Sipping my drink poolside in a sun-drenched chicer than chic agrotourism hotel Cas Gasi, alongside a very posh couple enjoying a lunchtime tipple, I couldn’t be further away from Ibiza’s party hard image if I tried.
I quickly worked out that there’s a lot more to Ibiza than meets the eye. Go off the beaten track even a fraction and you will discover a world of sleepy hill villages, wild forests, rambling orchards and crumbling farmhouses.
Forget the booming music and Brits abroad in San Antonio, more and more visitors are starting to discover the rest of Ibiza, an island full of Mediterranean charm with a little boho-chic thrown into the mix.
Here are my top twelve totally good reasons to fall in love with Ibiza.
1.ULTRA CHIC BOUTIQUE HOTELS
Ibiza hotels have long been luring a cool, cosmopolitan crew. From Five-star hotels to luxury private villas or cutting edge designer rural retreats, Ibiza offers abodes to suit all budgets.
Spoilt with choice I was hard-pressed to decide on where to call home for our week on the island, but I happily found hotel heaven in two very peaceful Ibizan boltholes.
The Giri Residence Hotel & Spa
Set in the quiet village of San Juan in the north, the 1870’s whitewashed building was luxuriously restored 10 years ago. The Giri has five guestrooms, each slightly different but all decorated within what could be described as an Asian-boho-meets-Scandi-modernist aesthetic.
A real standout at the Giri is by far their staff. Vincent and his team are some of the most welcoming and amicable people we have ever encountered. The atmosphere they create is so warm and caring it is impossible not to completely unwind and relax.
Warning – this place comes fully equipped with your very own personal world-class chef Carlos, who will ensure you do not leave feeling dissatisfied, or skinny!
A small luxury agrotourism hotel which started life as a farmhouse over 130 years ago. In 1998 it opened as a boutique hotel with 12 guest rooms, spa, gym, yoga pavilion and a ridiculously good restaurant. This heavenly property spills down a hillside smothered in almond, carob and fragrant fruit trees. There are perfectly positioned hammocks, palatial day beds and relaxation cabanas scattered about making it a haven for anyone hoping to kick back and relax in style. Cas Gasi oozes understated cool, so expect to see some big hitters here going undercover. Previous guests have included Richard Gere, Kate Moss and Alessandra Embrosio. Capiche?
There are so many beautiful beaches in Ibiza and many with beach clubs. From fine dining delights to rustic seaside shacks shaded with a thousand year old juniper trees, the array of beach clubs and restaurants in Ibiza have it all. It’s generally agreed that Blue Marlin sits aloft the posing and people-watching pyramid, but if you want to know where the cool kids hang out head to Amante, Elements, Ses Boques, Casa Bassa and Cotton Club.
From meticulously curated boutiques to adorable gift shops, Ibiza has the perfect concoction to soothe your shopping cravings. Some of my favourites are Panorama, B-London Boutique, Sluiz (a kaleidoscope assault on the senses), Vicente Ganesha, Revolver (best selection of sunnies on the planet!) and the boutique at Sa Punta, which is perfectly edited for the glamorous guests who frequent this hip, waterside hangout.
Your Ibiza holiday experience will not be complete without witnessing at least one soul stirring sunset. You can watch the Ibiza sunset a thousand times over and never tire of its mesmerizing effect. It is the greatest free show on earth and there is a reason why they say no two sunsets are ever the same. Whether it is the play of colours, the clouds or the stunning scenery, every sunset is unique, but the key requirement to the perfect show is an unobstructed view in plush, exclusive surroundings. Ibiza will not disappoint if chasing “that sunset” is your thing. In fact, there are more hidden gems in Ibiza for watching sunsets then there are tapas bars!
This little island can only be accessed by boat from Ibiza, but this inaccessibility is what keeps it so special. Formentera has spent much of its life in the shadow of its bigger, brasher Balearic siblings. But, like any good thing, the secret is out and progress can be heard knocking at the door. Crystal clear blue waters, long stretches of white sand and a generous peppering of culinary delights makes it a serious food destination.
Legend has it the famous landmark Es Vedra is the tip of the sunken civilization of Atlantis and the earth’s third most magnetic point. People come within the vicinity of Es Vedra to meditate or just to experience the energy that surrounds this transformative spot. It is a surreal place to see the sunset, and I would not leave Ibiza without seeing the glorious natural beauty of Es Vedra. It’s one of the most beautiful spots on the island and you NEED to see it for yourself.
7.FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD
One thing for sure is that Ibiza restaurants can come as a delightful surprise to the uninitiated. When it comes to food, Ibiza has become a gastronomic paradise with some of the most creative and best restaurants for both food and ambience. Try the traditional Ibicencan fayre with age-old recipes for rabbit, lamb, fish and chicken. Sample fresh sardines on a sandy beach, or relax over tasty tapas in a picturesque country village. Wherever your palate leads you, you will most likely find yourself on the golden steps to gourmet heaven.
8.BUZZING LOCAL BOHO SCENE
Ibiza was flooded by hippies in the sixties with their influences are clearly noticeable on the island today. One of the top attractions is the Hippie Market in Las Dalias. Packed with a riot of colourful stalls selling bohemian Ibiza fashion, jewellery and trinkets. When hunger strikes tuck into some super-foods such as kelp noodles, chia pudding, cold-pressed juices and raging raw foods that look way too good to be true!
Ibiza hasn’t lost its hippie soul and is now just as well known for holistic weekends as hedonistic ones.
9.LYING ON THE BEACH
Because who doesn’t like doing that? And with beaches like this, you won’t be able to say no. Google earth its coastline and you’ll get the picture…..spoilt for choice.
10.THE OLD TOWN
Old Town in Ibiza is one area that you don’t want to miss. This UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts over 2500 years of history and is a hidden treasure for photos. The pedestrian only cobblestone streets lead you down narrow alleys that make you feel like you have gone back in time. At night, tables from restaurants and bars spill out into the streets and can make for a fun atmosphere.
A lot of island paradises have very little to offer in terms of nightlife, but Ibiza has some of the best nightlife in the world. If the big clubs aren’t your style, check out some of the quaint bars and discos in the Old Town.
12.IBIZA IS FUN!!!
There is a fun, playful atmosphere about the whole island. Tans are dark and minds have been engulfed by the Ibiza spirit. The people are genuinely happy everywhere you go! I mean how could you not be with so much colour and beauty saturating your life?
Till next time Ibiza xx Sirens And Seaplanes