose local bars if you would like some better-value drinks. If you’re dining together and would like some wine, share a large jug of cava sangria as this is typically a cheaper selection. Plus, it’s delicious. Many nightclubs offer the chance of large groups to buy a whole bottle, which includes mixers and a table – this is often better value for large groups. And the most obvious suggestion… drink less.


    Not taking a day trip to Formentera

    Don’t miss out on Ibiza’s little sister island

    Formentera is the smallest of the Spanish Balearic Islands, known for its peaceful pace and beaches. It feels a million miles away from the liveliness of Ibiza, but it's only 25 minutes away on the ferry. The route from Ibiza Town to Puerto Formentera runs from 7 am to 8.30 pm every day, making a day trip the ideal way to explore some of Spain's most beautiful and secluded beaches and villages.

    Rent a bicycle from the pier at Formentera and head to the capital of Sant Francesc Xavier. Stop for refreshments and a quick look around the town before heading to the northern coast. You'll pass secluded coves and dramatic coastline before you reach Platja de Ses Illetes, a thin stretch of sand that’s widely considered one of Europe’s most beautiful beaches. 

    Paul Smith | Compulsive Traveller

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