I first visited Ibiza two years ago, and even back then when I told people that I was going I got some really odd reactions and it was clear that so many people still think that this beautiful island is just a party island full of British teens and aren't really aware of what it has to offer.
Two and a half years later (at 8 and a half months pregnant) I told people I was going back to Ibiza in April; cue even stranger looks! In a way I'm secretly glad that so many people haven't realised quite how stunning Ibiza is. Not just its aesthetic beauty but also its whimsical, laid back attitude to life, great restaurants and bars and charming little towns make it Spain's best kept secret - still after all these years!
We had a very limited time frame for when we could travel as Ryanair will only let passengers fly up until 36 weeks pregnant and I was 33 weeks at the time, so if we wanted to escape it was the beginning of April or not at all. With this in mind I was a little trepidatious about the weather and whether restaurants etc would be open, but we took the chance and it was a lovely turn up for the books! In fact it turns out that Spring is the perfect time to visit and here's why...
We booked our flights around six weeks before travelling, they were £40pp with Ryanair from Liverpool on Friday 8th April. If we'd of changed the dates slightly we could have got them for as little as £27pp! Use sites like Skyscanner to get the best deal and don't wait - when you see something that is reasonable, go for it.
Just out of interest I checked the price of the same flights a couple of days before we flew and they had gone up to £147pp. It pays to be flexible and to book early(ish).
A lot of hotels in Ibiza are closed in April and re-open in May/ June. But don't let that put you off - let it be a reason to try something different! Maybe a family run Bed and Breakfast, a Yurt in a farmers field, or, do what we did and try a property listed on AirBnB.
Possibly the best thing since sliced bread (in my opinion) AirBnB offers travellers the chance to have an authentic experience at a really reasonable price. Owners can rent out either their whole house, a private room or shared room. In our case we booked a private room with en-suite bathroom in Villa Es Joncaret for just £56per room per night and it was incredible. The Villa is located in large private gardens with a beautiful swimming pool and beautiful Ibizan style communal areas. It is quite rural, but only a 5 minute drive to the nearest town Santa Gertrudis which is a typical charming Ibizan town. We couldn't have asked for more.
People who haven't used AirBnB before often ask me what's it's downside, why's it so cheap? Well I guess something that may possibly be a negative is that you may often end up sharing communal spaces with other people. But why should that be a downside? They are often like minded people who will give you your own space or be as talkative as you want. Most of the time they have something interesting to say - a beach to recommend or a restaurant that you should try! Either way its an experience worth embracing because what you get in return is a much richer travelling experience, incredible memories and all at a fraction of the cost of a hotel.
Our experience couldn't have been better - the couple who owned the villa - Linda and Noam were the perfect hosts, helping us arrange airport transports and car hire and recommending places to visit. In the villa itself there is a downstairs bedroom with en-suite that we stayed in and four other rooms upstairs. Outside of the villa in the grounds there are two bungalows that looked gorgeous.
If you are staying in a villa or in a more rural area car hire in Ibiza is highly recommended. The island is only small, which makes it easy to get around and a very good incentive to explore the island and see as much as you can. Car hire is fairly cheap in Ibiza, again use websites like SkyScanner to get the best deal.
I've never driven in a foreign country before (probably safest all round) but decided to give it a go and really enjoyed it and felt completely safe.
When planning our trip to Ibiza I looked at the history of the weather in Ibiza in April and in truth I didn't hold out much hope. April can hold a very mixed bag ranging from rain showers to low temperatures of around 8 degrees. However, my dream was blue skies, and simply being able to sit outside to read a book and eat lunch, even if it meant layering up.
For us the weather excelled itself. It reached 22 every day - with a gentle breeze. The evenings were cool so if you plan to travel at this time of year take some trousers and jumpers or cardigans, but generally during the day its the perfect weather - especially for exploring and adventuring!
Whilst in England a market can just be somewhere to pick up the shopping, Ibizan markets are somewhat more of an experience and an occasion. Expect music, food, drinks and plenty and plenty of atmosphere. Whilst not all markets are on year round there are a few that are going in April.
Sant Jordi Market
Noam - the owner of the villa that we were staying in recommended this market as one that the locals frequent every Saturday at Sant Jordi, near to Ibiza Town. Its a fab market mainly selling second hand goods, and whilst we didn't buy anything the atmosphere was incredible - music playing, people relaxing and enjoying an espresso or a beer and some of THE BEST churros I have ever tasted. Have a wander round, soak it all up and try one of the chicken bocadillos! The market is on every Saturday morning.
Las Dalias Hippy Market
Last time I visited Ibiza I really wanted to visit Las Dalias Market but we just didn't have time, so I was so pleased that we got to go back.
I absolutely loved this place; the way the market is laid out in the shady, wisteria draped lanes, the beautiful items for sale and the chilled out, very cool atmosphere. Started in the 50s Las Dalias was a Hippy Market for people to sell their wares, however these days it's more of a bohemian, artisan market with beautiful but expensive jewellery, clothes and art. In addition there are a few bars and restaurants where you can enjoy a refreshing break from the sun.
In April the market is on every Saturday all day.
Cala Benirras Market
Located in the far North of the Island, Cala Benirras is a tucked away little cove offering beautiful views across to Cap Bernat a rock formation jutting out of the sea. Benirras is most well known for its hippy gatherings on the beach. In Summer these happen every night, however in Winter you are most likely to catch the biggest gathering on a Sunday.
As the sun sets people gather to drum the light away and be thankful for another day. The ritual started as a protest to the gulf war back in the 90's but is now more of a celebration of the passing day. You can join in in the drumming and dancing, or simply sip a mojito made by one of the beach sellers and soak up the atmosphere. We have been and experienced this so many times now and it never fails to make me emotional...
Eivissa, also known as Dalt Villa or Ibiza Old Town is probably one of my favourite places on the island. It's cobbled streets lined with beautiful shops, cafes, restaurants and bars would keep me returning time after time. In April as opposed to the busy Summer there is a very different atmosphere the streets are full of locals enjoying lunch or doing their shopping.
We ate at a restaurant called La Brasa, it was a grill restaurant set in a beautiful garden and we enjoyed a fantastic meal. Having looked up the restaurant since we ate there on trip advisor it doesn't have amazing reviews, however we couldn't fault it at all.