If it's nightlife you're after, you've come to the right island. Ibiza has a hedonistic heritage stretching back more than 30 years. Top clubs, on form djs, hot bands, a cosmopolitan mix of clubbers, local residents, freaks, mature partygoers, fresh faces, a wide range of sexualities, and the full alphabet of celebrities - modern Ibiza contains multitudes.
This is for all you who have never been to Ibiza before. Here follows a brief explanation of the club scene and how it works.
Typically you watch the sunset, go out to eat, then move on into town for some drinks, mingling and maybe a bit of a dance. From there move on to the clubs for a big night with your favourite DJ. Or perhaps try something new, like this day party below.
Amnesia has blown minds for decades. The house where Amnesia now stands was built at the end of the 18th century. Sold to an aristocratic and artistic widow in the 70s it became a home to hippies who played in bands and danced till dawn while experimenting with LSD and "touching the heavens", according to the Amnesia web site.
In 1975 Spain's long ruling dictator Franco died. In 1976 the new tennant Antonio Escohotado turned the house into a discotheque and christened it Amnesia.
The four four thump of disco took over from rock and is yet to relinquish its hold. But it was the juxtapostion of new and old sounds, pop and underground which was truly influential. Argentine Alfredo Fiorito wowed Paul Oakenfold, Danny Rampling and others in the summer of '88 and let flow a torrent of mass tourism which continues raging to this day.
Half way between Ibiza and San Antonio on the main road, on the opposite side of the highway from the village of San Rafael.
While the previously open air venue was enclosed, Amnesia promoters lost the air of freedom but gained volume. All the successful promoters that inhabit it today have taken advantage of the ability of the sound system to fill every corner of the room with physical waves of sound.
From the sonic innovations of Cocoon's techno-tastic Monday nighter to the euphoric rushes of Cream, it's music made to be felt as much as heard. Typically it's housier on the terrace and more banging in the sala principal.
The terrace is a huge greenhouse with palm trees, many bars and a pleasantly air-conditioned VIP area which encircles the club on the upper floor. The plebs below are cooled by less subtle means - two massive "ice cannons" blasting cold air fire off at regular intervals. Amnesia also host Espuma parties at which life-threatening quantities of foam are pumped onto the dance floor in the main room.
Boulder-sized stacks of speakers litter the floor and are usually colonised by enthusiastic ravers. Tacky dancers bounce around on podiums on the upstairs floor, level with the dj booth which looks down on the writhing masses below.
Back in the murky 90s a venue called the Star Club morphed into Kaos and then just as swiftly became the present day Eden in the winter of '99/2000.
Eden appropriated the symbol of the competition directly across - Es Paradis's apple - and a feud was born. The constant bickering keeps them on their toes however as both vie for the custom that pours in from the West End and the other drinking zones of San Antonio and its surrounds.
Judge Jules was a consultant in the design of the dj booth and the Radio 1 jock also occupies the club on Sundays for Eden's most high profile night.
Directly on the waterfront of San Antonio, opposite the harbour. Perfect for town-based clubbing. If you are staying down the Bay (Port d'es Torrent), the disco bus ferries clubbers back and forth all night.
Eden have yet to develop a solid line up and so the music program is in a state of flux. However anthemic trance fans are well served with the aformentioned Julius O'Riordan and colleague, Dave Pearce.
Funky house is on offer when Garlands and Dusted are in the building. R'n'b and hip hop have also been attempted with varying degrees of success. Retro caters for the old skool rave market.
Try the back room on any night for alternative sounds. Electric Sex's gigs are the pick of the bunch.
The sound system is powerful, the lighting effects are reasonably good and there are plenty of bars to service the approximately 5,000 that can be accommodated inside.
Downstairs the dancefloor is separated into two sunken areas with the booth overlooking both. A stage at the far end can also be utilised should Girls Aloud or other such pop groups drop by. In the rear of the club is the glassed back room with capacity for a few hundred.
Upstairs is the restricted access VIP area complete with couches and more bars which overlooks the rest of the club. The design is stark and slightly cold.
El Divino was built in 1992 but was open only to a select clientele in its early years. Later it threw open its doors to the general public and became a more intimate alternative to its more high profile neighbour, Pacha.
Over the years the 1,500 capacity venue has hosted a number of promoters looking to dip a toe into the shark-infested Ibiza party pool. Some who have thrived in its environs such as Defected and Roger Sanchez's Release Yourself made the move to Pacha, thus attracting accusations of poaching.
