Is Ibiza open to tourists this summer? With conflicting messages coming out of Ibiza in recent weeks concerning the island's current status, along with the UK government removing its ‘air bridge’, it's been hard to get a solid handle on the situation. So what is possible?
As things currently stand, flights to and from the island are habitual for most nationalities - although UK residents will be asked to quarantine for two weeks on their return. This also means some UK travel insurance will no longer be valid during your stay and some UK travel companies have cancelled bookings in August.
If you’re not from the UK you may be undeterred despite the face many of the island's biggest superclubs remain closed including mega-capacity giants like Hï and Ushuaïa, who recently announced their decision not to stage parties in 2020 due to the Balearic government’s current restrictions on events.
Nevertheless, elsewhere on the island tourism has returned thanks to a steady flow of Italian, German and Spanish sunseekers. Many restaurants and bars are open for business. And Ibiza's famous day venues, like Ibiza Rocks Hotel, Café Mambo, Café del Mar and O Beach, opened in July.
So what exactly does it all mean for ravers and holidaymakers making the pilgrimage to Ibiza this summer?
To put it simply, the volume will be lower, but the tunes will be playing. The big headliner talent will be replaced by resident DJs, at least for the time being. And you definitely won’t be cheek-to-cheek on the dancefloor like last summer.
For these reasons, Ibiza 2020 will feel a little different to previous seasons. However, you'll definitely find the island vibing to a more natural rhythm. And you'll also have the opportunity to support many of the local business hit hardest during the lockdowns.
In summary: the White Isle remains a must go destination for international dance music fans, spirituality seekers and sun worshippers alike, even if it is operating a reduced service his summer.
Our friends at Natures Bounty have put together a competition to win a trip for two to Ibiza in 2021. Flights, a two-night stay at Wi-Ki-Woo Ibiza and a day at Bam-Bu-Ku are all waiting for you next summer if you head to www.naturesbounty.co.uk/ibiza and answer a simple question. Ts and Cs apply as found on Mixmag.net. Last entry is Dec 31, 2020.
Cala Saladeta, San Antonio
When it comes to beaches, Ibiza regulars are literally spoilt for choice. Unlike some Mediterranean islands that just have small pockets of sand in-between mile after mile of solid rock, in Ibiza there's always another magnificent stretch of sand waiting to be discovered around the next corner. So what’s the best beach on the island? Picking a winner is almost impossible. But certainly Cala Saladeta is right up there on most people’s lists. Imagine half a mile of flat sand running off into clear turquoise waters, rock jumps and tiny fish that nibble the dead skin off your feet without having to be asked. Indeed, Cala Saladeta is as close to paradise on earth as you can get.
Cala Gracieneta, San Antonio
Smaller, more tranquil and less touristy than neighbouring Cala Gracia, Cala Gracieneta is hidden from view behind a rocky rise that repels the maddening crowds. Like the cove itself, Cala Gracieneta beach is small and intimate, which is why it makes sense to arrive early in the morning to lay down your towel, otherwise you won’t find a good spot on the sand. If you're thirsty, stop into the little chiringuito at the far end of the cove for a beer or two. Finding Cala Gracieneta is easy: either take the steps up, up, up from Cala Gracia beach or head north around the rocks. www.calagracioneta.com
Cala Comte, Sant Josep
Renowned for its sunset views, Cala Comte is always rammed with visitors during the summer months. The beach isn’t especially large and the sand is almost white in colour. On the tip of the headland you'll find Sunset Ashram, a sandblasted, brownish-red beach bar that appears to have grown up out of the rock. Hippie culture undertones abound here. Likewise intense flavours, courtesy of Sunset Ahsram's Indian-inspired menu. The senses are further stimulated by live drum performances and DJs playing shamanic beats. Sounds good, doesn’t it? And this year you might even be able to find a parking space! www.sunsetashram.com
Cala Bassa, San Antonio
