I have never, in my life, had any inclination to go to Ibiza.
The island off the coast of Spain is famous for its party culture (hi, we all know the Mike Posner song, right?) and is a place where booze, drugs, and debauchery run rampant. A bit like Europe’s version of Vegas, Ibiza is a weekend destination for bachelorette parties or bro-time getaways for Londoners and Parisians. For Americans, it’s synonymous with post-college raging and raving.
So not my style.
I’m not stone-cold sober (please pass the Malbec, especially after a long work week) but I don’t really do the drug thing. Or the club thing. Basically, I’m your typical millennial — I like having fun, but man, I’m tired.
So when I kismetly stumbled upon $300 round trip tickets to Ibiza, I sat on the idea for a while. International travel for under a grand seemed like too good of a deal to pass up. But… Ibiza? What would I do there, especially if I traveled by myself? On a whim, I bought the ticket, convincing myself that if I hated the island life enough, I could easily jump on a plane to nearby Barcelona or Madrid.
Well, no pills were taken in Ibiza. But I fell head over heels in love with the place — so much so that I almost didn’t make it back home to Los Angeles. And I found that while, yes, the party culture is a huge draw of Ibiza, there’s a secret side to the island that’s completely health-focused. In fact, what I experienced of Ibiza’s wellness scene rivaled LA’s. Chock-full of healers, yoga instructors, vegan restaurants, and crystal stores, Ibiza is a perfect destination for a sober wellness getaway. The trick? Stay out of Old Town Ibiza and explore the north side of the island — you won’t regret it!
This bed and breakfast, located near Portinatx beach, can only be described as magical. Trish Whelan, the bright light who runs Soul Adventures, has decorated her old-style finca (the traditional white-washed clay homes on the island, which are usually hundreds of years old) with thoughtful touches like crystals, incense, and beautiful works of art. Breakfast is included in your stay, but the real draw is Trish’s daily Kundalini yoga and meditation classes. Roll out of bed and wander outside to your mat to practice in nature. And don’t be surprised to find a freshly made green juice and cup of hot lemon water on your mat — Trish and her assistants have thought of everything you could ever need. Book an individual stay where you simply rent a room and enjoy yoga in the mornings, or participate in an all-inclusive retreat at the Soul Adventures house. Either way, you’ll leave glowing and refreshed.
For a more traditional hotel experience, check out Can Marti. Located in a lush area on the northeast side of the island, Can Marti is a stone’s throw from the town of San Juan. At Can Marti, you’ll be treated to fresh meals with biodynamic ingredients grown in the garden on the property, Ayurvedic or Thai-inspired massages, and yoga in the sun.
This hole-in-the-wall spot next to the highway is unassuming, but a favorite of locals. Get a sampling of their vegan desserts (holy moly, don’t skip the chocolate banana cake) and you’ll understand why. Almost everything on the menu can be modified for a vegan or gluten-free diet, and you cannot go wrong with their signature dish, the Tapioca Pancake. This is high-vibe food at its finest — there’s even kombucha on tap!
Looking for something a little swankier? Check out Paloma. Situated in San Lorenzo, close to the middle of the island, Paloma’s blend of Italian, Spanish, and Middle Eastern food always feels fresh and healthy.
Ibiza has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and Bennirrás Beach is, hands down, one of its finest gems. Remember, Ibiza is pretty Euro… so it’s normal for people to sunbathe fully nude. Get past your puritanical American roots and embrace it — just make sure to use SPF on all your bits. Benirrás has ample shore to lay your blanket on, but regulars prefer to snag a spot on the rocks or docks on the side of the beach. From here you can dive right into the water and swim a few hundred meters along the rocks to secretly hidden sea caves. Prefer to stay on dry land? There’s a ‘hippie’ drum circle that happens every Sunday at sundown, as well as two shoreside cafes that’ll meet all of your beach day needs.
Las Dalias Hippy Market —
The pièce de résistance of Ibiza’s non-rave culture? Las Dalias. Head to this open-air venue to check out the wares of the island’s many artisans. You’ll find textiles, clothes, print pieces, fine art, and food stalls during the day. And if you swing by Las Dalias one of the evenings it’s open, you’ll be treated to drum circles, bonfires, and live music and dancing. And yes, there are drinks available if you need some liquid courage before hitting up the dance floor. The crowd here can get very fired up (expect to dance until 4am) but most are just happy to indulge in good clean fun. And maybe a margarita… or two.
Es Vedra —
Technically you can’t go to Es Vedra. But this magical hunk of rock off the southwest coast of the island is worth trekking to, to see from afar. Es Vedra is said to be the third most magnetic place in the world. Like Ibiza itself, there’s some sort of vortex-like energy around this geographical wonder. In fact, legend has it Es Vedra was the home to the sirens who lured Odysseus and his crew to shore in the classic epic, The Odyssey. Rent a car and take a drive to the south side of the island to catch a glimpse of Es Vedra — you won’t regret it.
There is truly something magical about Ibiza. The energy there is heightened, which is perhaps why the party culture is so rampant. But that same intensity of energy lends itself to deep healing and expansion if you’re open to it. If you’re searching for an international adventure that’ll inspire, rejuvenate, and surprise you, look no further than Ibiza.