Some cruise ship companies confuse their passengers when announcing a stop in Port d’Eivissa on their Western Mediterranean itinerary. There’s no need to be confused, Eivissa is simply the Catalan name for Ibiza Town, the capital of the Balearic Island of Ibiza. Well known as a party destination, Ibiza is home to some of Europe’s most notorious nightclubs which attract vast numbers of young people to the island every summer in search of a wild time.
For cruise ship passengers who have outgrown the debauchery of spring break style vacations there’s nothing to fear. Ibiza Town is home to a historic old town which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can wander around narrow, cobbled streets staring in awe at the wealth of attractions dating back through various civilizations as far back as the Phoenicians in the 7th Century BC.
Port of Ibiza
As you approach the Port of Ibiza be sure to stand on deck and look ahead of you at the old town which dominates the bay. The historic upper town, known as the Dalt Vila, is where you’re most likely to spend the best part of your day in port.
In the absence of a cruise terminal, some smaller ships can sail directly to a quay located right in the old town and alight on to the street. However, most vessels now seem to dock at the Botafoc Pier which lies across the bay from the old town. Passengers can then walk into town in about 30 minutes via the exclusive Batafoc and Ibiza Nueva marinas or take the ship’s shuttle into town.
Maritime traffic in the port can get very heavy due not only to cruise ships but also because of the number of leisure crafts and commercial ferries which operate between Ibiza, neighbouring islands and the mainland.
If you’ve booked a cruise which begins or ends in Ibiza then you’ll be travelling through the island’s conveniently located airport which lies just 10km south-west of the port area. There is a frequent airport bus service (number 10) to the main bus station which convenient if you’re travelling light but isn’t really an option for most cruise passengers. Taxis are available to meet incoming flights 24-hours a day, otherwise you can book a private transfer from Ibiza Airport to your ship or to hotels if you’re having some extra time here before your cruise.
Getting Around in Ibiza
Cruise ship passengers will have no problem walking around the lower town where there are many shops, cafÃ©s and restaurants. However, the steep climb into the upper town may pose a problem for people with mobility issues. Walking up to the Dalt Vila is the most rewarding option provided you have a reasonable level of fitness and a decent pair of walking shoes.
Otherwise you should take a taxi some of the way into this historic quarter, admire the stunning views then slowly walk back down to the harbour. There are plenty lovely squares where you can take a break seated outside a terrace bar with a cold drink. If in doubt check whether your ship is offering a shuttle bus which drops passengers off near La PlaÃ§a de la Catedral at the top of the upper town.
Things to do in Ibiza Town
Visit the Dalt Vila: If this is your first visit to Ibiza you’ll want to spend a fair amount of your day in port wandering around the upper town which has been recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The main attractions within the area include the Cathedral of Santa Maria whose origins date back to the Catalan conquest of the island in 1235 together with the nearby Ibiza Castle. There are also some lovely churches and interesting museums in the Dalt Vila but it’s the charming ambience of the neighbourhood which leaves its mark on the memory of visitors.
Amongst many places where you can relax and soak up the atmosphere of the Dalt Vila is a friendly tapas bar called S’Escalinata (Carrer Portal Nou, 10). They provide comfortable bean bags for customers to sit on and watch the world go by.
Go to the Beach: Whilst the Dalt Vila will most likely take up most of your time in port you still might find time to pay a visit to one of Ibiza’s lovely beaches. The closest one to the Botafoc pier is Playa de Talamanca whilst on the other side of town is the infamous Playa d’en Bossa. This is the island’s most popular resort where you’ll find a 2km long beach packed with holidaymakers and lined at the back with bars and restaurants. A little nearer is Playa de Figueretas which is just south of Ibiza Town practically in the shadow of the Dalt Vila. To get to any of the beaches you can take taxis or jump on one of the water buses that operate out of the port.
Go Shopping: Shopping enthusiasts arriving on cruise ships are rarely disappointed with the opportunities available. The Dalt Vila is home to many gift shops selling an impressive array of locally made products such as sandals, baskets and items of jewellery. In the lower town it’s worth visiting Carrer Enmig which is an interesting street for finding local artisan products. In both the lower town and the marinas you’ll find many stylish boutiques selling fashion items. If your ship has a late departure you can enjoy the night-time markets which pop up after dark selling local artesania. The most convenient one to visit is in PlaÃ§a d’Antoni Riquer next to the old harbour.
One Night in Ibiza
If you’re in port overnight and are interested in going to a nightclub you should be prepared for a late night as most clubs don’t open until around 10pm. Some of the most famous venues within close proximity of the port area include Pacha (Avinguda 8 d’Agost) and Space which is in Platja d’en Bossa.
More appealing to the majority of cruise ship passengers is to enjoy dinner at an outdoor terrace with sea views. Locations to consider are along Carrer Andanes next to the harbour or across the bay in the Botafoch Marina (near the main cruise dock). Water taxis run between the old town and the marinas until midnight otherwise it’s a 30 minute walk around the bay. If you don’t mind forgoing the sea view and would prefer Michelin-star quality dining at a fraction of the price you should book a table at the exquisite Restaurante S’Ametller (Calle Pere Frances 12) in the town’s commercial area.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct is the most established and respected airport transfer provider in Europe and northern Africa. Our friendly local drivers will ensure your safe, economical, and convenient passage to and from the cruise terminal, airport, or major train station of your choice with a minimum of fuss. Book your transfer with our easy to use online booking system and leave the rest up to us.