How to Survive a Season in Ibiza
We’ve all heard of it – Ibiza is renowned across the world for being the party capital of Europe. With its crystal blue waters, white sandy beaches and beautiful people, it’s the destination of choice for party animals worldwide. If you are planning to join the party this year, my advice is to DO IT, hobos.
The best way to experience all of the delights of Ibiza is to do a season there. I managed to spend less in my three-month stint than my friends did on their one week visit. Living and working there means you get workers’ rates in bars and can meet other workers who will fix you up with free entry to the clubs, which is by far your biggest expenditure. The summer season runs from May until October, so arrive early, snag yourself a job and hold on tight!
Aside from the glamour and laid-back Mediterranean spirit, Ibiza is also known for being a bit hedonistic – drugs and excessive partying are what to expect from this little slice of paradise. If you are craving a crazy summer of overkill, then Ibiza is definitely the place to be, but, there are some tips about how to survive the ride.
1. Thou shall not drink the water.
If you are not used to Spanish water, stick to the bottled water and avoid spending the night on the toilet. Trust me, spending an entire boat party in the bathroom was not an experience I’d wish on anyone else. Keep in mind that water at the superclubs can be ridiculously exy though, so pre-buy from a supermarket beforehand.
2. Thou shall wrap thy tool.
This should be a given, but you’d be surprised at how many of my friends forgot this simple rule and found themselves in the doctor’s surgery desperately trying to explain using hand gestures and bad Spanish that it burns when they pee. If the embarrassment alone is not enough to persuade you, then you should also know that healthcare in Ibiza is private and you pay a hefty fee just to see a doctor, let alone be cured.
3. Thou must avoid taxis when possible.
Taxi drivers are sick of drunken louts taking over their beautiful island for four months of the year and will have no qualms about charging you ridiculous fares for a short journey or leaving you at the wrong destination. There are also many dodgy taxis that look like a normal taxi, but will take you out to the middle of nowhere and rob you, if not worse. This unfortunate fate happened to two of my friends, who were brought out to the desert and made to cough up all of their money and then to visit an ATM to get more. Most of the big nightclubs are outside of town, so these taxi drivers wait outside for fucked-up tourists to take advantage of. Save money and get the shuttle buses that run from San Antonio to clubs and back.
4. Thy shall do thy homework.
Most people who go to Ibiza will try ecstasy, ketamine or one of the other vast array of drugs on offer. I’m not here to judge, but simply to advise you to do your homework about who you buy yours from. Ask around (subtly!) and find someone well known, asking other workers who have been around longer is a good idea. Do not drop two pills in one go and stay with a friend. Be smart about it, and honest if you think you have taken too much.
5. Thou shall save thy beauty sleep for bed.
So many people will fall asleep on the beach the night before their flight home or because they got kicked out of their hostel or because they’re too drunk to get home. Don’t! The beach is prime target for thieves and you will see many guys being chased and hounded by prostitutes only to find their wallets missing five minutes later. A good mare of mine fell asleep on the beach and woke up with no wallet, passport, suitcase or shoes. Needless to say, the local police don’t take this type of crime too seriously either.
6. Thou must go to Ibiza Town.
Take a break from the craziness of San Antonio and experience a different vibe in Ibiza Town. It is great for shopping, and you could spend days ambling through the markets, but the biggest highlight is the hippie culture. Stroll down to the beach and you can find groups of them meditating and chilling. I went to Ibiza Town on my own for a day trip and came back three days later with a dread in my hair and no shoes. Lay on the sand sipping cocktails, embrace the your inner peace, make new friends and lose yourself in the atmosphere of the city before returning to the neon lights of San Antonio. There is also a cool reggae beach in San Antonio which is worth checking out if you fancy a change of pace.
7. Thou shall have a Space Sunday. A must do. One of the best days/nights out in Ibiza is Space Sundays. It is a sight to behold! Take a bus to Bora Bora beach for an afternoon of drinking and madness, watch the amazing sunset then head to Space nightclub for one of its most legendary nights before heading back to Bora Bora to continue the party and watch the sunrise. We partied for 27 hours until the sun was too hot and we were all burnt to a crisp. It’s one of the most amazing parties in Ibiza, I met some amazing people at Space Sundays all completely crazy!
8. Thou shall come prepared.
If you plan to work during your Ibiza stay, suss out where before you arrive and don’t trust companies that charge you to help organise your trip. I went through a company like this who basically did nothing except find us our accommodation, only for us to realise that we had paid double what the other workers who had found their own accommodation had paid. Also, apply for your N.I.E online before arrival: most of the best jobs require it, and to get it in Ibiza you must queue at 5am with hundreds of other tourists to apply, then wait up to six weeks for it to arrive.
9. Thou must embrace thy inner animal.
Go wild at Zoo Project during your season; it is held every other Saturday at an abandoned zoo just outside of San Antonio. I had the best day of my life at my first Zoo project. There are DJSs who spin house music to jungle beats, bars, beanbags, people dressed as wild animals on unicycles doing acrobatics and a swimming pool. The whole experience is surreal and delicious. My first Zoo project will always be remembered by me running from security and hiding in an animal cage (they discovered that I had my camera, which was forbidden), then jumping naked into the pool and losing all my clothes but keeping my cat whiskers.
10. Thou shall cherish the sunset every night of thy stay.
Ibiza is renowned for its amazing sunsets and it is every bit as astounding as people say. Every night, a crowd gathers on the beach outside Café del Mar with beers and music to watch the sunset. The crowd hushes as the burning ball of flames slowly descends into the ocean and once it has set, there is a roar of applause and cheers. It is truly breath taking and a huge part of the Ibizan culture. Be sure to get the obligatory snap of you holding the sun in your palm or regret it forever!
I hope you have a hedonistic, hell-raising season in Ibiza and join in the free-spirited atmosphere by doing something crazy every day of your stay.