Ibiza 2020: What’s open on the island this summer?
Ibiza 2020 is already shaping up as one of the most historic seasons in White Isle history, with the COVID-19 pandemic sculpting the usual hedonism of a Balearic summer into obscurity as various clubs including Ushuaïa & Hï Ibiza keep their doors closed until 2021. But Ibiza is, and has always been, an island filled with much more beauty than just the legendary clubs which inhabit the shores of the world’s party capital. With that in mind, our most senior journalist and editor, Jake Gable, jetted off to the Mediteranean hotspot to bring you a guide to Ibiza 2020… What’s open? Where are the hidden gems? And how can you ensure that your summer is still filled with those incredible annual heaps of Ibizan memories?
Tucked away in the heart of San Antonio, a short walk from the legendary ‘West End’ is Nanjoes, an ironic take on the popular chicken-chain which has come to dominate the ‘cheeky’ dining experience of the teenage-to-middle-age demographic over the course of the past decade. This White Isle version not only blows the real deal out of the water in terms of taste, but the service – led by UK entrepreneur, chef, host, and all-round guv’nor, Joe (hence the name), is exemplary! Be sure to check out their incredible ‘Wing Wednesdays’ offer, or even better, the legendary Nanjoes Sunday roast which combines many of the restaurant’s finest taste offerings across a smorgasboard glazed in a sauce of your choice. Throw in the Hierbas machine which props up the bar, and several big-screens showing the latest sporting action, and you’ve found your new go-to Ibiza dining experience for all ages!
Take the picturesque walk around the Bay and a short walk from the rooftop delights of INNSiDE (formerly Sol House), you’ll spot a small hatch with outdoor dining facilities on your left, a short-walk from the Riviera Hotel. Not only does El Kiosko offer the most ridiculously tasty shawarma, packed with a range of colourful mediterranean vegetables and fresh meats, but their cocktail and smoothie menu is one of the finest on the island. A perfect lunch-spot whilst basking in the glorious heat of San An Bay.
Ibiza Rocks Bar
The highlight of any Ibiza trip arrives in the form of the legendary Ibiza Rocks Bar, overlooking that crisp sea-view along the sunglass-selling streets of San An. The sibling of the iconic hotel chain offers a range of fantastic thirst-quenching soft and alcoholic drinks in pint form (the perfect hangover cure!), but also plays host to the infamous ‘Chicken Pitta’, Ibiza’s ultimate taste sensation. Pair this with the bacon & cheese loaded wedges and the creamy caesar salad for an unbeatable lunchtime dining experience before things get wavy in the evening thanks to a range of vibrant house beats pumped across the bar’s giant dance floor.
A few doors down from the neighbouring Ibiza Rocks Bar sits Itaca, an essential pit-stop for pre-drinks, and also the ultimate way to end your evening due to the bar’s late license, which exceeds the majority of rival chains in San Antonio. With sensational drinks offers here (such as a bucket of beers for 15 euros), Itaca is always a firm favourite to mingle and meet new faces. Just be sure to watch out for (and avoid) those boozy Brits stumbling in from the KFC next-door.
Ibiza’s ultimate under-rated gem. If you’ve not been before, it’s likely because you’ve never heard of it. But there can be no excuse for continuing to ignore this hotspot after reading this article. Nestled down on the rocks of San An Bay, (keep walking, it’s a little deeper than some of the aforementioned venues), Kumharas pairs Mambo-esque views of the world’s most iconic sunset, with the type of chill-out tunes you’ve dreamt of whilst stargazing over Ibiza compilation CD adverts. Built upon a legendary stone-fort formation, both the passion-fruit daiquiri and pina colada represent highlights on Kumharas’ eclectic drinks menu.
Continue your walk along the sunset strip further north, and via a short ramble across many of Ibiza’s most stunning rocky cliffs and coves, you’ll come to the secluded wonderland of Cala Gracio. Whether looking to host a private party down on the rocks with a Vodka Fanta Limon, bluetooth speaker, and a few friends, or wanting to venture across to the larger beach area – made famous by Kevin & Perry Go Large – Cala Gracio offers a more spacious and organic experience than the often overcrowded sands of Playa d’en Bossa.
Situated one door north of Mambo is the terrific Mint Lounge, and the first of the venues on the sunset strip to open their doors this summer. Selling the most beautiful steak you’re ever likely to wrap your tastebuds around, Mint’s evening menu is truly exquisite and with those legendary Mambo views accompanying your drinking or dining experience, you really have to give Mint a try if you’ve never been before (or even if you have!)
Some venues need no introduction, and Café Mambo is at the peak of that list. Perhaps Ibiza’s most famous venue, the sunset haven has hosted a range of the world’s finest DJs for many decades now, with attendees soaking in the breathtaking views and sipping on the world’s finest strawberry daiquiris, bursting with colour, sugar, and ultimately, flavour. There really is no finer place on the island and since opening again on 17th July, Mambo has already been enjoying a huge range of custom, both throughout evenings, and daytimes, thanks to their delicious menu packed with tasty treats. It’s also worth noting that Grupo Mambo own the nearby ‘Fresh’, an equally blissful bar/dining spot which plays host to the island’s tastiest burger. Yum!
Formerly known as ‘Ocean Beach‘, the San Antonio venue – headed up by Twitter legend (and brother of BBC football legend Gary) Wayne Lineker – is, without a doubt, one of Ibiza’s most popular destinations. Amassing a stunning level of coverage across social media thanks to various selfies of girls in bikinis and those infamous orange plastic beakers, O Beach was one of the first venues to reopen their doors in Ibiza this summer, with parties going off at the venue regularly throughout the weekly schedule.
Head into the heart of Playa d’en Bossa and behind the red logo of Steak N Shake rests a truly iconic Ibiza experience. Bora Bora beach parties have long been the talk of White Island traditionalists and even at this early stage in the ‘new Ibiza’, are already booming. With planes flying overhead to the nearby airport, this is the closest experience to Ushuaïa that ravers can enjoy during the 2020 season.
The perfect way to enjoy sailing in the crystalline waters of the west coast, Star Boats (located at Beach Es Puet) gives you the opportunity to rent a boat, either for a full day or half a day, without a skipper. By following the route of Cala Conta to beyond Cala Salada, you should also bring ice to store in the cool-box provided, some drinks and a picnic and discover the real Ibiza all by yourself. The boats hold a maximum of six people and even have a ladder to help you get back out of the water and into the boat after a swim.
Hard to believe, but Ibiza may not actually be the most beautiful island around the Balearic region after all! The neighbouring island of Formentera boasts truly crystal clear ice blue waters, in addition to miles of stunning beaches stretching along the coast-line and delicious paella packed with mussels and juicy prawns. Ferries from Ibiza Town run all throughout the day, and with a total journey time of only 40 minutes, there’s no excuse to avoid sampling this incredible location, which was subject of a famous Swedish House Mafia photoshoot in 2010.
Image Credits: Jake Gable (personal photography) / Featured Image Credit: Image Credit: Sebastian Coman Travel on Unsplash