Behind Majorca, Ibiza is the second-most populated Balearic island, with over 150,000 people calling the White Isle home. But for the millions of people who flock to the island every year, their Ibiza experience will often look a little different to the day-to-day lives of the locals.
With the majority of tourists looking to make the most of the island’s nocturnal party scene, many people don’t get to experience Ibiza like a local. But what does that mean exactly, and how can you get a more authentic feel of this beautiful Mediterranean jewel? Here’s how to spend your holiday living like an Ibizan resident.
You will never be short of tasty options when it comes to eating out in Ibiza. Many restaurants across the island celebrate local ingredients such as seafood, meats and a range of locally-grown fruit and vegetables.
Whilst eating out is sure to give you an insight into local tastes, there is no better way to eat like a local than by visiting a market and sourcing your own ingredients. San Juan is one of the most popular Sunday markets in Ibiza, and is a favourite pastime amongst locals and tourists alike. Not only can you stock up on your hand-crafted souvenirs to take back home, you can also find a range of local produce, from jams to honey, to olives – it’s a foodie’s paradise.
If you’re really going to get into the Ibizan spirit, schedule dinner time for slightly later in the evening than usual. Per Spanish customs, most restaurants won’t open for dinner until 8PM, so indulge yourself in the laid-back lifestyle and squeeze in a couple of extra hours on the beach! Before heading back to the hotel, save enough room to try a slice of Flaó (recommended by Balearic travel experts), Ibiza’s answer to a classic cheesecake.
Things to do in Ibiza
1. Head to a football match
Unión Deportiva Ibiza is the favourite team of many local football fans, having only recently been established in 2015. They currently reside in Spain’s Segunda División (second), and play their home games at Estadi Can Misses, which seats 4,500 spectators. The stadium is found on Ibiza’s southeast coast, just a short drive from the main nightlife hub of Playa d’en Bossa.
Even though the Can Misses is only small in comparison to the stadium’s of Spanish football’s heavy-hitters, home matches rarely sell out, and you will have a good chance of getting a ticket should they be playing during your stay. What better way to experience local life than through the medium of their beloved football team?
2. Explore the countryside on a scooter
Scooters are a very popular way for both locals and tourists to discover the island. Taking to the open roads is a great way to explore some of Ibiza’s hidden gems, giving you access to less commercialised areas known best by locals.
It is worth knowing that if you are renting out a scooter, it is against the law to ride without a helmet, and the police are quite hot on handing out fines if they spot you without one.
Connect with the island
Ibiza is an island shrouded in mystique and magic, with its geographical location said to be one of the most magnetic places on the planet. Whether this magnetic pull contributes to the transcendent Ibizan atmosphere or not, many locals like to soak it up as best they can by engaging in meditation and yoga sessions.
One of the most popular places on the island to drift away with your thoughts is at the viewpoint of Es Vedrà, a small island just off Ibiza’s southwest coast. There are many yoga retreats that take place at this special locale, or you can simply kick back and enjoy the last of the day’s sunshine from one of Europe’s best sunset viewing spots.
Where to stay
Ibiza boasts an impressive catalogue of world-famous hotels. From Ibiza Rocks to Ushuaia, it’s not uncommon for visitors to be sharing accommodation with the world’s rich and famous, who are attracted to the bright lights and heady atmosphere of the island.
But if you truly want to live the local lifestyle on your next trip here, consider renting a local apartment or staying in a hostel with other like-minded people. Away from the hustle and bustle of the main nightlife towns, there are plenty of smaller, quirky neighbourhoods that can take you behind the curtains of Ibiza’s facade. Head to the picturesque village of Santa Gertrudis and stay close to the main square, where you can truly soak up the community feel that’s entwined into the very fabric of this special place.