This insider’s guide to Ibiza villa rentals in 2018 contains everything you need to know to sail through booking a top villa holiday. In the right place. At the right time. For the right price. In one short read.

Lots of great advice about how to find and safely book a great Ibiza villa holiday for you and your gang is already out there. But it’s scattered amongst hundreds of websites. And time consuming to find.

So I’ve done the legwork for you!

What I’ve done here is brought everything you need to know together. In one easy read. Together with insiders advice, local info and a tonne of tips & links so you can dig deeper (if that’s your thing).

Ibiza villa rentals guide 2018
chapter1
CHAPTER 1

10 Ibiza accommodation hacks to save you time, cash & hassle

chapter2
CHAPTER 2

Where can I find the best Ibiza villas to rent? | easy guide to location types

chapter3
CHAPTER 3

Whoa! Don’t choose your Ibiza villa rental location without checking these 8 priorities first

chapter4
CHAPTER 4

When’s the best time to rent Ibiza villas?

chapter5
CHAPTER 5

Renting villas in Ibiza | 7 common pitfalls (and how to avoid them)

chapter1

CHAPTER 1:

10 Ibiza accommodation hacks to save you time, cash & hassle

This first chapter is dedicated to pre-search organisation.

Pretty much every holiday accommodation search starts with a heap of undecided people trying to come to an agreement about what everybody wants.

I’ve seen it done the wrong way (with sad results).

But I’ve also seen it done the right way (with happy results).

Do yourself a favour, ladies & gents.

Check out these time-saving and stress-busting hacks before you even begin your search for a rental villa.

Then you’ll be well on your way to you and your f&f having the time of your lives in the perfect Ibiza villa with absolute minimum fuss or bother.

1: Decide on a budget (and stick to it)

Get your mates/family/nearest & dearest together and decide on a collective budget for your holiday villa before you start looking.

Honestly, this will save you a whole world of unnecessary browsing through tonnes of unsuitable accommodation. Once you have a budget, you can narrow down your search and save a heap of time.

TIP: the larger the group, the cheaper the price (per night, per person) your rental price generally gets.

In fact, you’ll be amazed how affordable villa rental can be.

Let me give you an idea…

Here’s the kind of villa you can rent for (much) less than 100 quid per person per night (pppn).

Ibiza villa rentals - Savines

Groups of 8

Click here to see Villa Tom | £4285 per week high season (12 July – 22 Aug). That’s about £77 pppn (low season £28 pppn)

 

Groups of 12

Click here to see Villa Savines | £7905 per week high season (12 July – 22 Aug) That’s about £94 pppn (low season £26 pppn)

 

Groups of 14

Click here to see Villa Paquita costs £4497 per week mid season (7 June – 11 July). That’s about £46 pppn (low season £22 pppn)

 

Groups of 18

Click here to see Villa Alexa costs £4699 per week mid season (7 June – 11 July) That’s about £37 pppn (low season £18 pppn) 

 

Groups of 21

Click here to see Villa Maria | £7038 per week high season (12 July – 22 Aug). That’s around £49 pppn (low season £15 pppn).

Planning a special occasion and prepared to splash out?

Here’s the kind of villa you can rent for £150+ pppn

Click here to see luxury Villa Omni | £20,910 per week mid season. That’s £299 pppn (low season £153pppn)

2: Be specific about what your group needs

Agree on the group’s accommodation needs and be realistic. If you’re bringing the family, you’ll want a family friendly villa rental, maybe with a great kitchen and child safety features around the pool.

If you’re a group of mates who want to do a whole heap of clubbing and plan to be out quite a bit, maybe you won’t need anything super fancy. Just close to the action but with a private pad, pool & decent audio gear to chill with your favs after a night out.

Or maybe chose a pad that top notch Ibiza Djs use!

Click here to see the villa that Carl Cox streamed live from last year with DJ Magazine. Click here to see the villa DJ Uner used for his!

The more detail you give to your agent the more relevant your options will be and the less faffing will be done. Guaranteed!

Generally speaking, the more sophisticated the facilities you need, the more budget you’ll need to ensure you get them.

3: One person acts for the group

Scene taken from the 1996 film adaption of Irvine Welsh’s cult classic novel, Trainspotting

Have one designated person to liaise with the agency/villa owner, collect cash and make your booking ON A CREDIT CARD, friends! Firstly, booking without a credit card leaves you open to all kinds of scams. Don’t risk it (more about this later in Chapter 5 ‘how to avoid the pitfalls’).

And that’s not all.

You’d be amazed how often villa agencies get two (or more) members of the same group trying to book/amend/cancel/rebook the same villa on the same dates. Utter confusion ensues & voila. Event management collapse & unnecessary stress before you’ve even started.

4: Collect cash up front

Hand image created by Kstudio - Freepik.com

In my experience, it’s best for the group to hand over their share of cash to that saintly, designated person before booking the villa.

Because the truth is…

It’s a wedge of responsibility to organise a group booking already (seriously) without the added financial burden & hassle of having to chase people up afterwards for their share of the rental.

The cash can easily be paid by each of the gang into the designated person’s credit card account. Then with budget loaded & ready, your heroic event organiser is ready to swoop & book when the perfect villa is found.

Great for bagging last minute bargains when you have to be ninja and swoop in quickly.

On the other hand, if you know exactly which villa you want already, then most agencies/owners will accept a small deposit to secure a booking short-term whilst you get your finances organised.

Click here to understand the booking process (safely) in more detail.

5: Be practical when choosing your villa location

Research locations before browsing villas and bear in mind your holiday priorities will very much affect which area is best to base your private pad.

A romantic honeymoon may not be best placed in the middle of a thronging disco zone such as Playa d’en Bossa. A raucous stag do probably wouldn’t be ideally located in a remote village in the north.

So I’ve written a simple overview to make it easy for you to know your Ibiza location types and identify party zones, chill zones, family zones & more.

In Chapter 2 we’ll look at the 3 main location types and what you’ll find there. In Chapter 3 we’ll narrow it down to specific resorts, beaches, towns and villages.

PLUS a handy chart that shows you at a glance which locations are close to club zones.
TIP: Getting around Ibiza has to be thought about in advance or you could easily end up stranded. More about this in Chapter 2.

6: Choose your dates wisely

Unless you’re tied to set holiday dates, do your research and visit Ibiza at the right time for you.

Party heads want to be checking out May – June & Sept – Oct for the Ibiza opening/closing parties (cheaper flights & villa rental prices too).

May, July, August & late October is when most families visit (due to the school holidays) so it’s when you’ll find the most family facilities open & bustling.

Check out Chapter 4 – when is the best time to visit for a condensed, month by month low-down of weather, what’s on, vibes & highlights.

7: Don’t think twice - hire a car

Book car hire in advance. Guys, there’s no point in dithering or waiting to hire a car in Ibiza at the last minute. That’s the extra-expensive way to do it & how to maximise the chances of being saddled with a rip-off operator. There are plenty of them too. The best value & most reputable car hire outfits are always booked in advance.  

And be aware.

No matter how ‘close’ a villa is to a town, village, beach or resort, it’s a rare villa that’s closer than a 20 walk away from the nearest shops (could be hours away, depending where you are and what time it is!).

Just hire a car. You’ll be glad you did.  

Check out Chapter 2 for tips, tricks and links to the good guys.

8: Check flights first

Check out flight options before you book your villa and start planning as far in advance as you can. Easyjet, Ryanair, Thomson and Jet2 all run cheap spring/summer flights to Ibiza. And when searching for flights bear this in mind: not all, but lots of Ibiza villa companies/owners only rent for a minimum of one week and often only Saturday – Saturday.

And another thing.

If your preferred flights fall on days other than Saturday & your stay is less than a week, you’ll need to find a villa owner/agency who welcomes short-term bookings. Ibiza Villas 2000 welcome short breaks, naturally!

