Ibiza and winter are two words you don’t hear in the same sentence very often – or at all.
Though it is a little chillier than in most months, you can easily get away with leggings, a pull-over and flip-flops. Also, most shops close by 7pm, even the “24-hour” supermarkets and rental cars or motorbikes are generally unavailable, unless you pre-book them. You actually have to stock up on food in the morning to cook for yourself for supper.
However, this shouldn’t stop you from exploring this little Balaeric island off Valencia (and about a 45-minute plane ride from Barcelona via Ryanair). While Ibiza comes alive in the summer time and the endless possibilities of nightlife shenanigans it provides, Ibiza in December is somewhat shy of magical and infinitely memorable. So if you’re the kind to want to escape the party crowds in the other 7 months of the year in Ibiza – read on:
Here are our 5 Things To Do in Ibiza during its downtime:
#1 Rent a bike to old Ibiza Town & White Town
While most popular hotels are closed during December, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to apartments and quaint boutique hotels in the island. The best part? Most of them provide bicycle rentals for cheap (ours was 10€ each day @ Figueretas Town) with safety knee pads and helmets. We were also given your typical chain and lock, so if you want to “park” your bike around the island, you could. In winter, tourist numbers are low, locals escape to livelier Spanish cities like their neighbours Valencia and Barcelona, so cycling on roads are relatively safe due to minimal cars. Cycle up to old Ibiza Town towards the iconic Spanish fortress Dalt Vila and enjoy the silence in the hidden gems of the White Town. Just remember to get your hiking shoes on for Dalt Vila and get ready for the leg workout for your life! It will be worth it though, the views of the Mediterranean Sea at the top are breathtaking.
#2 Dine in and enjoy the tapas
While not as cold as other Spanish cities in the mainland, Ibiza does go through torrential rains during winter and unfortunately we were not spared. But this only means you are able to wine and dine the weather away! Once again, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to food – what’s great is you do not find any international food chains to tempt you away from an authentic Spanish experience (save for the McDonald’s at some places but we can NEVER escape Macdees, sorry). Enjoy the tapas (priced @ 5-10 € per plate) and the paella (priced @ 10-20€). For Muslim travellers, we’re happy to report that the Iberian peoples of Ibiza love their seafood so you can enjoy your lobsters and shrimps at a steal.
#3 Christmas Markets @ Santa Eulalia
We stumbled on to Santa Eulalia by accident, a place popular with families for the town’s laid back feel. We were greeted by a carnival of lights and smells (mostly Nutella and dulce de leche, yum!) and ended up staying in the area for hours. You’ll be surrounded by sellers with vintage clothing and pieces, handmade cosmetics and leather bags. You’ll see little huts of shops selling Spanish spices and famous Iberian sea salt. Enjoy the Bohemian atmosphere!
How to get there: local buses (directions are on bus boards) or taxis (this is the only place in Spain where we took a taxi!)
#4 Hike (or drive) & visit secluded beaches
Winter is the time to take out those Timberland hiking boots and get out there. The beaches in Ibiza tend to be deserted during these times and of course, a little senseless to jump into the sea (but don’t take our word for it – YOLO!). Aside from hiking the fortress Dalt Vila, talk a walk and soak in the sun in Talamanca, where you’ll get the opportunity to once again eat the freshest seafood you’ll ever taste. If you have the opportunity to rent a car, drive south to Salinas Beach or San Antonio’s secluded beaches like Cala Salada (famous for cliff jumping – once again, YOLO!) for a drink and a brisk walk. We ventured West Coast of the island and hiked through the Cala d’Hort Beach and looked upon Es Vedra, the mythical rock-island which has inspired many stories and superstitions. Who says Ibiza in winter is boring!
#5 Take a local bus to explore Spanish towns in the island
Once you’ve run out of things to do in your weekend in Ibiza in December, just hop on a random bus to take you anywhere in the island. This, in our opinion, is the best way to see the island without breaking your wallet. Don’t worry, every bus will stop at one of the few bus terminals in the island – should you grow weary, just hop on the bus back to old Ibiza Town! Each bus ride is about 1-2€ and you have so many friendly locals to help you should you ever get lost.