Ibiza, the island of Balearic Islands and its capital, which goes under the same name but is also referred to as Ibiza Town, is the promised land of every horny European kid. Let me rephrase that: every horny European party person ever. It's hot, it's loud, it's colorful. Pure awesomeness…if you're young. The 90s and early 2000s were all about trance music. I still get goosebumps thinking about those times. Ibiza was trance culture incarnate; they call it EDM (electronic dance music) now. The administration is trying to transform Ibiza into a family-friendly destination. I don't think it's possible at this point. It will always remain a party island, heaven for visitors and hell for the locals. Crowds spend their days curing their hangover on numerous beaches. Nights are all about clubbing because that's what you visit Ibiza for. Pacha Ibiza, Café del Mar those were the legendary clubs of my youth. They're still going strong but the scene is changing. Many people travel thousands of miles for the opening of the season hosted by the Ushuaïa Club. Crazy stuff, more of an open-air festival than a night out at a club. Amnesia Ibiza? Also an icon, established in 1976. Just think how many generations have danced their balls out in these clubs.
This entire culture was built based on "Peace and Love". Sounds familiar? It's the hippy credo, the clubbers added "…ecstasy" to the equation. Everything started in the 60s, ten years after Ibiza opened up to tourism. That's when the hippy tsunami left San Francisco and spread across the world. Ibiza was a promised land for them, secluded pristine beaches and nature. Not to mention it wasn't as crowded back then. So, they partied, made love and enjoyed recreational drugs. Not much has changed since then, maybe apart from the music. Disco tunes, technically EDM's precursor, came to Ibiza in the late 70s. 1973 is when Pacha opened as the first mega club on Ibiza, that's almost 50 years ago. That's when the hippie culture began a slow transition into the clubbing culture. The way I see it is it's just another name for the same ideology. The hippies are still there; visit them at the Hippy Market on Wednesdays around Punta Arabi in Ibiza Town. They sell all sorts of handicraft there, blankets, clothes, braids, and other stuff.
There are historic sites to see on Ibiza as well. Several of them praised as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Those are an option when you've had enough of the constant intoxication. Following one of those boat parties, for example. Those are an awesome way of meeting new people, until it goes wrong. It only takes one person to get seasick to trigger a chain reaction of vomit and misery. That's when start thinking that checking out some other stuff could be a good idea. The Old Town is a sure pick if you're feeling alright and the sunlight and heat don't bother you much. Evissa Old Town is a beautiful Mediterranean area with many cafes and tavernas. Dalt Vila is the crown jewel of this district. It's one of the oldest fortifications in the region, dating back to the year 480 BC. Evissa Old Town is also the place to go if you'd rather chill during the evening for a change. Try some tapas and a glass of wine instead of Redbull+Vodka, pills, and stroboscopes.
I'd rather take a trip to Cova de Can Marçà caves, around 20 km north of Ibiza Town. The caves are cold, noiseless and the lights are dim. Something one might crave after a wild night on the island. Sa Pedrera is another secret spot on Ibiza. Hippies discovered it in the 60s, and thought it was the remains of Atlantis. Silly hippies: everyone knows Atlantis sunk hundreds of kilometers east of the island. They believed the site to be magical, performed all sorts of esoteric rituals, I can get behind all the pagan stuff. Reality strikes when you realize it was just a quarry used to source the stone for Dalt Vila and a large part of the old town. It's a mystical and stunningly beautiful place, the journey there is an experience on its own. You can say that about most beaches on Ibiza. The best ones are tiny and hard to reach but worth the effort. The rocky Cala Xarraca is one of those, with its turquoise waters and natural mud baths. Las Salinas is the most mainstream beach on Ibiza, crowded, loud and sexy. There are dozens of gorgeous, sandy spots on the island, best discovered on your own while exploring.