About 50 miles off the coast of Valencia, Ibiza is one of the larger Balearic Islands. Settled in 654 BC by Phoenicians, the island's name was given by visiting Greeks for "pine-covered islands." Ibiza later came under the control of Carthage, then the Romans. Rule by the Vandals, and the Moorish Taifa of Denia followed until the conquest by the Christian King James I of Aragon, in 1235. A United Nations World Heritage Site, its Old Town retains the medieval city walls. Large parts of the island are protected from development, so if you need to get away from the crowds there are always places to enjoy eye-popping vistas in solitude.
Like Mykonos in Greece, Ibiza is a summer gay resort that has risen to almost mythical status. "La Isla Blanca" is an incredibly beautiful place where visitors' days are usually spent frolicking on the beaches, and the nights are for legendary clubbing that lasts well past sunrise. A number of gay bars, restaurants and cafes can be found in the town of Ibiza, around Carrer de la Mare de Déu (Calle de la Virgen in Castillian) in the portside Sa Penya, and in the Dalt Vila area.
You’ll probably love the music too. DJs come from around the world to spin house and trance tunes for very appreciative crowds. A large expat community from other EU countries make their home here, along with Latin Americans and Moroccans, giving the scene a very cosmopolitan feel. They say that on summer weekends the parties are so perfectly spaced that one is always starting when the last is breaking up. The circuit party promoters follow people as they leave the big cities' heat to relax at coastal resorts, and the scene blazes throughout July and August to wrap up in September. Gay Pride Ibiza takes place this year June 6-12, 2016, with seven days of pool and club parties, entertainment, performaces and presentations.
Many local restaurants serve typical Ibizan fare, traditional Mediterranean-style, including fish, seafood, rice, stews, asados/asadas (grilled meat or vegetables), garlic sauces, and tomato/onion/garlic dips. Chopped almonds, common in Catalan cuisine, are often used here too. International options include Chinese, French, Indonesian, Indian, Italian, and French cuisines, English breakfasts, and American fast food.
See our gay Ibiza listings page for map locations and club contact information for the above, plus more bars, and a few hotels and restaurants.
Aeropuerto de Ibiza has direct flights from Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona. If you’re flying from abroad, you’ll most likely have to transfer in one of those cities. There are also ferries from Denia, Valencia and Barcelona.
Ibiza Town (Eivissa) has a compact Old Town (Dalt Vila) that is made for strolling. Street signs are in Eivissenc, the local dialect of the Catalan/ Valencian languages. Many businesses still use Castilian Spanish street names (Calle de la Virgen, instead of the official Carrer la Mare de Déu on google maps) - a bit confusing at first. Locals often speak English or German, in addition to the Iberian languages, and most expats and visitors speak at least some English.
A car is a good idea if you want to explore the island but there is bus service too; see IbizaBus for a list of routes and companies. Some big discos and hotels provide free transportation. Taxis are a fairly expensive way to get around the island, costing €20-30 between cities.
Carrer de la Mare de Déu (Carrer de la Verge) is Eivissa's (town of Ibiza) main gay strip - also known in Castillian as Calle de la Virgen. It’s packed with bars and clubs with outdoor terraces that are buzzing on sultry summer evenings. Gays and straights mix with ease. Another cluster of bars is above, in Dalt Vila, and Figueretas Beach area to the west has many hotels and restaurants. Almost all the businesses in the district are gay-friendly at the least; just trust your gaydar. There are also a number of men's fashion outlets along these streets. Outside this district, in Santa Eularia des Riu to the north, there is also nightly entertainment. July and August are the busiest months of the season, but many places are open in May, June and September, for those who prefer a less frenetic scene.
Besides the many small gay bars there are a couple of gay discos, including Anfora with ongoing parties such as (I don't give a) FAG party, with guest porn stars and erotic shows. The oldest club in town, Pashá, is still going strong 40 years after opening their doors. Most of the big gay-friendly mixed internationally-known discoteques are a bit further out - some provide free buses from the center. On the coast to the south of Eivissa, near Platja d'en Bossa, Space and Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel, an "adults-only music theme park" featuring VIP luxury treatment 24 hours a day, and famous DJ dance parties. Bora Bora Beach Club and Manchester UK import Sankeys Ibiza, are also here. Santa Eulària des Riu, a quieter coastal town just north of Eivissa, also has some bars and restaurants of interest.
