Ibiza, an island with more than one face
November 13, 2003
IBIZA, Spain — There are plenty of generalisations about the Mediteranean
island of Ibiza. The island has the wildest nightlife in Europe,
and the tone is set by top models and pop stars. Summer is when the
beautiful people strut their stuff.
All this is true, but it is only part of the truth. Away from
the party scene, Ibiza is a tranquil island where holidaymakers can
relax. Visitors can mix the two Ibizas, if they want to.
As the sun sinks slowly below the sea, soft music issues from
the beach bar at the Cala de Benirras, in the north of the island.
An amorous couple move languidly in the water as the "Finger of
God" casts a shadow over them. That is the name of the tall spike
of rock which rises out of the water. This is the moment when being
here engenders the feeling that this is the right time to be here
in this place.
This night, no one wanted to leave the bay. The sand is still
warm and the smell of the pine trees encircling the bay drifts
through the air. Some sunburnt men with hair in dreadlocks place
flares in the sand. Sardines are prepared over a grill and bottles
of red wine do the rounds.
Jasmin, aged 25, from Munich, says: "This is a little different.
It doesn't always need to be the big beach parties and mass discos
like in Ibiza City or Saint Antoni." She is enthusiastic about this
improvised beach party. After three hectic days in Ibiza City, she
welcomes the change here in the quieter north of the island.
Every beach on Ibiza can be reached by car in less than an hour,
regardless of starting point. In the north and east, the secret
tips include, apart from Benirras, the whote sands of Aigua Blanca,
the Cala Mastella and the Cala Llonga. The Cala Salada, near Saint
Antoni, is also worth a visit.
Ibiza also has so-called evening beaches, where a magical
atmosphere develops at sunset. Cala d'Hort, in the southwest is the
best-known. This is where a great view is had of the mysterious
rocky island known as Es Vedra. This island, just a few hundred
metres from the beach, towers 382 metres out of the water and, at
first glance, looks like an extinct volcano.
Some locals believe Es Vedra is the tip of the lost City of
Atlantis. The hippie commune here believes the island is a landing
place for aliens from outer space. In any case, many are the
stories which do the rounds at the heady parties around the
A good place to watch the sunset is on the beach in front of the
Cafe del Mar in Saint Antoni. Most people arrive between 5 p.m. and
9 p.m.. Lounge music plays in the background, which helps lend the
sunset an even more romantic quality. When the sun does finally
sinks into the sea, the guests all applaud, and then leave the
beach to go and celebrate.
The real party beaches are south of Ibiza City. Platja d'en
Bossa is a show in itself. This is where gay men with close-cropped
skulls tight string tangas compete for attention with beautiful
girls in leopard bikinis and silicon bosoms. Sapa-DPA
London nights take in Hindi Electronica, Latin House or Japanese Bible
Bright lights, big bity - 'gay Paree' lives on