Known in antiquity as the 'islands of pine trees', Ibiza is harsh and rocky and receives little rainfall. A rugged coastline interspersed with sandy beaches can often be found heaving with tourists though a few out of the way beaches remain.
Despite the mass tourism, like the other Balearic islands, cathedrals, ruins, spectacular walks and olive and almond groves can be found beyond the tourist traps though most come to Ibiza for its renowned night life and is home to some of Europe's biggest and most famous night clubs.
1 Sep 2008 - Ibiza (Eivissa Town), SpainOur final day on our holiday resulted in the cultural part of the trip and we re-visited Eivissa Town to explore the old walled town of D'Alt Vila.
The Romans were the first to fortify the hilltop, but the walls which can be seen now were completed in 1585 to protect against invasion by combined French and Ottoman forces. The fortifications consist of seven artillery bastions joined by thick protective walls up to 22m in height.
Inside the town the narrow streets and historic gateways are evocative of the past and as you climb higher towards the fortifications, markers in several languages explain the significance of various sections of the town and parts of the wall. Being at the highest part of the fort/town also provides an excellent opportunity to capture some spectacular views.
After an overpriced fruit juice near the top of the fort we spent the remaining hours of the afternoon traipsing Sa Penya's streets and hippie stalls but that was just a time filler rather than any desire to see such tat.
Ibiza - Cannons at D'Alt Vila, Eivissa Town
The fortifications consist of seven artillery bastions joined by thick protective walls up to 22m in height. At the time it was built these fortifications were state of the art with angled walls to deflect incoming cannon fire and overlapping arcs of fire to create killing grounds for any enemy attempting an assault.
Ibiza - View from top of the D'Alt Vila, Eivissa Town
From the rear entrance, uphill tunnels and steps will bring you out on top the hill at the highest point of the fortifications.
Ibiza - From the D'Alt Vila, Eivissa Town
Near the top of the fortifications and looking West can be seen an old windmill. Between the windmill and the fortifications used to be a graveyard in Roman times.
Ibiza - The narrow streets of the D'Alt Vila, Eivissa Town
Higher up the old town are the well worn narrow streets that lead to the cathedral, which overlooks all from the top of the hill.
Ibiza - Placa de la Vila, D'Alt Vila, Eivissa Town
Immediately inside the gateway is the Placa de la Vila, with it's upmarket restaurants, galleries and shops. Near here are steps up to the walls which can be walked and great views of the city and coast can be enjoyed.
Ibiza - Portal de ses Taules, D'Alt Vila, Eivissa Town
At the top of the ramp leading up from Placa de sa Font in Sa Penya is the Portal de ses Taules gateway, the main entrance to the old town. Above it hangs a commemorative plaque bearing Felipe II's coat of arms and inscription recording the 1585 completion date of the fortification. Either side of the gateway can be seen two Roman statues.
31 Aug 2008 - Ibiza (Cafe Del Mar), SpainAfter partying in Pacha all night, the chilled out environs of Cafe del Mar in San Antonio was the target for this evening's activities. A famous spot for viewing the sunset, Pat and myself established ourselves on the sea front, sipped sugary cocktails and tapped our feet to some excellent chilled out and atmospheric tunes.
After the sun had set (to a cheer and applause from other sunset watchers), Ruth and the gang turned up and we joined them next door at Cafe Mambo. That's Cafe del Mar and Cafe Mambo ticked off the 'must see' list.
Ibiza - Sunset at Cafe del Mar, San Antonio
To watch the sunset with mood elevating tunes on a warm Ibizan evening, Cafe del Mar and Cafe Mambo are the places to go.
Ibiza - A postcard sunset at Cafe del Mar, San Antonio
A sunset offering an obscured view of the sun.
Ibiza - Another Cafe del Mar sunset, San Antonio
Just one more sunset photo.
Ibiza - Cafe del Mar sunset watchers, San Antonio
Whilst I received grief for my sports top...
Ibiza - Cafe del Mar with Pat in interesting shirt
Pat received the most grief from Ruth et al acting as Trinny and Susannah. And rightly so. After the grief I received from him for my 'Daniel Craig' trunks.
Ibiza - From Cafe del Mar to Cafe Mambo
A chilled evening with fellow sunset watchers and plenty of cocktails.
