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Once a virtually unknown island, Ibiza is now a haven for tourists. In the 1950s, the artists colony of Ibiza began to thrive, and by the 1960s, the island had become a favorite for European flower children and those searching for an escape from their everyday routine. Now, Ibiza is a favorite destination for middle class travelers from all over Europe.

In the 5th century BC, the Carthaginians settled Ibiza. The main resort on the island is Sant Antoni, and the Sa Penya neighborhood is full of flea markets that are a shopper's paradise. Ibiza is 225 square miles in size, making it the third largest Balearic Island. It has a number of great beaches, a zigzagging coastline, cliffs, and secluded bays. The nights on Ibiza are temperate in terms of degrees, but sizzling as far as the nightlife is concerned. One of the best islands for nighttime activity in the entire world, Ibiza draws crowds of both conservative tourists and outrageously wild partiers.

The sand coves and fantastic beaches on Ibiza are only the beginning of the wondrous landscape. Pine trees and amazing dunes comprise a significant portion of the island, making it a unique and wonderfully diverse region. The popular beaches and night spots can become greatly overcrowded, but if you know where to look you can find spectacular spots that are virtually abandoned. A lot of the younger crowd on Ibiza congregates in certain areas, and if you steer clear of these areas, Ibiza provides a much quieter and more tranquil vacation. If you prefer a loud, rousing, party-like atmosphere the entire day and night, or you would rather sightsee and rest on a tranquil beach during the day and relax on the patio of a lovely restaurant for a romantic dinner at night, Ibiza is a fabulous place to be.

Docking & Local Transportation
Cruise ships dock at the Puerto de Ibiza (971/310-611). From there, taxis and buses can take you to your destination on the island.

Ibiza has a great bus system that crisscrosses the island day and night. If you'd like more personalized transportation, you can call for a taxi (971/307-000). Or, if you prefer to rent a car while on the island, contact the friendly folks at Motosud (Avenida Sant Jordi 1, Figueretas, 971-302-442), who also rent motorcycles and scooters

Local Interests
The Museo Arqueològic de Ibiza y Formentera is located at Plaça de la Catedral 3 (971/301-771) and houses the world's most extensive collection of Punic remains. The pottery and artifacts date back to the prehistoric era, and they make for a remarkably engaging exhibit. Carthaginian artifacts, such as vases and figurines from the burial grounds on the island, are also on display. Moorish and Christian artifacts can be found here, as well.

The best selection of exercise equipment on the island, along with a hot tub and Turkish bath with massage (highly recommended) can be found at the Ahmara Centro Deportivo, located on Carretera Sant Josep (971/395-506). Tennis and squash courts are available as well, and badminton and indoor football are two more sports that are tremendously popular at this location.

Who could argue with gambling by the sea? With cards, slot machines, a nightclub, dining hall, and entertainment such as magicians and comedians, it does not seem that you would want to skip Casino de Ibiza. It is located on Carretera Ibiza-San Antonio (971/313-312) and offers a wide array of entertainment and events. Nightly shows and cabaret entertainment round out this great spot.

For a change of pace, visit Cueva de Ses Fontanelles, which is north of Platja Calad Salada. Multicolored prehistoric paintings still cover the walls so many centuries later

Activities
Beaches
Playa Talamanca is the most popular beach in northern Ibiza. In the south, Ses Figueretes is the most popular tourist beach. All the best beaches on the island are connected by bus, which is great for all your beach-hopping adventures. Playa d'en Bossa is a gorgeous white-sand beach in southern Ibiza that is slightly less crowded, but there are many equally pleasant locations that lack the enormous crowds. First, I will warn you about a beach that is always terribly overcrowded, Playa San Antonio. Avoid this spot like the bubonic plague, for if this beach was any more crowded you and your partner would have to lie on top of each other to find enough room on the sand for the both of you. The less congested and excellent beaches of the south are Cala Bassa, Cala Tarida, Port de Torrent, and Cala Conta. Along the north side of Ibiza, the more secluded yet still beautiful beach spots are Playa d'es Cana and Cala Llena.

Dining and Nightlife
El Corsario is located at Carrer Ponent 5 (971/301-248) and the menu here is incredibly extensive, with fantastic seafood and mouth-watering lamb dishes. The view of the harbor is magnificent, and the bar is quaint and lively. El Portalón, found at Plaça dels Desamparatas 1, (971/303-901) serves perhaps the best Spanish food on Ibiza. Dining in the courtyard is an added plus, and the servings are large and delicious. El Divino Club, located in Puerto Ibiza Nueva (971/318-338) is hip and always the hottest place to be. Dancing and drinking until 6am is standard at this wild spot. Pacha, located at Avenida 8 de Agosto (971/313-600) has three separate bars and a spacious dance floor. Pacha plays all kinds of music and attracts a more diverse and less rambunctious crowd.

Shopping
The fashion industry has been a mainstay in Ibiza since the 1960s, and the best place for fantastic garments is at Pedro's, which is located at Aníbal 8 (971/313-026). Items offered here include original, hand-sewn leather goods, home furnishings, and great accessories. The Sandal Shop, located at Plaça de Vila 2, (971/305-475) features leather bags, bejeweled belts, and sandals that can be custom made to fit your every fashion request.



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