Just in time for Earth Day, I’d like to bring you a post to appreciate the natural beauty of Ibiza.
One of my fellow language assistants and friend Erin is a courageous and adventurous hiker. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have been introduced to some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen – not to mention some of the best experiences I’ve had on the island. I admire her excitement for discovering new places and her determination to find exactly what she’s looking for. A master hiker in my eyes, she is a person who is so intrigued about her surrounding and inspires us all to be the same.
Her passion for hiking becomes evident when she says that she even loves “these hikes when you don’t even know if there’s going to be a trail and you just have to keep walking ahead blindly, because more often than not, you find something amazing. Ibiza is way more mapped out for hikers than I ever thought possible.” After many months of exploring the island, I figured she’d have a thing or two to say about her favorite places.
Her top 5 hikes, in no particular order are:
- Cala Xarraca to Cap Blanc
- Sant Vicent
- Ses Salinas
Read below for more information on each one.
Cala Xarraca to Cap Blanc
Having never explored this side of the island, Erin came here randomly to find a path. She says, “I drove to Cala Xarraca, and parked there, and then just aimlessly started walking west.” That’s the thing about Ibiza. You can just show up somewhere, even for a hike, and it always seems to work out.
In total, this hike took about four hours going there and back. Erin says that there are some very steep parts and you need to bring lots of water and snacks (for all of the hikes as well). Erin told me, “I think I enjoyed it so much because it was such different geography than anything I’d seen yet or was expecting. That’s the thing about this island, is that it has SUCH variety to it. There are tropical beaches-white sand and palm trees- there’s the inland farmland, there are intense mountain ranges… this hike was rolling hills for MILES, no trees, just this short little shrubs, you could see that turquoise blue water from all angles…”
Her advice to you for this hike? If you’re used to walking or exercising with music, leave it at home. She reflected, “Only recently have I started to try without music. I normally always have my iPod even if I’m just walking to the grocery store, but I forced myself to take it out while hiking once and it was so cool. Being the ONLY person around for miles, you don’t get that kind of quiet anywhere else. It’s only you, the birds, and the chipmunks.”
Having had problems at work, this five hour hike was the perfect remedy for Erin. After unsuccessfully trying to find a hike in the inland mountains near Sant Vicent, she kept driving and eventually “found some road up a mountain.” She tells me that she “started in an abandonded farm house field to the west of Sant Vicent and made my way up the coast, then followed it as it wrapped around to the beach.” This is a great hike if you need to be alone and de-stress. She says it’s also great for privacy: “There are a few cute inlet beaches on the way…privacy is nice.”
Ses Salines National Park
The first time Erin did this hike, which she later took me on in the winter, it was still warm in October. She enjoyed the first time much more than subsequent outings to the national park. She had no idea what do expect. She explains, “We didn’t even know there was going to be a path…we just drove past Ses Salines beach to the end, by that cute neighborhood. We walked along the entry path to the park…and then got up to the top of the hill before you go down to that first beach. We had NO idea if we were just walking into a straight forest but because I’m annoying I made us continue anyway… then we found a path on the other end and climbed to the top right along the cliff. The views were AMAZING. This was one of my first hiking experiences in Ibiza as well, and I’d never been surrounded by so much ocean before. It was an incredible feeling, I felt really lucky that day.”
This hike is a bit rugged at times and at certain parts of the year it’s prohibited to pass through some segments for possible danger to the wildlife. It’s best not to go after it rains as the steep hills through dirt are easily to slip on. Walking briskly you can finish in around an hour and a half, but if you take your time and soak in the views, calculate around two to two and a half hours. Because of the great inclines, the three mountains you pass through give you a great heart-pumping workout, in addition to giving you amazing views of Es Vedra and Formentera. You can park your car at the neighborhood that Erin describes and finish the hike at Cap des Falco near the salt flats and walk back to your car.
‘Atlantis,’ if you’re not familiar, is a famous spot in the San Josep district near Cala D’hort. It’s rock was cut out and used to build the cathedral of Ibiza. Erin told me, “We had only heard people talk about the name and didn’t really know what it would be like. We didn’t even know if we could get there not by boat. You went by boat so you didn’t see it… but it’s literally a straight ass drop from the top. We had to hold on to various bushes and branches on the way down so we wouldn’t tumble to our death. And again, this was so cool because we didn’t know what was going to be on the other side (or the bottom, in this case).”
To begin the hike, take the road to Cala D’hort and find tower des Savinar. There you will see a path that leads down. It takes around 20 minutes to reach the bottom.
This hike, Erin claims has “absolutely amazing” scenery. It must be cool, because this girl has seen it all. In fact, I can vouch for her, as I did this hike with her. We parked the car at Platja s’estanyol and simply began walking north. She happened to sit on bird poop at one point during this hike, but it ended up being all worth it: “that was quite the climb to get to the top but that lookout was breath-taking.”
You can spend as much or as little time exploring the coastline in this area. We walked along the cliffs for around and hour and then turned back. This is an excellent hike for those who love elevation and dramatic drop-offs (not for the hikers themselves).
Erin explains that finding the perfect hike is possible for everyone. While she didn’t plan ahead on many of her hikes, she often found some of the most impactful scenes from spontaneous walking. Trusting the beauty of this island, she usually found “a very well-worn trail” which made her ‘realize you’re not the only one who has enjoyed this!” However, she doesn’t mean to say that this negates the hike’s impact. She finds comfort in the fact that by being well-worn, it’s proof that “there are other people out there like you, who aren’t only about the clubs and find happiness through this same type of experience.”
Do you have a favorite hike on Ibiza that made an impact on you?
All photos besides the maps are credit of Erin Morris.