Ibiza - The road to Cafes Mambo and del Mar I
More Ibizan 'must do's' ticked off the list. Here I am modelling chav wear.
Ibiza - The road to Cafes Mambo and del Mar II
And one of Pat in an offensive shirt.
Ibiza - Ruth showing her cunnilingus technique!
Ibiza - Pat looking a little ginger beer
I've never seen him looking so limp wristed and slack jawed.
30 Aug 2008 - Ibiza (Pacha, Eivissa Town), SpainIbiza is known for its super clubs such as Es Paradis, Amnesia and Eden. On one night we visited Pacha in Eivissa Town (Ibiza Town). The night started in the old town of Sa Penya, overlooked by the even older town of D'Alt Vila, before hitting the packed narrow streets full of bars and party people.
I've mentioned below how this area is full of eccentrics but it is worth noting that of people watching is your game then you will be entertained. Aging transvestites, young transvestites, scantily clad PR girls and aging hippies who look like they have been here for decades are just some of the sights that can be seen. Not to mention the usual attractive female bar touts tempting men like bees to honey before discarding them once they have bought a drink.
After getting our tickets for Pacha in one of the bars (it's cheaper than paying on the door), we headed off to the club which was very impressive. Because of the high prices, a certain crowd are excluded (these are all in San Antonio) and the atmosphere is very relaxed with very little jostling for space.
After a number of hours going from chilled out room to chilled out room, each playing different music, we went for a meal in the club at about 3AM. The quality of the food was of a very high standard and after consuming a bottle of wine between us we headed back to the main area. With alcohol coursing through our veins we went for a boogie, several more beers and then by 5:30AM Pat gave up the ghost and declared himself out thus signalling time to get a taxi back to San Antonio and Pat to fight the temptation to vomit in the back.
Ibiza - Pacha, Eivissa Town I
One of the first views of the inside of Pacha. It's a well designed club with a large main area, seating terraces some of which are roped off for private parties and a number of smaller rooms with different music.
Ibiza - Pacha, dancing podium, Eivissa Town
As the night moved on the atmosphere as lights became multicoloured and the place became darker. I can't actually remember the transition but do remember that the night changed as it got later. A club dancer can be seen on the podium.
Ibiza - Pacha, special dancers I
At some point in the night these entertainers hit the podiums but they weren't the regular type of dancer which made them interesting to watch.
Ibiza - Pacha, special dancers II
The 'dance' consisted of a number of poses held for a few seconds before gracefully moving into the next pose. I think that the dancer who is standing up can also be seen below in the photo 'Ibiza - Club PR girl, Eivissa Town'.
Ibiza - Pacha, special dancers III
This time without the use of flash so that the effect of the lighting can be seen.
Ibiza - Pacha, Eivissa Town II
After our night in Sa Penya we headed off to Pacha (entry 45 Euros, £36). The prices of these big clubs is something to be prepared for. Drinks (330ml bottle of beer 12 Euros, £9.60) aren't cheap but hey, what the hell? This is why we work hard all year.
Ibiza - Pacha, Eivissa Town III
And a souvenir photo for Pat standing under his year of birth.
Ibiza - Eivissa Town transvestites
In a stretch near to the harbour is a street of bars with all sorts with staff outside in all manner of costumes. This was probably the most outrageous of the professionaly trannies. The most ourtageous was the old chap I've mentioned elsewhere who was basically a man in lacey clothes but without any attempt to look like a woman. I'm guessing it was just someone who felt more comfortable dressed as a woman rather than the camped up glamour trannies such as this one.
Ibiza - Club PR girl, Eivissa Town
Sa Penya - the home of exhibitionists and wierdos. This one though is part of a troupe of club reps. In fact, look above to the photo 'Ibiza - Pacha, special dancers II', is this the same girl?
Ibiza - Eivissa Town at night
The packed streets of Sa Penya.
Ibiza - Misery loves company, Eivissa Town
After a snack we entered the narrow streets of Sa Penya, an area known for a high concentration of exhibitionists and wierdos such as an old man I saw walk past in black thong and see through mini skirt.
This photo isn't of Pat but of the two miserable couples behind. Whilst drinking cocktails we rarely saw these couples speak. The expression on view here is the expression and posture that lasted an entire hour. No doubt that when her boyfriend asked, 'What's wrong?' she replied with, 'Nothing.'