Monday – Thursday can be a good duration to go for as sometimes villas are rented just for the weekend and owners can slot you in.

TIP: If your group is larger than x 10, it’s worth contacting the airline too, as they’ll usually help to streamline the flight booking process for you. Jet2.com are great for this.
Check out Chapter 4 for details of which companies fly UK-Ibiza, month by month.

9: Check the accommodation & agency is legit

Check the villa rental agency/owner/property are legitimate before you book. Beyond the the disco glitter and pine-clad mountains of Ibiza lies a dark and murky world of online villa scams.

And the results can be heartbreaking.

I’ve seen many a tear shed as good people arrived to Ibiza for their dream villa holiday, only to find that the villa in question was legitimately booked to someone else. Their holiday ruined. Their money gone.
Chapter 5 tells you exactly how to avoid this nightmare scenario.

10: Leverage last minute discounts

If your group are spontaneous, last minute types and are willing to be flexible on either date or location or property, follow steps 1-4 above and contact your preferred agent/owner. Ask if they have any last minute availability.

Here’s the secret.

If an agent or owner’s property is empty and the dates you’re after are a couple of weeks or less away, you can often negotiate yourself a mega discounted price. Up to 60% off in some cases. There’s really insanely cheap Ibiza villa rental to be had out there if you know when to push for it.

There’s more.

Travel agents usually decide on their special offers the month or two before. So if you know you want to come to Ibiza in June, look for published offers during April / May. If you want to come in September, look for published offers around July / August etc.

Last year (for example) the Ibiza Villas 2000 team gave regular discounts of between 30 – 60% for villas with last minute availability.

It’s worth keeping an eye out if you’re savvy.

You are taking a risk here though that the best villas have already been snapped up. I also wouldn’t advise this hack for high season, when 100% occupancy is normal.

TIP: Bargain hard and don’t be afraid to ask. But at the same time, know when it’s feasible and when it’s not. Eg: trying to negotiate a discount on a big, popular, well-located villa during Ibiza high season is just not gonna happen.

To sum up

With these organisational hacks under your belt, now the villa search really begins.

But there are thousands of villas to choose from in Ibiza. How to find the perfect location for you?

The next chapter tells you all you need to know to narrow it down.

Ready?

chapter2

CHAPTER 2:

Where can I find the best Ibiza villas to rent? | easy guide to location types

The answer to that question is…it’s all about you!

In this chapter, I’m going to break down the 3 basic location types to choose from in Ibiza.

It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to end up renting a villa in the wrong location altogether if you’re not aware of the differences.

We’re going to make sure that doesn’t happen to you!

Practicalities

A sensitive occasion may not be best placed next to a busy party resort. A bunch of dedicated clubbers (especially if nobody wants to drive) might end up saddled with a huge taxi bill in a beautiful but nevertheless remote mountain location.

You get my drift. Practicalities.

Location types

Image of Ibiza Municipalities by By Joan M. Borràs

There are 3 location types in Ibiza: towns, resorts & rural / villages.

I’m not listing beaches as a separate location type because all towns, resorts & several villages in Ibiza are set around beaches. With over 60 gorgeous coves and bays, you’re never very far from the beach in Ibiza. Unless that is, you’ve deliberately chosen a rural or village location in the centre of the island. Think Santa Gertrudis, San Rafael, San Mateo or San Lorenzo.

And although Ibiza is a pretty small island…

Different location types offer completely different kinds of experiences. If you know that in advance, then you can make an informed decision about what’s best for your group.

And I’ve made that super easy for you.

Check out the condensed guide below & just click on the any of the links provided for more details about each location.

Towns

Las Boas, Ibiza Town

Ibiza has three main towns: Ibiza Town (known locally as Eivissa), San Antonio and Santa Eulalia. Each has a distinct personality and you’ll want to know a bit about that before you book your holiday villa.

Generally speaking, towns offer you a more cultural experience. The towns in are still very much populated with residents & locals going about their daily business. They abound with shops, bars, public squares, increasingly pedestrianised centres and that famously relaxed, Mediterranean cafe culture.

Children are welcome pretty much everywhere (with the exception of clubs) and the Spanish love of the family makes for a warm & welcoming feel. Children’s play areas and free activities, especially during national holidays and celebrations are a feature of every Ibiza town. Check the Ibiza council website for details of any upcoming events.

Resorts

Bora Bora Ibiza

Resorts are often located a couple of kilometres from the towns and are more specifically geared for tourists and the nightlife & shopping we demand. But they are still influenced by the character of their closest town.

It is in the resorts that you will find fish, chips, burgers, pizzas and fast food galore. You will also find artisan markets, supermarkets selling Heinz baked beans, souvenir shops, inflatable lizard lilos & quite possibly, gangs of bearded guys in Mankinis.

We leave it for you to decide whether this is a pro or a con.

The more universally popular sight of a glistening beach is never far from your doorstep.

Villages & rural

Ibicenco villages are mostly stunningly pretty. All have their charm & advantages, depending on what you’re after.

But one thing’s for sure, my friends.

A hire car is 100% necessary.

Make sure you ask your booking agent what condition the dirt road (known as a ‘camino’) to the villa is in. Some caminos are very rough and you’ll want to hire an appropriate vehicle.

Looking for a village that has barely changed for centuries set in the peaceful, pine-scented mountains of authentic, white-washed, picture-perfect Ibiza? Look for a rental villa around San Carlos, San Juan, Santa Gertrudis, San Mateo, San Miguel, Santa Agnes, San Agustin or San Lorenzo.

Looking for a nice rural setting but with proximity to party land and a few more facilities? Check out holiday villa rentals around

  • San Rafael (close to Amnesia, Privilege and 10 mins drive from either San Antonio or Ibiza Town)
  • San Jordi (close to Playa d’en Bossa, the airport, Las Salinas & Ibiza Town)  
  • San Jose (smack in between Ibiza Town and San Antonio)

Out of town

It’s important to note, ladies and gents, that it’s extremely rare to find a private villa rental right in the middle of either a town or a resort.

 

TIP: Holiday rental villas in Ibiza are nearly always at least 1 or 2 kilometres out of town. Meaning that even if your accommodation is ‘close’ to a town or a resort, you’re still away from any noise or fuss & you’ll always have a peaceful oasis to retreat to.

But that also means…

Car-hire

Empresa de alquiler de coches Ibiza - Moto Luis Rent a Car

If you’re renting villa accommodation in Ibiza, it’s always wise to have a hire car on hand for nipping in and out of town. Even if you’re so close to the action that you mainly plan to walk or get cabs. It’s true that it can be very hit & miss calling a cab in Ibiza. And it ever actually arriving. Especially in high season.

TIP: Hire a back-up vehicle in case a cab is unavailable, especially for nighttime errands when taxis can be flat out busy. There are two great companies that my friends, clients and I have used for years. Moto Luis and Hiper Car Rental.

TIP: Don’t fork out for expensive insurance supplied by the car hire firm and charged at a daily rate (often more than the cost of hiring the car). Get yourself an annual excess protection insurance policy. For about 40 quid you’ve covered for any excess you’re liable for if the worst happens. That’s for a YEAR. Considerably less than the insurance car hire firms charge for a week’s cover.

TIP: Make sure you use a firm that allows a full to full tank. If you get full to empty, you’ll pay not only for the fuel, but often you’ll be slapped with a ‘service charge’ of up to 60 quid.

Cuisine

El Portalon Ibiza

Foodies may be interested to know that dining options do vary from town to town, although all feature a good variety of Mediterranean cuisine with an emphasis on good quality, fresh seafood.

To break it down:

It’s fair to summarise that Ibiza Town is broadly cosmopolitan, with an emphasis on regional Spanish. Mediterranean and a generous lashing of Italian cuisine.

