Walks in Ibiza
The island of Ibiza, the southernmost of the Balearics, has tended to have a bad image in the British media which has traditionally focused on the discotheque, drug and lower-end tourist bad behaviour scene. With a peak tourist season that really only spans June to late September, Ibiza has much, much more to offer the walking visitor.
The island is just 24 miles long and some 13 miles wide with an amazing variety of topography for such a small area. To the south, near the airport are the salt lakes of Ses Salines. These are still in use today and, as part of a protected natural park, is a hugely important bird and water-fowl area - not least because of its location on migratory routes. By contrast the coastal scenery can be simply amazing, as can be seen in this picture depicting a view of the emblematic island of Es Vedra taken from above one of the ancient lookout towers which were such an important part of the protection of the people of Ibiza in times of Corsair raids.
Today much of the island remains covered in pine forests but with hidden gems such as the valley of Buscastel (pictured at the bottom of this page). This beautiful spot, which still today is watered by the spring Es Broll, is a wonderful example of the water engineering introduced during the Arab occupation many centuries ago. Because of this the valley was an important agricultural centre producing fruit, vegetables and cereal crops.
Eivessa is the capital of the island and the old, walled city is packed with historic interest and is well worth spending some time exploring. There are a number of fascinating museums which trace the history of the island through Punic, Roman, Arab and more contemporary times. Over on the east coast of Ibiza the seaside town of Santa Eularia makes a perfect base. It is an efficient and friendly town with every conceivable amenity and has a good range of accommodation open the whole year. One particularly good hostel is Sa Rota. This has 30 rooms with ensuite bathroom and is very reasonably priced including breakfast. See www.hostalsarota.com/IN/
The climate on the island is very agreeable with probably only July and August too hot for walking. The winters are a delight with bad weather very rare and not long lasting when it does happen.
Getting to and from Ibiza from the UK between Easter and mid October is simple given the huge number of holiday flights that operate from many UK airports. During the winter period there are currently (2013) twice weekly flights from London City airport. Otherwise there are regular economic flights to Palma, Majorca and Barcelona from which many connections to Ibiza are available. It is also possible to travel from both Palma and Barcelona to Ibiza by ferry.
There are plenty of car hire facilities available in most major towns on the island. Bus services between the major towns are good but less so to the smaller outlying places. www.ibizabus.com gives full details of summer and winter timetables. Many of the Walkingworld start points will require some form of personal transport to get to them.
The combination of the sheer beauty of Ibiza, its amazing variety, agreeable climate and the freedom to roam the caminos and footpaths make it a truly exciting walking holiday destination. There is a good number of varied and interesting walks on the website to suit all capabilities. Between them them they offer wide coverage of the entire island and give a good insight into the beauty and patrimony of this lovely place. Come and try it - you will not be disappointed. If you need any assistance at all feel free to get in touch with us via Walkingworld (click on the contact link above).
Jim and Gina Arymar