On the north side of the island the town of Sant Antoni de Portmany (San Antonio) the scene is newer, and more commercial, probably sparing ancient Eivissa the sort of development that could have spoiled it. Here Eden is back after one season as Brit-brand Gatecrashers, along with Es Paradis, and Ibiza Rocks with international popular music acts live at center stage. These big nightclubs draw mostly straight, though not-unfriendly-to-gay crowds.
There are over eighty beaches within half an hour's drive of Eivissa or Sant Antoni. The range from those with full-service beach club resorts, fine restaurants, and partying on the sand, to unspoiled and tranquil natural sandy retreats. The following rank among the most popular.
Figueretas Beach is the city beach on the south side of Eivissa, surrounded by hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops, with a palm-fringed promenade, lounge chairs and parasols for rent, shower facilities, and access for the disabled. A harbor for fishing boats separates it from Platja d'en Bossa, to the south. The promenade and cafes come alive in the evenings, as visitors leave the beach, and locals arrive to cool off and relax.
Platja (or playa) d'en Bossa is a long stretch of beach with bars and beach lounges and shops in Sant Josep de Talaià just south of Eivissa, varying from the super trendy to casual and laid back. Drive, bike or take the bus from Ibiza Town, just 4 km away.
Platja d'es Cavallet is a naturalist, clothing optional beach backed by unspoiled sand dunes, just 10 minutes drive south of Platja d'en Bossa. There's an active gay scene at the far end of the long beach and several Chiringuito-style beach restaurants during summer months. Chiringay, just behind the gay area, and El Chiringuito are two such bar/restaurants for drinks, tapas, burgers, pasta and fish. Drive, bike, or or take the bus from town.
Las Salinas Beach, at the island's southern tip, has a trendy party scene right next to the Wildlife Conservation Area, also 10-15 minutes drive south of Platja d'en Bossa. Lounge chairs and parasols can be rented, and there are restaurants and bars serving food and cocktails to your beach chair; also massage facilities, beach boutiques, shops, and public showers. Further down the bay nudists mix with families, "hippies" and partiers who dance to music that plays all day. Even further down, past the watchtower, there are small coves that break into the rocky coastline, for those seeking their own private beach.
Cala Jondal (Platja d'es Jondal) further west down the coast from Las Salinas, is popular with boaters, the rich, the beautiful and the trendy. Surrounded by jagged cliffs and a pine woods conservation area, it has a white pebble beach and clear blue waters. Several high-end lounge/restaurants here offer good food, beer, wine and cocktails. Access by car, or by private boat.
Currency and Money
Spain’s official currency is the euro. There are ATMs scattered about the center, so you won’t have trouble getting more cash.
Essential Ibiza offers general public party listings and tickets, plus a guide to restaurants, bars, clubs, beaches, shopping options and more.
For locations and website information for gay and gay-friendly bars, clubs, cafes and hotels, see our gay Ibiza map & listings section.
Going Out - bars & clubs
Anfora (Sant Carles 7), a popular gay club in Eivissa town center, with dancing, theme parties, nude male strip and sex shows, and drag events.
Bar 22 Ibiza (Carrer de la Mare de Déu 22), cozy gay cocktail bar and terrace, open daily in summer and on weekends year-round.
Bar Chaos (Carrer Asturias 2), small gay copas and tapas bar near Figueretas Beach, locals and German crowd, men and women mix.
Bar Exis (Carrer de la Mare de Déu 57), German-owned gay bar, shows, go-go boys, terrace tables, busy street; men/women mix.
Bar León (Carrer de la Mare de Déu, 62), Friday/Saturdays gay bar from 10pm, loyal regulars, German vibe.
