Ibiza, Spain

Living in Ibiza

by Iyna Bort Caruso

Ibiza, Spain, has a reputation as a European playground, a high octane party scene of super yachts and super hot nightlife. But the island’s reputation is shifting. A new wave of island enthusiasts is carving out time on the famed clubbing calendar to explore Ibiza’s lesser-known attractions, a quieter side of green spaces, romantic landscapes and tiny coves. The population that swells in summer is discovering Ibiza is more than just its nightlife.

Located 93 miles off the eastern coast of Spain, Ibiza is third largest isle in the Balearic archipelago, an autonomous community of Spain. Ibiza was on the ancient trade route of the Phoenicians, the first of many civilizations that have passed through over the ages. In modern times, tourism took off here in the late 1960s and ‘70s. The tourism industry is its economic mainstay. The airport offers easy flights to the Spanish mainland and European capitals. Ferry service to Spanish coastal ports operates daily.

Golf, seafront cafes, dozens of beaches and more than a hundred miles of coastline are reasons visitors are drawn to its shores. Even a sunset is elevated to a magical Ibizan experience.

The island has five municipalities. Ibiza Town, or Eivissa as its known in Catalan, is the capital and its largest city. It is a year-round destination with its own walled old town section of narrow streets and historic monuments called Dalt Vila. Dalt Vila’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site has prevented large portions from development.

The village of Santa Gertrudis is located in the center of island and has a bohemian-cosmopolitan feel. Because of its international school, it has a large expat community. Santa Eulalia, with its palm-lined promenade and well-regarded restaurants, and San Antonio are resort areas that also beckons international crowds.

The classic image of Ibizan architecture is of white houses set against turquoise waters. A tight supply of housing stock draws affluent cash buyers. Wide-ranging real estate available in Ibiza include country farmhouses, luxury beach apartment and exclusive hillside villas.