A few of the people we told we were going to Ibiza in May had that that sounds familiar look on their face. Ibiza is as well known to Europeans as South Beach is to Americans, and for all the same reasons (bars, discos, all night partying, ridiculously expensive and large drinks, etc.) For anyone who doesn’t know anything about this wildly popular European summer destination (it’s currently RyanAir’s “destination of the month!”), read on.
Ibiza is a small Spanish island in the western Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the Balearic Islands, a group of islands (an archipelago) that includes the larger islands Majorca and Minorca, Ibiza itself, and the smaller Formentera (visible to the south of Ibiza), and dozens of smaller islands, some just chunks of rock sticking up from the sea. Ibiza is sometimes also spelled Eivissa, but it’s pronounced the same either way (Eye-BEE-zuh). Ibiza lies about 50 miles southeast of the city of Valencia, and only about 40 miles from the nearest point of the Spanish mainland.
Ibiza is, basically, a big chunk of rock. It’s a sixth the size of Majorca to the north, but it’s 10 times the size of Manhattan. Still, as we’ve found, it’s remarkably easy and quick to drive from one side of the island to the other. The westernmost Balearic islands are called the “Pitiuses”, or “Pine Islands”, likely because of the scrubby evergreens that grow here (along with palms and cacti), and people who live on the island are called “Ibicencos” (Eye-buh-CHINK-oh’s).
The island is served by a surprisingly busy and nice-sized modern airport. When we arrived we expected to find a much smaller, more “island-like” airport, but owing to the island’s popularity during the summer (and all the tourism Euros that flow here as a result), there are lots and lots of flights to this little island. Where we’re staying we have a great view of the Northwesterly approach to the airport, and it’s been no shortage of amusement for Chuck to identify the airlines and aircraft, and commensurately no shortage of amusement for Lori to comment on Chuck’s arcane (and relatively useless) knowledge of commercial aircraft. Nevertheless, the airlines that serve Ibiza, at least during high summer season, include (in order of seeming quantity of flights) RyanAir, Vueling, Iberian Airlines, Transavia, Air Europa, Jet2, Monarch, Condor, Luxair, AirBerlin, Norwegian, and Lufthansa.
You might assume that we’ve come to Ibiza for 4 weeks to party it up in the famous Ibizan clubs like Pacha, Amnesia, or Space. Well, it’s likely that this middle-aged empty nester nomadic couple won’t come anywhere near the clubs, not because we’re old fuddy duddies, but because the clubs don’t actually open for the season until the day we leave. Otherwise, you can be assured that we’d be dancing it up at one of them every night (LOL). In reality, we came here for the practical reasons of its proximity to Barcelona and that there are beaches. We love beaches and we love beach towns. If there’s a patch of sand next to clear water, you’ll find us (particularly Lori) laying on it. But we also came here for another interesting reason: Chuck’s ancestors came from this little island, and he’s hoping to learn a bit about the Ros family while here.
Stay tuned for 2 more blogs on the history and tourism of Ibiza.
|Medieval Fortress Wall in Ibiza|