Winter Weekend in Ibiza | Part 1: The Dalt Vila
When I think of Ibiza, images of boozy beach parties and cocktails under the stars accompanied by the mechanical beat of Buddha bar and the chilled groves of Café del Mar spring to mind. And while for thousands every year, a trip to the Balearic’s most infamous island means, in the words of the Vengaboys, that they’re “gonna have a party, Whoa! in the Mediterranean sea…”, at this time of the year, the only party you’re going to have is with the shadows filling the deserted streets and beaches. For as I discovered when a business trip took me to Ibiza last weekend, Ibiza is officially in the midsts of its hibernation.
Ibiza’s historical old town
This is no more obvious that in the hilly streets of the Dalt Vila, or “upper town” as the ancient old town of Ibiza’s capital is called – an area packed with stunning little cobbled streets which twist and turn all the way up to the Santa Maria d’Eivissa, the church which towers across Ibiza’s main port. While the plethora of quaint little houses lining those streets suggested that in the warmer months, they would be a tourist’s paradise, in January not a single business was open. And so it was that my Winter Weekend in Ibiza was a rather bizarre affair. For the Med’s party paradise was punctuated with neither a disco beat, nor any other human sound, and the only action that could be found was in the modern extension of the city (the Eixample), where some locals continued to live on, despite the silence all around them.
Historical streets of the Dalt Vila
Of course this desertion was not all bad. For crowds are undoubtedly overrated, and while the town undoubtedly lacked the charm it would exhibit when open for business, I was at least joined by my partner, and together we were able to explore both the old town and its surroundings relatively undisturbed. And with the sun shining its winter warmest, this could not have been a more pleasant experience, not least when the steep roads out of the old town took us onto the vast ancient city ramparts and the natural rocky outcrops upon which the city is built.
Rocky outcrops and views of the stunning natural surroundings
So while this first set of photos is unlikely to feature much by way of people action, I think it aptly demonstrates what is undoubtedly a charming and unique historical centre and a feature of the island which undoubtedly falls unjustifiably within the shadow of Ibiza’s all encompassing party reputation. After all, the clubs and the larger louts form a very small part of an island which is otherwise both geographically stunning and historically rich – features which are no more obvious than in January when the drunks are safely ensconced a thousand miles away.
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