Santa Eulalia is the home of the island’s designated ‘Restaurant Street.’ It’s literally bursting with a myriad of good quality dining options, from Indian, to Japanese, traditional Ibicenco and a whole heap more. Santa Eulalia also caters very well to the German and Dutch palate. It’s a quiet, pretty, relatively conservative little town.

San Antonio is very lively during the summer & about as Brit as it gets in Ibiza. If you can’t live without a full English breakfast, you just hit your ideal villa location jackpot.

To be fair though, there’s a huge variety of dining options on offer in the town and one of, if not THE best restaurant on the island, Sa Capella, is located just off the ring road.

But.

You’re never too far away from a pie. Hell, there’s a bonafide chippy in the town centre and there’s rumours of a pub that sells pickled eggs.

To sum up

You’ve now got a good overview of location types in Ibiza. Which location type sounds like your thing? Town? Resort? Rural?

Once you’ve got a good idea of your ideal location type, you’re ready for the next logical step.

The next step | priorities

Finding just the right spot for your holiday villa is all about priorities. Nail your priorities and you’ve got the foundation for finding the perfect location for your villa.

The next chapter helps you do exactly that. Quickly.

chapter3

CHAPTER 3:

Whoa! Don’t choose your Ibiza villa rental location without checking these 8 priorities first

In this chapter, I’ve made it quick & easy for you to get an idea of where to begin your villa search in earnest.

And one thing is certain.

The right location for your villa will depend on what kind of priorities you and your group have.

And although each group (and their list of priorities) is unique…

I’ve seen these 8 Ibiza holiday priorities come up time and again (your gang will probably have more than one).

Take a look. You’ll see that each set of priorities comes with some recommended locations. Allowing you to narrow down & simplify your search.

Easy!

Priority 1: Culture

Seafarers ibiza
Statue to seafarers in the port of Ibiza (the only official testimony to pirates in the world)

You’ll want to be based in a town. And of the three main towns, Ibiza Town has it all. Choosing a villa close to Ibiza Town will give you easy access to an array of museums, galleries, dining options and boutique shopping.

Here’s a quick bullet point run-down of special points of cultural interest.

 

Glamorous Marina Botafoc offers designer shopping, dining & clubbing. Here’s a map.

For a more detailed look at Ibiza Town, check out this video by Ibiza Island TV.

TIP: If you’re into local history, get a copy of The White Isle by Stephen Armstrong. It’s a brilliant read and really brings Ibiza history to life.

Priority 2: Nightlife & clubbing

Sankeys Ibiza

Is your main group holiday priority to party to the max? The best villas for clubbers are usually close to one or more of the main clubbing zones. Especially for those moments when no one really wants to drive.

Here are a few villas located very close to some of the main Ibiza clubs:

Casa Carolle | close to Amnesia and Privilege

Villa Savines | close to Pacha

Villa Torres | close to Ushuaia, Sankeys and Hi Ibiza

Got a favourite club?

Check out the chart below to see at a glance which locations are close to each club.

Priority 3: Good facilities for children & family

Is your group, or part of your group a family? The best located villas for families are not too far away from fun stuff for them to do.

Around the towns and nearby resorts of San Antonio (town & bay) & Santa Eulalia you’ll find a great range of facilities & stuff to do for families on holiday in Ibiza with the kids. Quite aside from the array of water toys and sheer fun to be had on the beach & in the sea all day, there’s also plenty of cool stuff for families to do nearby.

Santa Eulalia

Santa Eulalia


Acrobosc Ibiza (Fun in trees for kids! Zip lines, climbing, great for young Indiana Jones types)

The Hippie Market at Punta Arabi, Es Canar (live music, face-painting, kids activities)

Las Dalias artisanal market, restaurant & music venue on the road to San Carlos, about 1km before the village (fabulous Bohemian vibes)

Go Karts Santa Eulalia (Go karting circuit)

Ibiza Vertical (rock climbing and climbing gym)

Ibiza Horse Valley (horse riding with rescue horses)

Can Muson (working organic farm using traditional methods, tours available)

Babylon Beach Ibiza (gorgeous restaurant with fabulous kids play area)

Guarana For those with babysitters or older teenagers, check our Santa Eulalia’s funkiest night-time venue. Djs, live music, a mixed age-range and a great atmosphere, right in the port & open until 6am.

Cafe Mambo on San Antonio’s sunset strip

San Antonio


Surf Lounge Ibiza (ride artificial waves)

Sirenis water park (click through and scroll down for a range of day-pass options)

The Gorilla market in San Antonio bay (look out for the massive, er, Gorilla)

Hang Loose Ibiza (cave snorkeling trips)

Starboats Ibiza (rent a boat without a license)

Boats Ibiza (larger boat hire for groups)

TIP: There’s a great, locally trusted mobile babysitting service, Dollysitting, on the island. All Dolly’s babysitters are experienced & vetted and Dolly herself, a childcare professional, has lived on the island for many years. She’s a joy to deal with & her staff are fabulous. Kids in Ibiza provide a great nanny service too.

Priority 4: Close to the beach

Are sun, sea and sand your thing? Ibiza has a lush array of beaches (over 60!) with different vibes.

What kind of beach vibes are you looking for?

If you’re looking for a villa close to the beach, here’s a quick guide:

RESOURCE: Check out www.beachinspector.com for impartial descriptions and photos of 61 Ibiza beaches.

Priority 5: Natural, rural Ibiza

Gone are the days when Ibiza was all about parties. I’m not saying that Ibiza doesn’t do glamour, glitter & world class parties VERY well.

Maybe better than anywhere else on the planet.

But in the age of the hipster, natural Ibiza is all the rage.

Mountains, forests & wild herbs abound. Outdoor pursuits including cycling, climbing & horse riding are abundant and there are some fantastic hiking trails to get stuck into.

Sound like your idea of heaven?

You may want to rent a rural villa, perhaps around one of the more rustic villages.

Check out villa rentals around the villages of: San Rafael, San Mateo, San Carlos, San Juan, Santa Agnes, San Miguel, San Lorenzo, Santa Gertrudis, Portinatx, Es Cubells, San Agustin & San Jose.

TIP: Check out Walking Ibiza run by Ibiza born Toby Clark who offers walks at various levels for a donation. A brilliant way to get out in nature, discover the island in a new way and completely disconnect from the stress of daily life. This walking group is very popular with Ibiza residents & tourists alike.

RESOURCE: The Greenheart Guide is ideal for finding all the eco-conscious businesses in Ibiza. It’s a directory covering all the ethical/local/eco shops, cafes, restaurants and services available on the island. Handy. The Greenheart Foundation is a charity, drop by and see them at Casita Verde on Sundays from 14.00-17.00.

Priority 6: Special occasion

If you need to rent a villa in Ibiza for a wedding, hens/stag celebration or some other special occasion, then tell your agent/owner before booking.

Honestly this is 100% essential.

You won’t believe how many times each summer the police close down parties, confiscate sound equipment & dole out hefty fines (multas) for ‘unlicensed’ events. Normally summoned there by (angry) residents or (powerful) neighbourhood associations.

Guys, trust me. You don’t want your celebration to end up with kind of finale. I’ve seen it happen. I’ll spare you the details, but it sucks.

Local laws in Ibiza are strict concerning private events in villas. Local agents (with a physical office in Ibiza) know this, can offer expert advice and suggest only appropriate villas.

It can be tough to get anything important organised on the ground in Ibiza unless you know the ropes and speak pretty good Spanish. Get some help if it’s important that an event goes 100% smoothly.

It could be worth contacting a concierge service for really special occasions. They’ll be able to help you organise all kinds of extra services from wedding planners & catering, to boat hire & VIP tables. Many villa rental agents offer concierge services. Just ask.

Good match? The location will be specifically influenced by many factors. From dates, proximity to related venues such as churches etc, to ease of getting taxis.

