As an incredibly small island with a disproportionally huge reputation, Ibiza is on the Top 1o list of every youngster looking for an unforgettable party holiday (That is, if you can actually remember something afterwards..). CNN awarded Ibiza Town the first place on the Top 10 World Nightlife Cities and Pitbull sings rather repetitively about going from “Miami to Ibiza”. But, what secrets does the island still hold?
Despite its size ( It takes not more than 50 mins to drive from the top to bottom of the island), Ibiza holds a ton of archaeological sites. It was founded by the Phoenicians, taken over by Carthage and later part of the Roman Empire only to then be under Islamic rule in the Early Middles ages. As if that wasn’t diverse enough, the Norsemen invaded the island and deported the muslims before it finally came under Spanish rule, which remains until today. Many of these Archaeological sites are part of the UNESCO World Heritage List and are open to public. A few examples: The Alta Vila of Ibiza Town (which includes part of its port, a splendid example of Renaissance architecture), The Phoenician Settlement in Sa Caleta and the Puig Des Molins, a Phoenician Necropolis.
In more modern times, Ibiza was a place many so-called hippies and alternative-minded people gathered to escape the Western capitalistic evolution. Many of these people or their descendants still live on the island, which is why you’ll typically find a lot of “random abstract art” or Hippie markets. A lot of these markets have become very commercial and don’t have much in common with the hippie spirit anymore.
An increasingly popular type of tourism in Ibiza is Wellness and Health tourism. The island is getting increasingly filled with yoga retreats and wellness retreats for overworked, stressed Europeans.
Another option, what we opted for in the end, is a concept that is mostly found in Italy: Agritourism. The idea consists of a farm, completely renovated into a hotel with a few rooms (usually not more than 15) where people can find a relaxing environment, usually with a big terrace, gardens (where they harvest their own vegetables and fruits, sometimes even vines for home made wine!). We stayed at Can Talaias: a rustic family-owned agroturismo close to the east coast of the island. From there, we made numerous day trips to all ends of the island, but a few days of plain relaxing next to the pool after a 2 hour breakfast with view over the sea were more than welcome as well.
Ibiza is not that much a hiking destination as, say, Madeira is. (More on the island of Madeira coming soon!) The hills are not very high, nor are they steep and there is little to no forest left (many mediterranean islands are highly deforested, Sicily as the most extreme example). It is, however, an awesome spot for a morning run! My mother might not have been a massive fan of this habit, but she accompanied me either way after which we enjoyed well-deserved litres of coffee and enough calories worth of breakfast to go for that run another few times. Oh whatever.
Being an island, Ibiza naturally holds a lot of beaches. Aside of the most famous ones, being: Ibiza Town, San Antonio, Las Salinas (which is THE party place), Talamanca,.., the island hosts a lot of lesser known, but outright beautiful beaches. My personal favourites are Cala Boix, Cala Salada and Cala Llenya. They can be busy during the summer months (then again, which beach isn’t..) but are usually more family-oriented (read: No broken glass alcohol bottles in the sand) and have beautiful scenery, aside of a crystal clear sea. Also, on Cala Boix there are two A-MA-ZING fish restaurants, which happen to be on the parking lot (charming..) and also next to one another. Capitalism and competition theory at it’s best. Go there!
Needless to say, Ibiza offers much more than meets the eye. Whether you’re a die-hard party chasher or more in the mood for a vinyasa and vegan holiday, you’ll certainly find something here!
In my next post, I will make a list of ‘must-go-and-eat’ restaurants in Ibiza, definitely featuring that fish place (but also something for the carnovires *cough* me *cough* amoung us 😉 ) Stay tuned!