Bar MonaLisa (Carrer d'Alfonso XII, 3), gay cocktail bar, large terrace, drag shows, high-fashion Milan glamour, all kinds of people mix.
Cenit Hotel Pool Bar (Archiduque Luis Salvador), gay-popular rooftop pool bar and cafe serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Chiringay (Platja Es Cavallet, 17), at Es Cavallet nude beach near gay area; tapas, pizza, pasta, burgers, bocadillos, steak and fish/seafood, plus cocktails, juices, beer and wine.
Dado (Carrer de la Mare de Déu 40), small gay party bar, theme parties, men and women international mix, bartender hunks.
JJ Bar (Carrer la Mare de Déu 79) gay-favorite terrace bar, balcony views, all-ages and types; nightly in season, weekends in winter.
Lady D Ibiza (Carrer de la Mare de Déu 10), small gay bar, red British phone booth doors, friendly international crowd, DJ music.
La Muralla (Sa Carrossa, 3), Dalt Vila men's cruise and sex bar; dark room, mask, underwear and naked party nights.
Mad Bar (Carrer de la Mare de Déu 32), popular gay bar, Belgian/French accent, cocktails and copas, sexy bartenders, men-only darkroom, terrace.
Sunrise (Carrer de la Mare de Déu, 44), gay-friendly copas/cocktails lounge and terrace, good sound system.
Going Out - largest club nights
Anfora Club (Sant Carles 7), summertime gay dance club with parties all season, including men's leather/sports/fetish events and erotic shows.
Amnesia (Carretera Eivissa a Sant Antoni, km 5), one of the legendary clubs with a 5,000 capacity crowd; regular nights including Matinée Group's Saturday club nights that include foam parties in the Main Room, and evenings on The Terrace.
FUSE from London will also return with their mixed underground club nights this season, Tuesdays at Sankeys Ibiza (Carrer de les Alzines 5, Platja d’en Bossa), built around their resident DJs, with stripped back feel and anything goes attitude.
Privilege (Carrer de Ibiza, 7), the worlds largest nightclub with capacity of 10,000, main room ceilings at 25 meters high, many bars, plus a chill-out garden, rotation of international club brands and spectacular shows. Superman by SuperMartXé owns Saturdays here, presenting their unique shows weekly throughout the season plus other special nights such as their June 11th Ibiza Pride night. Friday nights are for fans of Hip-Hop and Reggaeton.
Space (Platja d'en Bossa 10, Sant Josep de Sa Talaia) - CLOSED - Sundays at Space Ibiza; Onyx Mondays; Carl Cox The Final Chapter on Tuesdays; La Troya, an every-Wednesday mixed Ibiza House dance party by Brasilio Oliveira; Glitterbox Retro House and Disco Friday nights; Afterlife, "an odyssey through the realm of consciousness" on Thursdays (from July 7th).
Ushuaïa (Playa d'en Bossa, 10), nightly parties at the beach just south of Eivissa, mega-star DJs, big pool parties; gay nights have included Pride events in years past.
Essential Ibiza has the full calendar listings for all the clubs for the whole season.
Hotels & Guesthouses
Aguas de Ibiza (Junto Salvador Camacho 9, Santa Eulalia del Rio; 34 971-319-991), 112 eco-luxury resort room and suites, bars and restaurants, spa, swimming pool, rooftop bar/pool vistas.
Casa Alexio Gay Hotel (Carrer Kiwi 39, Tlamanca, Jesus; 34 639-632-522), 13-room men-only guesthouse villa, clothing-optional pool, garden, terrace, Jacuzzi, massage, bar, cable TV, internet.
Casa de Huéspedes la Peña (Carrer de la Mare de Déu 76, Dalt Vila, Eivissa; 34 971-190-240), basic, central lodgings at budget prices by the port, singles rooms and dorm beds.
Grand Palladium Palace Ibiza Resort & Spa (Platja d’en Bossa 4, Sant Jordi de Ses Salines; 34 971-396-784), 411 modern rooms and suites, 3 restaurants, 2 pools, nightclub.
