The spirit of Ibiza can be quite the elusive creature. Visitors who make the annual pilgrimage often speak of a distinctive, magical energy that hits as soon as the plane touches the tarmac. They might not be able to describe it in detail, but they will tell you that it’s simply in the air. Of course, the spirit of Ibiza can be connected to the music and the parties, but it also runs far deeper than any manmade superclub or 12-inch vinyl. It can be experienced out in the open, with nothing but the breeze, the swelling of the ocean and chirping birds delivering your day’s soundtrack. Sound good? It should.
It’s of no real revelation that experiencing the iconic beauty of the island is best done via walks and hikes, with you being led to secret beaches, hidden bays, steep cliffs, dense pine forests and stretches of nature untouched by mass tourism.
One of the best the north of the island offers is Cala d’Albarca, of which there is the Eastern and Western route. The Eastern route is famously known as the giants’ playground, with elevated summits, spectacular views, impressive geological formations and the secluded bay of . Bordered by soaring limestone cliffs, this deep pool of caerulean water is a favourite with locals. You can absolutely take the day seeing all this route has to offer, with there being steep climbs offering a more challenging option for those who seek it. Post the physical push, a pitstop point for a refresh is Es Camp Vell, which you’ll find next to the church in Sant Mateu. Recommended is the menú del día for the homemade pastas.
For stunning sunsets, take a walk to Santa Agnès, Cala Benirrás or the Portinatx Peninsula; breath-taking views can be best seen from Santa Agnès North, Cala d’Albarca East, Sant Miquel and Siesta; suggested routes for young families are Cala d’Albarca East, Punta de Xarraco, the Portinatx Peninsula and Pou des Lleó; long hikes include Cala d’Albarca West, Sant Joan East, Sant Joan South and Santa Gertrudis North; while nature-filled routes include Santa Agnès South, Es Portitxol, Santa Gertrudis North and Siesta.
A few fundamental tips to remember before heading off on an adventure trail would be to bring plenty of water and do not underestimate how much hydration you may need, especially during the warmer months. Pack some light snacks, such as fruit, nuts and sandwiches, as you may find yourselves on an unexpected detour. While hiking you’ll likely be visiting more remote spots on the island and cards are often not accepted at certain supermarkets so be sure to bring some cash. And last but by no means least, have the upmost respect for wherever you may find yourselves, especially with regards to the locals you may meet along the way as you could be on private land.
There’s a number of options in finding your route, from opting to go with the expertise of Ibiza’s hiking operators, to sociable community walks, taking the lead from online bloggers or grabbing hiking books for a private explore.
Recommended hiking operators: