Five months, from low-season through high-season and back to low with two vans, a dog and a new business running right here on the white Ibiza island.
Ibiza, Spain, 05 October 2018I started a bed and breakfast (of which I will tell more about in the future) and ended up spending the whole summer from late May to late-September in Ibiza.
It is, in fact, an island that attracts millions of tourists every year, because of its magnetism, because of its beauty and its incredible parties.
But before you purchase your 250 ferry ticket, please consider carefully if, besides of all the hype, this destination fits for you.
I must, therefore, undergo the unpleasant job of spoiling the beliefs about this lovely corner of the earth.
Ibiza SpoilersMagnetic Ibiza
About "the magnetic island of Ibiza" and all the mystical and mythological tales.
There is no magnetism whatsoever, and even its very best representative monument of Es Vedrà "contrary to the esoteric urban myth of being a special magnetic place, has no (magnetic) metal accumulations." – Wikipedia.
Most myths are made up. As you know is incredibly easy to find psychedelic drugs here, or fall into ecstatic states of the mind with dances, meditations, etc... You know where I am going with this, right?
The vanlife is impossible
Vanlife in Ibiza is not the easiest but is not that bad as I’ve heard before coming here.
Ibiza is only crowded beaches, parties, and drugs
Hell no!!! The partying is mostly (but not exclusively) confined to two central locations: Ibiza town and San Antoni. Ibiza is a lot more to this. The wildlife is overwhelming, hippy markets are colorful and fun, and if you are curious enough to explore, you can find empty shores in the hidden corners of la Isla. Drugs are always a personal choice; I wouldn't worry about that aspect.
Yes, this is not a spoiler, rather a reiteration of the bitter truth. Ibiza is expensive, gas is more expensive than the rest of Spain, restaurants, and clubs are overated and overpriced, but even here, you can find a few sposts where prices have kept a certain dignity.
How to Vanlife in Ibiza
Where to Park/Camp
These that follow are just a few personal suggestions; there are many more places to go to, every traveling experience is intimate, so please, explore the island on your own. For example, I never camped near San Antoni, but I had a friend who parked continuously around that area and loved it.
1. Salinas and Playa de Es Cavallet
Incredible long beach of white sand. The Chiringuito (chiriguitos are beach bars) is excessively expensive and crowded by rich, bored people, but the place is impressive. Take a walk next to the Salinas, another chiringuito (the LGBT friendly Chiringay – also crazy expensive) is right next to where the best part of Cala Pluma starts. Adventuring through the low sterps of the Mediterranean maquis, you can reach the tower of Ses Portes and enjoy the landscape that extends all the way down to Formentera island. From there little empty calas follow each other, but watch out... is the "island of love," so you may find some action going on.
Showers are there too: 1€ for 1 minute of cold water. Welcome to Ibiza!
2. Sa Caleta
Sa Caleta is a red rocky beach with lots of parking space. If instead of driving down to the main beach you take a left turn into a dusty road, you will reach an intimate little bay of fishermen where is possible to spend quiet nights.
3. Follow the markets!
I loved to take a stroll to the hippy markets.
My Saturday's routine included a visit to the Mercadillo de San Jordi, in the old Hippodrome (every Saturday until 3 pm).
The night before is possible to park right outside in the vast parking space with no hassle.
Sunday mornings in San Joan for the street market, with delicious street food and lovely live music. If you intend to spend the night before there (so that you are already in the area), you can sleep next to the cemetery (reaching the market is at short – and pleasant – walking distance through the woods). The town of San Joan has plenty of parking too.
Do not miss la Noche de San Joan (Saint John's Eve) on June the 23rd! Log fires, masks, rituals, and madness fall across the town!
4. Las Dalias
It's another lovely spot where there are night markets and events. Namaste night, the best hippy and almost "locals only" party of the island, is here every Wednesday. The parking is enormous, they will tell you to go away after closure, but you can stay all night.
Being a private parking is never a problem because the police cannot fine you in it.
5. San Carles
The town of San Carles de Peralta is a petite treat!
Is a charming small center with nice shops, delightful gelateria, tasty pizzeria, and the Bar Anita, which is a legendary place you must visit for its uniqueness and its cheap tapas and beer.
The town has two big parking spaces where I often spent the night.
6. Cala Comte
One of the best beaches (so crowded though for its attractive beauty), offers so many parking spots and a lot of people wild camp there all the time. If you search well enough you can end up in this magic place:
7. Es Vedrà (Cala d'Hort)
It is not a magnetic place, ok, that given, is still amazing to wake up in front of it.
Huge dusty parkings overviewing this beauty.
Water (getting filled-in and disposal)
This is a critical topic.
Filling the water is not much of an issue, it just costs a little money, just like everything else here.
Getting rid of waste waters instead is tricky, since there are no facilities at all. You can probably do it in campsites, or take advantage of the water canal of car washes. For black waters, forget about it!
Replace your potty with a bucket-toilet and buy bags. It is the best solution always. Or use public toilets.
Fuentejara in San Rafael is the water source I used the most, with 1 euro you can get either 50lts of natural water or 25lts of natural processed water.
In Pozo Can Guasch on the road to Santa Eulalia, you can fill your tank too: 1 euro for 30lts.
Some gas stations let you refill for free.
Sometimes even the kind people from the villas.
Electricity and solar
Is a sunny island, get a solar panel :-D
It's a dusty island so be prepared to clean the solar panel every three days.
They are not allowed, and on some sandy beaches is better not to dare... but we went anyways, again with no problem.
I think I covered most of what you may need before considering a van experience on the island.
Just one more consideration: staying a long period can be boring, and from a week to a month is more than enough for this island. Keep this in mind when you are considering the budget for the ferry.
Hope this is helpful to someone.