An Adventurers Guide to Ibiza
The small party island of Ibiza lies off the south east coast of Spain and makes up part of the Balearic Islands along with Mallorca and Menorca. Its hedonistic reputation is owed to the fact that it is home to seven super nightclubs, including the world’s biggest, Privilege, with a 10000 person capacity. Each summer these clubs play host to the world’s biggest and most famous DJs.
Many tourists are drawn here solely for the party scene, others for the pristine beaches and endless sunshine, but a few have wandered from their sun loungers to find that Ibiza also provides a spectacularly beautiful and wild terrain that calls out for exploration.
The perfect way to really connect with the island and its nature is to explore peacefully, one of the many hiking trails that are on offer. You can take costal routes that follow old fisherman trails down to secluded, rugged shores. Take a path inland and you will discover rustic, red earthed countryside clustered with fruit trees and old fincas (traditional farmhouse). A clamber up a pine clad hill will often lead to rewarding views across the island and out to sea. No matter which route you choose, you are guaranteed to be immersed in peaceful seclusion that feels a million miles away from bustling holiday resorts.
Most beaches are signposted with maps of routes that are local to the area, including information on distance and gradients. A PDF of these maps is available for download from the Ibiza Travel website. You can also join one of the many guided walks available, a great way to discover the secrets of Ibiza’s history and flora. Information about guided walks can be found on the Walking Ibiza and Ibiza walking Association websites.
To bring a new challenge and dimension to trekking the countryside, try doing it from the back of a horse. Having a higher perspective and a trusting bond with a new, noble traveling companion really ignites the sense of adventure. Ibiza Horse Valley and North Ride Ibiza are both based in the rural, mountainous north of the island, where the hilltop views will steal your breath away. To make the experience extra special, you can also enjoy a sunset trek, overnight camping or even swimming in the sea with the horses.
Ibiza is a very popular destination for bike riders both on and off road. The off road trails are often interconnected with the walking routes, following quiet, winding caminos (dirt tracks) into remote countryside trails of varying gradients. Road biking gives the opportunity to cruise through some of the islands picturesque villages or even the flat salt plains, Ses Salinas, awarded UNESCO world heritage status in 1999 for its biodiversity and natural beauty. Bicycle hire and equipment are widely available across the island but if you fancy and adventurous, guided tour then information can be found on the Ibiza Velo Club or Ibiza MTB Club websites.
To any adventurer on a small island, the sea will surely be calling out for exploration. Those who answer the call will be spoiled for choice of water activities. The surrounding Mediterranean sea is crystal clear, calm and warm in the summer months making it a perfect paradise for sea frolicking activities.
Freediving in Ibiza has become quite popular in recent years. It involves diving deep into the sea, without breathing apparatus, using only your own breath. Much more challenging and exhilarating than scuba diving, with more freedom of motion, ascent and descent. This is the ultimate way to connect with the sea and our own capability as diving mammals.
There are two freediving instructor on the island, Freedive Ibiza and Ibiza True Blue Experiences. They can take you to mesmerising diving spots and provide essential instruction and guidance to lead you safely on your freediving journey.
Scuba Diving is commonly available across the island and has five PADI (Professional Association of Diving) recommended dive sites that include shipwrecks and magnificent underwater caves. Scuba diving schools include Subfari in the north of the island and Arenal diving on the west coast.
All of the listed diving schools offer guided snorkelling tours. An amazing way to enjoy the aquarium like shallows. Mingle with the many fishes, play with cute octopuses or sheepishly peek into underwater grottos and caves.
Of course you don’t have to submerge yourself into the depths to enjoy the sea. There is a huge array of surface activities to choose from. Kayaking is by far the most popular way to discover hidden coves that are clustered across the coast. They can be hired form most beaches for a solo adventure or you can join a guided tour. Kayak Ibiza offer sunset, full moon and camping excursions.
If you really want to test your balancing skills, you can have a go at stand up paddle boarding (SUP) this involves standing (or sitting for newbies) on a surf type board. Using one long paddle, similar to a gondola, you can guide and glide your way around the shores. SUP tours and hire information can be found on the SUP Ibiza website. Board hire is also available on some beaches.
July and August in Ibiza are pretty hot, the average temperature is around 30 degrees so walking activities are better carried out in the cooler autumn and springtime. Always take plenty of water on adventures and clothing that can protect from the sun. You’ll be happy to know that it rarely rains during the summer so waterproofs are not necessary. There are no poisonous or dangerous animals that you need to be aware of.
The sea temperature is a fresh 15 to 20 degrees April through to June so a thin wetsuit may be needed for water activities. July and august, the sea temperatures peaks at 28 degrees giving the feeling of being in a warm, relaxing bath. Never venture too far out into the open sea and be aware of boat traffic if your exploring outside of buoyed swimming areas. Only try diving activities under the guidance of professionals.
Happy, safe adventuring!