Holy mantra – consult your agent!

TIP: If you’re planning any important date for the group at an iconic venue (such as a sunset table at Cafe Mambo), book it way in advance, ladies & gents. I’ve literally seen folks weeping with disappointment after leaving it too late.

Priority 7: Mixture of beach, dining and a bit of partying

If you and your group have mixed interests (a common scenario) then renting a villa either near San Antonio, Playa d’en Bossa or Ibiza Town would offer the best of all worlds.

And don’t be put off by San Antonio’s outdated reputation as full of drunken young Brits behaving badly.

Maybe that was at least partly true many moons ago. Even then that kind of behaviour was only really ever centred around one street in the west end.

That’s certainly all changing now.

San Antonio (in particular the west end) has been the focus of some of Ibiza’s most radical changes in recent years. New restrictions have seen alcohol banned from the streets, much earlier closing and strictly enforced sound caps on bars and clubs. The west end is still lively though, make no mistake!

Some of Ibiza’s most beautiful beaches are nearby (Cala Salada, Cala Conta and Cala Gracioneta to name but three).

Eden & Es Paradis are in the town centre and both Privilege, Amnesia & Underground are less than a 10-minute drive away.

Just out of town & for the slightly more mature crowd, Pikes Hotel holds some blinding events & the daytime pool parties down at Ocean Beach Club in the bay are brilliant.

The dining scene in & around San Antonio is varied, of great quality and of course…

There is nothing in the world quite like sunset on the strip. We’re talking Cafe Mambo, Cafe del Mar and many more.

For more info on San Antonio just click here.

For more info on Ibiza Town click here or scroll back up to priority 1

Priority 8: Alternative, bohemian, hippie Ibiza

Las Dalias (Live events, kids area, plus hippie market on Saturdays all year round) check the video out to get a taste.

The San Juan market (Sundays, artisanal, all year 9am – 2pm)

The Hippie market at Punta Arabi, Es Canar

Ai Carai music festival (June each year, free entrance)

La Chirincana (beach bar on Cala Martina, live music, vegan food, all summer)

Ibiza Spirit Festival at Atzaro (May and October, each year)

A few minutes drive from San Juan you’ll find Cala Benirras. Sundays are famous for the sunset hippie drumming ritual and summer can see many hundreds packed onto the beach. With a small artisan market too, we’re talking 100% Bohemian.

Check out this short video made by Walking Ibiza showing the Benirras drummers:

Benirras beach drummers / sunset behind the famous ‘Finger of God’ rock

TIP: Don’t attempt to park in the car park right beside Benirras beach. It’s always packed & easy to get a fine for even slightly incorrect parking. A dent to your hire car is a real risk too. Use the park & ride service instead.  

Around San Carlos you will find some of the island’s most stunning beaches, with Aguas Blancas (nudist) a particular favourite of hippies. It’s a steep walk up and down but really, it’s worth the effort.

Shall I tell you something spooky?

The first time I went there, I was told to throw a pebble in the sea if I wanted to return to Ibiza. Cockily, I threw a handful. 16 years later, I’m still here.

Coincidence?!

TIP: To properly get your Aguas Blancas hippie stripes 1. Get naked 2. Smear yourself in the clay from the cliffs (no proven health benefits whatsoever) 3. Jump (carefully!) off the big rock (you can’t miss it) in the sea.

Instant hippie kudos 😉
For more info on Santa Eulalia just click here.

Ibiza Spirit Festival October 2017

Are you wild and free? Yearning to release your inner flower-child?

You are not alone. Proceed directly north!

Specifically, north of Santa Eulalia & particularly in and around the villages of San Carlos and San Juan.

These nearby located venues and events are Bohemian essentials:

To sum up

You’ve now got a good overview of how different Ibiza locations suit different priorities. Which priorities did you resonate with?

Was it a mix of priorities? Do you have any more questions?

Let us know in the comments below!

The next step | when to come

We’re now ready to tackle the next big question: When is the best time to visit Ibiza for your lush villa holiday?

The next chapter discusses exactly that.

chapter4

CHAPTER 4:

When’s the best time to rent Ibiza villas?

I wish I had a € for every time I’ve been asked that question!  

It’s a big one, because let’s face it, there are a million factors to potentially consider when deciding when best to visit Ibiza and/or rent your villa.

And make no mistake.

The island changes dramatically over the seasons and the time of year you choose to visit Ibiza will have a huge bearing on your holiday. That’s why literally millions of pages have been written about when to come, what to do & where to stay in Ibiza.

And that’s great!

Except…

All those millions of pages would take…well, a long time to read.

And life is short!

Solution? I’ve stripped the essential info down to its bare bones (time is money, right?)

Read on for the bluffer’s guide to the Ibiza seasons. Essential info, weather, what’s on, vibes, tips & highlights.

Ibiza in January, February & March

A great time to grab a cultured city break, enjoy nature, get fit and/or learn a new skill.

Ibiza Almond Blossom in February by Xescu Prats

Weather


January weather in Ibiza as cold as it gets. But if we’re honest, it’s not really that cold.

The temperature usually sits around 8-9C and depending on the year, it could be sunny, but it will probably rain quite a bit too.

Or maybe a lot.

Beware!

February in Ibiza is still pretty chilly and not that much has changed from the month before. Rainy, grey and windy days are common. Most of the island is still in hibernation. The air is maybe just a little less cold than in Jan…

The temperature averages around 10C. And although there is some sunshine around, it’s still pretty chilly.

In March things start warming up considerably.

Rainbow over San Miguel in the Ibiza spring time

The sunshine arrives, rain makes only the odd appearance and the temperature sits around 13-14C. It’s still not bikini weather, but tee-shirt weather it is.

The sea is still cold and only the bravest souls are out swimming, but It feels deliciously like spring and the island is bursting with wild flowers and bunny rabbits.

True!

Things to do during the day


A winter Jujutsu class on the beach at the Port of San Miguel in the north-west of Ibiza with Renshi Mark

January and February are the islanders’ main hibernation period. For nature lovers or fans of outdoor pursuits, the early months of the year offer a unique charm. Hiking, climbing, cycling, general fitness, therapies and a dazzling variety of workshops all abound during these winter months.

Quiet

Once the festive frivolities have died down, many Ibiza residents are on a detox and lots of businesses shut up shop and go on holiday for the whole month. Tourist facilities and stuff to do for the kids are limited at this time of year.

It’s quiet, ladies and gents. Which is great, if quiet is your thing. It’s a great time to go walking or hiking.

Towns

The main towns are really the only semi-lively zones in January, with museums, some independent galleries and a fair sprinkling of shops and local bars & restaurants staying open all year round.

Deserted beaches
Resorts are closed, villages remain quiet and out-of-town beaches (along with their bars & restaurants) are pretty deserted. Notable exceptions are the Port of San Miguel & Cala Llonga, where a couple of beach bar restaurants remain open.

March sees quite a bit more action. Businesses are now busily hiring staff and preparing for the season. Shops that have been closed all winter reopen, as do a slew of bars and restaurants.

Markets

Inland, the flea market at San Jordi and the artisan market at San Juan are both open all year round. Both feature either live music or drumming and are lively and vibrant social events. Both start and finish early. Be there be for 10am latest. Stalls close 1-2pm.

Eco & rural

Casita Verde eco-centre Ibiza

On a healthy, eco tip, Casita Verde is open every Sunday, 2-6pm. All year round. Come what may. It’s a lovely spot to have a healthy lunch, Meet Ibiza’s resident eco-warrior Chris Dews, tour their eco-buildings and learn about how to live a sustainable lifestyle.

Things to do at night


Thought there were no parties in Ibiza during the winter?

Think again!

Clubs

It may not be the best time to come and party day and night, but the weekends see some great parties in Ibiza. It’s at this time you’ll meet many more residents than tourists and that makes for a very cool vibe. Drinks are often cheaper than in the summer too.

