Where in the Mediterranean can you sunbathe on a picture perfect beach in the morning, eat lunch in a 16th century walled town, spend the afternoon hiking in mountainous olive groves and round off the day with dinner in the world’s most expensive, Michelin-starred restaurant? You might be surprised to hear that the answer is the Balearic island of Ibiza and not the glamorous French Riviera resort of St Tropez or Sardinia’s playground for the rich, Costa Smeralda. Although Ibiza has been the shorthand for partying since the 1990s, the white isle is so much more than just nightclubs.
Away from partying in downtown Playa d’enBossa or San Antonio, you can find a different Ibiza crammed full of sunshine, culture and history. In spring, the warm weather and almond blossom make Ibiza the ideal place for a walking or cycling holiday. You’ll be spoilt for choice too. Should you walk along the rugged coastline to see the string of beautiful coves and some amazing restaurants? You can choose from CalaLlentrisca in the south of the island, CalaTarida in the west, EsPortitxol in the north and Santa Eularia in the east.
Or, if you fancy a day away from the beach, should you go inland and cycle along one of 30 marked trails through fig and almond groves? San Rafael, a village perhaps best known for superclubs Amnesia and Privilege, makes a good base for exploring the countryside on two wheels. And, aside from amazing view from the 18th century church all the way to Ibiza Town’s harbour, San Rafael boasts a variety of restaurants and a horse racing track.
Going to Ibiza in the spring or the autumn has a major added bonus. Accommodation is substantially cheaper than peak party season when the same hotel room can cost four times as much. Plus you get to experience what first attracted hippies to the island back in the 1960s. Outside of July and August, Ibiza is quiet and laidback, making it the ideal holiday spot for anyone escaping the rat race. You don’t have to don the flowing robes or patchouli oil to enjoy the alternative scene, though.
Energy Week in late October is open to everyone and offers yoga retreats and beach meditation to anyone wanting to stretch their muscles or their minds. There can’t be many people who would turn down the chance to take a guided walk to the top of SaTalaia, the island’s highest mountain, or a boat trip to Benirrás beach to see the drummers by sunset.
If all the spirituality gets a bit too much, then you know that excitement and glamour are just a stone’s throw away. Back in Ibiza Town, dinner at Sublimotion will set you back a staggering £1200 but where else could you watch a magical sunset and then tuck into a pillow of nitrogenised olive oil, pegged to a miniature washing line, followed by a white-chocolate foiegras doughnut? Only in Ibiza.
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