In August of 2019 my friends and I decided to take an epic 30th birthday trip to Madrid and Ibiza. This was my first-time visiting Spain and man, let me tell you, it was a fantastic trip! From the tapas, to the street festivals, to the gorgeous beaches of Ibiza. Spain is a must see! One of the first things we did when we landed in Madrid was to go on a tapas and wine tasting evening walking tour. This tour was perfect because it was intimate, so we could really listen to the tour guide and bond with the group we were on tour with. The places that we were shown were amazing. One of the destinations was a bar that sold fresh shrimp. The restaurant cooked the shrimp right in front of you, in garlic and oil sizzled to perfection. Lastly and my personal favorite, was that we were able to drink a huge glass of wine at each taverna and the food got better and better with each stop. I highly recommend starting off with this tour early on your trip.
Below please find a few more highlights:
Las Fiestas de La Paloma
This one was not planned at all, but luckily, we landed in Madrid during Las Fiestas de La Paloma. Right around the corner from our Airbnb there was food, great music, sangria being sold in huge jugs, (did I mention the sangria was being sold in huge jugs? ).
Games, dancing and so much more rounded up the festival. There we were in the thick of it, dancing, singing along to songs, hanging with the locals. It was really an amazing and euphoric experience. If you are able to check it out, I highly recommend it.
During my time in Madrid I also attended an authentic bull fighting event. We went to the arena grabbed our drinks and watched the matadors do their thing! This was a unique experience and it felt incredible to know that I was experiencing something that has taken place for hundreds of years. At the time I didn’t know how bull fighting shows ended, so I was in for a rude awakening. Regardless, I am glad I had the experience and I would recommend checking it out, if this is something on your list.
The Royal Palace of Madrid is simply stunning. Usually on vacation I am one to try to avoid tours I think might be cliché. When we went to the palace, I thought I would be underwhelmed, but boy was I wrong. The palace is just as grand as you can imagine. I may not be an official princess, but if they allowed me, I would get married right there in that grand courtyard. A girl can dream!
The last thing that I must highlight from my trip was our time at the Hammam Al Andalus! This is the only Arab Baths in Madrid. The bathhouse is located in the historic center of the city, close to Plaza Mayor and Puerta del Sol. This was one of the best massages I have ever had in my entire life! It was definitely the best bath house I have ever been too! The service was superb, every person there was super welcoming. The tea which was served in the waiting area was incredible, (trust me I am usually not a tea drinker). Finally, my 40 min massage was to die for. When it was over, I almost handed over my credit card and told them to take it all, just so it would not have to end. I highly recommend booking an appointment here. Great for a group visit with your girls or a romantic date night.
After Madrid we caught a short plane ride to Ibiza where all the fun continued. Yes, Ibiza is as crazy, wild and fun as you would think! We stayed at an amazing Airbnb with a rooftop cabana and hot tub which was a little bit away from Playa d’en Bossa. Playa d’en Bossa has an amazing night life. This way we were close to all the fun but could still get a good night’s sleep.
Before we went to our Airbnb, we decided to take a quick detour to the island of Formentera! I am so glad we did. There we went to Playa Illetes which has been nominated as one of the top 10 beaches in the world! The water was clear and calm we were able to swim out and sit and enjoy the sunshine. There was a lovely restaurant nearby where we could go and grab drinks and enjoy them on the beach. It was the perfect day trip. If you do decide to go, trust me and take the fast ferry from Ibiza to Formentera. It’s a bit more money but worth it! We took the other ferry option and by the time we got to Formentera everyone was a tad nauseous .
Another highlight of our trip was O Beach Ibiza! This was an extremely fun day club. We put on our best bikini day outfits and partied until the sun went down! We had our own section where we could order bottle service and food. We went into the pool and we listened to all the different DJ’s come on. If you are celebrating something on your trip this is the place to go to have fun and be seen. To say it was a vibe is an understatement!