Pacha is a case in point and traditionally remains open at weekends all winter. But after the recent change of ownership, the club has been closed this winter for a refurb. Watch this space.

Off-season partying at Pikes Ibiza

The famously decadent Pikes Hotel (popular with islanders) remains open as a nighttime club venue at weekends and host some brilliant parties through the winter. Veto Social Club, a little known but great little club in Ibiza Town (with free entrance) is also open weekends until 6am too.

Dining

For a more sophisticated and/or romantic night out, the iconic restaurant, Bambuddha Grove, opens its doors during March. It’s the fav of many Ibiza residents (including me). We’re talking WOW. From reception to service to after dinner drinks. Cool DJs in the cocktail lounge, impeccable wine list and the menu is superb. Pricey. But worth it. Go treat yourself.

But the truth is…

Complete relaxation

During this time of the year, most islanders are mainly either snuggled in front of a roaring fire or going for nice strolls in the pine-scented campo. Winter picnics on the beach are a favourite pastime too!

Vibes

Chilled

As you’ve probably gathered, January & February are quiet times. The quietest times in fact, for the island and its residents. Facilities for tourists are minimal to say the least.

It’s for lovers of the simple life.

Healthy

You’ll find many Ibiza residents now on the annual January detox and it’s a great time to get fit.

TIP: Many teachers and therapists are mobile & will visit your villa if you prefer. Ask your travel rep or villa owner.

Great time to visit if your priorities are…

  • Natural, rural / eco Ibiza
  • Culture & history
  • Well-being
  • Self-improvement
  • Outdoor pursuits

TIP: Got a wedding proposal to make? The almond blossom trees burst into flower all over Ibiza during late January / early February. It’s really very special. On the romantic richter scale of 1-10? We just overloaded the equipment, Romeo.

Advantages

  • Villa rental prices (& car hire) are as cheap as they get at this time of year
  • British Airways fly direct from the UK all winter.

Disadvantages

  • Many Ibiza villas are not available to rent from Nov-April.
  • Cheap airlines do not usually fly from Mid-Oct through to April (although Ryanair and Easyjet fly in March from some UK airports)
  • Outside of major towns, public transport on the island is almost non-existent.

Ibiza in April, May & June

Gorgeous warm sunny weather, cheap deals on flights, accommodation & car hire & those epic club opening parties thunder into town. Heellooo spring!

Cocoon @ Amnesia Ibiza

Weather


The weather in Ibiza during this period is nothing short of divine. In April, the temperature averages 15-16C, rising to 19-20C in May and 22-23C during June.

Although it still might rain on the odd day, the sunshine has now arrived and by April, the first bikinis are seen on the beach. The sea is still very cool but there are more and more folk taking the plunge.

On a boat charter with Boats Ibiza in May

It’s often quite a windy time, creating ideal conditions for wind-based sports such as wind-surfing, kite-surfing and sailing.

Spring brings with it fields full of poppies, forget-me-nots and buttercups. It’s almost too beautiful for words.

Things to do during the day


April is when the island really starts to wake up. Winter has faded and spring well and truly arrives. Seasonal workers start to appear and there’s a tangible excitement in the air.

Pool parties

Most of the towns and resorts are getting livelier and some bigger, popular beach bars such as Sa Trinxa (love!) are now open. Ushuaia start to have daytime, pre-opening pool parties. Ocean Beach Club opens in San Antonio.

Pool party at Ocean Beach Club Ibiza

Quiet sunny beaches

Resorts are open from April, although villages remain quiet and out-of-town beaches (along with their bars & restaurants) are starting to see some sunbathers. Sunbed concessions on the smaller beaches often don’t rock up until May though, so take your towel and umbrella anytime before that.

The daytime party season begins

May sees the season start with a vengeance and the first massive opening parties kick in. Superstar DJs arrive in droves for the annual Ibiza International Music Summit (IMS). Beach clubs & boat parties both rev into action. High-street businesses are now fully open as are the bars & restaurants on San Antonio’s sunset strip.

On a more hippie tip, the first Sunday of May sees Ibiza Spirit Festival bring love and peace to Santa Eulalia’s luxury spa resort, Atzaro.  

Ibiza Spirit Festival @ Atzaro

Boat parties

June sees the summer properly arrive. Each day is filled to the brim with party options. Hotels such as Pikes, Ushuaia and Hard Rock Hotel host some fabulous daytime events and you can take your pick of maybe 20 different boat parties. Beautiful People, Cirque de la Nuit, Oceanbeat and Float Your Boat are some of the most popular.

Families

From May onwards, options for families are now much improved and there’s plenty of stuff for the kids to do. Perfect for spring family breaks. The water parks in San Antonio & Playa d’en Bossa are now open & the huge hippie market at Es Canar opens every Wednesday & Sunday from 10am all day. Ibiza Town in particular buzzes with activity during May as the annual Medieval Festival comes to town.

See Chapter 2 for more useful links to family activities.

Nature

Last but not least, this period from April-June is a wonderful time to be out in the countryside. Ibiza is in full spring bloom and it’s still not too hot for middle-of-the-day exertion!

Hiking to Atlantis Ibiza

Things to do during the day


Clubs

All of the big Ibiza nightclubs open during the later part of this period, May-June. Think Amnesia, Privilege, DC10, Hi Ibiza, Sankeys, Eden, Underground and Es Paradis. Check out this video of Amnesia’s 2017 opening party.

All the big parties start to open too. We’re talking Cocoon, Cream, Glitterbox, SuperMartXe, F**k me I’m Famous (David Guetta), La Troya, Enter, Elrow, Music On, Solomun & friends, Circo Loco… check out this 2017 video of F**k Me I’m Famous for a taste of the hedonism:

Live gigs & beach bars

Ushuaia Ibiza

From June, Pikes Hotel begins its full-time summer schedule of daytime pool parties and more decadent nighttime events.

Hard Rock Hotel begin their summer evening schedule of massive live rock gigs and Ushuaia hosts some cool evening events on the rooftop tower (amazing views over the island). Last year Melon Bomb played a pre-opening gig there. Blinding. Check out this video of them almost blowing the decks off at Tanit Beach Club (same owners as Ushuaia) last year.

Bars & restaurants

For a more sophisticated and/or romantic early evening out, take your pick. From May, most high-end Ibiza beach bars and restaurants are open for business. KM5, Amante, Sa Capella, Lio, Babylon Beach, Cala Bassa Beach Club, Cotton Club, Blue Marlin, Experimental Beach… the list goes on.

Bambuddha Ibiza

Vibes

Spring is truly a great time of year in Ibiza. Energy and enthusiasm is everywhere. The island is starting to get busy but not TOO busy. For the islanders, we’re still only in 3rd gear and vibe is still gorgeously relaxed.

Mature crowd

It’s a time that’s marked by a noticeably more mature, 30+ crowd. With the exception of the May spring break, there are not many families nor college/uni age tourists around during this period due to school holiday constraints.

Sunbathing & beach

It’s now warm, sunbathing weather and the beaches are divine! Sunbed concessions are out and the beaches are still wonderfully chilled. The huge crowds of high season have yet to arrive…

Great if your priorities are:

  • Natural, rural / eco Ibiza
  • Culture & history
  • Outdoor pursuits
  • Beaches
  • Clubbing / nightlife
  • Things to do for the family
  • Mixed priorities
  • Bohemian, hippie Ibiza

Advantages:

 

  • Cheap European flights are now available from a range of operators: Ryanair, Easyjet, Jet2 and Thomson all fly cheaply from the UK – Ibiza. There are still some great deals available from British Airways too.
  • Villa rental prices are at their most competitive until around the end of May, when prices start to climb. Before June the best time to find a cheap villa rental in Ibiza.

