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Ibiza conjures up images of nightclubs, dancing ‘til dawn in Pacha, Es Paradis, Eden, Space and countless other bars and nightclubs. But change is sweeping through this little white Spanish isle, which is a hotspot for nature lovers, hikers, photographers and beach devotees, and where alternative living is taking root and flourishing.
Ibiza attracts healers and spiritualists partly as a result of its untouched natural beauty, basic white-washed homes, rich fertile soil (where almonds, carobs and cherry tomatoes grow unimpeded) and peaceful, tranquil landscapes. In fact, the island has a history of attracting people with a gift for healing, ever since ancient times when Ibiza was an important trading post along the Mediterranean coast.
If you’re thinking of visiting Ibiza more for the Chai than the clubbing, here’s a list of some of the best spa retreats and holistic therapies that are removed from the mainstream tourist activities, where you can really put body and soul back together.
Getting tired of your regular Friday night chippy? Check out British nutritionist Vicki Edgson’s Vital Energy Retreats, which take place at her private finca in the north of Ibiza. The best reason to go is to experience Vicki’s vast knowledge of nutrition and health (she has been a nutritionist and naturopath for 16 years) and to enjoy delicious, healthy, alkaline-based meals.
Enjoy sunrise yoga, hiking to the Savinar watchtower and meditating as the sun sets over Es Vesdra in the company of life coach Larah Davies and yoga teacher Susie Howell. Yoga from the Heart is a retreat offered by Ibiza Retreats, a company that focuses on the best places to feel good in Ibiza.
M Wellness hosts Fit Camps in Santa Eulària des Riu on the south-eastern coast of the country that are packed with mountain biking, sea kayaking and hiking; who knew getting fit in five days could be fun? If this is too heavy going for your Spanish holiday, opt for horse riding at the Horse Country Club in Santa Gertrudis.
Visit Buddha House and choose Heart Medicine, which is a detox retreat hosted at the breathtaking mountain-top resort outside Sant Joan. Drink water, relax your frazzled nerves and “purify the body and mind” in the wooden houses and shaded terraces overlooking the valley.
Pack your camera and head to Aguas Blancas in the north of Ibiza. If you can get up for sunrise, you’re in for a treat, and while you’re there look out for Calo de S’Illa (Moon Beach) and Agua Blanca, two of Ibiza’s most beautiful ‘secret’ beaches.