GETTING THERE: There are no direct flights to Ibiza from Washington. Iberia Airlines flies from New York to Madrid, where you can connect with its flight to Ibiza. Iberia's current round-trip APEX fare from Washington, including the flight to New York (on Continental, Piedmont, Pan Am or United Airlines), is $832; the ticket must be purchased at least two weeks in advance, and travel is limited to Mondays through Thursdays.
GETTING AROUND: Within the Walled City, walking is the only way to go. To see the countryside, you'll need wheels. Towns are linked by frequent, inexpensive local buses; taxis are plentiful, though rather expensive; and rental cars are available.
WHERE TO STAY: There is a wide range of hotels to choose from. Reservations are essential. The following rates are for double occupancy with bath:
El Corsario, a charming 14-room hotel just below the cathedral in the Dalt Vila, has a marvelous view and a good dining room; $48-$50.
The Montesol Hotel on the Paseo Vara de Rey, in the center of the town of Ibiza, has recently been refurbished; $35-$43.
El Corso, a luxury hotel at Talamanca Beach, is a 10-minute boat ride from the city; $36-$70.
Hacienda Na Xamena, near San Miguel, is the best bet in the countryside, though expensive -- $125-$150. WHERE TO EAT: Restaurants abound on the island, with a wide variety of cuisines represented. El Portalon (Spanish) and the nearby El Bistro (French) are located just off the main square of the Dalt Vila, with prices averaging $15 per person. At the Nanking (Chinese) and San Telmo (continental), both in the port area, prices are a bit cheaper.
For excellent Ibizan cuisine, try the Grill San Rafael, in the village of San Rafael just outside the town of Ibiza (about $17 per person), or Can Pau, in an atmospheric restored farmhouse on the road to Santa Eulalia ($10). SIDE TRIPS: The other principal cities in Ibiza, both accessible by bus, are San Antonio Abad (in ancient times the western headquarters of the Roman fleet but now a clone of Miami and the main destination for the package tours) and Santa Eulalia, with excellent hotels and restaurants and a charming seaside promenade.
The best way to see the island is to take the inexpensive local buses to the various peaceful villages where the old Ibiza still prevails. San Rafael, San Carlos, San Jose, Santa Gertrudis, San Miguel and San Mateo are some good destinations. Olive, fig and almond trees dot the landscape; the mountains are thick with pines; and the ground is covered in places with wild herbs.
The ancient Ibizan architecture is seen at its best in the countryside. The houses, some 600 or more years old, are stark white or, more rarely, earth-colored, with doors and shutters painted shades of blue or green or ocher. Each village has its own 16th- or 17th-century church.
Just outside the city of Ibiza is Las Salinas, once the site of salt mines worked by the Romans and still in use today. Nearby is an excellent beach. (All beaches in Spain are public by law.)
INFORMATION: Spanish Tourist Office, 665 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10022, (212) 759-8822.
Ibiza Tourist Office, 13 Paseo Vara de Rey, Ibiza (Baleares), Spain, phone 30-19-00.