 

  • The weather is beautifully warm & sunny. By June it’s getting hot (but still not too hot).
  • Public transport improves greatly from May onwards, when summer schedules kick in. Check out the official Ibiza Bus timetable for routes and schedules.

Disadvantages:

  • Difficult time for students & families to visit (except during May holidays)

Ibiza in July, August & September

Hot sunshine 99% guaranteed, party season is in full throttle and the entire island is buzzing with action, day and night. Hello summer!

Summer vibes at Ushuaia Beach Club Ibiza

Weather


It’s hot, hot, HOT!

From July through to September, official reports say the average temperature in Ibiza is 26C.

But I’ve lived in Ibiza for 16 years and I can tell you unequivocally that’s not true! I regularly see the temperature reach 34C during July August & sometimes higher. It’s as hot as it gets, ladies and gents & heatwaves are common. Check out this report in The Sun last year, when up to 42C was expected throughout the Balearic Islands. September is only slightly cooler (thanks to the odd isolated (& refreshing) storm – pretty common in September). The sea is warm throughout this period so swimming, paddle-surfing and snorkeling are a joy.

It’s a great time for watersports as the sea is fantastically refreshing (sunblock essential!). But it’s now a bit too hot for most to enjoy more vigorous land-based pursuits during the middle of the day.

TIP: It can be difficult to cool down, especially after a day on the beach. For a comfortable night’s sleep, look for air conditioning in your rental house or villa at this time of year.

TIP: Take extra care with the little ones during this time. It’s very easy to get heat stroke. I’d advise keeping kiddies out of the sun between 11am-3pm and make sure they’re wearing sunblock, eye protection and a hat. Reflected sunlight can still burn, even sat in the shade. Check out this handy NHS fact-sheet for great advice on avoiding, recognising and treating heat exhaustion / sunstroke.

Things to do during the day


Sunset Ashram at Cala Conta Ibiza

During this period, there is literally endless choice of daytime activities for absolutely everyone. The only thing tricky to find can be quiet roads, easy parking in towns and space on beaches!

 

Everything is open

 

Everything! The whole of Ibiza and everything it has to offer is at your disposal.

 

TIP: If you’ve got a favourite spot you plan to visit for lunch, or a bed you want to lounge on in front of a swanky beach club, be sure to book in advance at this time of year. I’d recommend at least a month in advance, especially if the location is a popular one.

Things to do at night


Ibiza in june cinema club
Midnight cinema club @ Amante restaurant

Clubs

During July & August, every single party & club on the island is open. Take your pick of a massive selection of world class DJs blowing the roof off and some of the most massive, frenzied crowds you’ve ever seen!

Until September.

Closing parties

The first closing parties begin. The individual club nights are the first to close and there are some epic events to wallow in. But the big closings, that’s the big clubs, are not until October.

Rock on!

For the low-down on all the clubs, parties and dates, the go-to bible is Ibiza Spotlight’s clubbing guide. It’s by far the best and comprehensive Ibiza clubbing guide out there.

Privilege Ibiza - the world’s biggest club

Dining

There are restaurants and bars galore and the Port of Ibiza Town is particularly good fun at night for pre-club drinks, with lots of flamboyant party parades passing by. Often with discount wristbands – heads up.

Here are a few top Ibiza restaurants for amazing night time vibes:

El Portalon (Ibiza Town)

Boutique Hostal Salinas (Las Salinas nature reserve)

Babylon Beach (Santa Eulalia)

Villa Mercedes (San Antonio)

Kumharas (San Antonio Bay)

Villa Mercedes in the port of San Antonio

Vibes

At this time of year, Ibiza is at full throttle. Everything is intense. The sun, the traffic, the parties, the sheer volume of people on such a small island.

Exciting

It’s all very exciting and it’s extremely busy. Perfect if you love partying to mega DJs with huge crowds of euphoric ravers from all corners of the globe, day or night.

Young crowds & families

A lot families visit at this time (school summer holidays) as do the younger crowd and students. During August, a huge amount of Spanish and Italian visitors arrive too which makes for a cool, cosmopolitan vibe. Especially around Ibiza Town and Playa d’en Bossa.

The west end of San Antonio and Playa d’en Bossa can be pretty boisterous during July and August. Head there if that’s your thing.

If not, then the bay of San Antonio, Santa Eulalia and any of the smaller resorts, beaches & villages offer a much more chilled experience.

Utopia restaurant at Caló des Moltons close to the Port of San Miguel

Rural

The countryside is very hot and dry at this time of the year. Although it still can be a lovely time to go for a walk or do sports, its best to exert yourself early mornings or evenings when it’s not too hot and sticky.

Great time to visit if your priorities are:

  • Culture & history
  • Beaches
  • Clubbing / nightlife
  • Things to do for the family
  • Mixed priorities

Advantages:

  • An unbelievable choice of world class DJs, events, parties & dining
  • Public transport is as good as it gets in Ibiza
  • Hot sunshine 99% guaranteed

Disadvantages:

  • Prices for flights, car-hire and accommodation rental are at their highest
  • Taxis can be difficult to get
  • It can get uncomfortably hot for young babies and the elderly
  • Roads are congested, beaches are packed and parking in towns can be tricky.

TIP: Be extra vigilant

This is the time of year when there are pro thieves are around. Whilst Ibiza is in general very safe, It’s important to be aware when risks are higher than usual.

Targeted

Thieves are on the lookout for drunken tourists who are not paying attention to their valuables. And there are plenty to choose from.

Don’t be one of them.

Leave valuables at home

If you’re going out to party, only take the cash you need for the night & the most essential items. Leave your slick new phone, wallet, cards and certainly your passport at your accommodation in a very safe place (like a safe) unless you know you’re going to be 100% sober. Then lock all doors, windows and gates before leaving your villa. Yes, even the small windows!

TIP: Always carry a photocopy of your passport or keep your driving license on your person as Spanish law requires you to carry photo ID.

Don’t leave valuables in hire vehicles

The same goes for cars. Never leave valuables in your hire car. Even if they’re tucked away out of sight. There are devices these days that can clone your car alarm signal and disable the locks as soon as your back is turned.

A cautionary tale

It happened to a dear friend, a professional photographer, only last year.

He left his (very expensive) camera & lenses, passport and wallet in the boot of his hire car, in a car park and in broad daylight. We locked the car, went for breakfast and got back an hour or so later.

Car unlocked. Camera, passport and cash from wallet all gone.

Guess what?

We never leave valuables in the car anymore.

Ibiza in October, November & December

The legendary Ibiza closing parties, Halloween, Christmas, new year & glorious nature. Autumn in Ibiza is very special.

Weather


Still mainly warm & sunny

From September / October the first storms and rains of autumn begin to arrive. During October, it’s just the odd day here and there. The temperature remains warm and mainly sunny, averaging around 19C in October, to 16C in November.

More rain

But by November – December, the chance of rain increases and the temperature drops to an average of 13C during December. Although you can still walk around in a tee-shirt on sunny days, you’ll definitely need a warm jacket at night.

Great for outdoor pursuits

Rock climbing with Ibiza Vertical

The rains bring with them a revival of Ibiza’s lush forests and mountains. The heavy, parched heat of summer subsides and the stunning island flora comes alive again. It’s ideal weather for sporting and outdoor pursuits.

Things to do during the day


A loving welcome & wonderfully warm October weather at Ibiza Spirit Festival

Beaches, bars, special events

By October, the beach bars, such as San Antonio’s Ocean Beach Club, Cafe Mambo and Es Cavellet’s El Chiringuito are closing. In fact, a few have closed as early as the end of September although the majority stay open for at least part of October. Check out beach bars in Playa d’en Bossa for some of the livelier spots (Tanit Beach, Bora Bora, Nassau Beach Club) which close later.

