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Alternative Venues: The Soul of Ibiza

Where do you go if you don't like Amnesia, Eden, Es Paradis, Pacha, Privilege or Space?

Of course by alternative what we really mean is cheaper. Amnesia, Eden, Es Paradis, Pacha, Privilege and Space are all unashamedly commercial operations, and that flavour is pervasive.

Sometimes we just want to dance without having to make a consumer decision. It's always more fun when you just to turn up with as many friends as you can round up and cut loose in that special way only possible when it's free, or at least not expensive.

Underground, San Rafel

We don't know the ins and outs of all the venue licensing laws in Ibiza. We do know that we've had some of the best times of our lives in these places and we're suspicious of official bodies who seek to curtail or cease their activities. The word on the streets is that these interfering zealots aren't conservative, they're joy killers helping to protect vested interests. We feel our culture has been co-opted by those seeking to make a buck.

In response we've run around all over the island checking out some different places to party your nuts off. The first piece of advice is get yourself a car, and of course a designated driver.

Some of the places we visited are not on the main disco bus routes and to be frank the action is typically sporadic. At times nothing much is happening, though all of these spots are good drinking environments. Congenital ravers however need a bit of a buzz to help the beer go down, so we've put down the nights you're most likely to find a decent amount of people. We start with Bora Bora, because that's easy – in 2004 it has been going off pretty much every day of the week

Bora Bora, Agosto 13BORA BORA

But not any more. It's still open but there's no music, no dancing on tables, no Dj Gee. The conspiracy theories are flying, but most of those launching them have no idea. What is clear from the local papers is that BB's success this year has caused friction with its Playa d'en Bossa neighbours: the shops, restaurants etc who have been vocal about the high numbers of noisy boys and girls and rampant disorder though that is what made it so special in the first place.

Dc10, Septembre 13DC10

Ok so the Circo Loco crew charge to get in on a Monday but they didn't for the first few years of operation and they still let a lot of people in for nada. However this day club bordering the airport has also felt pressure from the authorities in recent weeks. For the last two weeks there have been no terrace djs and the music is piped in from the inside. The Guardia Civil are all over the car park too – they're very thorough so mind your cojones - but it hasn't affected the head count much if at all. It's still rammed and the atmosphere is steamy.

Beer price-o-meter: 8€


There are two parts to this club deep in the bowels Playa d'en Bossa. The Kiss side is still peddling the kind of lowest common denominator promotions that appeal to drunk passers by, but the Somny side has at least splashed out on some nice advertising and have brought in some credible promoters.

It's still not a sure bet on any night of the week, but the Arthrob guys have taken over Mondays and are doing their best to fill it with all the post-Dc10 loons.

Beer price-o-meter: 5€ (for a little one)

La Diosa, Agosto 29LA DIOSA

Those prepared to take a trip north of Ibiza Town will have trouble finding a place more impressive than La Diosa, on the road to Santa Getrudis. If you head over on a Sunday night you'll find fields of chill out beds and a sweaty little discoteca behind the purple walls. The sounds are defiantly underground, this is not a place you should go to if you want to hear the shit hits of the day. Again if you walk up you'll get taxed but if you know the Zenith guys ask them for a free pass they're everywhere that's anywhere on Sunday before midnight.

Beer price-o-meter: 5€ (for a big one)


Take note of the name. The guys who run this homely yet glamorous San Rafel venue really do not want it over run with people they don't know and/or don't like. Thursdays is the big one, but they're restricting entry to those who have received the appropriate text message on their mobile. Wednesdays is a bit quieter but still busy enough and you might even get to sample the aural wares of Mr C and his super freaky cohort.

Beer price-o-meter: 6€ (big one)

Km5, Septiembre 9KM5

These guys have gone out of their way to show they're not competing with the major venues in the dancing department. Five kilometers south of Ibiza Town on the road to San Josep, they emphasise their niche as a pre-club. However if you are surreptitious you can probably get down inside before the hour of 3am.

Beer price-o-meter: 8€ (big imported one)

Other options: Beverly's in San An, (rubbish music and casual sex), Blue Marlin (we haven't been there, but check the latest Pacha mag 'cos they have), Xueno in Formetera, Anfora in Ibiza Town (gay)