A guide to making your way out to the party island after all the parties have finished
Ibiza, jewel of the Med, hedonistic party island and, during the months of the summer, clubbing and partying capital of the world. Even those with no interest in the dance music scene have heard of Ibiza’s reputation and few are unaware of the island’s ostentatious, extravagant and sometimes infamous nightlife. Every year the world’s best DJs congregate on the island and the crowds descend for another summer of wild parties in some of the greatest and most spectacular clubs on the planet. But then what happens after the closing parties? Is anybody still here after the end of September (apart from Solomun obstinately still doing his thing by himself at Pacha)?
Outside of the season, it’s still possible to make your way to Ibiza – and during the winter months, the island reveals a completely different face to the one you might recognise if you usually go during the party season – but you’re going to need to be a bit more creative in travelling there. Here’s a guide to how to get to Ibiza once the closing parties are done and dusted and the island has gone into hibernation mode until the following spring.
Arrival in Ibiza – general information
There are two ways of reaching Ibiza, either by plane or by ferry. For those travelling there for the party scene, there are two main centres, Ibiza Town on the east of the island, Ibiza’s capital, and San Antonio in the west. The scene in Ibiza Town is rather more glamorous and classy whereas San Antonio is home to the notorious ‘West End’, a strip of boozy bars and nightclubs where the emphasis is on drink deals and consuming copious amounts of alcohol. Two of the island’s most iconic clubs, Amnesia and Privilege, are located in the middle of the island on the road between Ibiza Town and San Antonio.
The island’s international airport is around six kilometres to the south of Ibiza Town and buses connect the airport to the town, taking around 15 minutes. Buses also connect the airport to San Antonio but departures are less frequent. There are more buses in the summer than in the winter. A taxi from the airport to Ibiza Town costs around €15-20.
Ferry services mostly arrive in Ibiza Town although some also arrive in San Antonio.
Reaching the island in winter
You want to know how to get to Ibiza in winter? We have the flight list.
Many countries have direct flights to Ibiza during the summer but towards the end of October and moving into November, direct flights are more difficult to find and the only option is to take a connecting flight, most often changing at Barcelona. The following is a list of country-specific information on how to reach Ibiza out of season from various European countries.
The country with the largest number of airports offering direct flights to Ibiza during peak season is the UK. It is possible to fly from 19 different airports, including all London airports (Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Stansted and London City Airport) as well as Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Glasgow among others. There are some excellent deals to be had, too, and if you are flexible with your dates, one-way tickets can be bought for as little as €25 or less. However, moving into November, direct flights become harder to find and the prices increase. Good deals are still there to be found but you are most likely to need to change planes. Ryanair offers some of the cheapest flights, with a switch in Barcelona. A direct flight from London takes around two and a half hours. With a connecting flight, overall travelling time is likely to be around six to eight hours. Some direct flights from London exist out of season, see below for details.
The country with the second highest number of airports flying directly to Ibiza is Germany, with a current total of 13. Some of the major cities offering direct flights include Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, and Dusseldorf. Out of season, it is almost impossible to find direct flights and, as with the UK, you will probably have to transfer. Again, Ryanair have some of the cheapest deals, with a mid-November flight from Berlin and a change at Barcelona currently costing around €40. Flights from Germany with a connection usually take around six or seven hours.
Italy has seven airports offering direct flights to Ibiza including Rome, Milan, Turin, Pisa and Bologna. Ryanair is currently offering some incredibly low fares from several airports in Italy but, as with the UK and Germany, moving into November, there are no direct flights and the best option is to take a Ryanair flight and change at Barcelona. A direct flight from Rome takes around two hours. With a connecting flight, it is usually around six or seven hours.
France only has three airports that offer direct flights to Ibiza during peak season, namely Paris Orly, Marseille and Toulouse. Ryanair offers cheap flights from Marseille, and Transavia operates out of Paris Orly into October. However, once into November, you will more than likely have to change planes. Ryanair has cheap flights from Paris with a change in Barcelona. From Marseille, it is also possible to arrive in Ibiza via Madrid, although this wouldn’t seem particularly logical looking at a map. Another option is to use two different carriers which gives more options. A direct flight from Paris takes about two hours but with a connecting flight, usually takes four to six. Some direct flights from Paris exist out of season, see below for details.
- Other countries with direct flights to Ibiza
Ireland, Holland and Switzerland all have airports offering direct flights to Ibiza during the holiday season. However, in the offseason, it is a familiar story as there are no longer any direct flights and a transfer is necessary. From Dublin, Amsterdam, Geneva and Zurich, a trip to Ibiza in November will include a transfer, most likely at Barcelona.
Some direct flights exist from Amsterdam and Eindhoven out of season, see below for details.
- Countries with no direct flights
From other European countries, there are no direct flights, even during peak season, and travelling to Ibiza will involve one or more changes of plane. In general, the most common place to change is, as ever, Barcelona, but some routes pass through Madrid, Valencia or others instead. To travel to Ibiza from Warsaw, for example, one option is to fly to Mallorca and change there for the short hop across to the White Isle.
Here are a few examples of how to reach Ibiza from countries with no direct flights:
- Portugal: Lisbon to Madrid, Madrid to Ibiza, Air Europa. Lisbon to Barcelona, Barcelona to Ibiza, Vueling. Also available with other carriers. Travel time between around four to eight hours.
