Ibiza has a global reputation as a centre for electronic music and sees an influx of tourists to the each year hoping to dance the night away in some of the most impressive nightclubs on the planet.
However, Ibiza is not only about nightclubs, and for many it is a paradise family destination. This is no surprise, as it contains a wealth of gorgeous unspoiled beaches where children can play and swim in safety, first class hotel accommodation and areas of the island have been developed specifically for the family market. For example, most hotels offer child safe play parks with climbing frames, trampolines and bouncy castles. Whatever you are looking for, there are different experiences to suit every taste.
Beaches and water sports
As an island destination, much of the entertainment revolves around beaches and water sports. The larger beaches offer a full range of water sport activities that will occupy children for days at a time, including diving, sailing, parasailing, banana-boats and pedaloes. Water parks are always a favourite with kids, and Aguamar, in Playa D'en Bossa, is the first stop for slides and rides.
Older children may want to explore, and Ibiza has many beaches set in beautiful coves and bays. These are sheltered from the sea and are fantastic for snorkelling and exploring their rugged coastlines. Beniras, Punta Galera and Calla Gracio are particularly beautiful and worth a visit.
Ibiza's hippy markets are a venerated institution and offer the opportunity to lose yourself in another world for a day. Markets of varying sizes take place across the whole island nearly every day of the week. There are a great many beautiful locations, but the most established offer a great family orientated day out as they offer much more than just shopping. The larger hippy markets like the one held at Punta Arabi on Wednesdays is truly a feast for all the senses with entertainers, food, music, shopping and a stunning location to explore. It iss a great destination for families with children of all ages. Two other notable markets are Las Dalias on Saturdays and Calla Llenya on Sunday. Calla Llenya in particular has a fantastic ambience with great food and live flamenco. It also is a perfect launchpad for a Sunday afternoon exploration of some the islands hidden northern beaches.
The mediaeval fair
Travel to Ibiza in May and you will be lucky enough to visit its famous medieval fair. This wondrous roadshow travels the walled cities of Europe converting them, one weekend at a time, into a mediaeval experience. You will find with performers, flocks of animals roaming the streets, delicious food and a transformation of Ibiza's Dalt Villa castle into a world from the past. The whole of Ibiza descends on Dalt Villa to enjoy the spectacle which is sure to keep the family entertained.
A short boat ride from Ibiza is the unspoiled paradise of Formentera, an island of gorgeous nature reserves that is truly a taste of paradise. On arrival it is easy to hire a car or bike in the port and explore this 19km long island. On offer is a dizzying array and pristine beaches, stunning countryside and crystal clear seas that bring to mind holidaying in the Caribbean.
Throughout the summer season, the Ibiza Rocks Hotel in San Antonio reverberates to the sounds of live music. Ibiza Rocks is the organisation responsible for a change in the perception of Ibiza musical landscape in recent years. Their policy of booking world class acts has seen The Kaiser Chiefs, Madness, Bombay Bicycle Club and many others grace their stage in recent memory. It iss a kid friendly experience for children of all ages and a great opportunity to catch stadium acts in an intimate venue.
Maybe you miss the Ibiza of your youth, but you are never too old to return. Despite its hedonistic reputation, Ibiza has much to offer for a memorable family holiday.