A fortnight ago, I was in Ibiza and I am still under the spell of the gorgeous Spanish skies, spectacular sunsets, crescendo of colors, dramatic landscape, shimmering blue waters, historic revelations and beautiful mix of many influences. I would love to claim that the three days and nights that I stayed in Ibiza were like a dream that one sees with eyes wide open. The sweeping views of the Mediterranean waters, iconic beaches, UNESCO-listed Dalt Vila, picturesque salt ponds, home-grown olives and the soulful white villages of the island, literally defied everything that I had read or heard about it before.
I am sure you might be thinking that not even once have I mentioned the hippie culture, the trance parties or the celebrated clubs that music lovers all over the world, go ga-ga about. This is because everyone knows about them. The combination of spectacular beaches, mystical sunsets and world-famous nightclubs in Ibiza has been legendary but how about encountering new experiences. Travel is no fun until you do it differently. Be ready to tread the off beaten path and discover this Spanish island of love and peace, beyond its party image.
IBIZA is special! Why?
Ibiza should be called a feeling, more than a place. Every moment was joyous and calming for the soul and mind. I had the opportunity to visit the island in the first week of October, which is actually the closing week for the clubs. But there was so much to do, that I actually didn’t miss being part of the crazy night parties. The stories and experiences from the island, especially the hotel where I stayed, the restaurants where I ate, the markets that I walked through and the people with whom I shared my laughs with, are too many to put down in words immediately, but let me begin by touching upon the special characteristics of the island that make it incredibly unique and special. Here’s a look at my favorite activities and getting acquainted with Ibiza in a different light.
- The romantic corners on the island are too many for the tourists and holiday-makers but as a curious traveler, I enjoyed learning about the ancient civilizations that have shaped the cultural identity of the island. For the history lovers, there is lots to dig in and learn. Look for the influence of the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and the Islamic period.
- The infectious hippie culture exudes an aura of ‘live and let live’. The moment you land in Ibiza and hit the road towards your hotel, the views of the green island and glimpses of the shimmering Mediterranean immediately hits you and gets you high with the joys and thrill of being in Ibiza. The island and its people are exceptionally warm and welcoming.
- Ibiza is literally so beautiful that you may wake up with no goals and yet live a happy day. For other days, you may do some yoga on the beach, take a hippie car ride on a colourful, flowery Citroën 2CV Cabrios, walk around the countryside or learn to make necklace from sea shells or local stones. I went for the car ride and learned to make some local jewelry too. Each experience turned out to be exceptionally rewarding and enriching.
- The craggy coast of Ibiza is world-famous but I loved exploring the drama of its landscapes, the UNESCO Heritage sites and the charisma of Ibizan countryside. If you are there around May, do check out for the celebrations in the walled area of the town. Locals celebrate the inclusion of Dalt Vila in the World Heritage List with an open air market, fair, music, medieval crafts, wildflower arrangements and more.
- Did you know that the dense seagrass meadows (Posidonia Ocenica) have been added to the World Heritage List? They actually add to the biological richness of this side of Mediterranean along with Ibiza and Formentera’s ecosystem. The scientists are also studying and trying to find out if this seagrass in the shallows of the Mediterranean may be the oldest living organisms on Earth. Anchoring policies have been changed to prevent any damage to these grasses. Underwater activities are fun here.
- I loved the ruggedness of Cala D’ Hort and the views of Es Vedra from there. Cala d ‘ Hort is a little cove turned into a beach, from where one sees the views of the mysterious islet of Es Vedrà. Es Vedra is an islet, located almost two kilometers away from the southwest coast of Ibiza. There is a natural park around which is of high ecological value. It is extremely photogenic. Cala D’ Hort is the place to chill and take as many pictures as your want.
- Sant Josep – Ibiza, the south of the island has picturesque white houses in the villages of Sant Josep, Sant Agustí, Es Cubells and Sant Jordi. Sant Josep de sa Talaia , is the highest point of the island of Ibiza (Sa Talaia, with 475 meters). The beaches of Platja des Jondal and Cala des Jondal are gorgeous. The views of the hidden coves are amazing.
- You can’t miss the church hill or the white church of Santa Eularia, on the summit of Puig de Missa. Next to the sea, this is an ancient church that used to be a fortress too in the olden days. Can be called a spiritual refuge too. At the foot of the church, you get to explore the town of Santa Eulària des Riu, which dates back to the 16th century. While the shape of the church and its brilliant whiteness is interesting, the town hall, the beach and the harbor of the coastal town of Santa Eulària des Riu impressed me more.
- I would highly recommend a day for the beaches and the Salt Ponds of Ses Salines. It has a unique landscape. I hope you know that Ibiza is an exporter of salt (white gold). Spread over approximately 2,800 acres, Ses Salines is one of the most peaceful haven of Ibiza. One can actually see the salt production in this area. This has been going on since ages.
- The Sunsets in Ibiza are truly majestic. Everything about the evening on the West Coast of the island, the golden sandy beaches of Cala Conte and the sunset that I saw from Sunset Ashram is fresh in my eyes. It has to be one of the best sunsets that I have seen ever.
- During the countryside tour, you will get to see a whole lot of olive trees, the almond and the carob trees. Ibiza also lives by the concept of trees to table. A lot of fresh food is served and you cannot resist it. While Sangria and Paella is a must try in Spain, you cant miss the fresh breads served with aioli and olives. There are some delightful cafes and Tapas bars all around the island. Coffee is a ritual. You will be spoiled for choices. Spanish hospitality often reminded me of India but the local food was so amazing that not even once did I miss Indian food.
The impression of Ibiza can be really very unique and different when you explore its areas of great cultural interest, along with the natural beauty. Hope you make the most of your trip to Ibiza. I have had two back to back Europe trips this year. Lots of stories are in my closet. Keep traveling and keep reading my travel experiences.