Hostal La Aduana (Carrer Barcelona 6, Port area, Eivissa; 34 971-310-172), reasonably-priced rooms at the waterfront, balconies, cable TV; Mediterranean restaurant.
Hotel Apartamentos Lux Mar (Ramón Muntaner 78, Figueretas Beach, Eivissa; 34 971-301-458), 84 double and triple rooms; cafe, buffet restaurant, swimming pool, solarium, AC, WiFi.
Hotel Cenit (Carrer de l'Arxiduc Lluís Salvador, Figueretas Beach; 34 971-301-404), central hiiltop hotel, 63 spacious rooms, 55 apartments and studios, pleasant views, balconies, swimming pool; gay-popular evenings rooftop pool bar with restaurant breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Hotel Don Quijote (País Basc 12, Figueretas Beach, Eivissa; 34 971-302-266), central location budget single and double rooms, swimming pool, breakfast, satellite TV, internet, elevator.
Hotel El Puerto (Carles III 24, Eivissa; 34 9719313-812), 93 room tourist hotel, terraces, 80 apartments, satellite TV, swimming pool.
Hotel Garbi Ibiza & Spa (Murtra 5, #128, Platja d'en Bossa; 34 971-300-007), 4-star hotel beachfront rooms, pool bar and restaurant, disco dance club, tennis court, supermarket.
Hotel Hacienda Na Xamena (Urbanización Na Xamena, buzón 11, Port de Sant Miguel; 34 971-334-500), luxury hotel, Eden restaurant and cocktail lounge with live music, spa/swimming pools, sea vistas from cliff-top location.
Hotel Ibiza Playa (Carrer de Tarragona, Figueretas Beach, Eivissa; 34 971-302-804), 57 beachfront rooms, moderate-prices, buffet restaurant and terrace bar.
Hotel Maritímo (Ramón Muntaner, 48, Figueretas Beach, Eivissa; 34 971-302-708), buffet restaurant, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, gym, water views, satellite TV
Ibiza Gran Hotel (Juan Carlos I, 17, Marina Botafoch/ Marina Ibiza; 34 971-806-806), resort and gaming casino hotel, 157 suites, spa, restaurants and bars, swimming pools.
La Torre del Canónigo (Major 8, Dalt Vila, Eivissa; 34 971-303-884), full-service rooms and suites, swimming pool, breakfast, Mediterranean restaurant, wellness center, WiFi.
La Ventana (Sa Carrosa 13, Dalt Vila, Eivissa; 34 971-390-857), 13 luxury rooms with baths near port at the center, satellite TV, terraces, good views.
Llobet Apartments (Carrer d'Alexandre Llobet 6, Figueretas Beach, Eivissa; 34 971-301-925), beachfront locations, gardens, swimming pool, cafe/bistro, full services.
Hotel Marigna Ibiza (Al Sabini 18, Figueretas; 34 971-399-942), vibrant, artistic and unique atmosphere and style, 44 adults-only art-adorned rooms, satellite TV, restaurant, solarium sea-view terrace with Jacuzzi.
Mirador De Dalt Vila Hotel (Plaça d'Espanya 4, Dalt Vila, Eivissa; 34 971-303-045), 5-star luxury rooms and suites, restaurant fine dining/wines, bar and lounge.
Molins Park Hostal (Carrer de Joan Xico, 42, Eivissa; 34 971-300-464), 30 en-suite single and double rooms, terraces, swimming pool, solarium, internet, nice views.
Purple Hostel (Carrer d'Antoni Riquer 23, Sant Antoni de Portmany; 34 971-343-614), gay hostel rooms near Calo des Moro beach and bus station, swimming pool, patio cocktails and snacks, bar/lounge, WiFi.
Restaurants & Cafes
Ama Lur Restaurante (Carretera Sant Miquel, km 2.3, Santa Eularia des Riu, Elvissa), Mediterranean dining with Basque flair and local specialities, 9km from town, outdoor terrace seating.