Like all of the beaches on our list, you can reach Cala Bassa by bus, which means you won’t need to spend money on a hire car. The sand at Cala Bassa is soft and the beach is huge. The water here is perfect for novice divers, so make sure you buy a snorkel mask and wade out into the blue. At the top of the beach the aptly named Cala Bassa Beach Club is open to visitors who are flush enough to reserve daybeds. The food and drinks here are expensive, but after all this is Ibiza, darling. www.cottonbeachclub.com
Cala Tarida, San Josep
When you arrive at Cala Tarida, surrounded on all sides by a settlement of timeshare apartments, the initial experience feels anything but Balearic. Start off down the steep steps from the headland, however, and you'll soon discover what all the fuss is about. The main beach is enormous, with plenty of hidden coves to explore if you feel brave enough to paddle out around the coastline. A little way from the shore, you'll also find numerous rock formations, which lend Cala Tarida its character. If you’re feeling super wealthy, stop for lunch at Cotton Beach Club. If you're holidaying on a budget grab some water and snack provisions from the little shop at the top of the rise before you make your descent. www.cottonbeachclub.com
Punta Galera, San Antonio
It’s not a beach. It’s not a particularly good swimming spot. It’s not especially beautiful. So why on earth would you spend the entire day trekking to Punta Galera? Simple. Because it's an adventure. You'll find this weird natural rock formation, known colloquially as Punta Galera, situated a few miles north of San Antonio. Make a day of it and head to Hostal La Torre for lunch. Then continue pacing along the cliff top until you break cover. Before long, you'll see the plateaus apparently hovering in front of you. www.latorreibiza.com
Atlantis, Sant Josep
If you’re feeling fit, healthy, sober and sensible, you may want to explore Ibiza's Lost City of Atlantis. Atlantis is one of Ibiza’s worst kept secrets - most visitors to the island have heard of the area by way of rumour, but only a handful have actually made the pilgrimage. The coastal area was quarried centuries ago to provide rock used in the construction of Dalt Vila, and from some angles the manmade caves, rock pools and sea pools that have been left behind give the impression of an old abandoned city. A word of warning: if you do decide to explore Atlantis, take lots of water with you and be prepared for a steep climb.
Es Vedrà, Sant Josep
Having spent the majority of the day exploring Atlantis, continue along the road for half-a-mile or so until you see signs for Cala d’Hort beach. Before you make it to the sand, park your car along the side of the road next to all the others. Now climb up onto the headland with your blankets, beverages and plenty of mosquito repellent and find a spot with awesome views of Es Vedra. Es Vedra is, of course, the island's most famous mystical landmark and the reputed home of the warrior goddess Tanit, protector of the island. Whether or not Es Vedra falls on a major magnetic leyline is up for debate, but one thing's for certain, watching the sunset here is certainly a breathtaking experience.
The Abandoned Festival Nightclub, San Jose
In 1972, a huge indoor, outdoor party complex opened on the road near San Agustí. The enormous concrete structure was constructed around an amphitheatre and includes what was once a restaurant, multiple dancefloors and stages intended to host live music events. Indeed, Festival Club was the island's first true superclub venue. But after suffering financial problems the venue closed in 1974 and never reopened. What remains today is a graffiti-speckled concrete shell which looks and feels as though it belongs to the narrative of some strange apocalyptic movie. If you're bunking in San Antonio, you can make the trek on foot, but once again be sensible and load your bags with water before you set off.
Dalt Vila, Ibiza Town
Dalt Vila is the huge, star-shaped, fortified city that you pass over as your flight descends into Ibiza airport. Often referred to as Ibiza's Old Town, the riddle of cobblestone streets here are narrow and the walkways steep. As well as being the dwelling place for hundreds of residents, Dalt Vila is also home to numerous small independently owned shops, galleries, bars, restaurants and boutiques which are carved into the natural rock. If you can handle the steep lanes that lead to the top of the city, you'll find a 13th century cathedral that looks out across the water towards Ibiza's sister island, Formentera.
