“I was impressed with the Ibiza way of life, centered around nature, the land and season’s offerings, and the peacefulness of everything.”
Ibiza might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of traveling during the autumn/winter season, but it can be a good tourism destination if you want to do more than spend the day by the beach (although with such high temperatures, I think you can still do so for a very long time after summer is over). I gave it a chance this November and have so much to share about it. The city of choice was Sant Antoni de Portmany.
words and photography by Steh Meyer
During my time in Sant Antoni de Portmany I stayed at Hotel Portmany, located in the old town but very close to the sea. There was a cold(ish) breeze, but most days were sunny.
For this trip, I was in a small group and we had a wonderful tour guide called Carlos, which I really appreciated. I loved going with a guide, which is not something I usually do. I tend to travel alone or with my husband, and we discover things by ourselves, but having a guide on this trip made a huge difference. I learned so much about the local culture, energy and water sources, and traditions.
We visited a place called Puertas del Cielo, or Doors to Heaven. We did a little trail, and at the end, you have the most beautiful view, which, as soon as you see it, you understand the name of the place.
We were also lucky enough to be on the island the same day they were having a traditional folkloric dance called Baile Payés, where they celebrate the identity and culture of Ibiza. The men are supposed to do exaggerated movements, throwing their legs up and jumping to show the women how strong they are so they can choose who to marry (of course, that is not the case anymore, but they keep it as a performance). At the location, you can also see the locals selling their art, food, etc.
We also had the opportunity to learn how to make our own Hierbas Ibicencas, a local alcoholic drink made with local herbs that they drink after every meal (believe me, they really do, and so did we). I also visited a local aloe plantation IBIZALOE and learned how they keep the aloe plants with almost no maintenance due to the characteristics of the island, climate, water underground, etc.
And the Bibo Park, where we learned about biotechnologies that are being developed and interactive nature like the first plant piano in the world (the plants react to the energy field from our hands, sending a signal to the machine that plays the piano notes; it’s pretty amazing).
The guide took us to a local winery called Can Rich (the only natural wine winery in the region), where we learned how wine is made, and at the end, we could experience a wine taste with local cheese, olives, and spices, all made in-house.
I was truly impressed with the Ibiza way of life, how everything is centered around nature, what the land and season can offer to the people, the peacefulness of everything and everyone. Most especially, the island is a real treat if you are a gastronomy lover.
Each restaurant that we visited had such an amazing menu; it is hard to choose a favorite one. We went to local family places like Es Rebost de Can Prats, where the menu depends on what they have on the day, and most ingredients come from their own land, or Sa Palmera, where the local food was the star of the place.
We watched a beautiful sunset at Hostal La Torre with an amazing cocktail menu (we only went to the bar/restaurant, but it is definitely a nice place to stay as well, with a terrific view overlooking the ocean), and a DJ with very good taste (they even played Brazilian music!!), heading next to Sa Capella, the most impressive restaurant of the trip, being located inside an old chapel.
Impeccable decor and every dish was extraordinary, something to try at least once in a lifetime! There was also Es Nautic for the lovers of seafood and boats.
And last but not least, an AMAZING experience at Es Ventall with a selection of courses by the chef José Miguel Bonet with dishes that I still dream about.
Honestly, it feels like we never stopped eating throughout the whole trip (not complaining); I left feeling so grateful for the experience and for everything that I’ve learned, but I still think that Sant Antoni has so much more to offer, and I can’t wait to go back and explore more someday!