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Top 10 Ibiza myths debunked

You know nothing, naysayers.

Ah, the rumour mill - like the treadmill but without beneficial effects for the thighs. Yet we pound away at it anyway; gossip running through our minds at the same pace as the belts beneath our feet. This is especially true in the case of Ibiza, where year in, year out, we're bombarded with a slew of falsehoods about the island - it's about to be hit by a meteor! Carl Cox rides the Loch Ness Monster! - none of which have any truth to them (we don't think). Because of this, we decided to debunk some of the biggest myths bandied around about the White Isle, and the result is a definitive guide on how to avoid getting caught in the quicksand of hearsay.


1. Ibiza is too expensive

An oldie but a goodie, this one gets touted time and time again. Undoubtedly, there are elements to Ibiza that appeal to those splashing the cash, and lack of organisation can definitely work against you when you're booking a trip here, but if you know where to look it is possible to snag yourself summer bargains, trust us.

Let's start with an obvious point - if you can, avoid peak season. This is prime time for soaring prices, and while that benefits the island, it doesn't really help you lot. So do yourselves a favour and head over in the quieter months, something that's especially easy to do now the season is longer than ever. In May, June, September and October you'll find parties are still raging, the sun is just as strong and you'll pay a whole lot less for the pleasure. On that note, get organising, because whipping up a spreadsheet and making a plan is your friend when it comes to keeping costs down. Book your flights in advance, search for early hotel booking offers, and make the most of earlybird club tickets available on Spotlight, because all this will save you money in the long run.

Then, when you're on the island, be savvy with your cash. Find one of the myriad restaurants offering a menu del día (special menu of the day) and fill your boots with three courses for around €10-12. Put your islander hat on and head for the locals' hangouts - Ibiza Town has lots of them. Comidas Bar San Juan (+34 971 31 16 03) serves up traditional fare at rockbottom prices; La Bufalina (+34 971 30 28 94) does some of the best pizzas on the island for €5 a pop; and at Can Terra (+34 971 31 00 64) you can get your hands on tasty tapas for around €2 a plate - value for money restaurants do exist. If you're planning to explore the island (you should), hire a scooter, or if you're going to and from the clubs, take the bus. You'll save a wedge of money by steering clear of taxis.

You see, holidays to Ibiza can be done without blowing a hole in your pocket. Follow our advice and you'll go home smiling and with enough money leftover for a Toblerone.


2. Clubbing, clubbing, it's all about clubbing

We hate to burst your bubble, but this simply isn't true. Don't get us wrong, we enjoy having the world's best clubs on our doorstep, but Ibiza has much more to offer than that. In fact, clubs are only open for around four months of the year, and for the remaining eight, people still keep pretty busy. They do things like visit one of the island's 50-plus beautiful beaches - from tiny pebble coves to huge swathes of white sand, every one is hugged by inviting turquoise waters - so you'd be mad not to dive in for a dip. Hire a scooter and head north and you'll be amazed by some of the secret spots and stunning vistas you'll stumble upon - even in the height of summer you can find your own personal paradise. Take advantage of the island's abundant nature by getting involved in outdoor activities like water sports, hiking and mountain biking, all of which are practiced all year round. Check yourself in to a yoga retreat for some rest and relaxation, or head to one of the island's many spas for some well-deserved pampering. Wander through the higgledy piggledy streets of Dalt Vila - a UNESCO World Heritage site, and while you're there, line your suitcase with treats from one of Ibiza Town's exclusive boutiques. Get your culinary kicks at one of the island's incredible restaurants - there are too many to mention - and if you're feeling adventurous, hop on a ferry to neighbouring Formentera, where the beaches will blow your mind. Or, for those of you still hooked on the music side of things, read on…


3. Ibiza is only for house heads and techno lovers

Wrong again, amigos. House and techno are pretty widespread, sure - lots of people quite like them - but if that's not your bag there's a ton of alternatives on offer. Rewind to the swinging sixties at Flower Power at Pacha - this is the island's longest running retro night and dressing up devotees come out in their droves for it. The famous club's Pachacha room also has you covered if Latino beats and bling are your thing. Turn back the clock to the decade of giant shoulder pads and frizzy perms at Children of the 80s at Hard Rock Hotel in Playa d'en Bossa - this party is an ode to popstars from the past and is shamelessly unafraid of flaunting it. Head to Ibiza Rocks in San Antonio for performances from some of the biggest names in UK live music, then continue with an outrageous after party at Pikes, where the wildly eccentric music policy will keep you dancing till dawn, possibly in a bathtub. Head to Sankeys for an old school lesson in hip hop and R&B with Applebum. Check out more live music at the Ibiza Jazz festival, and get a solid dose of world-inspired music under the stars at Ibiza Roots Festival. You'll also find that a huge selection of the island's restaurants, beach clubs and bars are putting a twist on their sunshine dining soundtracks, with acoustic performances and eclectic sets featuring heavily in the mix.


4. Croatia is so much better

Don't make us get gangster on yo' asses; acknowledge this is a ridiculous thing to say, because Ibiza and Croatia are two entirely different beasts. They both have lots of pretty beaches and blinding sunsets, that much is true. And for sure, both host world-class music scenes and are besieged by clubbers every summer because of it, but let's be honest, Ibiza is a thing of beauty all unto itself. Nowhere blitzes your eardrums with sonic bliss quite like the White Isle; nowhere can boast a similarly rich clubbing history; and nowhere welcomes people from all over the world with such loving, open arms. Ibiza is unique. So while Croatia might be king of the summer festival season, Ibiza is the world's clubbing capital and has been for decades, a fact that can be proved simply by looking at 2016's epic line-ups. Plus we've got hierbas and paella and DC-10 and the Med. And life isn't a competition, yeah? So let's agree to disagree and move on.