Ibiza Rocks Hotel, San Antonio
Ibiza Rocks Hotel switched on their famous soundsystem on July 1 and are currently serving-up a revised seven-day-a-week events schedule down by the pool. These alfresco events are only open to hotel guests and, at least for the time being, Rocks customers are being served exclusively via waiter service to comply with Covid safety regulations. Nevertheless, the legendary Rocks menu and backdrop remains the same. Likewise the youth focused music policy, which spotlights everything from contemporary house and garage to UK rap and grime. www.ibizarocks.com
O Beach Ibiza, San Antonio
Along with Ibiza Rocks Hotel, O Beach, San Antonio's other juggernaut day club, also reopened its doors on July 1. Presently, this bouncing outdoor pool party venue is open everyday from 1pm until late. Expect the O Beach staff to deliver food and drinks directly to your private lounge bed area while you relax poolside. Sonically, the soundtrack at O Beach is unchanged in 2020, with classic house and RnB sounds broadcasting throughout the day, albeit at a slightly slower tempo than in previous seasons. www.obeachibiza.com
Bam-Bu-Ku, San Antonio
Brand new for 2020, consider this tropically-tinted beach club a more laidback, family-themed alternative to its full throttle daytime neighbour O Beach. Within the white washed boundaries of the venue, you'll find a pool surrounded by rows of beach club beds, a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner and Ibiza's only Flowrider Surf Machine. If you hit the town hard the night before, fancy mastering the art of surfing or are holidaying with the kids, a trip to Bam-Bu-Ku will keep everyone amused. www.bambukuibiza.com
Pikes Hotel, San Antonio
Nestled away in the rolling pine hills high above San Antonio, Pikes Hotel seems to exist in a hedonistic bubble all of its own. Life inside that bubble will no doubt look and feel a little different this summer as Pikes continues to adapt its nostalgic night-time programme to harmonise with new rules and regulations. Rather than concentrating events in a single area, gatherings fuelled by special guest DJs will now be spread across Pikes' sunset and poolside terrace areas. If you're looking for a more mature place to hang, be sure to notify Pikes ahead of your arrival, as they cannot accommodate this year without an advanced reservation. www.pikesibiza.com
Café del Mar, San Antonio
By the time you read these words, Café del Mar will be open for business! At the time or writing the decking is being varnished, the flag poles are being raised and Café del Mar's Musical Director and sunset resident Ken Fan is servicing the turntables. If you haven’t heard of Café del Mar before now you must have been living under a rock for the last 20 years. Made famous by chillout DJs like José Padilla, Café del Mar is arguably the most famous sunset venue in the world. You can still explore the original mock-Roman bar area, designed by visionary Lluis Güell, as well as the newer multilevel concourse where many of the world's best DJs still usher in the nighttime. www.cafedelmaribiza.es
On The Beach Ibiza Chill Out, Cala Vincente
Situated on the golden shoreline of Cala Vincente beach, close to the town of San Juan in the spiritual north of the island, this relaxed yet quirky beach bar serves great burgers, juices and cocktails. The floral décor is strikingly Indonesian, the friendly staff are Dutch and the views of the Mediterranean are spectacular. The menu is broad and suitable for vegans, carnivores and gluttons alike. And if you and your mates don't have an appetite you can always drop in for a quick coffee or laze around on the lounge chairs for the entire afternoon, slowly making your way through jug after jug of cava sangria. www.facebook.com/onthebeachibiza/
L'Alchimista Ibiza, Santa Eulalia
Extraordinarily understated in its appearance, L'Alchimista looks like all the other cake and coffee cafés in Ibiza. It is, however, a confectioners dream. The Italian-style gelato ice creams, cornets and artisan pastries are all homemade using quality natural ingredients. There are over 30 flavours of ice cream to choose from, including numerous vegan options and fresh fruit sorbets. Plus, many of the gelato flavours are gluten and lactose free. If you’re going to treat yourself to a holiday ice cream, chocolate croissant or vegan bite this summer, L'Alchimista is undoubtedly the healthiest place to do it. www.facebook.com/lalchimista.Ibiza/
Ibiza Rocks Bar, San Antonio
If you’re staying in San Antonio it's important to remember that Ibiza Rocks don’t only do pool parties. They're also famous for inventing the delicious Chicken Pitta, which you can order on its own or as part of a meal deal via their famous shoreline restaurant on the S'Arenal promenade. All the breakfasts, burgers and salads on the American diner-style menu represent amazing value for money, plus the portions are incredibly generous. If you’re looking for a fun, vibrant, unpretentious hangout overlooking the Mediterranean, you need to grab a balcony booth at Ibiza Rocks Bar. www.ibizarocks.com/bar/
