Unlike a number of my peers – who spent many a sun-drenched summer on the white island of Ibiza – I visited for the first time last year, when I won a memoir writing retreat at Villa Maecenas. And while it’s a holiday destination known for its pleasure-seeking and hedonism, there too is a holistic side to the island, with an abundance of alternative options for anyone looking to relax and recharge in the Mediterranean sun.
And thus it was, that when I booked a month long stint in Europe to escape Sydney’s cooler winter climes, I decided to spend five days in Ibiza, exploring everything this lively Balearic island has to offer. Armed with my trusty Marco Polo Guide to Ibiza – which features a comprehensive list of everything the island has to offer – a suitcase full of books, sundresses and suncream, I boarded a late night flight at Gatwick, looking forward to a week-long stint in the sun.
When to go
While Ibiza boasts almost year-round blue skies and sunshine, visiting Ibiza in peak summer season is a very different experience to travelling at a quieter time of year. For anyone who loves the buzz and bustle of an island in the height of summer, early June to late September is when the island really starts to heat up; in terms of both temperature and the famous clubbing calendar. However, if you’re a fan of balmy weather but want to avoid the crowds, May, October and November may be a better time to visit. The temperature will still be touching the early-mid 20s, but you won’t be fighting fellow tourists for a spot on your favourite secluded beach.
Where to stay
If you have a penchant for all things elegant, opt for the crème de la crème of luxury living at beautiful boutique hotel, Cas Gasi. A peaceful country house located in the rich heartland of Ibiza, Cas Gasi is an oasis of calm, surrounded by 4 hectares of lush orchards, rich olive groves and fragrant fruit trees.
For anyone on a somewhat tighter budget, try Pikes Ibiza. Steeped in three decades of hedonistic, Ibizan history, this eclectic, rock ‘n’ roll-themed hotel is housed in a 500-year-old farmhouse once used as a hedonistic celebrity retreat.
What to do
While there are an abundance of clubs, bars and sun-down soirées to visit when holidaying in Ibiza, the alternative side to the island offers would-be wanderers the chance to explore the unrivalled beauty the white island has to offer, without a hangover in sight. If you fancy exploring the island’s glistening expanse of turquoise Mediterranean Sea, try your hand at stand-up paddle-boarding with Paddle Ibiza. Suitable for both beginners and pros alike, there’s no better way to explore Ibiza’s stunning coastline than by immersing oneself in the crystal waters.
If, however, you’re more of a land-dweller, Walking Ibiza offers everything from private to community walks, all the while taking in some of the most stunning on the iconic island. With guided tasting tours also on offer, there’s something for everyone, regardless of appetite or expertise.
Where to eat
For the health-food aficionados among us, Passion Cafe is Ibiza’s hottest holistic eatery. With seven locations across the beautiful island of Ibiza, guests can find everything from superfood shakes, raw nut milkshakes and elixirs to wholesome and hearty salads with locally sourced fish and chicken.
If you’re looking for more sophisticated fare, set amid the windswept sand dunes of Es Cavallet, you’ll find Ibizan eatery El Chiringuito. A restaurant that has topped the list of the island’s best restaurants for almost a decade, it’s considered by many foodies as one of Ibiza’s hottest foodie spots, and is suitable for both day-time dining as well as sophisticated star-lit suppers.
Where to drink
Perfectly positioned on the unspoilt sandy shores of Cala Nova is beautiful Ibiza beach bar, Aiyanna. Fusing laid-back luxe with wooden decks and an unspoilt view of the turquoise sea, Aiyanna serves decadent cocktails, chilled beers, an impressive wine list and all-round good vibes, while the mellow ambience offers the perfect place to unwind after a day in the sun, with the threat of hedonism always lingering tantalisingly in the air .
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