Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ibiza - Beyond Clubber Paradise (Spain)

guest post by Mohamed Khazma

Dazzling away in the Mediterranean sun, the island of Ibiza is home to hedonists. Four months in a year Ibiza is turned into a clubber's paradise, it holds its status to date as the world's best clubbing destination. Trapping the biggest parties in the world into one location is a virtue of insanity, but it somehow manages to keep order and sustain its worldwide reputation.

Ibiza, however is far from just a playground of booze and music, it still to this day holds its own historical significance and reputation for a beach / adventure like destination to match the rest of the Mediterranean islands.

Summer Adventures

By day, the thousands of clubbers visiting the island will try and find a cure from the previous night and ready their adrenaline for the next night of boozing. Ibiza’s countless and sublime clear water beaches are just one cure, with this setting, the beaches provide a platform to allow access for diving, windsurfing, sailing, jet skiing, parachute sailing, banana rides and boat rentals – to name some.

Past Ibiza’s clichéd beach activities, the Jeep safaris provide visitors with a rugged discovery of the islands most secluded landscapes and pristine coastlines. Mountain biking is the adrenaline junkies alternative, providing a free roam platform to discover Ibiza’s true country paths, the tours start from the west coast through the hills of San Agustin; the east coast trail visiting the charming village of San Carlos and the tower of Pou d'es Lleo; and lastly a trail through Ses Salines Natural Park, to roam in its dunes and ponds.

An Alternative Summer

Located in Puerto San Miguel is the biggest cave in Ibiza. Cova de Can Marçà, an estimated 100,000 years old limestone cave is spectacularly lit by coloured lighting, together with an artificial waterfall – creating an almost unreal setting. Bounded by breathtaking sea-views, visitors enter the rocky inlet of stairs allowing the discovery of its underground stalactites and stalagmites, and lakes through multilingual guided tours.

With every island comes a mystery, when a landmark doesn't appear on maps, nor is it signposted from any nearby road or path – it is sure to be sought after. Atlantis, an old quarry island off the coast of Ibiza is seen by most locals as Ibiza’s spiritual Mecca (top photo). Atlantis leaves behind the remains of sculptured rocks from the stonecutters who used it as a source for raw material to fortify mainland Ibiza. The quarry is accessible via a short boat ride.

Winter in Ibiza

The clubs have locked-up, streets cleaned, beaches abandoned and the airport is at its quietest in the year. Ibiza’s white canvas is turned into vibrant flora, what remains is a well-kept secret creating the most tranquil time of year for Ibiza’s residents and the few discerning holiday makers.

One of the most unique experiences in Ibiza is horseback riding in the northern mountainous landscapes. Rising though Ibiza’s natural protected areas, encompassing wildly romantic scenery and overlooking the islands coastline, it is an indulgent adventure for the winter season. The tours start from a few hour rides, to a full week package including agro-tourism hotels, charming, yet small, but a far-cry from the monstrous tourist hotels in Ibiza’s main towns.

Deserted beaches can come rarely on such an island, even with Ibiza’s 300 day sunshine a year, winter season in Ibiza sees no sunbeds, nor masses of crowds to spoil the view. The water pulls in gently at shore, the lush vegetation rustling, birds singing, and the entire beach open for an invitation of seclusion. Strolling slowly along the sandy promenade, soaking up the sun and replenishing the winter sunshine – Ibiza paints the perfect winter like paradise for some.

Photo Credits: atlantis, remote road, cave, ocean


Anonymous said...

Winter there sounds delighful... summer!!!

Mark H said...

@anonymous: Like visiting a different place in winter.

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