The island of Ibiza with its 570 square kilometers is the third largest island in the Balear Archipelego. The Greeks called it "Pituisen" which means Isle of Pines. It has 80,000 inhabitants. The climate is wonderfully mild with highs of 21.5°C and lows of 14°C. Ibiza is located in the western part of the Mediterranean and has a coastal length of 210 km. The highest promentory is Atlaissa which rises 389m above the sea. Politically the Island is composed of five communities: Eivissia, the capital, Santa Eularia, Sant Antonio, Sant Josep and Sant Joan. Ibiza opens a little world which can keep a visitor busy 24 hours a day if he wants.
"The First Time on Ibiza" With high expectations my sister and I flew to Ibiza for 2 weeks this year. Since we were primarily hoping for some relaxation, we booked for the off-season. However relaxation took a back seat, because our hotel was on a main thoroughfare like most of the hotels on Ibiza. But if one is looking for party non-stop then one is not far from wrong. The English, in particular, take part in the huge night-life attractions offerings and seldom misbehave. Sangria, the alcoholic drink on Ibiza is offered in 10 liter buckets and Vodka is sold in 5 liter pitchers as every visitor knows. As one can imagine the emergency doctors have enough to do. Night after night we could hear the sirenes of ambulances going to accidents often caused by alcohol. Shortly after our arrival we noticed a poster announcing a grand opening party that evening at the Discotheque "Eden". We inquired about tickets and were offered them at 60DM per person. Seeing our critical glances, our travel guide assured us that one could also buy tickets for 150DM. So we accepted them without further discussion. Then we were off to Sant Antonio. There was no need for directions since half Ibiza was on its way there. About an hour later we squeezed ourselves in among the other 6000 partiers and their expensive drinks(beer from 12DM upwards). Within 5 minutes we were soaking wet from a sprinkler which was installed on the stage and which gave rise to wilder gesticulation among the guests. It was easy to see that Ibiza is a Mecca of English tourists which caused some communication problems at the Disco. We couldn't bear the body-odor at 35°C for long. After 3 hours of dancing in wet clothes we began to look for a way back to the hotel. We are however of the opinion that we were the first guests to leave the disco. Here people dance until they are beat.
The lovely somewhat isolated Cafe del Mar is located in Sant Antonio. In comfortable company with Spanish music and a grand view of the sea we spent a good part of our time there. The atmosphere was amiable and the conversations were worthwhile.
Another superfluous attraction is the Hippie Market at the Club Puta Ala which takes place every Wednesday and attracts hundreds of busses like ours. It reminded me of the "Kartoffelmarkt" in Freiburg but was about a 20th of the size. One finds everything from jewelry and clothes to hukahs from all over the world. Hippies streamed onto Ibiza by the thousands in the 70's to settle there. Some fulfilled the dream of becoming self-suficient by growing their own food and enough to sell at the numerous markets. Others sell self-made articles or import them to sell in order to live. Today there are still 2000 to 3000 hippies on the Pityusen. From their original flowing textiles and leisurely look Ibiza has developed the Adlib fashion. The name was derived from Latin "ad libitum"="as you please".
The Ibizencos keep a safe distance from the mainland Spanish with exception to the Catalans whom they acknowledge as kin by way of the common language. Distance is also the magic word as far as the tourists are concerned for the native population. The Ibizencos are friendly but distant as they watch the festivities with reserve and tolerance. Integration into their circles is next to impossible. Even the hippies who arrived 20 or 30 years ago and have found a new home there are treated in a friendly way but like foreigners. Thus the Ibizincos preserve ther identity, enjoy the Island in ther own way and profit from the tourist industry which supplies them with 95% of the gross national product.
Eivisenc, a Catalan dialect is spoken on Ibiza. It is definitely different from the official language which is Castellano. The latter causes a large portion of the islanders conversing problems.
Long ago wild sheep, mountain goats and deer roamed the mountains and forests. Today lizards and geckos comprise the fauna of the Island. The herds of domesticated goats and sheep provide the farmers with a souce of living. Of the few birds which live on Ibiza there are goldfinches, wagtails and nightengales. Supposedly on can also find the poisonous Siber spider. The most famous plant on the Island is the orchid of which there are 20 varieties. Ancient olive trees and gnarled fruit and fig trees are to be found in the middle of the Island along with thyme, majoram, myrtle and rosmary. In the winter Ibiza is a sea of white and pink almond blossoms.
The weather is mild the year round with a mean temperature of 21°C. Sommer temperatures of 30°C are tempered by the constant coastal breeze. The water approaches bathtub temperatures of around 24°C. With temperatures of 15-18°C in the winter the Island is visited by the older generation at that time. According to statistics the sun shines 300 of the 365 days of the year so that really only a few days are dark and cloudy. The rainiest month is October whereby "rainy" could be misunderstood by a middle European.