Catalina Ribas Pearce offer up some tips on how to make the most of your stay in Ibiza. A little bit of common sense and mindfulness can go a long way to improving your experience.
- Take your own picnic.
Ibiza’s coast is lined with some of the most spectacular beaches you will ever see, but unfortunately many of the bars and restaurants that cater to them capitalise on their seafront views and often come with price tags that will have you sweating into your Prosecco. Whilst you can enjoy the odd overpriced cocktail like the best of them now and again, if you want to hit the beaches every day my advice is to invest in a good cooler and do it yourself. The beach is equally as beautiful if you are reclined on your towels sipping on beers and munching olives out of your cool bag as it is in an expensive bar, so picnic like a local and save yourself a fortune
- Make reservations
Summer is busy everywhere, all of the time. If you have ever been to Ibiza in Spring or Autumn then you may have got used to strolling into front-line restaurants at a whim and finding the perfect table, but this just isn’t possible in peak season. If there is somewhere you have your heart set on, call up and reserve. If you know its popular do so even a few days in advance as they can sometimes get over-booked for days. You don’t lose anything and even if you get there and find that there really was nothing to worry about it is still better than risking disappointment. An extra tip is to dine like a foreigner and eat early. Most Spanish people eat at the later time of 9pm onwards, so if you want the place to yourselves for a bit, book dinner on a British time-table of 7-8pm and stay for a drink afterwards to soak up the atmosphere once the locals have arrived!
- Slow down
Ibiza is gorgeous, sunny, vibrant … but also hectic and utterly bonkers in the summer months. Far from returning from holiday feeling tanned and serene this can leave many in a sweaty, frazzled mess. There are queues, tempers run high, and people get irritable. My advice? Slow down! You do not have to be the first person anywhere; the beach will still be there half an hour later, the clubs go all night, the sun sets late. Take it at your own pace and remember you are on holiday!
- Be polite
On the back of that last point, remember that if you do find yourself feeling stressed, don’t take it out on others. Be polite to the people you meet here and you will find that most people will treat you with the same regard. It sounds basic but even just a please and a thank you (or a porfavor and a gracias if you are speaking to a local) and a smile can make your holiday go a lot smoother, and might just make someone else’s day easier too.
- Do nothing
With so much to do and see on the island, a short holiday can start to feel like an insurmountable task. How do you fit in the top 8 beaches, 5 nightclubs, 3 hippy markets and an island tour into 4 days? Answer: You can’t. Not unless you don’t feel like sleeping, eating or having any fun at all in that time. Prioritise and pick a handful of things you really want to do, and the rest of the time learn to enjoy doing nothing. Ibiza has a natural beauty and vibe to it that is hard to find elsewhere and easy to forget about when you are always rushing from a to b. Spend some time out here just sitting, enjoying the views, walking, and really savouring the peace it can offer even in the summer months.
- Respect the sun
It gets hot here. Like, REALLY hot. Not just “bikini weather” but “crisp up like a fried chicken” weather. It’s easy to get carried away when you have spent some dreary, dull months back home dreaming about the sunshine, but the consequences of not taking care can ruin your entire holiday. Wear sun cream or you will burn, drink lots of water (not just strawberry daiquiris!) and try and stay out of the sun between 12-4 when its rays are the most intense. Not just because no one likes the fish-stick burnt look, but also because dehydration and sunstroke are real and you might find yourself bedridden for days for the sake of taking it easy.
- Do something new
It has been proven that one of the best ways to go back home feeling refreshed and invigorated from a holiday is if you do something new and outside of your comfort zone whilst you are out there. Why not give a local dish a go if you are a fussy eater? Or water-ski even if you can’t ride a bike? There are so many new and exciting things to try on the island that you really are spoilt for choice, so push yourself a little whilst you are here and make it a holiday to remember.
- Follow the locals
A sure-fire way to tell if something is good on the island is to keep an eye out for where the locals are. They live here all year round and have seen it all, so if a certain café or bar is bustling with Spanish voices, chances are it will be good quality and affordable. As well as this it is a good idea to live local life whilst you are here by finding out if there are any fiestas going on and joining in with them. In the summer months there are plenty of fun Ibicenco parties including the San Bartolome fiesta and fireworks and the Rocio Procession which is an ode to Flamenco and the Andalucian culture. And whilst you are at it don’t forget to practice your Spanish! No matter how rubbish you think you are, every local appreciates someone who is making an effort, so even a simple “Hola” or “Gracias” will go down well.
Images by James Chapman