|Ibiza Gay Guide|
Since the 1960's it has been one of Europe's main summer holiday destinations. Residents have long recognised the popularity of their island with gay men and lesbians from around the world.
The original home of the Balearic beat, famous for its image - loud, brash and utterly outrageous. Whilst the straight holiday hoards head for the "lager lout" resort of San Antonio, gay and lesbian visitors prime destination is the Island's capital - Ibiza Town, a quaint old town with plenty of atmosphere and character. Originally starting out as an inexpensive artists location, Ibiza has been an extremely popular Gay destination for over twenty years. As time passed, the island has been adopted by gay European trend setters and is becoming more and more attractive with American visitors. It's still relatively unspoiled and an interesting place to spend a week or two. Many visitors go simply to enjoy the archaeological sites and the two museums, others find great pleasure in visiting the studios and ateliers at Santa Eulailia Del Rio. To the south west of the town centre is the Puig des Molins, a Punic cemetery. The two other major tourist centres are the coastal towns of San Antonio Abad and Santa Eulalia del Río. If you fancy a flutter, the Island has its own Casino. Aside from all this, the major attraction is the very relaxed atmosphere of the island. Residents have long recognised that the popularity of their island with gay men and lesbians from around the world have brought them great recognition and prosperity.
When's the best time to go?
The party season lasts from May to October, with flights leaving daily from all significant airports. Visiting outside this period, you can expect a very quiet retreat away from the madding crowd, however, many of the facilities may not be available off peak.There are many great package deals to obtain and the standard of accommodation is generally very good. After all, gays have been visiting the island for over 20 years, and we refuse to compromise our high standards! For clubbers, the best time is late July to early September when the parties are on every day with the biggest and most outrageous at weekends. You can expect temperatures reaching 30°C from July to early September.
Is it worth getting out of bed before sunset?
During the day the beaches of Es Cavallet and neighbouring Las Salinas, which are just a few kilometres from Ibiza Town, are the perfect place to tan all over, cruise - or do both. Alternatively, hire a car or simply jump on a bus and go exploring. Ibiza has many beautiful beaches and secluded coves waiting to be discovered. The third-largest in the group of Balearic Islands, Ibiza is a very popular tourist destination (especially with the younger age group), and it still retains some of its traditional atmosphere. The north and south in particular are still densely wooded with pine, and elsewhere there are many orchards. Large sandy beaches are found south of the capital. Ibiza Town, dominated by a medieval fortress, and the Dalt Vila (Upper Town), is well worth a visit.
Is the nightlife all it's cracked up to be?
Once the sun sets, your destination will undoubtedly be the centre of Ibiza Town where you'll find an abundance of gay bars and clubs. There's something to suit every taste - from small, intimate bars and restaurants to large, outrageous clubs, some with open-air dancefloors overlooking the sea, floorshows, live bands and orchestras. Bear in mind, the clubs can be expensive and tickets for the best nights are sometimes difficult to obtain. The varied local cuisine includes rabbit, a wide selection of seafood and pork dishes and numerous locally grown fruits and vegetables. The island has plenty of good wines and aromatic liqueurs and imported alcoholic and soft drinks are also widely available. There are also plenty of cinemas, theatres, concerts and art exhibitions. Also remember, you'll need to get around the island by local taxi but these are plentiful and cheap.
Can I spend, spend, spend?
On Ibiza, like all the Balearic Islands, there is a strong tradition of craftsmanship. Produce includes furniture, hand embroideries, handpainted ceramics, carved olive-wood panels, wrought ironwork, glassware, items made from raffia and palm leaves, handmade shoes and costume jewellery. The shopping is often quite expensive, though you can usually find some bargains in the street markets. If you stay in Figuretas (a very popular gay area) it's a 20 min. walk into town but there is a good local bus route from all areas.
Things to remember
• Make sure you stay in Ibiza Town or nearby not San Antonio otherwise you will be enveloped in a sea of heterosexual drinking and debauchery of the most extreme kind. Unless you enjoy watching straight men mooning, DON'T GO THERE.
• The beaches are in isolated areas some distance from the town requiring use of bus or moped or car, (if you're rich). So remember you have to troll yourself there and back every morning and afternoon.
• For the almost exclusively gay beach follow the stream of guys and girls over what appears to be open wasteland from the bus stop, rather than the main straight beach close by.
• Only one gay club is open in the Town, conveniently in the old wall area, which gets extremely busy. On 3 floors with a dark, very dark, back room.
• Do try one of the large main clubs up the hill on the way to San Antonio, or you'll never know what all the excitement is about. This is a party place, so let your hair down.
Ibiza Gay Map