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Tuesday, 19 July 2016

TRAVEL | Ibiza at a glance

So obviously I've only been to Ibiza once so I in no way consider myself an expert, but I'd like to think that during my short time there recently, I did more then just party.

Although I did write a blog post summing up my week, I thought I'd share some of my recommendations for things to do because although it is known as the party capital, there is a lot more to it then that.

So here's my little take on Ibiza!

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As you all know, we stayed at the Ibiza Rocks hotel and this had its ups and downs. The hotel wasn't amazing in terms of quality, but we knew before we went there that it was only a three star hotel so we didn't expect much. It was nice and clean and for a party hotel, we pretty much got what we expected. Some of the staff were very helpful and others, not so much. The food was about the same too. So in terms of places to stay, if you want a party hotel, I would 100% recommend Ibiza Rocks because it is, of course, where all the events happen and I do believe it was a really special feeling being able to just stand on our balcony and watch an actual gig. The party atmosphere was great too. 

If you go to Ibiza for anything other than partying, I would suggest elsewhere. Not because the hotel was bad, just because if you want peace and quiet or something more chilled, this isn't the place to do it (although they did have a more chilled pool which was nice). The budget Ibiza Rocks hotel not too far away sounds like a good place too, that offers the right balance of a party place but with necessary peace and quiet also - at a budget price.

Luckily, Ibiza is a really good place for places to eat, whether you want to try something new or stick to classic English food, like we did for the most part. We spotted lots of Italian places and restaurants serving different cuisines, so whatever you're after, you won't have to look far. In terms of English food, we found tons of nice places on the harbour and even just around the corner from our hotel but one place I must recommend is Leopard, along the harbour. It does the best full English fry-ups (and other stuff, too, the menu is quite extensive) and nine times out of ten, the staff will offer you free margarita also. So, win win, really.

For somewhere a bit more classy, I'd recommend Mint Lounge Ibiza, a real chic sort of place along sunset strip that overlooks the beach. It's a bit more pricey then your average cafe or so, but I wouldn't say it's expensive and we went there on our final night. It's the perfect place to go for just a really nice dinner, to celebrate or to end the holiday. We scoffed on Italian food and had some delicious cocktails, too. It was busy though, so get there early, and be aware that the later you go, the more busy the strip gets as other places turn from lounge bars into party bars. So, if you go in the evening, there will be lots of action, fire throwers on the beach and stuff, but also loud music and crowds of people constantly walking past. Early evening or late afternoon however is the perfect time, especially if you can catch the sunset.

Ah, the fun part! Obviously Ibiza is filled with its big clubs and stuff so that's another section altogether, but there are lots of other places in Ibiza great for chilled pre-drinks. One place I absolutely loved was Tulip Bar, along the harbour way down by Ocean Beach. This extremely quirky/chic bar was so cute with mismatched decor, the most amazing cocktail list and even hammocks. HAMMOCKS.

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I was perfectly content here just kicking my shoes off, sitting in the corner and making my way through the cocktail menu one afternoon. As it goes, we only actually had time for one drink, but if you're in Ibiza for a chilled girly holiday, you must make a stop here. It's not too pricey either, which is a welcome change in Ibiza.

I would also recommend the Ibiza Rocks bar (along the harbour, not one of the bars in the hotel) as this too had a very fun vibe to it. Although it seemed like more of a club in the evening and was where a lot of the after parties were held, the cocktails are worth visiting this place for alone. I loved that some of them were themed and named after famous artists, such as Fizzee Rascal (I'm still giggling at this one) - which is tanqueray gin, cointreau, lemon and sugar topped with soda and Arctic Monkey, which is fresh bananas, captain morgans spiced rum and banana liquor. This place is great for pre-drinks and more often then not, someone (well, a member of staff) will be hanging around to offer you some drinks deals like free shots or half price beers. Do talk to them because it's worth saving money where you can, and do flirt a little (like I did. But only with the hotties, of course - of which there are many) to get some extra discount/shots etc thrown in.

One thing I would say about the clubs in Ibiza is they are all so far away. I would not recommend getting a taxi and instead look into getting a bus - most of which are party buses, anyway.

So, Ibiza Rocks is again good for it's pool parties and events, plus if you're gonna go to Ibiza, you need to go to Ibiza Rocks at least once.

