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Ibiza has been on my bucketlist for years. Not for the typical wild party scene, I feel like I’m not nearly tanned or long-limbed enough for that. I don’t have the stamina for that kind of partying anymore or if I do I prefer to use it to climb a mountain, and I certainly have no interest in paying €150 to go to a club. No, the wild side of Ibiza certainly never appealed to me, but the more chilled out, hippy Ibiza, now THAT is something I would travel for.
So what did I find when I ventured to Ibiza in search of something a bit more spiritual than house music and shots? Well, a lot, actually. I found new friends in my fellow TUIgrammers, incredible colours and an Ibiza hippy community hidden within a huge tourist destination. OK, and maybe I found some alcohol too! If you’re curious about the alternative side of Ibiza, read on.
Hippy Ibiza – Alternative Things to do
1 – Sunrise Yoga
I love a bit of yoga – it’s exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise until afterwards and soothes your soul while you sweat. I’ve done beach yoga in Aruba and had monkeys hassle me during my sun salutation in Sri Lanka, but sunrise yoga in Ibiza was a completely different experience. Our instructor, Shane, was the happiest person that I have ever seen at that hour of the morning.
We perched ourselves on a rocky outcrop jutting into the ocean with a perfect view of the sunrise. With every warrior pose and downward facing dog we began to wake up, and giggle slightly as we inevitably lost our footing. This is a must do activity in Ibiza and is certainly one step closer to hippie Ibiza.
2 – Sunset Ashram
The Sunset Ashram in Cala Conta is a restaurant with one of the best views I’ve ever seen. The food is absolutely divine too. It comes in massive portions and is priced accordingly (that means it’s DAMN expensive because, well, Ibiza prices). Though I have been assured by locals that it’s actually reasonably priced in comparison to some spots on the island. Either way, it’s not REALLY about the food, it’s about the view.
Perched on the side of the cliff you can see right across the sea and watch the sun set behind an island in the distance. When we went couples sat cliffside, legs dangling over the edge, drinking wine from the bottle and being silhouetted by the orange glow of the sunset. It really is such a romantic and classic setting. I’d definitely recommend visiting this viewpoint.
3 – Hippy Market Ibiza
Like shopping? Like bright, colourful, shiny arty stuff? Yeah? Well then the Hippy Market at Punta Arabí might just be your mecca. Hundreds of stalls line this maze-like market. There’s mandalas and lotus flowers a plenty in every colour of the rainbow. I got a giant silver turquoise ring for €26 which was an absolute bargain. It’s a good photo opportunity too if you’re into photography.
There’s stalls for food and drink as well so you won’t go hungry. Not to mention there’s child facilities and the live music. I’d allow between one to two hours to have a good look around depending on how much you like to shop. It’s definitely the best hippy market I’ve ever been to and a must visit on any trip to Ibiza. The Punta Arabí hippy market is open on Wednesday from 10.00 am to 19.00pm.
But that’s not the only hippy market in Ibiza, the island is home to a few! It’s also worth checking out Las Dalias Market in San Carlos. Bob Marley and Bob Geldolf have both visited this hippy market in the past. It’s on every Saturday from 10.00am to 18.30pm. In summer they also host a night market on Mondays from 20.00pm to 01.30am. No matter which Ibiza hippy market you choose you’ll certainly get a taste for the real hippy Ibiza.
4 – Ibiza Town
Ok so maybe seeing Ibiza town isn’t alternative, but seeing the quiet side of it IS. No parties, no raves, just appreciating the town for all that it has to offer. Take a walk up to the old town, along the cobbled streets to the castle of Ibiza. The views from this high point encompass the harbour, islands in the distance and the expanse of Ibiza town.
There are plenty of photo opportunities along the walk up to this castle so allow at least 1.5-2 hours there and back. I loved all the winding side streets, shuttered windows, tiny balconies with all sorts of things scattered across them and the flowers scaling the walls.
5 – Island Hopping
During my trip to Ibiza my group and I spent half a day exploring the seas on a catamaran. The views of the island and surrounding smaller islands were amazing. The water was so clear in places that you could see right to the bottom. We stopped at S’Esplamador beach for a spot of sunbathing and for me to chase the jellyfish in the shallows.
Returning back to the boat we were treated to sangria, beer and cava as well as iced water. Lunch was also served buffet style. There was plenty of salad, barbecue, bread and fruit. I didn’t struggle too much as a vegetarian. Our second stop was a swimming stop near Formentera. Here we had the chance to swim, snorkel, jump off the boat or just relax on the netting of the catamaran.
Then it was time to return to Ibiza town. There are plenty of companies running tours like this. Most of them last around 4- 5.5 hrs and cost around €79 per person.
6 – Hiking
Hiking is not something you think about when someone mentions Ibiza. BUT, it turns out that there are plenty of great places to stretch your legs on this beautiful island. They’re not the most challenging of hikes but they’ll certainly get you active.
I didn’t get a chance to do much hiking while I was in Ibiza but I’ve found a couple of great articles for you that details the best routes on the island. Here’s one about the 6 best walking roots in Ibiza by the lovely Liisa and Map my Walk has a great guide including the lengths of a various roots around the island. Make sure to check them out if you’re planning a walking holiday in Ibiza.
Where to Stay in Ibiza
TUI Magic Life Cala Pada
I was a guest of TUI on this trip and stayed at the TUI Magic Life resort in Cala Pada. I really like the concept of the Magic Life resorts – unlike traditional all inclusive resorts, you don’t have to pay extra for activities such as water-sports or archery etc, there’s no hidden extras. The Cala Pada resort is modern, sleek and full of fun/activities.
There are plenty of dining options and the resort is spread over a large area so it never feels crowded. The main buffet has changing themes and an almost overwhelming variety of tasty food. I’m a vegetarian and I had no problem at all.
Movies are shown on a giant projector at night and everyone is given a set of headphones to stop noise pollution. The activity staff organise shows and fun activities throughout the day for adults and children. If you have children there’s a great kids’ club on site and baby-sitting services are also available.
All of the staff are super friendly, you’ll notice that no one will pass you without saying hello. The resort is also only a short walk to the beach if you prefer the sea to the pools within the resort. If you want to get out of the resort taxis are cheap.
If you forgot anything there’s a small shop on site within the resort, but it is pricey. Basically everything that you would expect from a resort but with lots of added extras and a great atmosphere. My room was by the tennis courts and had a lovely outdoor dining area on the balcony, as well as self-catering facilities.
I’d have absolutely no problem recommending this resort (or a TUI trip in general) to people that wanted to experience the more chilled out side of Ibiza but also wanted the option of a bit of fun/adventure!
Hopefully I’ve convinced you to check out the hippy side of Ibiza and try some of the more alternative things to do in Ibiza. Next time you hear anyone mention Ibiza maybe you won’t just make an assumption and allow your mind to picture wild clubs and elite parties (a la, Made in Chelsea Ibiza).
** I was a very grateful guest of TUI on this trip, but all opinions, musings and general ramblings contained in this article are, as always, my own!**