|Ibiza and Around|
Whether you want to get out of the town to explore more of the scene (the beach or the clubs), or to escape the scene, you will need transport.
The tourist office down by the harbour, or the new tourist booth on the Vara Del Rey, are your best starting points for exploring the island. Maps which split the island into five manageable areas are available, showing driving, walking and cycling routes. Beware the cycling routs, many are disused dirt tracks - it is easy to get lost, and the maps are not that accurate on the smaller tracks. (I got lost a 'few' years ago, things may have improved...)
Public transport is fairly good, the buses are inexpensive and reliable if not over crowded.
Taxis are the most comfortable way to get about, you don't have to park them, but they can be impossible to find in the height of the season.
Car hire is fairly inexpensive, in relation to the UK, and mainland Europe, but parking in or near Ibiza town is a nightmare any time of the year with draconian parking restrictions being more of a problem for a driver than the lack of available parking spaces.
You officially have to be over 21 years old to hire a car in Ibiza and have a photo card driving licence.
Drink driving limits are around two glasses of wine. It is best not to.
If you are in an accident, as you would anywhere else, take the driver and car details, of the other party, co-operate with the police, but ask for an official translation of anything that you may be asked to sign (like a statement).
Always check the car, inside and out before you leave the hire location and report ALL damage there and then. If you do spot a problem, report it immediately. Ask for another car if you loose confidence in the cars safety or reliability. For example, after spotting anything untoward.
It is generally 'safer' to hire a car from one of the big companies. Local companies may be cheaper, but accidents and emergencies are quickly and efficiently dealt with by the big ones.
Unfortunately, Ibiza Town Hall has woken up to the possibilities of raking in lots of dosh from expired parkers (or expired parking tickets). This appears to have caused even more congestion around town (three official parking spaces, taking up the space of five unofficial spaces). It also has left many expecting to find a parking place, where they wouldn't have previously bothered.
The marked parking places seem to be well patrolled by the island's first traffic wardens. They are marked in blue, with the word 'TICKET' and an arrow painted in the space, and take €1 coins. Fill up the machine, take a ticket and stick it in the window screen. Keep an eye on the time, if you over stay your paid period (usually 2 hours max), you may be towed.
Between 2pm and 4pm and after 10pm you do not have to pay, but this varies from zone to zone - so check the ticket machine.
If you are hiring a car in Ibiza, and have a disabled badge, take it with you. You may not find any usable disabled spaces, but it could save you some parking tickets.
Taxis are reasonably priced in Ibiza - If you can find one... It can be bloody impossible in the height of the season, with queues developing in Ibiza Town from 6pm onwards, in some part due to the taxi drivers avoiding the congestion at the harbour/port caused by the mainland ferries arriving. Although things are a little better at the airport.
The taxis have taken on taxi meters for the first time in living memory.... Most are now switched on and you will pay what you see on the meter...
Just a few Taxi drivers love to be very slow at returning notes in your change, especially when you are a little worse for wear early in the morning. They will always pass you your coins first. Do not jump out too quickly, you could be leaving a BIG tip in the form of a €5 - €10 note.
The two main taxi ranks are outside of Abra tours in Figueretes, and down near the harbour at the start of Adv. Bme. De Rossello (the road that continues off from the harbour).
You can book a cab from in and around Ibiza town on (971) 30 17 94.
If you are flagging a cab down in the street, make sure that the green for hire light is on. Do not be surprised if a cab does not stop for you if you are within 500 yards of a taxi rank.
Bus stops are signposted with a blue 'P' on a white background. Even though you will find four or five cars rammed into the space, the 'P' does not represent a parking spot (it comes from "Parada", Spanish for 'stop').
The 'bus station' in Ibiza is in fact a collection of bus stops, split in to two areas on the Avenida Isodor Macavich. So don't go looking for anything that may look like a bus station, it is not there.
Secondly, all references to the bus routes are by number, (on both the bus companies web site and the timetables/bus stops) but the buses only have destinations prominently showing, and anyone who lives in Ibiza will argue until death that there are no bus/route numbers.
Buses do not run every so many minutes, they may run at 00, 15 and 30 minutes each hour, missing the 45 past every hour, and then any particular hour completely. Read the time tables carefully.
Every bus has tickets and change available on boarding. If you can, buy a return at you departure point.
Check bus companies website, it provides detailed information.
If you miss the last bus back from the beach, hang around the car park and ask for a lift from anyone who appears to be heading back to town, or call a cab from the shop near the car park.
New water bus to gay beach
To get between Talamanca and Ibiza Town (or between the harbour quay and the marina at Botafoch, and El Divino), there is a water bus, operating throughout the day and late into the evening. At around €1.5 this is a much cheaper alternative to taking a taxi.
Scheduled services also run from the harbour to other beaches around the island, pop down to the harbour for the current times and destinations. The boats are often cheaper than a taxi.
Botafoch lighthouse is a great spot to explore at least once during your holiday (you can get some great pics of Ibiza Town from here), and perfect for night trips to some of the restaurants at Botafoch, all of which stay open very late into the morning. Bolero is worth the trip at least once during your holiday, or you can enjoy a meal at El Divino restaurant, looking across the harbour to Ibiza Town.
Taking the boat back to Ibiza Town from Botafoch, after overdoing the food and wine, in a choppy little boat (even within the enclosed harbour area), in relative darkness, is a magnificent experience, worthy of the dangerous sports club as you try to balance legs, camera, and stomach simultaneously.
Excursion boats (glass bottomed) leave Figueretes bay during the summer season, and mid to high season, water buses also run between Figueretes and Ibiza harbour. Check the waterfront boards when you are wondering around the sea front/harbour for more information - it is not an exact science so there is no point in displaying 'best guess' information here.
There is now a speed boat service from the small pier at Figueretes Beach (the same one that the glass bottom boat uses) to the gay beach at Es Cavallet. It runs between 10 am and 8 pm and costs 6 Euros one way. Its very fast, especially in calm weather but prepare to get a bit wet, partly because of splashes during the trip but also because there is no jetty at Es Cavallet. However, it only takes 10-12 people so be quick if your taking the last boat home, it gets full. You can buy tickets in the beach bar or just pay the man in cash.
No matter how naff it appears, day excursions with a group of friends can be great fun, and a great way to get about without having to drive.
For some reason, the 'gay run excursions' tend to be boat hires, taking you around the bend to the gay beach - as if you had never been...
If you fancy seeing more of the island, and can't (or don't want to) drive, pop into any travel agents, or into any hotel with a holiday company notice board. The rep will be happy to sell you a seat on an excursion. Or, just trap off with those who don't drink. They are bound to have a car.
The Island of Formentera, it is by all accounts a great day out. Don't forget a hat, or your suntan lotion....