Ocean Beach is really cool for pool parties and chilled day-time partying. It has a very VIP feel to it and drinks are expensive, as are things like tables, beds etc. But again I'd suggest going at least once - if even just for a day pool party - as it just oozes sophistication. It's very modern with a great vibe and you feel effortlessly cool once there, almost like you're surrounded by celebrities.

On the other hand, The Zoo Project is definitely quite raw and stripped back as opposed to Ocean Beach. It's set at an abandoned zoo with different themed areas and this is the place to go for something a bit different and, again, outdoor partying. We had a lot of fun here and it's also a great excuse to dress up and get artsy. There are plenty of places along the strip that offer glitter painting or animal painting to help you get in the mood, and I would suggest doing so!

Amnesia is one of those big 'wow' clubs that kind of takes your breath away. Even though it really only has two rooms (that we could see, anyway) the venue itself is massive and beyond impressive with the way it's themed and it's party attitude. It's hard to explain a club, but out of Ibiza's big clubs, this was definitely the one that had the wow factor for me. For a proper Ibiza club night, this is the place to be.

We didn't go to Es Paradis, but really wanted to after my friend recommended it. I really, really regret not going because it looks amazing. Apparently they throw epic water parties there, so much so that in one room the floor kinda half sinks down to turn into a fountain or something. I'm not sure, I just know I watched her snapchat and it looked AMAZING. Plus, it's situated right in the centre of San Antonio, right along the harbour, so if you're staying at a central hotel like Ibiza Rocks, you can just walk there without wasting money on a bus or anything.

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Watching the sunset on sunset strip is an absolute MUST and is the perfect end to your holiday if you choose to do that last. You can sit in one of the many cafes and bars overlooking the beach, but I'd recommend grabbing a couple of cheap drinks from the shop and just settling down on the actual sand/rocks. The moment the sun sets, everyone claps and cheers and it's a really lovely moment. Many people refer to Cafe Mambo as the place to go for this, but really, Cafe Mambo is just one of many places along the strip so if someone invites you to watch the sunset at Cafe Mambo - say yes!

On the Saturday, we took a boat trip with Chili Pepper Charters - who are based along the harbour but can also be found on Facebook. We knew we liked the idea of a boat trip but walking around the harbour, we found there was so much choice. In the end we settled for these guys, because their trip stood out for us and I loved that they were made up of a daughter and dad team, with another friendly lady. They offer two trips - an afternoon one and a sunset one, the latter of which was unfortunately booked up. They limit their trips to around 12 people per trip which is really nice because it means it's very laid back and intimate. The trip tends to generally be just a trip around the island with plenty of opportunities to stop - it varies really on what the sailor thinks is best for that day.

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On our trip, we ambled on and set sail to the sound of laid-back music and sipping at our (free!) drinks. We stopped at the cave of love, and at other points in clear blue waters where we were encouraged to jump off the boat and try our hand at basic snorkeling. This was a lovely experience and something I really enjoyed, being able to swim in the warm and crystal clear Spanish waters whilst spotting beautiful fish swimming by.

This was by far one of my favourite parts of the holiday, and the team were so friendly and laid back too! I'd 100% recommend these guys if you're looking for a boat trip that's intimate, laid back and a tad off the beaten track. There was nothing commercial about it and I loved how the tour and activities varied - depending on where you go you can try cliff jumping, too.

Oh, and I suppose I'd also recommend the giant total wipeout style inflatable assault course in the sea. I know nothing about it, only that it's near Ocean Beach, it is a complete challenge but it's also a laugh and worth attempting.

So these are just a few suggestions from my personal experience (except for Es Paradis), on what was kind of a half party but half chilled holiday. So if you're looking to go to Ibiza but want a mixture of both, you'll likely find something mentioned above. Of course, there is so much to see and do, but it's also nice to know that Ibiza isn't just a party place and there's plenty to do that doesn't involve partying.

Have you ever been to Ibiza? Do you have any recommendations? Let me know!

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  1. Great post. Ibiza is a lovely place to visit for clubbers and non clubbers. My mum is going next year with her friends ;-)

    1. Thank you! Yeah I was surprised to find that it's not all about clubbing and there's more laid back places to go too x


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