Ibiza - The hustle and bustle of Eivissa Town
This is just another random photo to try and capture the atmosphere of this part of town.
Ibiza - D'Alt Vila at dusk, Eivissa Town
Sitting at a cafe with this view is where we started the night. This steep ramp leads up to the main gate of the D'Alt Vila, the old walled town and Unesco World Heritage site.
29 Aug 2008 - Ibiza (Calla Bassa), SpainCalla Bassa is a small bay about 6 kilometers west of San Antonio popular with sand lizards. It has a campsite located only a 10 minute walk away on a small road through a pine wood. On this night we met up with 4 great lasses, some of whom I knew from the UK. Ruth is taking time out to travel and is on her Ibiza portion of the trip along with Geanette. Clare and Tara were on a short holiday like us. We spent the evening drinking beers and mojitos at their campsite bar which was a perfectly chilled evening in contrast to the havoc of the night before.
At about 2 AM we took a stroll to the beach and had a fantastic experience chatting under the star filled sky and easily visible milky way. We made our return at about 4 AM but got lost in the dark which made for a mini adventure getting back through the woods. In the right places, Ibiza isn't all about 'giving it large' and is so much more than The Strip!
Ibiza - Calla Bassa campsite
From staying in an air conditioned hotel room to the air conditioning of sleeping outdoors for the night!
28 Aug 2008 - Ibiza (San Antonio), SpainKnown as the '10 years too late tour', this latest trip with Pat was to the infamous partying island of Ibiza. Over the years we have experienced many brash resorts favoured by the British and I've often come home vowing 'never again' but I've always had a curiosity about Ibiza and you can never be too old for anything.
The image of Ibiza is one of hedonism, alcohol fuelled mayhem and massive clubs banging out the latest tunes. So what is it like? Is it any different to other shit holes in the sun such as Malia of Crete, Falaraki of Rhodes or Tenerife's Veronicas? Upon arrival in resort nothing surprised and a number of English bars serving all day breakfasts were dotted around the place. We were staying in Sant Antoni de Portmany, otherwise known as San Antonio. It is notorious for it's nightlife and is predominantly aimed at the British.
San Antonio is home to a number of big clubs such as Eden and water party famous Es Paradis though this is something I didn't experience. What I did experience on this first night however was the the west end 'Strip' of bars which is everything that the other resorts mentioned above offer i.e. two for one drink deals and shots - the value of which though is doubtful - bar touts a plenty and even a couple of lap dancing bars.
Ibiza - San Antonio, The Strip I
Our hotel was all inclusive so after a number of whiskeys we got the ferry across San Antonio harbour to The Strip which we recc'd in the afternoon. This photo is from near the top of The Strip and shows the narrow, bar packed street which has to be navigated.
Ibiza - San Antonio, The Strip II
Another view of The Strip from about half way down. This is where it gets most busy with punters and touts lining the street. It's a raucous place and can be seen with very different eyes when sober. However, as the drinks take effect you soon find yourself immune to the annoying touts and breeze through with ease and without hassle. I guess you reach a point where you get a drunk look in your eye as you storm about and therefore get left alone.
Ibiza - San Antonio, PR girls on The Strip I
Like Eivissa Town (Ibiza Town), San Antonio also has it's own marketing girls parading around the streets in very little. I have very little idea what they were promoting though. This is something I haven't seen in other resorts hence is worth a photo - honest!!! Scenes like this are unique in my experiences of resort type holidays.
Ibiza - San Antonio, PR girls on The Strip II
As in the previous photo, here are another bunch of PR girls advertising I know not what. The more covered up older one is presumably the 'madam'.
Some may question why such a photo has been taken but this kind of thing shows what Ibiza and in particular San Antonio is like - not just a chance to take pictures of scantily clad ladies!
Ibiza - San Antonio, Chan and Taylor back hitting it hard
It's amazing to think that this nonsense with Pat began in Ixia, Rhodes 1995 after my university finals and here we are still doing it. However, we are now connoisseurs of this nonsense and take a more relaxed approach unlike the over excited youngsters. After doing The Strip we took a wander though some side streets and found a rare bar with very few English before making it back by about 5AM. We are so cultured.