Ibiza is the kind of destination that will either embrace you or eat you alive. No matter your level of experience, you have to do it right while there. Stay nestled in the tourist hot spots with the masses and on a 24/7 party program, we're guessing you will wind up in the latter camp. But arrive with the aim of tempering your hedonism with a dose of true exploration and tranquility, then we're guessing you will come out on top.
We hooked up with island favorite Carlo Lio to get an idea of his itinerary when he hits Ibiza. The influential techno DJ has been playing superstar parties here for years now, so who better to grace us with their program for acing the Balearic jewel?
DC-10, Sant Josep de Sa Talaia
Carlo Lio: The clubbing! This is probably the main reason you have come to Ibiza. I have always had a love affair with DC-10. It's the place I go when I want to get into trouble and really party. The atmosphere, vibe, music, and the people are all insane. Untouchable for competition as far as a venue goes, I think DC-10 is also very much its own unique beast on the island. It's hard to describe the energy there on a Monday for Circo Loco, so you have to go to experience it. At least once, as for me, there is nothing else quite like it!
Space, Playa D'en Bossa
Ibiza's mega-legendary hot spot. I cannot remember a time where I didn't enjoy myself at Space. It's a spot where every DJ has dreamt to play at some point in their career. It's massive but still manages to somehow feel intimate and has one of the best sound systems on the island.
Sankeys, Playa D'en Bossa
I think that Sankeys has quickly become a staple on the island and in such a short time. The minute you walk inside you will realize why. The sound is crazy. It has more of an underground club feeling like you would get in the UK, with a super low ceiling and pitch black inside. It's really a melting pot of what underground should feel like. They hit the nail on the head.
Amnesia, San Antonio
I love this place. It's huge and can be a little overwhelming at times, but it has an iconic terrace. There is nothing better than being out there with all your friends at 9 AM when the sun is up and out. This place goes off—it really goes off!
Zebra, San Antonio
I've been in love with this place for a few years now. It's our go-to meat joint. Try the platter and the rest is history. Also, the seared tuna is the bomb!
Kasbah, San Antonio
For me, this is pretty much my daily breakfast and brunch spot. They definitely put a nice twist on normal things. A must in the San Antonio area.
Sushi Mambo, San Antonio
Maybe a more commercial spot, but I really come here for one reason: the best quinoa burger you'll find on the island, hands down! Plus, it has an amazing view.
Fish Shack, Talamanca
I guess Fish Shack needs to get a mention as everyone on the island goes there. We walk up and constantly see ten people we know all having lunch. It's no reservations, near Talamanca Beach and serves the freshest fish you could want. It's a no frills deal with plastic tables—I love it.
Passion Café, Old Town Marina
With a few locations on the island, this is another place everyone raves about. It's super healthy, which I am not always that bothered about [laughs], but my girlfriend loves the food here, as she's a vegetarian. Huge smoothies, cold-pressed juices, and salads. Everything you need to help you recover from all the partying.
Imagine Beach Bar, San Jose
Super chill and right on the water. Cheap and incredible tasting drinks. Great food too. And always good to catch a sunset here.
Kumharas, San Antonio
An even more super chill, hippy vibe in a gorgeous location at Cala d'en Bou. The sunset view from this place in just insane and the menu is off the scale. Anything from fresh fish, meat, and steaks to amazing crepes.
Elements, San Miguel
Wicked cool setting and, again, great for sunsets. Very nice cocktail menu and chill vibe. Exactly what I want when we are away from the clubs. Just some quiet time to enjoy a well-made drink.
Hidden Bar, Cala San Vincente
This is such a small place, but insane drinks. It's run by a family and feels really unpretentious, plus they have amazing cocktails and crazy golf.
Located more on the west side of the island—about a 10-minute drive from San Jose—is an amazing white sand beach that has some of the clearest water around. There is a small town nearby too, with restaurants.
This place is also nearer to the San Antonio side of the island, but it's well worth the trip! It's formed by two coves and not crowded either, so you can really enjoy the space, sun, and gorgeous scenery.
This is a new one we recently visited this summer. It has an amazing view of the sea and has more of a family vibe going on. It's not really busy either, which is hard to find in Ibiza.
If you wanted a beach nearer to the Old Town, then I would say Talamanca is one of the nicer ones to go to. It's nowhere near as crowded as Playa D'en Bossa, which is like hell on earth to me!
ESCAPING THE MADNESS
Get anywhere away from San Antonio or Playa D'en Bossa! We come here for awhile each summer, rent a place to live out of the hustle and madness, and also get a car. Ibiza has so much to offer when you drive 20 minutes north of San Antonio and Ibiza Town areas—deserted beaches, tiny cafes, and restaurants on a cliff side. It's good to discover new terrain. It makes staying in Ibiza that much easier when you have an escape. It's all about the balance!
Catch Carlo this weekend on the island at Blue Marlin for the SCI+TEC Showcase with Dubfire, SHADED, Sossa, and a very special guest. For more details, click here.
Christopher is on Twitter.