There’s no point fighting it. Ibiza is geologically one of the most magnetic places on the planet, and once she has you in her grip she's hard to shake.
The Balearic island is a magical place that has always drawn a special crowd, from spiritual healers to professional hippies, and even if you're not a tantric-guru-in-the-making most people visiting for the first time report an instant connection with the White Isle, and a feeling of coming home each time that they return.
I’ve been visiting for twenty years for work/play/both, and while I love losing my head on one of the epic club dance floors I also love trying to find myself on a hike in the northern hills, on a yoga mat on the wild beaches of Formentera or paddling out to the rocks dotted around the crystal coast.
This week I was asked to share my favourite hidden Ibiza gems with the MailOnline (five of them feature in their ultimate ibiza guide HERE). And so I thought I would share some on the blog too, most of which have been tried and tested on the biggest one-time Ibiza non- believer - my husband - who, since a romantic trip there in June this year has finally decided that it's not just full of gurning teenagers and is actually a really rather special place (see the end of the feature for the itinerary that changed his mind).
NINE MAGICAL IBIZA MUST-DOs FOR NON-PARTY PEOPLE
1. YOGA IN A CAVE
Magical, pop-up classes from the island's best kept secret, yoga guru and healer Ayda Koc.
2. SUNDAY SUNSET AT BENIRRAS BEACH
One of the world's most beautiful sunsets. Bring your own booze, settle down on the beach and watch the skies light up to a soundtrack of live bongos.
3. OUTDOOR MOVIE NIGHT AT AMANTE
An elegant beach bar by day, Amante becomes an outdoor movie 'theatre' by night several times a week, complete with beanbags, blankets and popcorn under the stars.
4. Horse riding in the hills
Discover a new side to the island on treks through its lush countryside with Active Ibiza (who also offer SUP Yoga, Rock Climbing and Kayak trips around those magnetic Benirras rocks).
5. Walking tours
From short and sweet beach walks to wine treks taking in the best vineyards, Ibiza on foot is a great way to chill and learn something new while you tan.
6. SANT JOAN HIPPY MARKET
A petite but authentic Sunday market, in front of the stylish Giri Cafe, where you will find vintage furs, homemade snacks, meditation beads and crowds of dancing hippies.
7. RURAL ROMANCE AT CAN CURREU
A dreamy agriturismo hidden in peaceful countryside. It's the perfect place to reset in the bougainvillea-drenched terraces, recharge in the mini spa and refuel at the al fresco restaurant.
8. HEALTH AT THE PASSION CAFE
A superfood cafe offering brilliant people watching and life-saving (or at least hangover-defying) breakfasts, juices and smoothies to both weary clubbers and the island's wellness army. Six locations across the island.
9. ALFRESCO DINING AT LA PALOMA
This isn't really a hidden gem as the family run restaurant has been on the map for real Ibizans since it opened in 2004, but it's definitely off the beaten track, hidden away in San Lorenzo in the middle of the island.
By day they offer brunch in beautiful countryside. By night you'll be coming over all romantic with the help of twinkling fairy lights and turbo-charged cocktails.
The itinerary: 72 hours of romance (aka 'OPERATION MAKE THE HUSBAND FALL IN LOVE WITH IBIZA')
Saturday: Check into Can Curreu close to Santa Eularia: pretty, peaceful and with our own private terrace to do whatever we want on.
Saturday night: Drinks under the stars at the hotel, dinner in the gardens at La Paloma.
Sunday: A lie in, late breakfast and spa time at Can Curreu before heading to Benirras beach to watch the sunset surrounded by bongos, sunbathers, dreadlocks and the sweet smell of weed.
Sunday night: Dinner at Elements Ibiza on Benirras. Stop off for some browsing and boozing at the night market at Las Dalias (five minutes walk from Can Curreu) on the way home.
Detox|Retox tips for romance on the White Isle...
- Do stay up north, where the nature is spectacular and the people are beautiful
- Do rent a car so you can discover beaches/bars/bushes away from the crowds
- Do make reservations (look at tripadvisor for tips on the best tables to request)
- Do sunbathe topless at every opportunity
- Do make friends with Cava Sangria
- Don't skip the siesta
- From super clubs to super food: Es Vive launches 24 hour pretox/detox/retox package
- Why I'm a Gibson Girl: New workout brand put to the test on Ibiza fitness break
- Tried & Tested: ultrasun Tinted Sun Cream, this summer's favourite face saver
- Detox|Retox radio: The Ibiza 2016 Opening Parties playlist (on Spotify)