5. Ibiza has sold out

If we had a donut for every time we'd heard the sentence ‘Ibiza is too commercial', we'd be on the waiting list for a gastric band. Fact of the matter is, this statement is far too sweeping to apply to everything the island has to offer. In recent years, it's true that more venues have embraced events with commercial appeal - and that's a sign of the island's continued popularity - but a dusty, salty authentic essence still lies at Ibiza's core. This is especially true in the case of music, because as mentioned previously, a whole spectrum of tastes is catered for, so if sounds favoured by the masses aren't your vibe then you won't be short on options. DC-10 still offers one of the most credible clubbing experiences in the world, Ibiza Underground is a club that shuns promotion in favour of delivering a no frills music policy for its discerning crowd, and there are smaller venues all over the island serving up soundscapes that remain true to the Ibiza spirit. And, if like Bono, you still can't find what you're looking for, hunt out a villa party, where you'll find an ‘anything goes' ethos, and where the music is as diverse as the people dancing to it. Which leads us nicely on to…


6. Ibiza is all about VIPs

Mate, drive north, find a secluded beach and then tell us how many VIPs you find, okay? We're not getting antsy, but this statement is wrong. The VIP crowd can certainly indulge their wildest desires here, no one denies that, but we don't all go to work on a yacht, and we only occasionally have caviar for breakfast. In all seriousness, the rise of VIP treatment is a global phenomenon - who doesn't like to live it up like a baller while on holiday? - so it's no surprise the trend has been embraced by our little corner of the world, but Ibiza has an irrepressible spirit that can't be dampened by champagne-popping pompousness. Actually, if anything it adds to the island's appeal, because it serves as yet another reminder there's something here for everyone. Plus once you're on the dance floor, all these barriers between us sink into insignificance: there's nothing quite like the unifying force of music to put our prejudices into perspective.


7. San Antonio is for Brits going nuts abroad

We could really go to town on this one, but let's just say you shouldn't believe everything you've seen on Sun, Sea and Suspicious Parents. San Antonio has such a bad rep and it's genuinely not justified; in reality it's a buzzing little port town with an international crowd and a huge amount to offer. For a start, you haven't had the full Ibiza experience until you've watched the sun sink below the horizon from the rocks on Sunset Strip - home to world famous bars like Café del Mar and Café Mambo. Then there are quirky little restaurants like Rita's Cantina on the Marina - the perfect breakfast stop-off, there's Sa Capella, an idyllic spot for romance lovers, or the hugely underrated Tapas, where you can while away an evening on a secluded outdoor terrace in the campo. There's Pikes, after party Mecca and home of Ibizan rock'n'roll, and the newly-renovated Hostel La Torre, with views so jaw-dropping it'll make you giddy. Speaking of which, San An is surrounded by heaps of beaches bursting with charm, so you can still tan till it up like a lobster, only more elegantly, with a breath-taking backdrop. Cala Gracioneta is a pint-sized cove with its own first-class restaurant, Cala Saladeta is where the beautiful people hang out while sipping 5€ mojitos, and Punta Galera is a spiritual hub where people meet to downward dog en masse at sunset. We could keep going with this train of thought, but we trust we've said enough to convince you San An isn't all about streets lined with drunk people and Irish bars.


8. Mykonos is the new Ibiza

Change. The. Record. Every year there's a new Ibiza. Except there isn't, is there? Because writing it on a t-shirt doesn't make it gospel. Mykonos is a beautiful island, that much is true; Chora is a tip top town - we can definitely see a Dalt Vila likeness there, and Cavo Paradiso is an impressive venue, but one booming club does not Ibiza maketh. And don't cite the fact that it's the newest celeb hotspot just because Naomi Campbell's been seen there swanning around on a yacht - Naomi Campbell spends most of her life swanning around on a yacht - that doesn't mean anything. And anyway, there are enough C-list celebs for everyone, so let's just share. We prefer to think of Mykonos as Ibiza's impish little cousin: we fell from the same branch, we drink from the same cup, we'll always be a home away from home for hedonists. But there is only one Ibiza. Watch and learn Mykonos, watch and learn.


9. DC-10 has closed down

This one's wheeled out every single year. Pre-season without DC-10 gossip is like Donald Trump without a toupée, i.e. never gonna happen. But much like Trump's ramblings, don't believe a word of it and read the Circoloco opening line-up here. ‘Nuff said.


10. Ibiza was better back in the day

There is literally no one over the age of 25 who doesn't believe this, and that's fair enough, because it's nice we look back at the past so nostalgically. At the same time, we do have a *slight* tendency to glorify what's been and gone (remember that time you broke up with your boy/girlfriend in a blazing rage and after you couldn't remember anything they'd done wrong - it's that), and we definitely think our own memories are the most decade-defining. For some people of course, that'll be true - they'll have been around for the first ever gig at Pacha, they'll have had front row seats of people going at it like rabbits on stage at Manumission, they'll have lost their minds on the outdoor terrace at Ku (good times). And obviously, all of those things would have been amazing, but times change, ya know? And that means the island has to evolve too. Understandably, some people worry about it losing its bohemian spirit, and there are whispers it misplaced its soul the day big developers moved in, but these elements can't be lost - they remain the pulsating heartbeat the island orbits around, and they're everywhere if you look for them. In truth, Ibiza has more to offer now than it ever has - more clubbing options, more beach clubs, more music, better roads - in short, there's more choice, and that improves the lives of both tourists and locals. As Ibiza continues to develop, so does its reputation, and that's what keeps everyone coming back year on year. This little island will be making history for years to come yet and happily, that means more memories for us all.


WORDS | Abby Lowe ILLUSTRATION | James Chapman