Ibiza’s Blossoming Positivity

Taste, feel and breathe Ibiza

The Ibiza weather is getting better, the almond blossom is on the trees and the summer vibes are becoming more positive by the day. It’s still a little early to jump in with both feet but after the rough rollercoaster ride we’ve had over the the last 12 months there are small shoots of hope emerging.

Ibiza’s infections are tumbling, halving every 7 days, and despite the EU vaccine fiasco the Balearic government has announced a massive vaccination drive from the end of March – which is only 4 weeks away. Although many island residents won’t be jabbed until the summer a pathway is becoming clear.

News from the UK is very positive too with its vaccination programme surging ahead and Prime Minister Boris Johnston announcing a roadmap back to some form of normality by mid June including international travel which might resume in May and with all adults vaccinated by the end of July. The UK have got many things wrong but they have been spot on with their vaccination drive.

Easter will come too early for tourism in Ibiza and even though it’s the main Spanish holiday (except for August) the island authorities have already hinted that border controls will remain in force, which is entirely correct in my opinion. The biggest disaster would be to open up for a week at Easter only to then have to lock down again afterwards encroaching into the lucrative summer months and putting doubt into the mind of the potential tourists.

Although other island destinations have signalled that they will only allow vaccinated tourists to enter its doubtful whether Ibiza has the will or the appetite to enforce this so PCR certificates, antigen tests on arrival will continue for the foreseeable future as the first line of deterrent for those who can’t prove they’ve had the jab.

Like flu, the coronavirus isn’t going away so expectations need to be managed and the odd outbreak over summer will be inevitable so social distancing measures will have to stay in place which means 2021 might be too early for busy nightclubs and bars but many other businesses showed last summer that working within these constraints is do-able. Entrepreneurs always find a way and this is one thing that Ibiza isn’t short of.

So for now we remain vigilant, not letting down our guard but also mindful that summer is just around the corner and if the news carries on in the same vein we will soon be able to start taking the first steps to recovery. It won’t be easy and the road ahead will doubtless have a few bumps but for the first time in almost a year there’s a genuine air of positivity and realistic expectation that we can start again.

Olvidemos de Semana Santa y concentramos en Salvar el verano

La historia puede enseñarnos muchas cosas y lo que ha quedado patente en el último año es que si bajamos la guardia demasiado pronto, a la larga pagamos más.

La curva COVID de Ibiza está a la vista. El pasado mes de agosto, cuando nuestras defensas estaban bajas y el turismo nacional, principalmente, estaba ocupado, sin ningún tipo de salvaguarda, las cifras se dispararon teniendo un gran impacto en la isla y haciendo que el verano se detuviera. El otoño fue tranquilo hasta los primeros días de diciembre, junto con las prolongadas vacaciones de Navidad, que hicieron que Ibiza pasara de ser la envidia de España a convertirse en la zona más contagiosa de todo el país.

Este viaje no tiene ningún misterio. La apertura de las fronteras conlleva un riesgo y, aunque hay que tener un plan, éste debe ser calculado con una estrategia de fondo.

Al igual que muchos destinos turísticos dedicados, Ibiza está de rodillas. Muchos negocios están en el precipicio, contando las horas hasta que la sangre vital del flujo de caja pueda volver a empezar, pero ahora, más que nunca, necesitamos reabrir lentamente, centrándonos en el verano y para que esto sea un objetivo realista debemos sacrificar cualquier pensamiento de apertura en Semana Santa.

Ahora es el momento de que los gobiernos de Ibiza y Baleares tomen una decisión temprana y mantengan estrictos controles fronterizos hasta, al menos, después de las vacaciones de Semana Santa, con un plan estratégico de vacunación para los residentes. Puede ser la única solución.

Aunque hay que tomar decisiones difíciles, son necesarias para que Ibiza tenga alguna posibilidad de recuperación económica en 2021. Las consecuencias de una apertura anticipada para luego enfrentarse a un nuevo cierre durante los meses de verano son demasiado difíciles de contemplar….

