Discovery island; Spanish party isle Ibiza is full of new experiences even for regular visitors like Mickey McMonagle and his wife Deborah.
The best thing about Ibiza? No matter how many times you go, there's always something new to discover.
Even after 23 years of visiting at least once every summer, I still find new and exciting things to do on each trip - this time that meant Elrow, Chiringuito and SmartCharter.
We flew with Jet2.com as usual - their early morning flight from Glasgow avoids the rowdiness associated with some such routes.
They have a hefty baggage allowance tool, so it's a no-brainer for Mrs "no such thing as too many shoes" McMonagle.
Hooking up with our Bristolian redneck pals Emma and Roland on arrival, we went straight to our luxury villa, the Tardis-like Villa Bellavista in Can Furnet.
We return to this urbanisation every year, normally in Villa Casanova, but went for Bellavista, which belongs to the same owners while our normal home is being renovated.
It's the perfect location - minutes from Ibiza town with stunning views, a street address for taxis or food deliveries and loads of privacy. The stylish villa brings luxury at an incredibly reasonable price and all sorts of little terrace areas to chill.
We didn't have much time for relaxation as our first night brought the biggest party of the week - the legendary Elrow at Amnesia, long my favourite club on the island. Elrow is a force of nature and showed why with Eats Everything playing all night, serving up an epic set.
There's no other club quite like Elrow and none better suited to Devil's Island. Staying with new discoveries, the beautiful, tranquil paradise of Chiringuito Cala Gracioneta is at the opposite end of the ibiza spectrum, a stunning hideaway serving superb food and drinks in a lovely little cove.
Enjoying sensational food as the waves lapped on the shore just feet away was a real Balearic moment.
It's run by the family behind most of San Antonio's best places, like Cafe Mambo, Villa Mercedes, Savannah and Hostal LaTorre. Their magic touch is once again evident.
Finally, on the debut front, came a real rock star day - zooming off to Formentera on a SmartCharter luxury boat, complete with crew catering to our every whim. This really was a Conor McGregor-style experience - in fact, he was there at the same time as us but we kept missing him.
Our monster of a boat drew admiring gapes as we roared off to Chezz Gerdi, one of the best restaurants on the little neighbouring island and an experience I can't recommend highly enough. The food is nothing short of spectacular and the cocktails are out of this world.
We ordered a wide spread of starters and mains to share - all amazing value for such a high standard of food.
Then it was back on our lavish boat to explore a cool cavern, before anchoring by a sandbank to swim in the crystal clear, shallow water, mess about on paddleboards and generally act like kids. The crew were superb, they couldn't have done nore for us, serving up fresh fruit and offering food although we were all too full from Gerdi, as well as drinks all day.
We roared back into port grinning from ear to ear after one of the best days I've ever had on Ibiza, after 23 years and more than 50 visits.
Of course, we dabbled in our old favourites too - Hotel Es Vive is unmissable, and their new Sunset Sushi on the hugely extended roof terrace is a must. The sushi was superb and extremely reasonably priced. With much more seating and amazing views over the water and Ibiza town - this is one of the island's best spots.
Of course, it usually leads to a night in Experience bar downstairs, the soundproofed den of iniquity which now looks like a stylish prohibition-era speakeasy - how apt.
We couldn't not visit the scene of the crime (our wedding) - the wonderful Amante, near Cala Llonga, and another truly wondrous spot.
Have the sea bass for two, and start with the burratta - and try to cram in dessert. One of the best meals you'll ever have, in probably the best setting.
Another absolute must is Hostal La Torre near San Antonio - this is the best spot bar none to watch the legendary Ibiza sunset.
With surprisingly cheap but high-end tapas and great drinks, it's got the rustic, laid back feel I've always associated with the real Ibiza.
So to escape the cloying VIP culture that becomes a bit too much, this is the place. You'll love it.
And that's the trick to Ibiza. Whatever you want to do, you can. Yes, the island changes - but don't we all? Travel info | SmartCharter Ibiza are offering Seven Days readers a 10 per cent discount, email email@example.com. Our Princess V58 costs from 2550[euro] for 12 guests, 8 hour trip. Go to smartcharter ibiza.com | Our villa is no 6494544 at ownersdirect.co.uk, the same brilliant owners also have no 8563096. Prices average PS211 per night with up to 10 guests so it works out MUCH cheaper than hotels. | Fly with Jet2.com from Glasgow with great prices & baggage limits
"On the debut front came a real rock star day - zooming off to Formentera on a luxury boat, complete with crew"
VIEW Mickey and Deborah on Es Vive roof
SPLASH Luxury villa brings privacy galore
ELROW Eats Everything gets stuck in at Amnesia
DREAM DAY .Fulfil your rock star fantasies with an eight-hour boat day at very reasonable rates
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|Publication:||Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)|
|Article Type:||Travel narrative|
|Date:||Feb 25, 2018|
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