Tell people you're heading to Ibiza, and they'll give you a sly sideways glance, suggesting you're up to no good. At least, that was my experience before I flew to the storied island last month. It has a rep for partying. Hard. And while I've never shied away from the dance floor, I had a feeling I was about to be that clumsy rookie, trying to play with the major leaguers. Thankfully, several hours of airtime (and one Madrid layover) later, I would be proven wrong. Well, maybe not entirely.
As soon as I pulled up to the Ushuaïa Tower — a new Ibiza property from the Palladium Hotel Group and my host for the trip — I realized I was not in Brooklyn anymore. But instead of a 24/7 party, which one might expect à la Vegas, the gorgeous Mediterranean island had much more to offer. In fact, that's exactly what Ushuaïa was out to prove.
While the first night in Ibiza involved some heavy dance tunes by the Ushuaïa beach hotel and club located next door, my days were spent yachting over to Formentera (and, more importantly, canonballing into the crystal-blue sea); touring Dalt Vila, the old city of Ibiza, surrounded by a fort and panoramic views that could make you cry; and basking in the warm sun by the pool of the ultramodern, playfully designed hotel. I admit I was left wondering when someone was going to show me the part of Ibiza I probably shouldn't tell my grandmother about.
I came to find out that the city of Ibiza, while a famous party destination, is more so a wealth of Balearic Islands history, spanning from '60s-hippie culture, which is still quite prevalent today, to the Renaissance and beyond. Ahead are a few of the highlights that, yes, are totally SFW.
Photographed by Gina Marinelli