Perhaps nowhere on Earth does style rule over substance (or substances over style) more than on the island of Ibiza (pop. 84,000). Once a 60s hippie enclave, Ibiza has long abandoned her roots for new-age decadence. None of Ibiza’s beaches is within quick walking distance of Eivissa (Ibiza City), but Platja de Talamanca, Platja des Duros, Platja d’en Bossa, and Platja Figueredes are at most a 20min. bike ride away; buses also leave from Av. Isidor Macabich 20 for Platja d’en Bossa (every 30min. ‚0.75). One of the most beautiful beaches near Eivissa is Playa de Las Salinas, where the nude sunbathers are almost as perfect as the crystal-blue water and silky sand. The crowds return from the beaches by nightfall, arriving at the largest party on Earth. The bar scene centers around Calle Barcelona, while Calle Virgen is the center of gay nightlife. The island’s Udiscos (virtually all a mixed gaystraight crowd) are world-famous.


Two of Mallorca’s most famous vacationers were the Polish composer Frederic Chopin and his lover, French novelist George Sand, who visited during the winter of 1838-39. Though intended to be a honeymoon of sorts, the excursion was doomed from the outset. Chopin, suffering from tuberculosis, was constantly in pain and prone to black moods. Sand, a passionate freethinker, felt trapped on the island. The presence of the couple, along with Sand’s two children from a previous marriage, caused a stir among the townsfolk, who tormented them through the windows of cells #2 and 4 of the Cartoixa Real, where they stayed. Sand documents these incidents in her book Un Hiver a Majorque (A Winter in Mallorca), referring to the local villagers as barbarians and monkeys. Despite (or because of) the less than ideal circumstances, Chopin produced some of his greatest pieces while on the island. At the winter’s end, the two realized their personalities were too divergent for the relationship to last. In February of 1839, they boarded the same ship which had taken them to Mallorca less than four months before and, once on the Spanish mainland, parted forever.

Refer to Ministry in Ibiza or DJ, free at many hostels, bars, and restaurants, for a full list of nightlife options. The Discobus runs to and from all the major hot spots (leaves Eivissa from A. Isidoro Macabich every hr. 12:30am-6:30am; schedule available at tourist office and hotels. ‚1.50). According to the Guinness Book of World Records, wild EiPrivilege is the world’s largest club. It can fit up to 10,000 bodies, has more than a few bars, and is the place to be Monday nights. (Cover from ‚40. Open June-Sept. daily midnight-7am.) At Amnesia, on the road to San Antonio, you can forget who you are and who you came with. (Foam parties W and Su; cream and MTV parties Th. Cover from ‚40. Open daily midnight-7am.) Elegant Pacha, on Pg. Perimitral, is a 15min. walk or a 2min. cab ride from the port. (Cover ‚50. Open daily midnight-7:30am.) Cap off your night in Space, which starts hopping around 8am, peaks mid-afternoon, and doesn’t wind down until 5pm. (Cover ‚30-40.)

The local paper Diario de Ibiza (www.diariodeibiza.es; ‚0.75) features an Agenda page with everything you need to know about Ibiza. The tourist office, C. Antoni Riquer 2, is on the water. (971 30 19 00. Open M-F 9:30am-l:30pm and 5-7:30pm, Sa 10:30am-lpm.) Email friends about your crazy night while washing the beer out of your clothes at Wash and Dry, Av. Espana 53. ( 971 39 48 22. Wash and dry ‚4.20 each. Internet ‚5.40 per hr. Open M-F 10am-3pm and 5-10pm, Sa 10am-5pm.) The letters CH (casa de huespedes) mark many doorways; call the owners at the phone number on the door. Hostal Residencia Sol y Brisa , Av. B. V. Ramon 15, parallel to Pg. Vara de Rey, has clean rooms, a central location, and a social atmosphere. (971 31 08 18; fax 30 30 32. Singles ‚24; doubles ‚42.) Hostal La Marina , Puerto de Ibiza, C. Barcelona 7, is across from Estacio Maritima, right in the middle of a raucous bar scene. (971 31 01 72. Singles ‚30-62; doubles ‚41-150.) Hostal Residencia Ripoll is at C. Vicente Cuervo 14. (971 31 42 75. July-Sept. singles ‚30; doubles ‚42; 3-person apartments with patio, kitchen, and TV ‚78.) For a supermarket, try Spar, on the corner of C. d’Avicenna and PI. des Parc. (Open M-Sa 9am-9pm.)

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