What a way to kick off travel posts eh?
If you’re lucky enough to have gone to Ibiza in-season, then I am sure you’ve raved, misbehaved, danced, pranced, drank, skanked, and had a bloomin’ whale of a time. Off season you can do pretty much all those things, but you can ALSO drive around to secret beaches, enjoy GORGEOUS quiet lunches in tiny white washed villages, see the sunsets and rises without everyone and their dog joining you, and go to Circo Loco at DC-10 without getting crushed by 1,000’s of tourists.
I will now say that this was probably the best new year of my life, and I’ve done (not showing off #justsayin) London, Hogmanay, Amsterdam and the Caribbean before. So if you’re feeling down because you’re back at work and you want to start planning next year then read on…
I fell in love with the island around… 2006 when I was 19. It was a proper (lads lads lads) girls holiday and I couldn’t get enough of the madness vs the laid back vibes, the incredible music and the fact that literally anything goes. The people, the clubs, the DJs. I vowed I would back to the island again.
Fast forward six more visits and 11 years, I was back to experience New Year!
Get on sky scanner and book your flights early. We went via Madrid and Barcelona as there was no direct flights. You’re looking at around £200+ each. But its worth it!
How much will I need?
Like, a lot of £££ if you go to Pacha. One of my mottos in life is ‘you’re only going to do it once, so you may as well do it properly’. Who cares if you’re still paying it off come June. You work hard so you can enjoy yourself. Experiences are what life is all about. I buy cheap cars, cheap jewellery, cheap clothes so we can eat out, travel a lot and LIVE.
You wont be 75 marvelling at your watch you saved for – you’ll be thinking about what an amazing time you had.
Where to Stay
I feel like everyone starts their Ibiza journey in San Antonio – I mean you HAVE to really. Go to Ibiza Rocks at 21 and have literally the BEST time (or me at 27 still pretending to be 21 shhhhhhhhh). Then you progress to Playa D’en Bossa – highly recommend Jet Apartments just for the sheer chaos, and the Sunday pool parties. These are all COMPLETLEY OBVIOUS recommendations so I shall waste no more of your time, for if you’re here to learn about the off season I am SURE you’ve SMASHED the Summer before.
The next natural progression for me is to stay in Ibiza Town. Sexy, swish, chic, classy Ibiza Town. Tapas bars on every corner, gorgeous clothes shops including one of my favourite brands – Religion. Lush little cocktail bars, more Rioja than you could waggle a stick at.
It’s Ibiza but just a bit more grown up. (OMG maybe I am too?!)
We chose Hostal Parque – ‘Hostal’ in Spanish literally means Guest House – so don’t panic. It was wonderful. It’s right in the square, a stone throw away from the Marina front. Now just one quick word of warning out of season – they tend to do all of the street repairs in the Winter (for obvious reasons) – so most of the gorgeous square was rubble and diggers. But if you’re going to let something like that spoil your holiday then dag nammit you’re a DOUCHEBAG. Just gives you another reason to come back again in the Summer!
They were super nice on reception, letting us buy copious amounts of Rioja at all hours, booking taxi’s and generally being lovely. The room wasn’t massive but it was clean, with a huge comfy bed and lush shower. Top marks all round.
ADDRESS: Plaza de Parque, 4, 07800 Ibiza Nueva
COST: It was 75 Euros per night, so €330 total for 4 nights
What to Do (Daytime)
As the whole island is pretty small, you can jump in a hire car and explore in a relatively short amount of time. It was FANTASTIC! We hired a car from OK Rent a Car for something REDICULOUS like £1.82. (My Dad was convinced there would be a catch, but seriously that was the price! We even got free GPRS, but it was stuck in German and my year 9 lessons seemed quite a long way back to remember). Even a bloomin limousine was only like £90 – which was tempting but I thought it would be impractical for parking.
To note: We did this over a couple of days, but I am merging it for the sake of yours and my time.
So we went up to Santa Eularia Des Riu which is a pretty coastal town, with a lovely front to stroll down. We had coffees and omelettes in the winter sunshine, and felt incredibly content. Like when your shoulders drop and you just go, ahhhhhhhh.
We drove up the coast and inland. Such cute winding roads with the white washed houses in Sant Carles De Peralta, where folks were sipping on wine outside this gorgeous bar.
We cut across the island to Port De Sant Miquel, which was the most breath-taking drive, with Beach Grooves Radio (great deep house if that’s your thang) blasting out, the windows down, sunglasses on and the feeling that nothing really mattered. Stress did not exist.
The port itself was deserted, but for one bar. In season it is supposed to have one of the best fish restaurants there Restaurante Port Balansat so well worth a trip back.
San Antonio, or its proper name Sant Antoni de Portmany is beautiful in the winter. NO TOURISTS! NO ONE OFF THEIR HEADS!
Just a square packed and buzzing with locals. The sunset strip was deserted (below), so we enjoyed a long walk around the town, and we had to go on a nostalgia trip to one of our favourite bars – Candy Apple.
Platja d’en Bossa was a freaking GHOST TOWN. It felt super touristy on reflection, I didn’t realise that it was a pure season resort. It felt like kavos in the daytime. Eeeery almost! We couldn’t find anywhere to stop even, so we went in search of a secret beach…
Cala Llentrisca Beach promised to be everything a intrepid traveller DREAMS OF! Tricky to find, tricky to get to, WELL WORTH THE HARD WORK! But OBVIOUSLY, we got totally lost (bloomin German Sat Nav) and ended up scaling down a mountain in the heat, with no water with us, down a steep steep hill that we realised wasn’t a path it was an old stream. We could SEE the god dam beach but couldn’t reach it. So half gave up.
