The distance between the capital of Spain's Catalonia region, Barcelona, and Ibiza Town, the capital of Ibiza, one of the Balearic Islands, is 176 miles (283 km). Hands-down the quickest and most logical way to make the trip is by direct flight, which takes about one hour.
Another viable option is to take a car ferry. Direct ferries from Barcelona to Ibiza will take about 9 hours. The ferry ride from Dénia to Ibiza is much more manageable (2 hours), and the journey from Barcelona to Dénia is relatively simple by car (4.5 hours).
For a luxurious travel experience, private helicopter charters are also available. The trip takes about 75 minutes.
Make sure to check out kimkim's Best of Barcelona & Ibiza 8 Day Itinerary before you go!
Duration: 1 hour (flight time)
Hands down the most logical, efficient, and affordable option is to fly from Barcelona's airport El Prat (BCN) nonstop to Ibiza Airport (IBZ). Vueling Airlines, Ryan Air, Iberia, and British Airways all run many direct flights daily at a competitive cost, especially if tickets are booked in advance.
Keep in mind that El Prat airport is located about 10 miles from Barcelona's city center, and heavy traffic is common. Ibiza airport is just five minutes by taxi to Ibiza Town.
By Direct Ferry
Duration: 9 hours
Barcelona is a port city on the Mediterranean, meaning that the sea is a great means of travel to the Balearic islands. Two companies offer daily car ferries: Trasmediterránea and Balearia, and both take about 9 hours. Although schedules change seasonally, note that routes are often overnight and cabin accommodations can be more expensive than seats. Bringing your car will also cost more than walking on, but will give you the added perk of having a car in Ibiza Town.
Barcelona's port is huge, and you should figure out how to get to each ferry in advance. Balearia leaves Barcelona from Terminal Port Nou. Trasmediterránea departs from Muelle de San Beltrán near Plaza Colón. Both companies come into the Puerto de Ibiza which is a much more manageable port.
By Transfer to Dénia + Ferry
Duration: 4.5 hours by car + 2 hours ferry
If 9 hours at sea seems a little daunting, another option is to transfer to the city of Dénia and take a much shorter ferry from there (2 hours). To get to Dénia, which is about 290 miles from Barcelona, the easiest option is to go by car. Driving yourself or hiring a private car service will take about 4.5 hours, bringing the trip total to 6.5 hours.
This route is especially recommended for those who want to stop in the city of Valencia, which is right on the way. Valencia is home to famous sites like the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences or the impressive aquarium, L'Oceanogràfic. This route brings you right along the coast and offers amazing detours such as the ancient ruins in the seaside city of Tarragona. There are also train and bus options to go from Barcelona to Dénia, but these routes involve multiple transfers.
Once in Dénia, Balearia runs daily high-speed ferries that take only 2 hours. Take note that ferry schedules change seasonally, and should be booked in advance.
By Private Helicopter
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
If there is any occasion to charter your own private helicopter, swooping over the Mediterranean is surely a great reason. Multiple private helicopter companies offer trips that also include ground transport in Barcelona and Ibiza. Trips can be tailored to corporate or luxury travel groups, and often include catering options. Some helicopter companies also offer planned tours with multiple stops in the Balearic Islands.
For more information on travel in the islands and coastal cities of Spain, make sure to read kimkim's guide to Spain in July.