- Sweden: Stockholm to Malaga, Malaga to Ibiza, Ryanair. Stockholm to Barcelona, Barcelona to Ibiza, Vueling. Travel times vary. Other possibilities exist with multiple changes and multiple carriers.
- Greece: Most options involve at least two changes and multiple carriers. One option with only one change is to fly from Athens to Barcelona and then from Barcelona to Ibiza. This is possible with Vueling or by using multiple carriers.
Direct flights from European cities (other than from Spain) in winter
To give you an idea of the direct flying options during winter, we did a quick flight search for the week of 13/11 – 19/11. While we can’t guarantee this is an exhaustive list, this is what we found:
14/11 Paris (Orly) – Ibiza (Vueling)
14/11 Amsterdam – Ibiza (Transavia)
15/11 Eindhoven – Ibiza (Transavia)
15/11 London (London City Airport) – Ibiza (Iberia Airlines)
16/11 London (London City Airport) – Ibiza (British Airways)
16/11 Amsterdam – Ibiza (Transavia)
17/11 London (London City Airport) – Ibiza (British Airways)
18/11 London (London City Airport) – Ibiza (Iberia Airlines)
18/11 Paris (Orly) – Ibiza (Vueling)
18/11 Eindhoven – Ibiza (Transavia)
19/11 Amsterdam – Ibiza (Transavia)
19/11 London (London City Airport) – Ibiza (British Airways)
18/11 Paris – Ibiza (Vueling)
18/11 Eindhoven – Ibiza (Transavia)
Obviously, the place with the best connections to Ibiza in winter is Spain itself and direct flights are available from some of the major airports year-round. Just as an example, it is quite possible to find flights for mid-November from airports such as Madrid, Malaga or Barcelona from around the €15-20 mark with budget carriers like Ryanair. For cities without direct connections to the island, it is simply necessary to travel, by plane or otherwise, to one of these cities for a connection to Ibiza. Flight time from Barcelona is a little over an hour. From Malaga or Madrid, flight time is an hour and twenty minutes.
As well as flying to Ibiza, ferry services connect the island with the mainland as well as with neighbouring Mallorca.
There are currently two companies operating ferries from the mainland. Ferries sail from Barcelona, Valencia further south or Dénia, further south still. Of the two companies, Transmediterranea (www.transmediterranea.es) is slightly more expensive while Balearia (www.balearia.com) is slightly cheaper. A third company, Iscomar, is no longer operating.
Both companies run a comparable service and there are three ticket options for a basic foot passenger. The first and cheapest choice is to buy a one-way ticket. However, if you also know your departure date, it makes more sense to buy a return ticket since this works out a little less expensive than buying a one-way to reach the island and then another one-way to leave. The most expensive option is to buy an open-ended return which allows you to take any boat you choose when you decide to leave. However, this final option doesn’t really make much sense since it is actually cheaper to buy two singles!
Examples of prices are as follows:
Barcelona to Ibiza Town: Single €34, return €50, open return €150
Valencia to Ibiza Town or San Antonio: Single €42, return €67, open return €155
Barcelona to Ibiza Town: Single €27.77, return €40, open return €129
Valencia to Ibiza Town: prices vary according to vessel. One ticket currently costs €30.96 one-way for a foot passenger. Another is more expensive, currently selling for €38.16 for a foot passenger, one-way.
Another possible route with Balearia is from Dénia on the mainland (south of Valencia) to Ibiza. Prices are similar to those departing from Valencia but the travel time is shorter since Dénia is actually the closest point on the mainland to the island of Ibiza.
How to get to Ibiza in winter? Ferries from Mallorca
Both companies also run ferries from Mallorca to Ibiza. Transmediterranea’s winter services only run on Mondays and cost €39 for a foot passenger, one-way. With Balearia, a one-way ticket for a foot passenger currently costs €42.90 or €60.72 depending on the vessel.
Another company, Trasmapi (www.trasmapi.com) runs a ferry between Ibiza and the smaller sister island of Formentera.
All of these prices are of course subject to change and are included here to give an idea of the kind of routes that are possible and the range of prices that can be expected.
These prices are the lowest prices for a single adult foot passenger. Other fares apply depending on whether you travel with a vehicle and whether you require a cabin, in which case the price will be higher. Details of further prices can be found on the respective websites of these companies.
During the summer months the skies are filled with planes shuttling holiday-makers to and from the party island – but once the closing parties are over, the pace of life on Ibiza changes somewhat and direct flights become harder to find. Once this happens, apart from a few exceptions, the best way to arrive here in winter is to fly to one of the main Spanish airports and transfer on from there. Usually, the most convenient place to transfer will be Barcelona although others are also possible.
For those already in Spain, taking a ferry is also a possibility but in many cases, it is actually cheaper to fly, and those who don’t need to take a car can more easily hop on an internal flight.
Although there are only a few direct flights from outside of Spain during the winter, there really is no particular difficulty in arriving in Ibiza if you so choose. With budget operators like Ryanair offering extremely low fares out of season, it is possible to make your way to the island of Ibiza for very little.
The next question, of course, is, if everything is closed for winter, why would you want to go there in the first place? Ibiza out of season is a very different place but there is much to discover after the tourist hordes have left...and the weather is just perfect in winter here. If you’re interested in finding out about winter activities in Ibiza, watch this space. Our next blog post will deal with exactly that – what to do on the party island when all the parties have stopped for the close season!