Think Ibiza Spain is only for hippies and ravers? You’re wrong! MomAboard’s Kaamna Bhojwani-Dhawan and Neha Mehta, fellow traveling mom of 2, tell you how to discover all aspects of this versatile island!
Ibiza Spain (pronounced in numerous ways) is an island about 150 kms from Valencia, and on a clear day you can see the Spanish mainland from points on the island. Known for its all-night parties, hippie vibe and beautiful Mediterranean waters, Ibiza has been a popular destination for all kinds for the last 20 years.
Getting to Ibiza Spain:
Given Ibiza’s popularity, you can fly here directly from many points in Europe to Ibiza airport (IBZ). The airport is a short 15-minute drive from the Ibiza town and a 25 euro cab ride (approximately). You can also get to Ibiza by ferry from other parts of Spain.
Getting Around Ibiza Spain:
Ibiza is essentially divided into a few towns or areas but the commute from one end to the other is easy. You may choose to stay near the town if you’d like to be near all the action or away, if you’d like something a little more secluded.
There is disagreement around how to get around Ibiza. Taxis can be a pain to get (impossible to hail on the streets unless you are in the center of town, in which case they are dime a dozen!), but can be called and usually arrive within 10-15 minutes. Taxis are not fussed about car seats for kids, but WILL NOT take more than 4 passengers. Depending on where you are going, the costs can add up quickly too.
We rented a van for a big group, which worked out well. They do crack down intensely on drinking and driving, so I would recommend taking taxis at night when you’re headed to the club.
Best time to visit Ibiza, is middle to end June, when it is not full season yet, so villas are 30% cheaper, the nightclubs are not full to their capacity of 5,000 odd people and the beaches are not inaccessible due to lack of parking spots.
Things to do with Kids in Ibiza Spain
- Beaches: One of the joys of being on holiday in Ibiza is that, no matter where you are, especially when driving, you are never far from one of the many wonderful beaches or secluded little coves. At the age my children are, water and sand are enough to entertain them. We visited three beaches (there are plenty of small beaches along the coastline) during our one week stay in Ibiza: Las Salinas, Cala Bassa and Benirras. Las Salinas is one of the largest beaches in Ibiza, with a few high end restaurants. Food and water are not cheap at the local beaches. However, the service was impeccable . The local beach authority provides the sun deck chairs, kids food menu and lifeguards are stationed at every corner. White clean sand and greenish blue water are the main features of this part of the med. What was also surprising is that the beaches are mostly shallow till a good distance into the sea, so children can swim/wade in quite a large area really giving them a fantastic feel of the natural seas. We spent 6 hours soaking in the sun while watching our kids make perfect sand castles. Tip: Try and get to the beaches as early as you can, spots get filled up and parking is very difficult post 1pm.
For older kids, there were plenty of water spots like canoeing, jet skiing, water slides, para sailing and boating. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of children in the age of 1 month to 5 years. They came in all sizes, newborns, toddlers, infants, grown ups… wow!
If you are not a beach fiend, there are several other activities such as horse riding, port biking, outdoor games and carnival at the marina, mountain climbing and mini golf.
2. Beach Clubs: For those who fancy a little service with their sand, there is no shortage of beach clubs in Ibiza. Going to one requires a little bit of planning as you often need reservations ahead for the popular ones and clubs often charge for the beach beds (some are exorbitant, so grit your teeth and pay if you want to be part of the scene). Here are some of the top ones:
Nassau Beach Club: A top scene this season, Nassau offers sun beds for 100 euro each, chilled champagne and a kids’ menu. There is also a restaurant and cafe, and while it does have an “adult-like” feel, kids are welcome.
El Chiringuito: A sceney, yet more chilled-out vibe than Nassau, Chiringuito is also a hot favorite requiring bookings in advance. Beach beds are 80 euro for a day but the single beds which cannot be reserved can be grabbed if you get there early (before 11am)
Ushuaïa Beach Club: Understandably with the kids you will likely not be hitting up one of the big parties at Ushuaïa so for the FOMO parents, this is a good option. Sun beds have a minimum spend of 300 euro for the day (easily done with a bottle of champagne and some food at their prices). It’s on the same beach as Nassau but closer to some water activities like jet skis and fly boarding (recommended for adults or a strong teenager!). Children are not allowed into the Ushuaïa hotel so don’t even try!
Pura Vida: This is a lesser known beach club but one we really enjoyed. Much more relaxed and reasonably priced. Sun beds (there are only 4 so book early!) are 50 euro for the day or single chairs at 5 euro. The restaurant offers eclectic seafood and fresh produce and all in all the vibe is extremely family-friendly. Nearby a shack offers paddle boats with a slide, and on some days during the summer they organize kids activities from 2-5pm. Bliss!
3. Es Vedra: This is often the site of Ibiza you see in picture. Many myths accompany this mystical rock off Ibiza’s coast (as well as many factual stories of people falling off the cliff trying to take selfies with the rock so be careful). Watching the sunset behind Es Vedra is one of the best things in Ibiza – you can do it as a hike or from one of the restaurants like Es Boldado which also offer great seafood and paella!
