April 24, 2024

Walking Tour of Ibiza Town

Welcome to Ibiza, a Spanish island commonly known as the party capital of the world.

The shores of Ibiza in August 2023.

Joey Hadden/Insider

Called the “party capital of the world” and “holy grail of Spanish partying” by Travel + Leisure, Ibiza is an island in Spain where artists created a laid-back hub in the 1960s, according to the same source. 

People generally perceive Ibiza as a night-club scene complete with booze and electronic dance music, the publication reports. And I was one of them — until I visited for myself. 

I visited for the first time completely sober and expected nothing but parties. So I was surprised by the island’s vibrant streets and rich history.

A colorful street in Ibiza lined with vibrant homes and green trees and bushes.

A colorful street in Ibiza.

Joey Hadden/Insider

On a recent Mediterranean cruise, I visited Ibiza for the first time. The only thing I knew about the island was its reputation as a party town. 

As a non-drinker, this was the port stop I was the least excited to visit. But the island surprised me. As I steered clear of the nightlife scene and wandered its hilly roads lined with colorful buildings, I was mesmerized by colorful streets, preserved history, and jaw-dropping views.

Here’s what it was like to visit the party capital of the world completely sober, and why it’s worth visiting.

For the first half of the tour, we wandered streets lined with shops and outdoor markets.

A colorful, busy street in Ibiza with people browsing outdoor shop racks

An outdoor market in Ibiza’s new town area.

Joey Hadden/Insider

The tour began in the new town, where buildings were bright and colorful. Lush trees and bushes made the streets look even more vibrant, in my opinion. 

Stores selling everything from local and vintage fashion to traditional souvenirs like straw baskets spilled into the streets. This made me wish I had time to stop and shop. 

Then, we entered Ibiza’s walled old town.

A large, medieval wall with buildings behind it and people walking up and down the street below it

People wander up Dalt Vila in Ibiza.

Joey Hadden/Insider

After strolling the winding streets of the new town, my group headed to Ibiza’s old town. 

We walked through the grand entrance of Dalt Vila, a 16th-century wall lined with canons that once served as a protective barrier, according to Lonely Planet.

The entrance leads to cobblestone streets and historic cathedrals that made me feel like I’d traveled back in time with Renaissance-style architecture.

I was mesmerized by the views at the top of the old town.

People stand by a cliff on the left overlooking the ocean and mountains

A view of Ibiza from Bastion of Santa Lucia.

Joey Hadden/Insider

From Dalt Vila, my group walked up a steep ramp to Bastion of Santa Lucia, a large portion of the old town’s walls with a lookout over the island and surrounding seas.

This panoramic view blew me away. From the edge of Ibiza’s historic walls, I could see the mountains outside of Ibiza Town, and the water was so blue that it almost looked fake to me. 

The lookout from Bastion of Santa Lucia was more picturesque than I could have imagined. I felt like I had stepped into a storybook. 

The best part of my visit was watching the sunset over Ibiza.

A white home in Ibiza with foliage in the foreground and the sun setting over mountains in the background

The sun sets over Ibiza.

Joey Hadden/Insider

When we got to Bastion of Santa Lucia, the sun began to set, revealing the most striking golden hour views I’d ever seen.

In this moment, I realized I was totally wrong to judge Ibiza by its party reputation. And I’ll definitely be back to shop in local stores, step inside historical buildings, and take more sunset walks around the island. 

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