After spending a month co-living and co-working in the Canary Islands this summer, I had one final stop to make in Spain–the island of Ibiza.
My week-long visit to one of the party capitals of Europe was the result of an impulse decision made in the midst of a wine-heavy night out in Corralejo, my home base on the island of Fuerteventura.
Not even 24 hours after the idea was first tossed around, my flight had been confirmed.
I suppose it’s not quite as crazy as I make it sound, though–my friend Brooke, with whom I’d been sharing an apartment in Corralejo, had planned a girls’ week on Ibiza many months prior and happened to have a spare bed available in the room she’d already booked.
Had I tried to pop over to Ibiza at the peak of tourist season without something booked in advance, I most likely would’ve wound up sleeping under the stars.
Even luckier for me, Brooke had made the responsible decision to stay just outside of one of the island’s main towns, Sant Antoni de Portmany on the western shore. Responsible because we weren’t in the thick of the raging party scene Ibiza is infamous for and we could escape it or avoid it altogether; and with both of us being on the wrong side of 25, we were eternally grateful for that.
Sol House Ibiza Mixed by Ibiza Rocks was a smaller, cleaner, classier and more family-friendly version of its sister hotel, Ibiza Rocks, in the town center (where most of Brooke’s friends were staying). And damn, did it have a fantastic rooftop, complete with infinity pool and 360-degree island views.
The breakfast buffet included in the price was another solid addition, and I appreciated the on-site gym almost as much as the incredible DJs that played every afternoon at the rooftop lounge.
Another perk that we took full advantage of was access to every party held at Ibiza Rocks. My 24-year-old self would have been particularly pumped to see Skrillex for the umpteenth time. 29-year-old me was less thrilled but had a good time in spite of herself. Tequila may or may not have played a role.
After a few nights of Ibiza Rocks, though, we’d had enough. I’ve never seen a hotel as big as this 368-room monstrosity, and even in my younger days, I probably wouldn’t have handled it well. Sticky floors, music pumping late into the night, and broken glass littering the hallways? This place is a frat house on steroids. Our chilled-out Sol House was in every way a superior choice.
I made the impulse decision to experience Ibiza this year in part because I worried if I came back when I was older, I’d have already outgrown it. Once there, however, I realized there is so much more to this stunning island than parties and DJs (despite both of those things being major Ibiza institutions–David Guetta and Avicii are just a few of the typical headliners at the popular daytime club Ushuaïa, among many other legendary names).
Once we got out to explore a little more, I noticed plenty of families with small children, heard stories of quiet towns undisrupted by the tourist hordes, and witnessed first-hand the remarkable beauty of the Balearic island chain.
A major highlight of the week was the day we took a private boat tour to the neighboring island of Formentera. We loaded up on snacks and drinks and slathered on as much SPF 50 as we could find before boarding our waterborne chariot.
We departed from Ibiza Town (on the eastern shore) and spent an entire afternoon cruising from one beautiful spot to the next; all along the way, we were treated to spectacular views.
Our first stop was a sandbar that connects the two islands of Formentera and S’Espalmador. The shallow water here was some of the clearest I’d ever laid eyes on and created quite a spectacle as waves arrived from both sides, crashing together in the middle and launching foam high into the air.
Next, we motored around the island’s western coast where the striking turquoise water meets sheer red cliffs. We set up camp here for a few hours to swim and snorkel while surrounded by mega-yachts whose value we could only speculate.
To cap off an amazing day, we cruised back north to find the perfect vantage point for sunset and dropped anchor just shy of Formentera’s northern tip.
While I can’t recommend the company we booked with (Moloko Charter–a general lack of professionalism and communication left us frustrated with a number of aspects of the trip), I do very much recommend taking a boat trip to Formentera if you find yourself in Ibiza.
On our final few nights on the island, things were much calmer. We were all dead tired from the combination of sun and shenanigans, and needed some time to recover. Brooke and I discovered one final treasure on our side of the bay, a bar and restaurant named Kumharas that proved absolutely perfect for watching the sunset (while listening to lovely tropical house music, of course).
It was a perfect way to wrap up a perfect(ly unexpected) week in Ibiza.
Practical Ibiza Travel Info
- Ibiza high season: June to September
- Average high season temps: 85-87° Fahrenheit (29-30° Celcius)
- Taxi from airport to Sant Antoni de Portmany: €25-30
- Taxi from airport to Ibiza Town: €15-20
- Taxi from Sol House to Sant Antoni: €7-12
- Walking time from Sol House Sant Antoni: ~40 minutes
- Cost of beer at supermarket (1L domestic): €1.50
- Cost of beer in restaurants: €3-5
- Cost of beer in clubs: €7-??
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