A regular feature on the Ibiza calender each October is once again the Ibiza Spirit Festival. A wonderful family event which serves as a wholesome non-clubbing alternative to the hedonism of the big club closing parties.

Sunset is getting much earlier now, the sea becomes colder & choppier and so many boat charter companies shut up shop for the season.

It’s still very much sunbathing weather though and there’s now plenty of space on the beaches!

Towns

Most shops, bars and restaurants in the towns remain open but the resorts now start to wind down. Family facilities remain good and public transport remains at summer levels until the end of October.

By November, the resorts are very quiet, most of the beach bars and sunbed concessions have packed up and tourist facilities start to close too. It’s starting to get chilly out of the sun.

The towns and villages return to their normal, out-of-season calm. The plazas are full of lazy lunch dates with friends & there’s a great atmosphere as those hardworking Ibiza residents finally get out and socialise a bit.

Christmas

Christmas in Ibiza Town | Photo by ace island sax player, Lovely Laura

December gets quieter still, as the last of the seasonal workers either go home in time for Christmas or jet off to warmer climates.

Christmas is a very quiet, family affair in Ibiza and if you like your festive season low-key, it’s a great time to visit. The shops & markets are still bustling with the markets at Las Dalias, San Jordi & San Juan remaining open all year round.

But you know what the best thing is about daytime at this time of year?

Long walks & chilling

Getting outdoors. Going for long walks in the mountains, forests and country lanes. Having BBQs & dinner with friends. Spending time with your nearest and dearest. Lighting the first log fire of the autumn and lazing around enjoying those last warm rays of sunshine.

Ahhhh…. 🙂

TIP: Toby at Walking Ibiza organises an ‘around the island’ hiking adventure each year. It’s a unique, healthy, hearty way to see Ibiza and connect with wild nature.

Things to do at night


Two words.

Closing parties

Amnesia Ibiza | photo by Ibiza club news

October is when the main clubs hold their annual, legendary closing parties. Amnesia, Privilege, Hi Ibiza, Sankeys, Eden, Es Paradis and DC10 all say bye bye for another year. Here’s Luciano playing at the 2017 Circo Loco closing party at DC10 on the outdoor stage:

It’s big. It’s messy. And it’s emotional.

It’s almost impossible to not get caught up in the sense of unbridled euphoria, as residents hang up their work clothes, apply glitter and finally get to go out & party!

It’s not just the residents who are elated. The DJs themselves are in full party mode, at the end of a non-stop summer season. I’ve seen Sven Vath, for example, play a 5-hour set at the Cocoon after party!

Nothing I can write here can explain how massive and amazing the Ibiza closing parties are.

The best thing I can do is show you. Have a look at this!

TIP: The closing parties are packed out. There is often broken glass on the floor. To avoid lacerated feet, always wear closed shoes. Queues for the loo can be long as can the queues on the door. Never attempt to pay on the door for closing parties unless you like standing in queues for hours on end. Get your tickets in advance. Your villa agent will almost certainly be able to sort this out for you if you ask. Otherwise, it’s very easy to buy tickets online. Consult each club’s or event’s website for details of their official ticket-seller.

Halloween

Halloween at Hard Rock Hotel, Ibiza

By November all the major closing parties are over but there’s still quite a bit going on. Pacha, Underground, Veto Social Club and Pikes are all still open at weekends. Bars and restaurants are still a plenty in the towns, which remain bustling in the run up to Christmas.

The last big night until new year now is really Halloween, with Bambuddha, Hard Rock Hotel, Pikes and Boutique Hostal Salinas all holding fabulous parties. The whole island dresses up and it could well be the islander’s most decadent night of the year! A really brilliant time to be in Ibiza 😉

New years eve

New years eve is the next big party night, with Pacha, Amnesia & DC10 all normally throwing  huge parties.

Ibiza Town is full of families out on the port to see the spectacular firework display at midnight. The bars are full of folk attempting (with various degrees of success & hilarity) to eat the traditional 12 grapes – one on each stroke of midnight – as the old year ends.

It’s not as easy as it sounds, try it!

Vibes

This time of year is the favourite of many a veteran Ibiza visitor. Friends who have been coming to the island for many years, at various times, nearly always end up preferring to visit Ibiza during the last three months of the year.

Mature crowd

Closing parties aside, It’s a wonderfully chilled time with cooler weather but still lots of sunny skies. Young people are back in uni/college/work and once again, a more mature crowd tends to dominate.

Nature

The closing of the clubs brings visitors who enjoy the quiet side of Ibiza. Nature lovers are blown away by the lush countryside, profusion of wild herbs and flowers & perfect climate for healthy outdoor activities.

Great if your priorities are:

  • Natural, rural / eco Ibiza
  • Culture & history
  • Well-being
  • Self-improvement
  • Outdoor pursuits

Advantages:

  • Villa rental & car-hire are as cheap as they get at this time of year
  • If you book in advance you can get good deals on flights until the end of October with Ryanair. After that, British Airways fly all winter direct from the UK.

Disadvantages:

  • Many Ibiza rental villas are not available to rent during November & December.
  • Cheap airlines do not usually fly from Mid-Oct through to April
  • After October, public transport outside of the main towns is very minimal.

To sum up

You’ve now got a good overview of how the different Ibiza seasons suit different priorities. Which month or time of the year sounds ideal for you?

Did you come to a decision? Do you have any more questions?

Let us know in the comments below!

The next step | what to avoid

Now you’ve got a detailed overview of

What to organise before even looking for a villa

Where to look for your ideal villa

When best to visit

You’re almost ready to go!

Just one more (crucially important) thing.

What are the common pitfalls that could ruin your Ibiza villa holiday?

The next chapter tells you exactly what they are. And how to avoid them.

chapter5

CHAPTER 5:

Renting villas in Ibiza | 7 common pitfalls (and how to avoid them)

In this chapter, you’re going to find out what the most common (and expensive) mistakes you can make (Before AND during your Ibiza villa holiday) and exactly how to avoid them.

One thing is certain. Just one of these mistakes could be a massive holiday wrecker.

I’ve seen these 7 pitfalls trip visitors up time and again.

Save yourself time, money & stress. Take a look.

1: Not checking if the agency or property is legally registered & above board

Possibly the biggest no-no of them all. There are plenty of scam websites out there folks, just waiting for people who haven’t made the proper checks.

Beware of handing over payment to any website offering Ibiza villas for rent until you’ve checked:

  • If the company claims it is a registered travel agency in Ibiza, check they have a Comercializador de Estancias Turisticas number & a Central de Reservas number.
  • That they offer a secure payment system by credit card
  • If you’re renting direct from the owner, check that the property is a legal tourist rental & licensed with the local council. Ask for the property’s Central de Reservas number.

It might take you a few minutes to check an agency or villa’s credentials. But it’s time very well spent. Check out this article for the low-down on villa rental scams, exactly what checks to make and how.

2: Handing over cash in advance in any way other than credit card.

The usual way nasty online scammers con you out of cash for a villa you saw on a website is to get you to pay cash up front for the villa via a direct bank transfer. They’ll usually want a large percentage, if not all of the rental fee up front.

You really want the villa, plus it’s seems like such a great deal! So you cough up.

A LOT of money.

You arrive to the island and… what you thought was your Ibiza holiday home is already rented to another (legitimate) holidaymaker. The scammer simply copied photos from another, legitimate website. They never owned the villa, or the license to rent it.

One of the legitimate villa companies I work with saw several such cases last year alone. They came to the rescue of the stranded groups in question. And they’re just one company out of many.

Be vigilant, ladies & gents.

If you paid by credit card, at the very least, your cash is insured and you’ll get a full refund if the worst happens & you fall victim to a scammer.

Check out this article for detailed info about villa scams and exactly how to avoid them.

3: Paying a huge breakages deposit up front.

A few years ago, a large group of friends came on holiday to the island. They loved having their own villa. They loved feeling like they were in their own Ibiza house.

