Destination Inspiration: Off-Season Ibiza

Destination Inspiration: Off-Season Ibiza

The White Isle exerts an almost mystical pull over those who visit in the tranquil winter months, when its high-octane summer diversions are swapped for long beach walks backed by a beckoning indigo sea, off-road adventures immersed in blossom-strewn nature and warming island dishes cooked with care.

This article appears in Volume 35: Celebration.

winter in Ibiza. The pace of life is slower, more relaxed
than a few weeks ago. It feels more genuine, somehow. And,
suddenly, it all becomes clear: this is what really makes Ibiza
special. This is the reason why people move here.

“The magic of this island lies in its nature,” says Manuel
Ehrensperger, founder of Ibiza Hike Station, the private experience
company that allows visitors and locals to explore areas they never
even knew existed.

It’s true that the beauty of the landscape is often overlooked.
In a constant state of evolution, its colours and plant life
transform with every passing month. Pla de Corona Valley in the
north-west, now blanketed in white and orange almond blossom, is
like something out of a fairy tale.

The beaches in the north, no longer brimming with holidaymakers,
become serene, calming spaces that instil a sense of ease. Even the
sea takes on a new guise. Shades of deep turquoise swell into
midnight blue, a waxy aesthetic juxtaposed by the land’s jagged
burnt-orange cliffs. The ocean is an open, welcoming invitation.
Even in winter, it’s a balmy 20C, and there’s no better way to cool
off after a hike.

“Travelling by foot, you discover the best views,” says
Ehrensperger, whose adventures regularly carry him off-road and
off-map. “There’s so much to unveil: caves, waterfalls, the
underworld… The north is where you’ll find the secret forests.”

These forests, it turns out, are lush with greenery at this time
of year. But they’ll look completely different in just a matter of
weeks, as the foliage blooms and a fresh rainbow of colours erupts
from the branches.

One trail worth the step-count is the route to Cala d’Albarca, a
remote cove not far from Sant Mateu, where, with a hidden plunge
pool and spectacular views, you’ll feel completely disconnected
from the outside world. A kind adventurer has secured ropes to its
sides to aid the steep descent.

Perhaps it’s down to the season or because the Balearic way of
life has been forced to change over the past 18 months, but this
sense of community, as well as the homegrown, natural element is

Hidden in the hills just outside Ibiza Town is rural bolthole
Casa Maca, whose restaurant spotlights seasonal ingredients farmed
in its gardens. “Winter brings new recipe opportunities,” says
Elodie Wright of owners the Mambo Group. “We experiment with
produce that thrives at this time of year. During the day we serve
food in the farm and by night we light fire pits. It’s so tranquil.
The ‘real’ Ibiza is the one in winter mode.”

Hotels, too, are in a state of evolution. Anna Na owns luxury
boutique space Petunia, one of the properties that has extended its
dates to welcome guests throughout the year. Nestled in the hills
above Calla Vadella, this quiet haven is peppered with bohemian
influences and quiet corners. Its sprawling rooftop terrace is
equal parts intimate and sociable.

Read the rest of the feature in Volume 35: Celebration.

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