The trick is to NOT follow the sat nav, but drive to Es Cubells which was a cute village built around a big church. We again took the wrong path and my poor bf looked like he was going to kill me if I suggested another route (my energy knows no bounds I WAS GOING TO FIND IT), so we settled on a glass of wine in the square and watched the local children play as the sun went down. That ahhhhhh feeling again of content-ness.
In the spirit of Jim Bowen on Bullseye, this is what we could have had (thanks to http://ibiza-travel.net/ for the pic). ALAS
Where to Eat
When you’re away, you want to enjoy yourself. So I have a rule when I am on holibobs. I eat one meal I want to a day – but its the rule of thirds. I only eat two thirds of it and give the rest to my human bin of a bf, plus its nice to share. I don’t NEED to eat the whole thing – and I get to enjoy all those lovely flavours. We also walk A LOT as its the best way to see a town/city/area (we walked 7 miles from MGM Grand to Downtown in Las Vegas once), and I try and squeeze in some cheeky runs when its safe to.
So say hello to tapas, fish and general deliciousness! You are SPOILED for CHOICE with food on Ibiza, but obviously not everything is open. So here are my top 3 picks from where we went in December/January…
Sa Brisa Gastro Bar was just round the corner from the main square. We stumbled upon it but were NOT disappointed! The wine is SO CHEAP in Ibiza off season, like less that 4 euros a glass cheap (OH YES!), so we ordered some croquettes, Russian salad, chicken, and meats – each one came out in the most inventive ways – in a Russian doll, on a tree, on top of a VW camper van?! Just brilliant. And it was all melt in the mouth, oh my days, this is like crack flavours. BRAVO.
In the square you’ll find the two main restaurants, which usually cater for tourists so sadly serve a wide range of food from Indian to Thai to Mexican. No thanks – BUT La Cantina Portmany was PACKED because of the gorgeous pizza and fish they also cater. We were given Spanish menus and we rolled with it. Beautiful sunshine. Happy days.
Down on the front there is a row of restaurants that are open, but this one caught our eye with the quirky interior and friendly staff. K Vida offers real genuine home cooked food. Breakfasts, bigger meals and THE BIGGEST CALZONE OF ALL TIME. The waitress was not convinced my bf could do it, but she should try feeding him everyday. It was no match. The iced coffee was ridiculously divine, and my lamb skewers were marinated to perfection and still pink in the middle, along with homemade chips. YES!
New Year’s Eve
This is the main reason we came. I had heard about this fancy pants dinner that takes place at Pacha and decided we HAD TO GO for New Year. Not the easiest thing to find any information for, or book to be honest. But that’s because its so freaking exclusive, not for riff raff like myself. But its amazing how far some blagging and a platinum credit card can get you.
So you have to call +34 971 313 600 from early November onwards, email them too firstname.lastname@example.org – I did this from around September because I am MENTAL obviously. And when I managed to speak to them it had ‘sold out’. I could have CRIED. We had booked our flights -So I was NOT MESSING AROUND.
A lot of sweet talk and around £500 later we were on the list baby!
Pacha is the only club that stays open all year round, and the sister restaurant Lio, takes over from 9pm-1am. There is people hanging from the ceiling, singers, dancers – just an amazing array of cabaret, and the RICHEST people I have ever seen waltzing around the place. My plasterer boyfriend and I felt like imposters – it was GREAT and SO MUCH FUN!
The food was out of this world, Oysters, Bloody Mary gazpacho, something I thought was a cocktail but had caviar and potato in, a fish course, steak you could cut with a spoon and then a trio of desserts. PLUS of course, the 12 grapes at New Year. We also bought a stupidly expensive bottle of red to go with it because well in for a penny in for £90 right?
At 1am the dinner turned back into a club and we danced to the funkiest funnest disco tracks till about 4am.
JUST INCREDIBLE. This dude was an actual disco ball.
Where to Go (Night-time)
There was a handful of cocktail bars open in Ibiza Town so that kept us going most nights. But lets not mess around here….
DC-10 DC-10 DC-10!
I mean that’s why we’re all really here isn’t it. On New Years Day, DC-10 hosts Circo Loco for an EXTRAVAGANZA! Seth Troxler topped the billing with Nic Fanculli and Loco Dice.
In season Circo-Loco is like an overcrowded sweat pit of hell. Off season it’s like a friendly spacious super club with happy smiling faces and BANGING CHOONS!
The tickets don’t go on sale till December, keep checking on Facebook and Resident Advisor then snap them up before they go! Around 50 euros each. It starts at 4pm, but we went around 10pm as Seth wasn’t on till 3.00am. Just a perfect way to start the new year!!!!
Here’s Loco Dice…
We were lucky to make some new pals who were English, and we hit it off. Love it when that happens! (We were like Monica and Chandler on that friends episode afterwards, ‘Omg when he said that’ ‘Yes I totally agreed with what she said on that’. We are such losers we know).
And yes, on reflection, black lipstick was probably not the best choice. But you live and learn right?
So if you’re umming and ahhing about whether to go next year.
BOOK IT NOW. YOU WON’T REGRET IT!