When the Phoenicians came to Ibiza around 654 BC, they sensed something of the island’s nature and named it Ibossim and dedicated it to their god of music and dance, Bes. Since the middle of the 20th century it has lived up to its ancient name.
Young people, in their thousands, come from all over the world to gyrate and groove to the insistent pounding of electronic music genres like trance, rave, techno and house. Ibiza’s fame as the party capital of the world is confirmed by night clubs that can take in over 12,000 dancing guests and 40 DJs. Starting at midday these parties go on all night.
Flashing strobe lights aside, Ibiza town and the surrounding area is absolutely gorgeous. You can either rent a cycle or a scooter to discover this amazing island at your own pace and off the beaten track. Several portions of Ibiza including the Old Town are UNESCO World Heritage listed sites. Some of these sites include the Phoenician settlement at Sa Caleta and the Ses Feixes Wetlands. A stroll through the Old Town reveals why it was chosen.
Despite the numerous fabulous beaches on Ibiza, the Aguamar Water Park is one of the island’s most popular attractions. A family destination, the Water Park offers a number of pools and bars and an excellent cafeteria.
On the historic side there is quite a bit to see in Ibiza. For instance there is the 14th century Ibiza Cathedral, an excellent study in Gothic architecture. Inside, the walls are covered with some fine religious art. You can visit the well-preserved Phoenician tombs in an ancient burial ground. The hypogeal (burial caves) contain over 3,000 tombs and are remarkable as they have been cut deep into the hillside. There is also an on-site museum that contains amulets and other artwork that were found in the tombs.
Just 6 kilometres to the south lies Ibiza’s quiet island cousin, Formentera. This is a really flat island and the sea can be seen from anywhere on it. It is world famous for its pristine white beaches. While most people come for the beaches, its crystal clear blue waters are ideal for snorkelling and sailing. Cycling is a popular way to get around its 19 kilometre length.
Formentera also has a few pre-historic Stone Age sites and an ancient Roman road. It is also famed for its beach restaurants that serve seafood platters, grilled fish and paella, which are among the best in the islands.