From Liverpool to San Antonio in Ibiza: Echo Travel review

From Liverpool to San Antonio in Ibiza: Echo Travel review

The fabric was far too flimsy for my liking but I resisted the urge to change into something more conservative and wrapped the bikini drawstrings around my neck. I finished the look off with a matching sarong and some towering wedges.

Finally, after making a feeble attempt to steel my hair against the Spanish humidity, I was ready.

Although I consider myself a bit of a clubber, I was headed to my first boat party, on my first visit to Ibiza. Surrounded by bikini-clad revellers in 28 degrees heat at the Pukka Up boat party, I was glad I had adopted the less-is-more dress code.

The three-hour knees-up sets sail from San Antonio bay at 6pm, three days a week. There’s a DJ playing hedonistic house music – think, Faithless, Basement Jaxx and Armand van Helden – as well dancers and a bar, serving an endless supply of sangria.

A good tip for the less-seasoned boat party goer: dance to the rhythm of the waves – and not to the beat of the music – you’ll have a better chance of avoiding an injury. And don’t wear said towering wedges, I was one dance move away from falling over the edge of the boat.

Ibiza deals

Ryanair flys direct from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to Ibiza. Flights sell out quickly during the summer months and peak times.

As we sailed across the Balearic sea, the sun set in the far distance. Its calmness was a slice of bliss in the midst of the boat’s sangria-swigging clubbers. It’s a cheesy thing to say, but it was magical.

Watching the sunset is a big thing in Ibiza, and something every visitor should make an occasion of, at least once during their stay. There are plenty of places to take in the views, perhaps the most popular is Café Mambo. The bar sits in the centre of the aptly named ‘sunset strip’, in San Antonio, and is the hub of Radio 1 when the station hits the island each summer.

Café Mambo (Image: Cafe Mambo)

Ibiza’s relationship with electronic/dance music goes back decades. This summer alone the likes of Armin van Buuren, Roger Sanchez, MK, Eric Prydz, Rudimental and Hot Since 82, will grace the island’s biggest parties including Cream, Together and A Labyrinth Story.

I was holidaying with my one of my oldest friends, Keisha, and for a few days we called Estudios Tropicana, in San Antonio, home. Each apartment is self-equipped, so you can make tea, coffee and even meals there if you want to save some cash. It’s a pretty standard hotel, with single beds, a balcony and a bathroom, as well as a kitchen area, and a dining table.

San Antonio is a popular tourist spot. Its harbour comes to life at night time, when boat lights majestically twinkle on the water and the hum of people eating, drinking and laughing fills the streets.

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The area is packed with local restaurants, which are ideal for casual dining and quick bites. You can enjoy everything from Thai to Italian and English cuisine. If you’re looking for authentic Spanish food head to Mar a Vila – recommended in the Michelin Guide – or Sa Capella, which sits on top of a hill on the outskirts of San Antonio. Both serve delectable dishes such as ox steak, marinated prawns and of course, tapas.

I went on my travels with an agency, Party Hard, a good idea for a first-time visitor. Its Events Package is particularly handy as it includes tickets to popular haunts such as Ocean Beach Club, The Zoo Project and the Ibiza Rocks Pool Party.

We opted for a night at Amnesia. The internationally famous club was originally a sprawling finca (Spanish for house) owned by a local family. Over the years it has transformed into a mega venue, with a reputation that spans across the world. It has been named the Best Global Club three times, and holds a whopping 5,000 people. It hosts parties most nights and on Tuesdays welcomes the brand Together where world-renowned DJs play back-to-back until the early hours of the morning.

General view of Ibiza airport

I can only liken it to a festival, where you get to see all your favourite artists perform in one place. That night MK, Chase and Status and Gorgon City took to the stage on our visit. I spent a solid eight or nine hours in electronic music euphoria, and by the time I left the club the sun had risen and the locals were getting ready to go to work.

Ibiza is home to as many day parties as it is night clubs, so you’ll need to adjust yourself to its pace – which pretty much follows Fatboy Slim’s mantra Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat.

But you don’t have to stick to the hectic pace. If you’re in need of some downtime you can always seek solace in Ibiza’s Old Town. Located on the southeast coast of the island, you can take in its historic buildings, enjoy the old fishing area, and do a spot of shopping at the local markets. But with only one full day left, I decided the slower pace of life could wait until I got home…

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Keisha and I decided to spend it at Ocean Beach Club, a venue that came highly recommend by friends and colleagues. Dubbed ‘the ultimate day experience’ it’s the perfect place to nurse a hangover, yet still make the most of your holiday. Located on the west coast of Ibiza, it’s situated along the S’Arenal waterfront, complete with ocean views by day and the Balearic sunset by night. It holds events almost every day, and all the action is focused around its 600m swimming pool. You can sit back and relax on one of the sunbeds (available to book in advance), while sipping on champagne and cocktails, and dining at its al fresco restaurant.

The music was pretty chilled out at the party we attended with lots of deep and funky house sounds. But after a few pitchers of Don Julio (Ocean Beach Club’s signature cocktail), we were soon merrily singing along to a jazz rendition of Show Me Love by Robin S.

My time in Ibiza had quickly come to an end, pretty soon it’d be time to go home and find out who else ‘Said Yes’ to yet another proposal.

Although I’d initially felt like I was ‘past it’ for a trip to Ibiza, the island’s charm soon won me over. Admittedly, I didn’t put up much of a fight, what’s not to love about sun, sea and house music? So, if you fancy escaping the rigmarole of your day-to-day life, the White Isle is calling your name.

Our travel

■■The Party Hard Closing Festivalin Ibiza kicks off on Friday,September 14, with Cuckoolandat Ibiza Rocks Hotel and IbizaClub night. Saturday is the PukkaUp Boat Party and TropicalWonderland at Eden, Sunday isthe Ocean Beach Pool Party andThe Zoo Project. Monday is theParty Hard Pool Party at IbizaRocks Hotel and a Secret ClubNight. The finale is Craig David atIbiza Rocks and Together atAmnesia closing. Two-five nightpackages are available, withexclusive accommodationpartner Ibiza Rocks Hotel, and afestival wristband giving youaccess to the biggest parties,from £189 per person.

■■Visit partyhardtravel.com