Monday, June 29, 2015

7 Must-Know Tips for an Amazing Ibiza trip

With my two loves - Cala d'en Serra
I love writing blog posts for all of you to read. But sometimes it becomes a bit harder to write than other times. There's a lot that goes into writing a post and a big part of it is how inspired and excited you feel about a particular post. With all that being said, I feel really excited and inspired to write this post. Ibiza was always this really cool place that I wanted to go to. I watched the VCRs of music videos shot in Ibiza when I was old enough to watch those, I listened to the music that originated from the clubs there from the techno days to the progressive house and electro music days, and heard amazing stories from the friends that had gone there already. To sum up it was a dream place for me to go to.

Fast forward a few years, not only did I get to go to Ibiza but I got to go with my sister, Nava, and my best friend/sister, Saghar, that I hadn't seen in 6 years!!! I mean if all wishes would materialize to real life experiences, then they would feel like how this trip felt. I had just arrived in Milano a few days back and my sisters flew to me from Budapest for a small day trip in Milano and then our flight to Ibiza.

Benirras beach drum circle at sunset
Funny story although it wasn't really funny at the time. Saghar came down with a terrible flu and an extremely high fever the day they were flying to Milan. She arrived completely out of it with a fever. We were too excited about seeing each other and our trip that we were trying to pretend it's nothing. Nava and I being the positive thinkers that we are continuously told her that it's all in her head and she should keep saying that she's in complete health. I don't know how she survived the flight because despite her fever the three of us couldn't stop talking and laughing. She then drove us and even insisted that we should go to a club till the morning. Glad we didn't because the next day she told us that she remembers nothing from the entire day yesterday! She had completely blacked out due to the high fever and here we were trying to make her feel better with our positivity!! haha well, at least we can laugh about it now...

So here are the 7 tips that will help you make the most out of your dream trip to Ibiza:

1. Rent a car. Honestly I see many people that don't do this and they basically stay more or less in Ibiza town. Unless you live in Europe and jumping on a plane at any time to go there is no biggie, then you want to take advantage of your time there. And being stuck on just one part of the island (As most people do for the full moon party in Ko Phangan) doesn't make any sense, at least to me. This is especially useful and efficient if you are traveling with a group and you have the option of dividing the cost of travels between all of you. Ibiza is a pretty big island and it offers so much more than Playa d'en Bossa and the clubs.

Yes, there are buses and taxis that go all over but a) if you are planning to really explore every nook and crany then taxis can get too expensive and b) buses limit you to their schedule and are not as flexible. Whether or not you should rent your car online or when you arrive there, now that's entirely up to you. If you are flying in during peak time, you risk the chance of literally having all the rental cars being rented out or having very few options. But booking in person can also mean scoring better deals on the spot since you can negotiate from one booth to the next when you land in the airport. So make your decision wisely and go with what suits you best.

Two little cuties that were jamming to the drum beats the entire time <3
2. Have an old-school map on hand. You can even pick a free one up at the airport. If you are going to solely rely on your phone GPS then you're possibly setting yourself up for failure. We were lucky to have human genius/gps Nava with us who for some reason can read a map, and instinctively knows all directions even in a new country. She guided us through the streets till we got to our place. Saghar and I would've probably still been lost somewhere in Ibiza if it weren't for her :D This'll also come in handy later when you are trying to find your way through dirt roads somewhere to get to a hidden beach. Your gps simply won't help you out there.

Our very handy paper map
3. Book a place that is right for your needs,...and your budget. There are no shortage of places to stay in Ibiza. There are a shortage of budget-friendly places in Ibiza especially in peak time. Being that we sort of did things last minute, we tried to book our place only two weeks before the trip (in peak time, that is last minute my fellow procrastinators). I honestly think your best budget choice when you are with a group is Airbnb. That is what we went with and honestly I think we got lucky because one of the only two places we found within our budget and in the area where we wanted to stay in was still not booked. All the apartments in and around Playa d'en Bossa get snatched up wayyy ahead of time and honestly our place was a 10 minute drive away and much better than any place there. Now if money ain't no thang and you are not a budget traveller then the gorgeous hotels are your best choice, obviously, hands down, no questions asked. I also am a fan of couchsurfing and if you are traveling alone that might be your best option.

