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Ibiza has been the Spanish island playground for European gay boys since the early 1980s and still continues to be one of the most fashionable places to get a tan. OutUK sent Colm Howard-Lloyd to investigate more about Ibiza and what makes it such a popular gay destination.

Ibiza is a real island of contrasts, on one side you have Ibiza Town a 1600 year old walled city with winding streets and classy bars, and on the other you have San Antonio, immortalised on Ibiza Uncovered and full of fish and chip shops and faux British pubs serving British beer on draft. San Antonio isnt without its charm but it is pleasing to discover that all of the gay nightlife revolves around Ibiza Town. On this island at least the gay boys are the class act.

A PLACE TO STAY

Most gay boys (especially those travelling with the gay tour operators) stay in Figueretes a fairly uninspiring suburb of Ibiza Town. It has two main things going for it, a nice sandy beach and just about every gay hotel, apartment block and guesthouse on the island. The place is literally teeming with boys who like boys. It is very difficult to spot anyone straight and pretty much how we all imagine heaven to be.
Ibiza's gay nightlife is largely situated in the port and old town area of Ibiza Town, all of the bars are within easy walking distance of each other and the most popular are those with large terraces where the crowds can mingle out of doors. Entertainment is provided by the varied and fun public relations teams of sparkling transvestites and performance artistes who parade the streets in a bid to temp you to the latest clubs.

Most of the gay bars are situated on or near the Calle de la Virgen but for most gay men all roads lead to the many gay-friendly nightclubs, with plenty of watering holes along the way.


There are many different guides to Ibiza.
The aforementioned Figueretes is also home to its own small coven of bars. Magnus, Dado and JJ Bar are all firm OutUK favourites although as with many bars on the island there are some quite silly prices and you can expect to pay 10.00 or more for a vodka and tonic in some places. Some of the clubs compensate for this by distributing free invitations, usually via the bars, saving up to 6,000 pts on a popular nights (a good enough reason to tip the waiter in your fave bar). When travelling by cab the cab drivers know all clubs by name, so it's easy to get around. Drugs are illegal in Spain and there are extra police efforts to control their use in the summer months, however this does not prevent the widespread availability of most recreational substances.

PLACES TO PLAY

The nightlife in Ibiza Town itself doesn't really get going until late. Really late by UK standards, in fact I couldn't find a bar that opened before 10:30pm. The scene is also very transitory and certain bars are good at certain times. The basic rule of thumb is that people begin with the bars furthest from their chosen club for the late evening and then work their way around the island.

If you want to start the night with some food, Angelos has over 40 years of history and is a straight-friendly, gay-managed bar & restaurant. The top-floor restaurant offers an incredible view of the castle and Ibiza Old Town. The food menu is 80% Spanish, 20% international. The large terrace downstairs is great for enjoying your cocktails. The food at Magnus Playa Bistro is also recommended - it's the kind of place you could take for granted but it really has everything you want from a beach restaurant. Lovely view, delicious, reasonably priced food and friendly staff.

The Soap Ibiza Bar boasts that it has the best mojitos in the island, beautiful and nice people and very nice music. In the middle of Ibiza, this bar makes you feel the real night of Ibiza, specially because they have guest-lists for the most important parties in the island.

SD (SOAP @ DME) occupies what is probably the most gay-popular terraced area in Ibiza Town, at the base to the massive Dalt Vila ramparts. During peak season, the stylish bar and its surrounding walkways are buzzing with pre-clubbing crowd and is known as the final destination for the club parades that so define the Ibiza night.


Too many of these in the bars and you'll never make the clubs!
Bar MonaLisa is a stylish gay cocktail bar with a big terrace and plenty of glitz and glamour, located next to SOAP at DME bar and close to the Ramparts. MonaLisa is a popular meeting spot for locals, tourists and occasional celebrities and don't miss Number 5 Ibiza which offers tasty drinks, friendly staff, and comfortable sofas!

DADO (aka "Dragon") is run by one of the friendliest gay couples you'll meet in Ibiza. Dado and his partner Jens. So, drop by and say hello. This very popular bar & terrace, located on the narrow Calle de la Virgen, serves beers, cocktails plus delicious non-alcoholic options. The homemade Ginger Squash is our favourite.

JJ Bar is one of the original gay bars in Ibiza, located towards the far end of the gay street. JJ offers a friendly, more traditional pub atmosphere with a nice balcony overlooking Ibiza Port. There's a dark room, too!

Calle de la Virgen is on Ibiza Town's main gay street. Almost every business along this narrow walking street is targeted at the gay market. Can be a bit difficult to find on your first visit, particularly as Google map uses the street's official name "Carrer la Mare de Du". Many of the bars open every night from April to October but only weekends in winter.

On this street you will also find La Virgen Ibiza Club with top quality music, and relatively cheap drinks; BAR 22 which serves tasty cocktails in a cosy, gay atmosphere; Lady D with its iconic British phone box doors; MAD Bar with its relaxed atmosphere and fabulous Mojitos - their hot, hunky staff make the terrace a great hangout spot; Sunrise Ibiza with it's extraordinary neon lights and swings where everyone wants to get a picture; and Bar LEON with its lovely outdoor terrace.

THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK

Angelos (Carrer de Cipriano Garijo 8; T: +34 647 21 93 72)
BAR 22 (Calle de la Virgen 22)
Bar LEON (Calle de la Virgen 62)
Bar MonaLisa (Carrer d'Alfonso XII 3; facebook)
Dado Bar (Calle de la Virgen 40; facebook)
JJ's Bar (Calle de la Virgen 79, T: +34 649 24 69 25)
Lady D (Calle de la Virgen 10)
La Virgen Ibiza Club (Calle de la Virgen 75; T: +34 625 87 89 84; Website)
MAD Bar (Calle de la Virgen 32; Website)
Magnus Playa Bistro (Passeig ses Pitises; T: +34 609 34 04 84; Website)
NUMBER 5 (Carrer de Cipriano Garijo 5; T: +34 620 66 36 17; Website)
SOAP IBIZA BAR (Carrer d'Alfons XII 11; T: +34 971 19 39 31; facebook)
SD (SOAP @ DME) (Calle Alfonso XII 10; facebook)
Sunrise Ibiza (Calle de la Virgen 44; Website)

More ... Off to the Clubs

Revised September 2019.

 

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