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Off-season or On-season, your still in Ibiza.

April 24, 2011

Ibiza is most well-known for its parties during the summer months, but before the season starts it is a very different place.  This year Ibiza’s season starts at the end of May when all the DJ’s come to live in Ibiza and all the hotels and apartments are filled with students and even adults.  The beaches will be full with tourists and everybody who lives on Ibiza will be making a lot of money.

But, during the off-season the place is abandoned.  I went to Ibiza in the end of April, a little less than a month before its start date and the place was not at all what I was expecting.  What I found out was that Ibiza almost literally shuts down during the winter and then reopens in the summer.  They don’t just reopen in the summer though; because it has been vacated for so many months they must renovate almost every single building and hotel.

When wandering the streets most grocery stores were open, as well as a few beach shops, but everything else was locked shut.  As for restaurants and bars, a few people had decided to come back early and start their businesses, but most were also closed.  This was somewhat surprising to me, how could a place make so much in the summer and then shut down in the winter?  As we wandered further from Old Town we found more and more hotels that were being redone.  New glass was being put in and cleaned, new mattresses were being brought in, and the main thing that was being done was everything was being repainted.

Ibiza was not too expensive during off-season.  Most meals were 10 euro, the grocery store was expensive, and any souvenir was over priced.  During the summer season every price is jacked up because the island is similar to an airport, you have nowhere else to go.  We paid 55 euro a night for a one-bedroom apartment, apparently that room can go up to 150 euro easily and everyone will still pay for it.

Club tickets are a whole other issue.  A world-known club, Pacha, has a location in Ibiza.  When I was there it was 30 euro with a free drink, during the summer the tickets go up to 100 euro and no free drink.  Not only are the cubs expensive, they sell out. You have to buy your club ticket before you go to the club!

As for the beaches, they were not very nice.  Since no one is there during the winter the trash and dried seaweed piles up on the beaches.  When we were there they had not yet cleaned the beaches so it was hard to find a nice place to sit, and the sand wasn’t very nice.  As you walk away from Old Town into the more touristy area with nicer hotels the beach does get nicer, but it is not pristine white beaches.

Ibiza fixes itself up very well for being so rundown during the year.  I would say if you really want to go and it’s not summer season go, but other wise definitely wait till everything is open.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Katia permalink
    April 28, 2011 5:01 pm

    that is incredible about the seasonal change in Ibiza. It is also incredible how much their economy is based on tourism! Who are the people who live there during the winter? Are they the wealthy club owners or poor people who just cater to the summer wealthy tourist? It reminds me a bit of the hampton’s but on a larger scale. That is definatly a very unstable economy though since it put all of it’s eggs in one basket. Even though you didn’t go during the summer months, it’s probably a good thing cause you saved lots of money!

  2. Miles permalink
    April 29, 2011 4:17 pm

    Well never new it was that dead…. I guess they all have other businesses elsewhere or just take time off and relax, fish, drink, chat …. where there any locals there at all … Mykonos was like that in early
    May but it was still beautiful … I have heard Ibiza is also a little overcrowded in the summer and is really no longer the ‘it’ place.

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