Doesn’t it feel like everyone is in Europe right now? I’m not surprised to see so many visiting this part of the world after two summers where we couldn’t get there. I had the opportunity to escape to Spain in May this year and spent ten days on the east coast with my best travel friend. One of our stops was the island of Ibiza as it was high on my list of places to visit.
Ibiza is one of the Balearic Islands and can only be reached by plane or ferry. The ferries we rode on were much larger than we expected, they are actually cargo ships that also have sleeping quarters for passengers for night trips. We watched articulated lorries load and unload these huge ferries and it was amazing to see the efficiency of transporting goods on such a large scale. We crossed the Mediterranean Sea in a ten-hour overnight journey from Barcelona to Ibiza and woke up to crew members knocking on our doors, reminding us to hurry as it was time to unload the trucks, cars and fellow passengers.
We arrived at dawn and after dropping off our luggage at our hotel we had the luxury of having the streets of Ibiza’s old town to ourselves. The lantern lights were still burning as the sun rose over the harbor, casting its soft glow on the boats parked in the marina.
For an hour we strolled through the streets of the old town, marveling at the whitewashed buildings with colorful shutters and the laundry hung out to dry in the European style. We only shared the streets with pigeons until the cafes opened later in the morning.
To the west there is a more modern commercial and residential area of Ibiza which we walked to after showering at our hotel. The promenade follows the curved shape of the beach and there are restaurants and bars where you can casually sip cold drinks and stare at the Mediterranean Sea and beachgoers enjoying the sunshine and gentle waves.
The beauty of the Balearics is that you can island hop like we did from Ibiza to Formentera for just a few hours. Many visitors head to nearby Formentera for the beaches, where you can hire scooters if you hop off the boat!
There are a few bars and restaurants in the heart of the port town on Formentera where you can enjoy a coffee or meal or rent scooters to tour the island! How fun would that be? We didn’t have time but made a note in a couple of hours for our next visit to ride the Vespa around the island.
After making it back to Ibiza on the ferry, we strolled through Vara de Rey and the surrounding streets, where you’ll find great shopping (both casual and high-end) and sidewalk cafes, against a backdrop of architecture in a mix of whitewashed and pastel colours find shades.
In town you’ll also see the Cathedral, and if you’re willing to climb the mountain, you’ll get panoramic views from Dalt Vila at the top.
At night, the restaurants lining the marina are lit with vibrant, colorful lights that change as you stroll the alleys or streets, with new music pulsing around every bend. You can feel the energy of the crowds of young and old mingling in the cooler night air which is a respite from the hotter days and restaurants serving cocktails and tapas until the wee hours! Ibiza is known for its nightlife and there is plenty of it!
The marina is exciting at night but also such a beautiful sight in the morning!
I’ve said many times that my favorite way to travel around Europe is by train, but I take the ferry as the next best option! Especially if it means seeing more of the Mediterranean, one of the most beautiful parts of the world. We boarded the ferry at the port that took us to our next stop in Valencia and made the five hour journey across the sea back to the mainland.
We arrived late in Valencia where we stayed for a few days and then continued on to the amazing city of Seville! Ole! More on these adventures later. 🙂