by Judy Bereza, Guest Blogger
When an invitation is extended from your son-in-law and his mother to visit his family “finca”, (read centuries old farm compound), on the island of Ibiza, of course the answer is an enthusiastic “Yes!” When we told our friends about our anticipated adventure, the most common response was “Where is that?”
Truth be told, it was not on our bucket list, but when your hostess has maintained a residence on the island for forty years and has promised to be your personal tour guide, you know you’re in for an “insiders” experience.
Ibiza is a small cousin to the south of Mallorca; one sixth the size, and located forty miles off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea. It has a rich and varied history, and the people who inhabited it from ancient times have farmed the land and fished the sea. The island abounds with crystal clear waters and quiet sand filled coves separated by high cliffs. Until one hundred years ago. the islanders depended mostly on farming and fishing for their livelihood.
Now, Ibiza is known, with some hesitation on the part of its inhabitants, as the night life destination of the Mediterranean. Each year over three million visitors,many with revelry in mind, make their way to the mega night clubs. These clubs are famous, or perhaps infamous, for all night dancing with throbbing music and costumed or un-costumed party goers, one club even featuring a dance floor filled with bubbles, so only the heads of the swarming dancers are visible.
That was not the Ibiza on our personal tour. There is another Ibiza; one that is steeped in history, from the ancient Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Moors and Catalans, to the present day mostly Spanish population. Each civilization left their mark,and the remains of their fortresses, walls and churches, along with artifacts, are among the high points of a visit to the island.
The island itself is beautiful, and many sections are quiet and pastoral. The country side is dotted with “fincas”, both original and reproductions, and are reminiscent of Greek island architecture. We ate at exquisite restaurants,one which literally cascaded down the side of a cliff to the water, and full of the “beautiful” people. The food was fresh and local, and presented in such a tantalizing way, I could not resist photographing almost everything I ate!
Ibiza is an island of contrasts, which the tourist industry is actively promoting. The saying is “When you leave Ibiza, there is always something about it that makes you want to go back.”
Judy Bereza is a retired interior designer/kitchen expert, constant walker and “Nana” to three adorable grand children. She and her friends have hiked in Wales, Cornwall, Switzerland, Smokey Mountain National Park and Ireland.
Occasionally she veers off the trail to explore a different kind of travel adventure that includes her husband.