4. Take a boat to Formentera: Although you can take regular ferries to Formentera for 5 euro or less, if you have the means, take a boat out to this beautiful island 30 minutes away with the clearest water you will ever see. Boat charters for the day will take you to beautiful swimming coves in the Mediterranean before dropping you at Formentera for lunch. The place to eat here is Juan Y Andrea but to be honest, I found it overpriced and the service lacking. There have also been some murmurs about them adding charges to your bill. It is hailed though as the only worthwhile place in Formentera so make a reservation, and check your bill when you leave. On the way back, ask your captain to take you to another swimming spot. We discovered waters as clear as a pool which was absolutely wonderful for the kids to swim and snorkel in.
5.Santa Gertrudis: A quaint little artist neighborhood, Santa Gertrudis is lovely to spend a summer evening, with little shops, charming restaurants (see Macau below) and even a little playground. Children can run free in the open square and it offers a nice respite from the summer crowds!
Where to Eat with Kids in Ibiza Spain
When it comes to restaurants Ibiza has become renowned for having the best in style and flavours. Whether it’s a simple beach side lunch or sophisticated candle lit dining, you’ll be spoilt for choice.The food is heavenly. So are the prices. There are cute beach pizzerias and delicatessens perfectly suited to our children’s taste buds, but it was difficult to take them out at night.
There are some world class restaurants with cuisines from different parts of the globe and the gastronomical experiences are quite varied if you let the purse strings loose. Reservations recommended for all. Some of our favorites were:
- Cicale for a good wood fired oven pizza experience
- Blue Marlin Lounge for the ambience, apple martinis and tapas (in that order)
- Bambuddha Ibiza: For a taste of Thailand in a Balinese-setting, head to Bambuddha.
- Macau Cafe: Fantastic Italian cuisine in a charming courtyard with a little kids’ are and children minders. Heaven!
- Ama Lur: For a quiet and elegant dinner, this place is unbeatable.
- Amante: This glorious beach-side restaurant offers a complete Ibiza experience with sophisticated food, sunbed or table seating, and a kid’s menu!
Concierge Services in Ibiza:
No doubt Ibiza can be a little intimidating and with sky-high prices and worn out locals, so it’s always nice to have someone you knows the system and can help with your questions and needs.
Neha loved a concierge service called Deliciously Sorted, that did everything from reservations, to chefs to babysitters and reasonably priced chauffeur driven cars. Contact details: Ceri.firstname.lastname@example.org
Kaamna got a lot of support from Marina at Ibiza.ru, set up by a friend of hers.
Nightclubs in Ibiza (see “Babysitting” above!)
Ibiza caters to the wildest party animals on this planet as well as the person who wants to have a laid back beach holiday. The nightclubs are huge mainly warehouses of music, erotic dancing and bars which never run out of alcohol. The lines can get long in peak season months of July and August. The water is more expensive then a regular vodka drink (200 ml of water bottle costs 6 euros, whereas a drink of vodka tonic will cost around 4 euros). The island sleeps from 10 pm to 2 am. At 2 am our alarms went off, the driver rung the door bell and we were off to witness music and dance mania.
The hot nightclubs to visit are Pacha, Amnesia, Space for traditional club atmospheres, Ushuaia and Blue Marlin for sundowner parties that go until midnight. World-famous DJs like David Guetta and Avicii spend the season in Ibiza drawing crowds and hiking up prices, and even celebrities like Paris Hilton get into the act! Lio is this season’s most exclusive, with a dinner and cabaret with a 150 euro/person minimum spend (you’d be surprised at how easy that is to do).
No question, Ibiza is one of the party capitals of the world.
Shopping with Kids in Ibiza Spain
The access to supermarkets is easy, however if you want to order it online, supplies are at your doorstep in one hour.
Ibiza town as its popularly known is in the centre of the island. It is famous for some of its boutiques and shops. The shopping can vary from cheap finds to expensive to exorbitant luxe brands. It is quite touristy so don’t expect to be blown away.
Tip : Post lunch (around 1 pm) to late afternoon (5pm) shop owners shut shop and go home for siestas. The shops are usually open till late (some until midnight).
Things to avoid with Kids in Ibiza Spain
- The Mediterranean sun is very harsh where temperatures can go up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit with almost absent humidity. If you are not at a beach under a shaded umbrella, my recommendation is that you keep your kids and yourself indoors for the mid afternoon hours or invest in a large fedora.
- For family fun, stay away from tourist spots for accommodation. Villas are a better choice over apartment hotels or hotel rooms.
- Although many of the beaches will rent sunshades and parasols, you are best advised to take your own. The sun is very hot here in summer, and I can’t stress enough the importance of shade for young children, babies and the fair-haired.
- Never leave bags unattended! Leave your credit cards, passports and tickets in the bedroom safe and don’t take lots of money to the beach, only what you need for for some drinks and lunch. Don’t leave any valuables in the hired car.
- Most of the beaches boast soft, sandy floors. Perfect for splashing around near the shore. Do be careful before rushing and plunging headlong into the water – there are some beaches with stones and underwater rocks.