After being frustrated with the cold, rainy weather in Austria, my girlfriend and I decided to book a flight to Ibiza for a summer getaway for 5 days to San Antoni. It’s a fairly small city on the north western coast of the small island. I was hesitant, because it was mainly known for big groups of young people flying there for a party vacation. It has the biggest club in the world and I had a feeling some of that would affect our stay. I was confident though, that there must be alternative activities to experience and other sites to see. I knew that those clubs would only be overpriced to hell, play music that I don’t have a glimmer of interest in, and be packed to the brim for profit so that you end up squeezed between sweaty, shirtless men until the early morning hours. All that was confirmed with later research.
Our flight was at 2:00 am and I couldn’t sleep, like before any flight. Once we boarded the plane I was confronted with the most agonizingly tight seats I’ve ever witnessed. I sat with my legs spread to the left and right with my knees borrowing into the seat of my front neighbors. So I knew the two hour flight would be restless with a slightly exaggerated fear in the back of my mind of a blood clot forming and killing me. Not sure if that would have been that bad though, when the front passenger started to repeatedly try slamming her seat into me while I was telling her “no luck this flight, sorry”. Then of course she is the one getting pissed.
When we arrived at our hotel after hopping off the transfer bus, it was 6:00 am and the receptionist told us check-in is only possible after 2:00 pm. We were exhausted, had no sleep and now had to wait eight hours until we could even get to our room. An odd start to a vacation that was already hard on my current financial situation. Slowly regret was creeping in, but I had to make the best of it. We ended up sleeping on the beach during the morning hours, bound to our possessions, to make sure no one stole them. We did find a 10 euro bill in the sand that paid for breakfast when the supermarkets finally opened.
The first day was spent occasionally power napping and strolling through the town exploring the possibilities of activities and places to eat.
Our dining experience that evening was uneventful; the food wasn’t that great, and while eating, pesky salesmen walked by trying to sell sunglasses, hats and hair accessories. That was our experience at most restaurants and two out of three times the service took forever. More signs that were making me doubtful of my decision to choose this holiday destination.
We went to bed and slight feelings of regret were keeping me up awake although I was exhausted due to sleep deprivation and a lot of carrying bags around and walking through town.
The next day picked up though, the weather was clear blue skies and hot temperatures so we decided to explore the beaches in walking distance. There were only two choices really, one big one next to the harbor which was fairly dirty and the water oily from the ships, and one further away, but still busy with a lot of people. There was sand, and walking into the water was also easy. The second one became our beach of choice to go to when we wanted to relax and lay in the sun.
Day three, we wanted to see more of the island, so we rented a moped for a day. 14 Euros for each of us was a good deal and we took off riding down the western part of the island, where we were told are smaller beaches with less people. That wasn’t the case, because there were still plenty of others around us, but the spots seemed more untouched and natural. Also there was no club music thumping in the background, even better!
That day we were at 4 beaches; Cala Bassa, Cala Conta, Cala Moli and Cala Llosar in the evening. We ate lunch in a small pub in Sant Josep. They served tapas and cheap sandwiches which were good compared to what we had so far. A few other aimless excursions through the landscape, and screams from my girlfriend claiming to be convinced that we almost crashed numerous times on the curvy roads, concluded the rest of the day. The sunset was claimed to be the most spectacular at Punta Galera, so we used our mobility to get there on a gravel road with giant potholes. It was worth the risk though when we sat on a rock looking towards a big rock formation reaching towards the horizon. We even saw a dolphin emerging from the water, which caused a lot of people to gasp and point. An idyllic ending to a more adventurous day than only laying in the sun.
On the fourth day, weather changes were becoming observable so we decided to take the bus to Eivissa, the capital of the island, about 2.50 Euros each. There were older buildings, historically more interesting sights and more alternative, cozy restaurants and cafes compared to the city we were stayed. This seemed like a better destination for families or older travelers not interested in the party scene of Ibiza. The old district was surrounding by castle walls elevated slightly on a hill next to the ocean. It overlooked the city offering great views towards the airport and the harbor of Eivissa.
On the last day, we both had our first experience with scuba diving. It was offered by a crew of divers who sold us a different story than what we got. Visibility was nowhere near 30 meters, and we didn’t start in shallow waters as advertised, but got in the deep water right away. We only had one instructor, instead of three which was promised to my concerned girlfriend, and total dive time was also a lot shorter than what we were told. Still it was a nice experience although we didn’t see anything exciting underwater, and due to winds, we had to drive on a cramped bus to the other side of the island. For 65 Euros it was affordable though, and although frustrated with them, I didn’t feel completely ripped off either. Floating around underwater being able to breathe is a unique feeling which is what I mainly paid to experience.
Conclusion, it was an interesting vacation and we made the best of it for what it was. At first I didn’t expect the club scene to be the most prevalent thing there, but it seems like that is what most people are there for. There are constant promoters on the street and the 8 or so clubs on the island have parties daily. With that come a lot of drunken people, tons of trash in the streets and loud nights when you’re trying to sleep. All that made a pretty trashy and dirty impression of the city we were in, with empty alcohol bottles stuck in the sand and a lot of obnoxious groups in the evenings. Besides that, the island didn’t have a lot to offer, and I wouldn’t recommend it for families or people wanting an experience outside of clubbing. I also don’t think I will go there again. Still we made the best of it and enjoyed our vacation!