1. Seize the day at Ushuaïa
Ibiza is internationally renowned for its nightlife. A little less well known is the buzzy ‘day life’ scene – essentially, it comprises clubs with pools, banging DJs and all the sparkly theatrics, but in the glorious heat of the day. Ushuaïa was among the pioneers of this vibe – swing by early from about 3pm and lounge in the water before working your way through the cocktail menu and getting your boogie on to big name acts that include the high-calibre likes of David Guetta, Calvin Harris and Swedish House Mafia.
10 Carretera de Platja d'en Bossa, Sant Jordi de ses Salines
2. Do the hippy shake at Benirrás beach
Take the meandering approach road to this sandy northern beach on any given Sunday afternoon and you’ll start to hear a faint tattoo of drumming in the distance. You’re not going mad. Each weekend, local hippies and assorted cheery blow-ins like to gather on Benirrás for what’s almost certainly Europe’s longest-running, least-cringe drum circle. Things reach a crescendo around sundown so don’t forget to bring your trusty djembe – or just your eardrums at least – and prepare to get down to the rhythms, man.
3. Go big or go home at Elrow
The world’s maddest club night – which takes place at Amnesia on Saturdays throughout the summer – is a longstanding staple of Ibiza's after-hours scene. Not just in a banging-tunes-and-dancing kind of way, although to be sure there’s plenty of that here. But Elrow’s USP is wall-to-wall costumes, performers – stilt walkers, drag queens on trapezes, that kind of caper – glitter cannons and psychedelic inflatables. When you’re in the thick of it, with hundreds of other face-painted party people, and some smiling stranger hands you a plastic trumpet to toot, well, you’ll get what all the fuss is about.
Amnesia, Carretera Ibiza a San Antonio, Km 5
4. Keep it old-school at Dalt Vila
There’s way more to this island than parties and beaches. Take Dalt Vila, Ibiza's fortified hilltop Old Town, which over the years has been occupied by various groups from the Phoenicians to Renaissance-era Spanish kings and beyond. As such there are endless architectural curiosities and pretty photo ops – for best results plunge into the whitewashed labyrinth of crisscrossing alleys, bristling with colourful plants and looming cacti, and savour the random views out across the glistening island coastline. Special shout out to the Dalt Vila restaurant scene – it's active and crowded enough to keep standards high, and prices keen.
5. Stay edgy at Pikes Hotel
Pikes Hotel has hosted its fair share of near-the-knuckle outlandish antics over the years. The venue was the site of both Wham!’s Club Tropicana video and Queen frontman Freddie Mercury’s famously debauched 41st birthday party. These days it’s a bit more grown-up: it has recently hosted holistic raves and yoga happenings, and the kitchen – called Pamela’s – has won a slew of awards for its self-styled ‘bacchanalian finesse’. Think brunches with scrambled tofu, superfood salads and tall, cool bloody marys (obvs).
Camí de Sa Vorera, San Antonio Abad
6. Embrace your gothic side at Ibiza Cathedral
Way back in the 13th century, an invading Catalan army under the command of James I of Aragon vowed to God himself that if they could take the White Isle they’d build him a nice church to say thanks. James and a trio of his subordinate conquerors – Guillermo de Montgrí, Peter of Portugal and Nuno Sanç – were as good as their words, erecting a sturdy gothic pile that over the years took on more of a baroque aspect thanks to renovations and improvements. Inside there’s some rather lovely religious art, not least a pair of saintly 14th-century works by Francesc Cornes – just the thing if you’re feeling a bit delicate and in need of some spiritual uplift.
Plaça de la Catedral, Dalt Vila
7. Make a subterranean splash at Aquarium Cap Blanc
Historically, this underground ‘Cova De Ses Llagostes’ – literally meaning ‘lobster cave’ – was used by canny Ibizan fisherman to stash the nippy crustaceans and other lucrative quarry before shipping them to the mainland. It’s since been converted into a splendidly atmospheric aquarium and rehabilitation centre for sea creatures – especially turtles – to get back on their fins after injuries or mishaps. Thanks to its ingenious system of artificial oxygenating channels, it’s home to the freshest underground flows you’ll find on the whole of Ibiza.
Carretera de Cala Gració, San Antonio
General entry €5
8. Unlock the mysteries of Es Vedrà
This eye-catching, uninhabited rock situated just off the southwest coast of Ibiza is steeped in local legend. Some say it’s the third-most magnetic spot on planet Earth, and as such holds the key to the White Isle’s distinctly offbeat vibe. Others report mysterious marine shadows dancing around boats, belonging to as yet unidentified undersea leviathans. A 19th-century priest is said to have written about UFOs here. All we know is it provides a fetching backdrop to watch the sun go down from nearby Cala d’Hort bay.
9. Buy beads at the Hippy Market
The only place you’ll want to buy souvenirs on Ibiza is at the oldest, biggest and best so-called ‘hippy market’. Punta Arabí market has been going since 1973 and a great deal of that classic flower-power energy remains. On a good day some 500 artisans show up to flogs beads, amulets, bracelets and more amid the aroma of fat joss sticks and the soundtrack of assorted live drummers and jangly acoustic bands. It's held every Wednesday from April to October, and there’s also plenty to nosh on while you browse the trinkets.
Avinguda Punta Arabí, Es Caná
10. Sink a sundowner at Café del Mar
The world-famous ‘home of chill’ – forever associated with those laidback compilation records that bothered the dance charts under the Café del Mar name from 1994 onwards – is an Ibiza institution like no other. It's pretty much the perfect spot to catch the sun going down, and its revered status among old Ibiza hands is down to a winning mix of good taste on the decks and lush decor that’s just the right side of gaudy. That, and the cocktails of course.
27 Calle Vara de Rey, Sant Antoni de Portmany