The Quiet Metamorphosis of Ibiza
The legendary party island has an emerging peaceful side.
Ibiza has always had a bit of a reputation. For years it’s been known as the hedonistic Spanish island where you can party all day and night long. A place where star sightings (think P. Diddy, Leonardo Di Caprio, Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom, Justin Bieber, Paris Hilton – who in the past has hailed Ibiza as her “favourite island” and worked as a DJ at nightclub Amnesia- Kate Hudson and Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Kevin Connolly… we could continue) are ubiquitous.
Fast forward to 2016 and Ibiza still plays host to tonnes of tourists who flock to the White Isle in their droves purely to drink and dance until dawn in places like Pacha (one of the few venues open year round), Privilege (P. Diddy, Madonna and Jade Jagger have all been papped in this 10,000 capacity club) and Space (a favourite haunt of Aussie songstress, Kylie Minogue).
However while the beat goes on, things are definitely changing in Ibiza. Suddenly the island has begun anew and nightlife no longer revolves solely around clubbing. Rather the Spanish island has become inundated with upmarket restaurants and low key bars loved by those who don’t want to return from their holiday, in need of a holiday.
Beyond the nightlife hubs of San Antonio and Playa d’en Bossa, this beautiful Spanish island boasts unspoilt beaches such as the pine-forested cove of Cala Xuclar on the north shore, culture (in 1999, UNESCO declared parts of Ibiza – including the remains of the Phoenician settlement of Sa Caleta, the Phoenician-Punic cemetery of Puig des Molins and the beautiful old town Dalt Vila -World Heritage Sites) and quaint hamlets (say hello to Santa Gertrudis and San Miquel) that offer an (albeit unlikely) tranquil escape.
For the fact of the matter is that, whether the Ibiza’s raucous party goers like it or not, the island is on a new ascent. Ibiza, by all accounts, is tired of its party image if the emergence of health and fitness retreats like The Body Camp are anything to go by.
The Body Camp, whose famous fans include Millie Mackintosh, Caggie Dunlop and Madeleine Shaw, promises a full mind, body and soul transformation. Guests can shape up in the great outdoors with a variety of fun fitness activities, from beach circuit training to sea swimming and yoga, and take part in educational cookery classes and mindful coaching workshops, before unwinding a with a revitalising dip in the mineral-rich salt water pool.
38 Degrees North is another popular spot for those looking to detox rather than retox in Ibixa. Run by Kelly Morgan and James Davis, 38 Degrees North appeals to people searching for a holiday where you feel great inside and out at the end of it, promising as it does “excellent results, with improvements in posture, fitness, muscle tone and reduction in body fat for clients.”
But arguably it’s Pop Up Fitness that is generating the biggest buzz right now. Based near the village of San Augustin, this seven day boot camp – the brain child of former PR executive-turned-personal trainer, Olivia Cooney, who once worked for Welsh singing sensation singer Katherine Jenkins – offers an alternative to brutal military-style fitness camps. Clients can follow in the footsteps of model Zara Martin, MTV presenter Laura Whitmore and TV chef Gizzie Erskine, and shape up with paddle boarding and beach runs while simultaneously enjoying massages, moonlight meditation classes, hearty yet healthy meals and an open air cinema.
Bottom line? Whisper it quietly but there is another side to the party capital of Europe. Contrary to public perception it is possible to visit this tiny island (Ibiza is only 14 kilometers wide and 42 kilometers long) without ever stepping foot in a club – and still have a great time.
By Kaye Holland