Amante Beach Club Restaurant (Carrer Fuera, Sol Den Serra, Santa Eulària des Riu), Mediterranean lunch and dinner menus; seaside cove terrace, dramatic vistas, cocktails, day bed relaxation.
Ancient People (España, 32, Eivissa), Indian meat and vegetarian curries, Biryani and Tandoori meals.
Bon Profit (Plaça del Parc 5, Dalt Vila, Eivissa), hearty home-style local and traditional lunch and dinner.
Ca n'Alfredo (Passeig Vara de Rei 16E, Eivissa), serving traditional Ibizan and Catalan dishes since 1934.
Cafe Tomate (Plaça Constitució, 11, Dalt Vila, Eivissa), Mercado Viejo French/Spanish cafe, cocktails, beer, fresh fruit juices, shakes, light food/snacks, WiFi
Cap dés Falcó Restaurant/ Chiringuito (Playa Dés Codolar, Ses Salines National Park, Salines), beach bar, music, sunsets, Italian, Mediterranian and local cuisines, vegetarian options.
Croissant-Show Ibiza (Plaça De La Constituciò, 2Dalt Vila, Eivissa), fresh fruit juices, coffee drinks, quiches, salads, "Hierbas," pastries.
CUBE-Ibiza (Carrer Pedro Escanellas 3, Playa Figueretas, Eivissa), Indonesian and International meals and cocktails just off the beach.
El Cigarral (Fray Vicente Nicolás 9E, Eivissa), traditional seafood; seasonal menus, local specialities including "carnes de buey asturiano."
El Olivo (Plaça del Vila 9, Dalt Vila, Eivissa), Mediterranean and French tapas, entrées, beef, chicken, fish, wines; passionate chefs, terrace seatings.
Geco Cafe Vegetariano (Paseo Maritimo de Santa Eulalia, Santa Eulalia des Riu), beautiful beachside location, organic/bio, vegetarian, local-source, fresh home-style food and drinks.
KM5 (Carretera Ibiza-Sant Josep km 5.6, Sant Josep de Sa Talaia), quality dining boutique restaurant in rustic finca; bar tents, live music, art exhibits.
Kumharas Beach Bar (Carrer Lugo 2,Sant Josep de sa Talaia), famous bar and Sunset Chillout Café/ Mediterranean/International restaurant near Sant Antoni; DJ sets and live bands.
La Brasa (Carrer de Pere Sala 3, Eivissa), garden terrace, traditional and local seafood restaurant, wines.
La Belle Ibiza (Avinguda Isidor Macabich, 6, San Rafael), French and Mediterranean cuisine dinner, wine and cocktails; summer Thursdays Circus show entertainment, sexy performers.
La Oliva (Carrer de la Santa Creu, 2-4-6, Dalt Vila, Eivissa), Mediterranean cuisine with Asian accents, busy terrace overlooks street performances.
La Scala Restaurante (sa Carrossa 7, Dalt Vila, Eivissa), daily menu, local fish and seafood, steaks and chicken, wines, covered terrace seatings.
Moorea Beach Internet Café (Ctra de Platja d'en BossaPlatja d'en Bossa), internet access, computers, snacks, juices, ice cream.
Nanking (Carrer del Mar 8, Dalt Vila, Eivissa), Port district Cantonese restaurant; fish and seafood, meat and poultry, rice and noodles.
Somiart (Paseo Maritimo, Santa Eulalia), innovative modern cuisine restaurant and nightclub; Foc i Fum circus-style acrobatic performances during summer months, with outrageous and provocative costumes.
Tropicana Beach Club & Restaurant (Carrer des Jondal 1, Cala Jondal Beach), chaises lounges, beach terrace bar, traditional Ibizan/Mediterranean seafood and pasta menu, fashionable crowd.
Villa Mercades (Paseo del Mar, Sant Antoni de Portmany), dockside terrace, highly-rated traditional Ibiza/Mediterranean and Asian cuisines; spectacular views, live music and performances daily.
Yemanja (Carrer Jondal 3, Cala Jondal, Sant Josep de Sa Talaia), beach club hammocks, chaises lounges, bar/restaurant, massage.