I spent some time in Ibiza beginning of this year with a friend of mine who lives there. I wanted to experience the real Ibiza not the one you hear in the news about, parties, drugs, alcohol. Instead of writing down the days I’ve done, I decided to give you some insight. It’s a great island with tons of things to do, amazing food to eat and stay healthy. My friend’s other half is an executive chef in a gorgeous resort and of course I tried some amazing food there too.
Well, I loved it! Hope you will as much as I did and I can help you to see the real deal. ☺️ I attached some photos so you see it’s beauty with my eyes.
Here are the facts:
Ibiza – Evissa
Ibiza belongs to Spain but the Autonomy of the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera) belongs to Catalonia and their official language is Catalan hence Evissa is the Catalan name as have all towns and villages two names…hell! yes, this can be very confusing especially for your Google mapsJ! So I will use Ibiza, since this is the name everyone seem to know.
Ibiza is six times smaller than Mallorca with 140 k residents(if you live her…you have to behave as people somehow will remember you), Ibiza and the neighbor Island of Formentera are widely covered in Pine Forests which is different from Mallorca/Menorca.
The location of Ibiza made it easy to be conquered by all sorts. I keep it short the Phoenicians (originated from Egypt, but widely called Arab’s) were the first in 654 B.C. who created the Port of Ibiza town and the ground stones of Ibiza town itself, also called “Dalt Villa” the old town on top of the hill surrounded by big stone walls. Followed by Romans, Greek, Scandinavians and of course Spanish throughout the time. The Island was a strategic point on the way for example to Cartage and as well was a major trading spot in the Mediterranean, therefore until today the clay amphoras used to transport goods are found all over the Mediterranean. Items were traded were: Wool, Fish Sauce, Dye and most importantly Salt which Ibiza in Cooperation with Formentera produces until today, in a Nature Reserve Park which is called Ses Salines, stretches from Ibiza to the tip of Formentera, there is a wide variety of Wild Life on this stretch. The Salt is around 10% for human consumption the remaining for industrial use and can be bought under the brand IBIZA SALT.
Interesting facts about this chapter, are that the native Ibicenco dog the Podenco (google the name, it looks soooo adorable) is said to be originated from the Egyptians who used the dog to protect the Pyramids, today these dogs are used for hunting…yes they do naturally hunt the Balearic RabbitL and are known to escape from their owners regularly as they are still very wild. Another interesting fact is, that the old churches in Ibiza have been built without windows in order to be protected from invaders, Pirates and other robbers. In addition most of the churches had a double wall with a fake Altar in the front, the real one behind for the same reason. You will see all over the Island along the coast are the little tower Forts, which were used to spot invaders.
The tourism on the Island started in the 1960’s as it was easy to reach by sea and later on by plane. You had regular as you’d call them today package tourists and as well the Island seemed to be attracting the creative, free minds. A lot of artists, hippies and as well homosexuals choose Ibiza to be their destination. Nothing much has changed today, you still find the Hippies (the originals and new one’s), Yogi’s, Artists, Families, Super Rich and Homosexuals are legalized in most places by now…but I do know that a lot Homosexuals remained visiting the Island through the decades as they liked that they could be as they wanted and nobody seemed to be caring.
The Club Scene and Electronic Music has evolved in Ibiza and new Music styles have been created here, for everyone who was not been in Ibiza before…you will be surprised how simple some of the most famous Clubs are. Again people enjoyed the simplicity of enjoying a good party together no matter their background. This is rather fast changing into ultra modern high priced Clubs with VIP areas, stand by hairdressers and girls to perform a head massage in the relaxation areas…places were people all over from the world come to show what they have and how they can party, which has little to do with the original.
What else can you do in Ibiza year around, except clubbing??? With 300 sun days a year you can at almost every day visit one of the 113 beaches, climbing, hiking, biking, yoga, retreats, snorkeling and every other sort of water sports, yachting, horse-riding are some of the options. There are more than 1000 Restaurants and Eateries on the Island, visit some of the museums, art galleries, theater and cinemas. The inner of the Island produces Olives, Oranges, Almonds and a lot more and is home to some of the organic farms are worth a visit too. And if you feel like watch the famous Ibiza sunset on the north coast while listening the hippie drum’s, topping it with the very own Ibiza GIN or Ibiza BEER, using local ingredients you are in heaven.
Many people don’t know that private rental platforms are by law not allowed, hence be careful and don’t pay a lot of money for your dream villa, it might be a scam and you arrive here without a place to stay. Only hotels and licensed places can official rent, this is in order to protect the housing for locals/residence as the prices had a high last year exceeding London rental prices at salaries almost half which is a problem for everyone, as most of the people can not afford anymore to live and work on the Island, especially local Ibicenco’s with government jobs and children have a real hard life here and a lot of them don’t have the money to leave the Island for holiday as the cost of life is all year around very high, but it’s their home since generations.
It is very difficult to get in personal touch with the Ibicenco’s, which is nothing bad they are just living their life and got used to a lot of foreign people on the Island-they don’t mind but are enjoying the quite 2-3 winter month. If you have the chance, they are really friendly at second sight and have a lot of stories and tips and certainly will offer you some of their home made liquor HIERBAS, made from the wild herbs in the spring and then aged for a year.
As many places Ibiza has a tourism problem and the locals/residence are protesting against OVERTOURISM, they are not denying the fact that tourism has been the key for the development of the Island and is necessary to the Islandseconomy, but is more to reject unlimited, disrespectful and excessive tourism. With 3,2 Mio tourists(British, Spanish, Italian, German and French on the top 5) in 2017 vs 140 k residents and more than 250 cruise ships yearly it’s a lot to digest for the people and the nature of the Island.
Nonetheless it’s definitely a place to be visited for any of the above reasons! You won’t regret and Ibiza will put it’s spell on you, too!