Last thing to say on this subject is if you are a family with children, then you want to stay in the San Antonio side which is extremely gorgeous and more quiet. If you are younger and you wanna party day and night, stay in Playa d'en Bossa. If you want to do both (party at night and chill during the day), then do what we did and stay really close to the clubs but far enough that you can enjoy the beauty of the island and still get a good night's sleep (for the 2 hours that you will sleep at least).

4. Go to the best clubs for free. Of course this is if you can and it most likely is possible for the ladies. For us, our host actually knew someone at Pacha and so he offered us to be on the guest list for free. We obviously said yes and so our first night there we just walked up to Pacha and went in for what was my favorite night in Ibiza. The music and the DJs that night were amazing and we just stood there and listened to the amazing music. Walking around the streets on the party side of town you will get approached by tons of promoters who try to get you on their waitlist at some club (Vegas anyone?) but I wouldn't suggest just going to any club. Be selective about where you want to go and know which DJs you want to see. The other places we went to we actually paid for because there were no promoters for those places. But we wanted to go there and so it was definitely worth it.

5. Be selective about your clubs, especially if you are on a time crunch. The first night we arrived there on mid-night and like I said before Saghar was really sick so we slept in. Nava got sick the next day as Saghar got better but that definitely didn't stop us from exploring and clubbing. In the 3 remaining nights that we had there we went to Pacha, Booom, and Sankeys. Here's my review on each one. Pacha is amazing! Despite being sleep-deprived and sick we were so energetic the whole time and really enjoyed the music and the atmosphere. Pacha knows how to do it. It was also my first time seeing Paul Kalkbrenner live and he has since become one of my favs to listen to.
Dancers at Booom
Booom was also fantastic! The atmosphere was so lively and the music was out of this world. My sister Nava knows her music and she really wanted to see Defected in the House that was playing there that night and that is why we chose to go there. Definitely not disappointed. Nava was actually really sick that night but she was front and center all night dancing and jumping around to the music. Saghar and I fell asleep standing up on the dance floor somewhere around 5 a.m.! We woke up 5 minutes later ashamed of how old we have become haha Oh to be young and youthful...

Fianlly, Sankeys wasn't nice at all. They definitely had more people than they should've in there, there were tons of sweaty creepy guys lurking around, and it was extremely touristy. So why did we go here, you ask? Well, we didn't know this is how it was going to be and a DJ that we really wanted to see was playing here and only here during our time there. But because of how bad the place was we honestly barely got to enjoy ourselves. We were actually debating on going to Ushuaia or some other place instead but they didn't have any DJs we wanted to see that night. #firstworldproblems

Platjets de Comte at sunset
6. Beaches, beaches, gorgeous beaches. If you know me in person or follow my Instagram feed, you know that I'm obsessed with the beach. Also this is where renting a car becomes crucial in Ibiza if you really want to see the island and all it has to offer. Ibiza has so many beaches to choose from but if I were you I would stay away from your typical tourist-filled beaches. How we did Ibiza was wake up as early as possible, go beach-hopping, eat something, get an hour of sleep, go to a club, get 2 hours of sleep, and repeat. We also didn't drink or anything of that kind and really had the time of our lives. Here are the beaches I recommend:


6A. Aguas Blancas in Santa Eularia des Riu: Gorgeous waters, very low-key, good cafe/restaurant overlooking the beach, gets a lot of sun, clothing optional.
Aguas Blancas
6B. Platjets de Comte: Popular for sunset watching.
Platjets de Comte
6C. Cala d'en Serra in Portinatx: Hidden beach surrounded by cliffs, only a few people, small cafe, clothing optional, personal fav.

Cala d'en Serra hidden somewhere down there :)

6D. Cala Xuclar also in Portinatx: Hidden beach, few people, clothing optional.

6E. Playa d'en Bossa: Not recommended but rather I think is a must-see. Party beach so accordingly not so clean but I believe a must experience especially if you are younger. Long stretch surrounded by bars, hotels, and vacation complexes.


7. Enjoy the hippie drum circle at Benirras Beach in San Miguel right before sunset. Sit around them with hundreds of other people, watch them banging on their drums for hours, and listen to the harmonious sounds they all make while the sun goes down. Also take cash with you if you want to buy cool handmade stuff or get a henna tattoo at the hippie market. When the drumming is done, go sit at a beachside cafe for some delicious Spanish food and watch the sky go completely dark.

Drum circle at sunset
Sunset watching at Benirras beach
Any other suggestions for things to do in Ibiza? Share them with me in the comments below.

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