Ibiza is a popular destination from the UK, and it’s as easy as parking your car and getting on a flight at Heathrow. Many visitors head out with high hopes of experiencing the hedonistic party lifestyle and internationally celebrated clubs which the island is famous for.
But there is another side to this Balearic Island. Nestled in the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea, just south west of the larger islands of Majorca and Menorca, Ibiza enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate and landscape. Its gorgeous sandy beaches and rocky coastal scenery are surrounded by azure waters, while the verdant interior is dotted with olive and citrus groves and pretty villages.
In the chilled out north of the island, several wellness centres offer treatments to revitalise the body and soul, from yoga and aromatherapy massage to detoxification therapies. There are also a host of creative courses on offer, including arts, crafts, cookery and music. The laidback bohemian vibe of the north appeals to those seeking a more chilled out Ibiza experience. There’s also the Las Dalias hippy market and the Cala Llenya flea market to rifle through for trinkets and one-off items, and vineyards where locally produced wine can be sampled.
The island has some spectacular scenery for hikers and an array of walking trails for those wanting to explore the countryside. Some trails are suitable for horse-riding and cycling. In the north east there are the caves of C’an Marca, while the interior of the island has farmlands, fruit orchards and pine forested mountains. The south also has its share of picturesque scenery, from the magnificent salt flats of Ses Salines to the monolithic islet of Es Vedra, best seen from Cala D’Hort.
Or you could take to the water and try out a range of water sports from wind-surfing and paragliding to scuba diving and surfing. Scuba diving is available at diving centres around the island, including Playa Port des Torrent, Ibiza Town, San Antonio and Santa Eulalia. Sea kayaking courses are available for beginners and advanced levels and they offer visitors the chance to explore the island’s coastline, with its many beaches, coves and inlets, in an intriguingly different way.
While many beaches in Ibiza are firmly geared towards partygoers, many are more family-oriented. The latter include Es Cana, Portinatx, Cala Vadella and Cala Llonga, amongst others. Many resorts offer activities for kids, such as play areas, children’s pools and kids’ clubs.
Ibiza Town itself is well worth a visit. This lively, cosmopolitan town is home to the iconic and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dalt Vila, with its cobbled streets and churches, and the nearby Necropolis Puig des Molins with its underground tombs. Here too are many art galleries, where up and coming artists from around the island showcase their work. And if you’re up for a little partying after all, Ibiza Town, with its super chic bars and cafes, is one of the best places to be.
Cala Llonga photo by Mick_Gallagher_1959 on flickr.