Sushiya Aoyama, Ibiza Town
In the west, sushi has become a buzz word for bite size slices of sticky rice topped with salmon. But if you've had the opportunity to sample the culinary conceptions at Sushiya Soyama, created by head chef and owner Hideki Aoyama, you'll know that savouring authentic Japanese sushi is a very different experience. One of Ibiza's best kept secrets, you'd walk right past Sushiya Aoyama if you didn’t know it was there. The restaurant is small yet informal and designed in the manner of a typical Japanese sushi-bar. If you’re new to sushi, start with the king prawn California Uramaki and don’t forget to wash it down with a shot or two of sake. www.facebook.com/sushiya.aoyama/
Coolture Cafe Ibiza, Figueretas
You'll find this reasonably priced Italian bistro slash cocktail bar slash pub situated along the roadside in the beachside district of Figueretas, midway between Ibiza Town and Playa d'en Bossa. Famous for its homemade pizzas and homespun atmosphere, Coolture Café attracts locals and tourists in equal measure, which is always the sign of a good eating house. If you’re not a fan of pizza or pasta, Coolture Café is also renowned for its traditional Spanish tapas, not to mention its panoramic views of the ocean. If you're looking to refuel in a friendly, down to earth place, Coolture Café ticks all the boxes. www.facebook.com/coolturecafeibiza/
Paradise Lost, Ibiza Town
Nestled in the middle of Eivissa’s stunning old town, beneath the shadow of Dalt Vila, this trendy dive bar attracts DJs, industry types and tourists who understand their dance genres. The venue is intimate and cosy, with an open-air terrace of wicker chairs and an inner barroom scattered with mismatched leather sofas and neon signage. And if you’re lucky you might just find long-term Pacha resident Graham Sahara spinning tunes. The booze is just as potent - dark rum being the strict order of the day in a drinking hole seemingly designed for modern-day pirates who like to stay up long into the night. www.paradiselostibiza.com
Bar 1805, Ibiza Town
Situated within the maze of cobblestone streets that interweave Ibiza's vibrant Old Town neighbourhood, this eccentric Absinthe-inspired grotto is famous for its award-winning cocktail menu. At Bar 1805, expect cocktails like the Green Beast to be delivered to your table inside punch bowl birdcages and enjoy sipping neat absinthe through lengths of crystal piping. The interior of the building is equally trippy, festooned as it is with chalices and absinthe fountains that reflect the playfully creative character of Bar 1805's proprietor, French cocktail artisan Charles Vexenat. www.bar1805ibiza.com
Mint Lounge, San Antonio
Café Mambo isn’t serving cocktails just yet, but further along the Sunset Strip a number of bars have already opened their doors. One of the first to do so post-lockdown was Mint Lounge. Situated next door to Café Mambo, Mint Lounge occupies one of the best sunset spots on the island. There's a large indoor lounge area with more seating outside on a beautiful boardwalk promenade which extends out over the rocks towards the Mediterranean. Mint gets extremely popular in summertime, so be sure to book ahead, especially if you want to drink or dine with a front seat view of the ocean. www.mintloungeibiza.com
Golden Buddha, San Antonio
You'll find this sprawling chillout bar, ordained with Buddhist statues and sculptures, on the northern tip of San Antonio's famous Sunset Strip. There's a huge indoor seating area, but you'll want to lounge outside on one of the big comfy cabaña beds and take in the amazing sunset views. Buddha's cocktail menu is rammed with all the usual protagonists and the fat jugs of sangria are great for sharing. But this evening option is all about making the most of your Instagrammable location, location, location and then carrying on until midnight to drink beneath the stars. www.goldenbuddhaibiza.com
Minus80Bar, Ibiza Town
After an evening exploring Dalt Vila and Ibiza's famous port area, its not uncommon for island newbies to stumble into Minus80Bar quite by chance. Like many of the cocktail bars and restaurants in Ibiza's Old Town, Minus80Bar boasts a cosy alfresco terrace and a tiny inner dining room. The furnishings are charming yet classy and the low lighting helps to set the scene for romantic evenings. The cocktail menu is chockfull of signature drinks that are unique to the venue, including the range of spirit and fizz mixtures that come served in a cloud of liquid nitrogen! www.facebook.com/minus80bar