SOS: Save Our Summer

Forget Easter, focus on summer

History can teach us many things and what has been obvious over the last year is that if we lower our guard too early then we pay more in the long run.

The Ibiza COVID curve is there for all to see. Last August when our defences were low and mainly national tourism was busy, without any safeguards in place, the numbers surged having a major impact on the island and causing summer to come to a screeching halt. Autumn was quiet until the early December holiday along with the extended Christmas break that saw Ibiza go from being the envy of Spain to becoming the most contagious area in the whole country.

There is no mystery to this journey. Open borders brings risk and although we need to have a plan in place, it must be calculated with an underlying strategy.

Like many dedicated tourist destinations, Ibiza is on its knees. Many businesses are on the precipice, counting down the hours until the lifeblood of cash flow can start again but now, more than ever, we need to reopen slowly, focusing on the summer and for this to be a realistic target we must sacrifice any thoughts of opening at Easter.

Now is the time for the Ibiza and Balearic governments to make an early decision and maintain strict border controls until at least after the Easter holiday with a clear vaccination roadmap for residents. It can be the only solution.

Although there are tough decisions to be made, they are necessary for Ibiza to have a chance of any form of economic recovery in 2021. The consequences of an early opening only to then face a further lockdown over the peak summer months are too difficult to contemplate.

5 things to do in Ibiza during ‘Lockdown’

‘Lockdown’ number 3 (I think) is here. Social distancing, masks everywhere, shops, bars and restaurants closed… our life really didn’t become easier during the last months. Some may be feeling a bit depressed and no wonder being confronted daily with changing rules, negative news and being constantly told what you cannot do. In times like these it helps to shift the focus so instead of more Covid News, here’s a compilation of things you CAN actually do at the moment.


Courgette Kofta by Paul Reynolds

Yes, our favourite restaurant is closed and we miss going out for dinner with friends but isn’t now the perfect time to tune up your cooking skills? Good food doesn’t mean you have to go out! So give that homemade lasagna a try, discover something new you never cooked before (a delicious vegan recipe), or bake that cake you never had time to do before. The web is full of free recipes. Check social media like Pinterest for inspiration or have a look at Ibiza Cookdown on Facebook started by a group of local foodie residents (Danny Sarah and Paul Reynolds take centre stage) and when the lockdown is over, you will be ready to smash those amazing dinner parties with your friends once again.


Puente de piedra – Cala d’Albarca

Ibiza is blessed with great weather and the island is even more beautiful now when everything is quiet. So put on those boots or trainers and discover new paths, new beaches, new landscapes, new views and parts of the island you’ve only ever heard or read about but never had the time to see with your own eyes. There is more to discover than you can ever imagine, and all it takes is a bit of time and good shoes. For a collection of walks around the island have a look at Walking Ibiza and for inspiration check out Ibiza Xplore on Instagram.


Gyms might be closed for now but that’s no excuse – all you need is a mat and youtube – and your home gym is complete. Check out the free online videos and set yourself a daily routine, whether it’s HIIT, cardio or, if you have never tried it before, now is the perfect time to finally start that yoga class! Just 30 minutes a day could make a big difference. Your body will thank you later. Remember, swimsuit season is around the corner, despite the pandemic.


We spend most of the time in our homes now anyway, so why not use this time to give our spaces an upgrade. Now is the perfect time to de-clutter, clean, reorganize and maybe even decorate room by room. If you want to see how masters do it: Japanese organisational expert Marie Kondo is a legend. Sista Sorta also offer this service in Ibiza


Selfcare is THE buzzword during the pandemic. We are even kind of forced to take care of ourselves during this time. Also they say time invested in yourself is never lost, hey? So why not learn or try something new, something you have never done before? Maybe try meditation for a whole week, grow some plants on your balcony or garden, do an online course in a topic that interests you, learn a language online, the list is endless. This is the time do something that you’ve always wanted to do.