But one night, during a lively dinner party, an accident happened and a chair was damaged.

They felt bad but hey, accidents happen, right? After all, it was only a stain on a dining room chair.

When the owners came at the end of their stay to check the property, my friend apologised and showed them the damaged chair.

Turns out that the set the chair was a part of was an antique set. Due to the nature of the damage (red wine stain – oops), the entire set would have to be reupholstered.

The upholstery was done 20 years previously in New York, by an expert, with vintage designer fabric. The cost, including shipping, would be close to €2000.

The group lost their deposit. There was great sadness all round. Rubbish end to a holiday, too.

The moral of the story? Get Accidental Damage Waiver insurance, dear friends. It costs just a few quid for a week’s stay and covers all accidental damage to your villa.

Sorted.

4: Hiring an unofficial, unlicensed (pirate) taxi to bring you home to your villa

Let’s be clear about this. The Ibiza summer season doesn’t just attract nice folk like you and me. There are some wrong ‘uns who come with the sole purpose of stealing.

Fact.

Now I’m not saying all pirate taxi drivers are thieves, but…

I’ve heard about enough CCTV footage (from villa owners) of holidaymakers getting dropped off at their rental villas, in unmarked cars (all licensed taxis have a license plate).

Then shortly afterwards, the villa gets robbed. Passports, money, phones and computers gone.

Coincidence? The local police don’t think so.

Don’t invite anyone you don’t know back to your villa.

And beware particularly of friendly (unmarked) taxi drivers outside of popular clubs, restaurants and bars, offering you a cab home.

It’s tempting, I know, when the taxi queue is long (sigh) and you’re dying to get back to the villa & chill.

But if you are unlucky enough to get a wrong ‘un, that’s the perfect opportunity for them to find out where you’re staying, what the security is like, where the CCTV is pointing and generally case the joint. They can even send a location pin to their dubious ‘friends’ and get a nice view on Google Earth of the layout.

And btw. You know how easy it is to get a skeleton key made from just a PHOTO of your key?

You’ll be shocked.

Check this article out. Then watch this short video clip

Take ALL security precautions at your villa & only EVER get licensed taxis.

5: Renting a villa from someone not based on the island

Remember we were talking before about villa scammers? The nasty individuals operating remotely from fake villla rental websites or listings. They exist solely to con unsuspecting folk into paying in advance for a villa they actually have no access to.

Want to know the best and simplest way to ensure this doesn’t happen?

Rent your holiday villa from a local, licensed agency. It’s so easy to check if this is true or not. Here are a few quick hacks:

1 – Look for the agency’s registered address on the website. If it’s not there, beware! But if it is…

2 – Put their company name into Google and look for their Google Business listing. It should appear in the right hand margin at the side of the website listing.

3 – Check the address is the same. It’s almost impossible to fake an address with a Google Business account.

4 – Read the reviews. Look out for companies with a good number (10 or more) of consistently good reviews & pro management responses. These are VERY hard to fake.

5 – Put the address into Google Earth and check their physical shop signage.

And know the difference between a villa listings site and a licensed travel agency. It’s an important distinction.

Licensed local travel agency

A licensed, local travel agency will be registered with the Villa Renters Association of Ibiza (AVAT). It’s a government association and a genuine agency will show their credentials and license number on their website.

Find that number!

Then you can go to the official AVAT website itself and check the agency is genuine and listed.

Ibiza Villas 2000 for example, have the AVAT logo & license numbers on the footer of every single page of their website.

The obvious advantage here is that you’re 100% not going to get scammed.

But that’s not all.

Quality assured & expert help

All of the rental villas, houses and apartments listed on licensed travel agent sites have been vetted and passed rigorous government inspection. You can be sure you’re getting good quality accommodation.

You’ll also benefit from local knowledge, expert advice, plus staff are at hand on the ground in case you need help or assistance.

Finally, on an ethical note, you can be sure that a local licensed agency is providing local employment & paying a large chunk of tax. This tax is invested back into the island that you’re enjoying so much.

Nice to feel you’ve given something back, right?

Rental accommodation listings sites

Listings sites are a different beast altogether. Listings sites such as airbnb, HomeAway and Owners Direct are rarely based in the same location as the rental properties they advertise. They’re simply directories.

They charge a fee to the owner of the listing and another to the rental client.

It’s a hook-up service.

These companies make a lot of money but they don’t own any of the rental properties themselves.

Quite aside from the fact that many of the listed properties have not had any official inspection…

Here’s the BIG problem.

There have been many stories of fake listing on some of these sites. All that’s first needed is temporary access to a given property to snap some photos of the interior and exterior. Then an email account, bank account and a smartphone.

And make no mistake. Despite the best efforts of the listing sites to check that holiday rentals are genuine – fake listings can still happen.

The grapevine speaks of criminal gangs taking advantage of debt laden & poverty stricken folk in far away places & commandeering their bank and email accounts. Those accounts are then used to create accommodation listings and take scammed advance payments for villa bookings.

Until…

The scam is busted, the police are called, the cash has disappeared and the real culprits are never found.

There’s more.

You’ll get no expert local knowledge and there may be no one on the ground if you need help.

Finally, unless the property has a license number, it’s an illegal rental & neither quality nor security is assured.

On an ethical note, It’s unlikely tax is being paid and the cash enters the black market. You may even be targeted by thieves.

Proceed with extreme caution.

Resource: Check out this great article by Forbes about how to spot a fake holiday villa listing.

6: Inviting people back to your villa who you’ve only just met

See pitfall number 4. The same goes for people you only just met. Especially if you’ve been boozing or are otherwise… squiffy.

Ladies – there are obvious safety issues around inviting random guys back to your villa.

But it’s not just ladies who are potentially at risk.

There are some unsavoury characters who deliberately target drunken tourists out on the town.

Be careful. If someone you just met comes on heavy and suggests coming back to your place with you, male or female, they could be a ‘honey-trap’.

Once back at your villa, a location pin can be sent and your accommodation details given to anyone. If a photo is also taken of your key, boom.

You could easily become victim of a robbery. Don’t risk it.

7: Holding unlicensed events in your villa

Fancy taking a huge fine home with you as a holiday souvenir? Well these 14 groups did exactly that after larging it a bit too much in their Ibiza villas.

It was reported by Ibiza Club News that during the 2017 summer season, San Antonio alone saw “14 fines worth 84,000 euros to owners of more than seven houses” for offences ranging from noise pollution to causing a nuisance to the neighbours.

Rest assured, those renting the villas were legally liable for the fines. Ouch.

I guarantee you definitely don’t want to see these guys arriving at your villa party!

Three simple rules:

  1. The only people in your villa should be the people staying in your villa.
  2. If you have a special event planned, ask your agent for advice. They will know all the local laws and whether or not you’ll need special permissions.
  3. Keep noise levels to what you’d expect to adhere to if an easily irritated policeman lived next door. If you cause nuisance to the neighbours (too many cars / too much noise / too many people) they’ll be on the phone to the law quicker than you can say ‘fiesta.’

About the author: Jane Charilaou is a many times published writer and long-term resident of Ibiza. Ex-editor of Ibiza Spotlight daytime magazine and current editor of several, diverse Ibiza-based blogs, she holds an MA in literature from the University of Manchester.

To sum up

You’ve now got a good overview of the main potential stumbling blocks to a happy Ibiza villa holiday and exactly how to avoid them.

And please don’t be alarmed!

Most of the pitfalls I’ve mentioned here could apply to any popular holiday destination. Ibiza generally has a very low crime rate & the vast majority of visitors to the island have a brilliant disaster-free holiday.

And of course…

The entire objective of this Insider’s guide to Ibiza villa rental is that you have the holiday of your dreams. Now go forth, don’t get ripped off and find your perfect villa!

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