Island Vibe – Rediscovering Ibiza for both its ‘boho chic, and its sophistication
Ibiza is shaking off its clichéd image as a party island and is being rediscovered for both its ‘boho chic, and its sophistication
The energy is palpable, resonating through the air as the beat builds to a crescendo. All around people are dancing and laughing, whilst some are consumed by the rhythm as if almost frenzied. Yet this isn’t a scene from one of Ibiza’s famous dance venues, with clubbers dancing to the tunes of a celebrity DJ; this is a different Balearic beat. It is Sunday night on Benirrás Beach, on the north of the island, where local and visiting musicians come to jam together. This stunning, secluded cove is the regular home to the sound of drums and bongos, where people come to ‘drum down the sunset’ and party till dawn.
Hippies and Millionaires
In high season it’s indisputably a major tourist attraction and somewhat overwhelming, but during the rest of the year it still captures a little of the magic of the White Island and its boho chic heritage. Long before the arrival of the dance music clubs, Ibiza was a simple island, a jewel in an aquamarine sea, with unprecedented rugged natural beauty that was a magnate to hippies and musicians. Thankfully decades later, despite commercial pressures, the alternative scene is flourishing in Ibiza as residents and visitors return to the island’s roots.
By contrast, arriving at the airport, the sleek private jets and dedicated private terminal reveal a little about the island’s other side, the one for well-heeled residential tourists and visitors. Ibiza is the preferred choice for some of Europe’s super rich for discreet residential tourism and unobtrusive luxury breaks. Signature architect-designed villas nestle amongst the ancient, twisted pines that cover the island; and a range of exclusive venues and services target the growing VIP market that wants quality and glamour but with a laid back attitude.
Ibiza still exudes a charm and luxurious simplicity that defies its reputation as a hedonistic party island. Certainly places like San Antonio have paid a price for the success of the Ibizan music and club scene, but typically the coast and interior is unspoilt, with hotels, restaurants and bars that combine a relaxed vibe with upscale, sophisticated style.
The neighbouring island of Formentera, minutes away on a ferry offers even more pristine white beaches and the kind of azure seas that give the Caribbean a run for its money. This corner of the Mediterranean is truly unique, and not over developed, so it’s probably no surprise that the property and hotel sectors are doing well in the Balearics.
In addition to the exclusive villas there are is some wonderful rural tourism in Ibiza, known as ‘agroturismo’. This is stylish hospitality in classic island properties, from old granaries to ancient farmhouses. Boho chic is defined here; where rustic properties are restored and converted with an extraordinary flair for design and comfort.
Most are situated close to quite coves, perfect if you want to head to the beach and ‘drum down the sunset’.
COPY RIGHT ANDREW FORBES