There’s no shortage of drinking dens scattered throughout the Balearic Islands, from the sleepy local village bar to the raucous sticky-floored drinkery, but some bar owners have gone to extra-special lengths to make their place stand out from the crowd. Here are some of more quirky and unusual drinking holes to be discovered across this Mediterranean archipelago.
Bar Abaco – Mallorca
If you’re after a spot of classical decadence to go with your weirdness, head to the famous Bar Abaco in Palma’s La Lonja neighbourhood. The stunning building and courtyard are extravagantly adorned with antiques and dramatic floral bouquets, and overflow with bizarre mountains of tropical fruit. Cocktails are expensive but delicious, and the Cava and Champagne list is extensive enough for any connoisseur, making this unique bar the perfect place for a special treat.
Calle San Juan, 1, 07012 Palma, +34 971714939
Blue Bar – Formentera
You’d be forgiven for thinking someone had slipped you some ‘shrooms when you first stumble upon the Blue Bar in Formentera. The set-up here feels like a cross between the latest Smurf movie and an extra-terrestrial abduction. The trees are blue, there are statues of aliens dotted around and there are even regular live space-themed performances. All the quirks aside, the fantastic location on top of the dunes overlooking the sea allows for some spectacular sunset watching.
Cova d’en Xoroi – Menorca
This fascinating bar-cum-club is nestled inside a tunnel of caves that opens to a sheer cliff face on the south coast of Menorca. Legend has it that it was once the home of a shipwrecked hermit called Xoroi. The panoramic views of the glittering ocean alone make it worth a visit, but as the day turns to dusk the terraces fill up for the main event: this is an incredible vantage point for sunsets. Night owls can venture into the caverns for live music and hedonistic dancing until the sun rises once more.
Carrer de Sa Cova no 2 07730 Cala en Porter, +34 971377236
La Sifonería – Mallorca
This colourful bar is crammed to the rafters with retro knick-knacks, multi-coloured drink crates and, naturally, vintage seltzer bottles, and is one of the liveliest bars in Palma. The psychedelic decor, akin to that of a hoarder’s living room, will have you clicking away on your camera. The crazy environment seems to have its effect on the revellers, and it’s not often you’ll leave without an interesting story or two to tell. Alternatively, head to the sister bar, Sa Sifonería in the Old Town, for a cosier, more low-key experience sitting on crates sampling local vermouths tapped straight from the barrel.
La Brasa – Ibiza
It’s certainly best to experience La Brasa by night, when the lights are dimmed and you are surrounded by twinkling fairy lights in a seemingly enchanted garden. Vines and flowers cascade from the ceiling and the canopy is strung with crystals that refract the light in all sorts of magical ways. It’s fun to sit at the bar and sip cocktails, and it’s also a great place for a romantic evening meal.
Carrer de Pere Sala, 3, 07800 Eivissa, Ibiza, +34 971301202
Sluiz – Ibiza
When the parking lot is signposted with designated areas such as ‘Plastic Surgery Only’, you know you’re in for a good ride. This quirky concept store, situated seemingly in the middle of nowhere on the road to Santa Gertrudis, offers a comprehensive experience and is a place where you can shop, drink and eat all under one roof. Nestled amongst a kaleidoscope of trinkets, colourful homeware and kitsch buddha statues is a bar serving a range of drinks and nibbles. Kick back and relax on the neon velvet chairs while you’re entertained by a variety of musicians and cabaret acts.
PM-804, 07814 Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera, Ibiza, +34 971931206
Sa Jugueteria – Mallorca
This playful establishment, aptly named ‘The Toy Shop’, provides the perfect catalyst for fun down the lanes of Palma’s Old Town. Stuffed furry animals sit alongside you, bicycles hang from the ceilings and the walls are festooned with 80s childhood memorabilia, all providing plenty of fuel for nostalgic meanderings while tucking into some tapas in the cozy booths.
C. Pes del Formatge, 4, 07001 Palma, Mallorca, +34 971214143
Hola Ola Mediterranean Beach – Menorca
Menorca’s most popular bars are often those chiringuitos or ramshackle beach shacks that make you feel like a castaway shipwrecked on a desert island. Hola Ola has nailed the chilled-out Balearic vibe, and it is easy to drift away from the world while lounging on its grassy banks and watching the sky turn red. The eclectic garden furniture and hammocks, the ambient live music and the ability to jump into the cooling waters of Cala Blanca between mouthfuls of beer all make for a uniquely relaxing, out-of-the-ordinary experience.