A cloud hangs over El Divino's future due to proposals to demolish the pier it currently sits on the make way for further development of the marina.
Right on the harbour, directly opposite the port where all the shopping and late night festivities take place.
Off Paseo Maritimo, if you're coming by car but our tip is to arrive in style by catching a boat from Ibiza harbour directly to the the club - cool huh?
Shiny, happy house mostly, with a bit of a poppy hip hop and r'n'b on the side. The UK's Miss Moneypenny's is a long time partner and recently took over the Friday night slot. Hed Kandi, Salvacion, Azuli and San Francisco's Om Records have also made El Divino their summer home.
It's designed to appeal to the yachting crowd who moor within a champagne cork's pop of the front door. The decor is faux ornate but don't look too closely because it could really use a spruce up. There's one main dance floor with space for a few hundred with a slightly cramped-looking dj booth at the foot of stairs which lead to the interior VIP.
However it's the outside terrace which is the big draw card. It runs the length of the club and every seat has a fantastic view of D'Alt Vila, the castle which has justifiably been granted World Heritage status. The waves lap against the rocks below and there are few better places to enjoy a vodka limon.
Expect to pay from 25€ to 40€ for the big parties, depending on the month. A Vodka Lemon costs approx. 10€ and a beer 7€. Reduced price flyers are available. Taxi fares will be refunded for a group of 3 or more people arriving at the club. Take the receipt with you.
Second only in longevity to Pacha, Es Paradis opened in 1975. The spectacular creation of Pepe Aguirre drew people to the then sleepy fishing village of San Antonio. Es Paradis have hosted their share of hip parties but as the resort town became dominated by unsophisticated British holidaymakers so the nightlife on offer has gone down market. Modern-day Es Paradis is popular with youngsters based in San An but fails to draw crowds from further afield.
Directly on the waterfront of San Antonio, opposite the harbour. It's only a 5 minute walk from the West End! If you are staying down the Bay (Port d'es Torrent), the disco bus ferries clubbers back and forth all night.
As is usual in Ibiza the music varies from night to night and promoter to promoter, though Es Paradis showcases a greater variety than most. There's the fluffiest of trance courtesy of Dj Sammy, hard dance, old skool, urban sounds in the main room from the long-running Twice As Nice, and funky house at other times.
Quite unique in Ibiza, the decor is largely white and ornate. Think Roman columns and marble surfaces. The greenery is well-maintained and extensive. The main dance floor is round and tiered, and overlooked by the dj booth. Above the dance floor is podium populated by professional exhibitionists.
There are numerous levels and bars and another room for alternative sounds which runs virtually the length of the west wall.
When Pacha first opened across the bay from the bustling bars of the port area some opined Ricardo Urguell's creation wouldn't last because it was too far away from the action. They must feel stupid now. Today Pacha is surrounded by apartment blocks, bars, a casino and hotels including El Hotel, which Pacha made their own in 2003.
Avenida Ocho de Agosto, opposite the Marina in Ibiza Town. 10 - 15 minutes walk from the Port (depending on the quantity of pre-club drinks consumed ;-)
Pacha became famous throughout the world as a haven for glamorous hippies and indeed Ricardo's son Piti's Flower Power production still wows them on occasional Sundays.
When the electronic music revolution hit, house music took over though in recent years they have branched out into hip hop and r'n'b. It's a change of pace and style but they are bonded by their mutual love of the bling.
If you like Spanish pop you can find that too - just hang a left into Pachacha after you enter through the front door. Then there's the El Cielo or the Funky Room, where jazzy house, soul, and funk predominate.
Erick'n'TommyThe main room can be quite banging by 5am where you're likely to find big name jocks like Erick Morillo (right, with his mate Tommy Lee), Roger Sanchez, Pete Tong, David Morales, Deep Dish, Danny Tenaglia or Sander Kleinenberg. If it all gets too much try the soothing sounds on the outside terrace.
The residents include Australian born Sarah Main, Barcelona-born Angel Linde, and hip houser Andy B.
As you've probably gathered from the music description, there are many different zones and bars, each with their own unique vibe. Although an enormous club, with a capacity for over 3000, Pacha still retains a very cosy and intimate feel. Pacha is the only club to open all year round.
