Like Mykonos in Greece, Ibiza is one of those gay resorts that have risen to almost mythical status. "La Isla Blanca" is an incredibly beautiful place where visitors' days are usually spent frolicking on the beaches and the nights are for legendary clubbing that lasts well past sunrise. They say that on weekends the parties are so perfectly spaced that one is always starting when the last is breaking up.
About 50 miles off the coast of Valencia, Ibiza is one of the larger Balearic Islands. Settled in 654 BC by Phoenicians, the island's name was given by visiting Greeks for "pine-covered islands." Ibiza later came under the control of Carthage, then the Romans. Rule by the Vandals, and the Moorish Taifa of Denia followed until the conquest by the Christian King James I of Aragon, in 1235. A United Nations World Heritage Site, its Old Town retains the medieval city walls. Large parts of the island are protected from development, so if you need to get away from the crowds there are always places to enjoy eye-popping vistas in solitude.
Gay life is centered around Carrer de la Verge, in a number of bars, restaurants and cafes in the portside Sa Penya area and in the Dalt Vila. Almost all throughout this district are gay-friendly at the least, just trust your gaydar. There are also a number of men's fashion outlets along these streets. If you like electronica, you’ll love the music too. DJs come from around the world to spins house and trance tunes for very appreciative crowds. A large expat community from other EU countries make their home here, along with Latin Americans and Moroccans, giving the scene a very cosmopolitan feel.
Aeropuerto de Ibiza has direct flights from Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona. If you’re flying from abroad, you’ll most likely have to transfer in one of those cities. There are also ferries from Denia, Valencia and Barcelona.
Ibiza Town has a compact Old Town that is made for strolling. Street signs here are in Catalan, but Eivissenc is the local dialect, similar to the Catalan and Valencian languages. Many businesses use Spanish street names, and locals may also speak English or German in addition to Castilian Spanish.
A car is a good idea if you want to explore the island but there is bus service too; see IbizaBus for a list of routes and companies. Some big discos and hotels provide free transportation. Taxis are a fairly expensive way to get around the island, costing €20-30 between cities.
Calle de la Vilgen is Ibiza’s main gay strip. It’s packed with bars and clubs with outdoor terraces that are buzzing on sultry summer evenings. Gays and straights mix with ease. Another cluster of bars is above, in Dalt Vila, and the Figueretas Beach area to the west has many hotels and restaurants. Most of the big gay-friendly mixed internationally-known discoteques are a bit further out - some provide free buses from the center.
Currency and Money
Spain’s official currency is the euro. There are ATMs scattered about the center, so you won’t have trouble getting more cash.
For locations and website information for gay and gay-friendly bars, clubs, cafes and hotels, see our map & listings section.
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