Expect to pay from 30€ to 60€ for most nights, the price increases as the island gets busier and the parties get more popular. A Vodka Lemon costs approx. 12€ and a beer 10€.
In 1978 the venue known as Club Rafael was bought by three Basques. One of their number was the famous footballed Jose Antonio Santamaria. They changed the name of the club to Ku after the nighterie they already owned in San Sebastian.
Throughout the 80s the soon-to-be legend was born and suckled. In 1987Queen's Freddie Mercury dueted with rival diva opera singer Montserrat Caballe for a tv show broadcast round the world.
In 1990 a roof was added, lierally bringing to a close an era of outdoor partying. In 1991 this roof collapsed during a storm and after refurbishments and much speculation it became Privilege. The arrival of Manumission in 1996 heralded the modern age of imported promoters, guest artists and mass club tourism.
Half way between Ibiza and san Antonio on the main road, near San Rafael. Tricky to miss, given its massive height, girth and garish lighting.
Like most venues in Ibiza it depends on the promoter on the given night. Manumission do popular rave music in the sala principal, provided by both djs and live bands. They also crank up dedicated live venue the Music Box for their Friday party, and incorporate a much-mashed mish mash of rock, house, electro and pop in the others.
Otherwise it ranges from harder, faster sounds of techno and trance to happy clappy house.
If it's your first time in Privilege you're highly likely to get lost. It's extremely easy to get separated from your friends and not see them again till the sun comes up. Don't worry tho, you'll make new ones.
Upon entering the club you go down a massive staircase. You are now are bang in the middle of one of the world's largest dancefloors. At its centre the dj is suspended above a swimming pool . At the far end is a stage where girls and boys dance around in varying stages of undress and a show with a non-linear dramatic structure (i.e. it's confusing) takes place.
Above this room is a the large lattice dome which supports the Privilege sign. To the left is a multi-level terraced chill out area. Downstairs is a toilet complete with dj booth. To the right (south) is the gayer-than-average Coco Loco. In the far corner is the aforementioned Music Box. There's a map on a sign out the front.
Expect to pay up to 60€ for Manumission. Other nights vary between 20€ and 50€. There are often free tickets in Ibiza Town and San Antonio for the lesser known promoters' nights. A vodka limon costs approx. 10€ and a beer 8€.
In 1989 a concert hall in Ibiza became the home for the concept the whole world knows as Space. Truly Balearic in its original incarnation, Pepe Rosello's program included live bands, flamenco shows and exciting electronic music.
One of its inspired innovations was opening in the morning, after the other clubs had shut. This, in conjunction with the introduction of music onto the terrace by raconteurs extraordinaire Alex P and Brandon Block, caused a sensation.
The reaction was so intense that a decision was made to extend the hours still further and now Sunday is the biggest day of the week in Ibiza. Expect to roll out at dawn on Monday.
The success was contagious and music lovers now flock to Space for different nights from leading lights such as Carl Cox, Manumission, La Troya, Matinee and more.
Next to the Waterslide Park in Playa d'en Bossa. 5 Minutes by taxi from Ibiza Town
From the sublime to the very hard. Funky Balearic house on the Sunset Terrace, where you can sip Vodka Lemons in the sun and chill out with Ibiza's wildest clubbers. On the upstairs premier etage you can hear left-field beats and soulful classics and inside the dirtiest techno wickedness. A fabulous contrast programme, headed both inside and out by the world's finest DJs.
Space enjoys something approaching cult status on the world dance scene. Dedicated clubbers fly in especially for the opening and closing parties at which an outside stage is set up especially, and many world class DJs name Space as their favourite club. It is located right under the flight path of planes landing at Ibiza's only airport. As the jets come swooping in everyone there and on the Sunset Terrace throws their arms to the sky and screams.
The Terrace of old is unrecognisable. A booming sound system has been installed, necessitating its enclosure by glass but allowing a 6am close time. Inside the Discoteca the art of sonics has been taken to a new level. It's clairty and power makes djs drool. The lighting will make your jaw hit the floor.
Upstairs more alternative sounds can be explored in the Caja Roja (Red Box) and the aforementioned Premier Etage.
Space has great Djs, cool clubbers, and is open when everywhere else is shut. Highly recommended.
Expect to pay from 30 € to 60 € for the the Sunday Sessions, depending on the month. Entry on other days costs between 30 € and 40 €. A Vodka Lemon costs 10 € and a beer 8 €.