Most important of all is to Stay Positive, Do something positive every day (even small steps make a difference) and when the world is back to normal, we will be more ready than ever to make Ibiza one of the greatest places in the world yet again.

Additional text by CM at Chakra Kitchen

Time to Talk about ‘The V Word’

I’m not going to lie, it’s been a tough start to the year on the White Isle. Ibiza’s Covid-19 numbers have hit an all time high after the Christmas festivities where common sense was thrown out of the window, we are once again scratching our heads and looking for the way forward.

It’s now February which means that Spring is just around the corner yet it feels like we’ve gone 2 steps forward and 5 steps back. Before Christmas Ibiza’s numbers were the envy of the rest of Spain but now we are the poor relations, hidden away and confined to quarters until further notice. When we hoped to be preparing for a summer season we are still looking for a way out of this almighty mess.

With close to 4000 active cases Ibiza and Formentera is perilously close to tipping point with unprecedented pressure being applied to the health service on a daily basis. The mass screenings across the island have pushed up the numbers and even though the majority of cases are asymptomatic the hospitals are reaching breaking point.

All the while us British ex-pats have to endure the UK news telling us how many Brits are being vaccinated daily. Over the last few months it’s become clear that the vaccine is the only real way out of this situation if we want to get back to some form of normality. It’s Boris Johnson’s ‘get out of jail free card’ and boy is he playing it to it’s full extent.

Nearly 10 million UK people have been jabbed, friends are putting up photos every day of their parents, grandparents or of themselves. Regardless of the total ineptness of what went before even Matt Hancock, one of the most useless politicians of my lifetime, is coming out smelling of roses after it was revealed that he rejected a contract that might have meant losing control of the Oxford vaccine that eventually went to Astra Zeneca. When Halfwit Hancock starts to look good you know we are on weird street.

Now what relevance does the UK vaccine numbers have on us here in Ibiza? Not a lot apart from showing us how it should be done because on the same day the UK was jabbing record amounts of arms it was revealed that Ibiza had vaccinated only 500 people so far on an island of around 150,000 who’s world has been turned upside down more than most due to it’s over-reliance on tourism.

The Spanish are famous for their ‘mañana’ attitude and Ibiza takes this attitude to the extreme but this is one fight we need to face head on and grab the bull by the horns. Unfortunately Francina Armengol, the leader of the Balearic parliament, seems incapable of fighting our corner lurching from 1 crisis to another, issuing soundbites that make no sense and sucking up to her boss in Madrid, Pedro Sanchez, without sticking up for the islands she gets paid very well to represent.

Like most politicians, Sra Armengol had a free pass last year as nobody knew what was happening or how to react however 1 year on and she’s still fumbling around in the dark trying to reassure islanders while flying in to take away liberties, shame she didn’t go hardball 2 weeks before Christmas. Reacting has become her byword earning her the nickname Armageddon as the protesters who took to the streets of Palma over the weekend can testify.

The Balearics continue to be the whipping boys of Spain, happy to roll over and let the Madrid politicians tickle our belly and throw us a small treat from time to time to quell the rabble rousers even though our economy has been decimated more than most.

Ibiza didn’t cover itself in glory during the holiday period but we deserve better than this, even the Falkland Islands, a sheep-farming outpost over 8000 miles away has a better strategy than Ibiza does – one of the worlds most iconic tourist destinations.

We urgently need a structured roll out of the vaccine where everyone is kept in the loop and so we can see some glimmer of light at the end of a dark tunnel. Is that too much to ask? Melia Hotels CEO Gabriel Escarrer has said that we need to have a clear roadmap for vaccines including 24/7 availability with a private and public strategy and he is bang on the money. While we continue to dither we can see summer slipping away right before us.

Rather than soundbites and broken promises it’s time for Sra Armengol to stand up and fight for the islands, breaking with party lines if needed. If Bumbling Boris Johnson can come out of this well then so can she. Every day without a realistic plan is a day wasted, the clock is ticking, a lot of people’s livelihoods depend on it and it’s a matter of life and death in more ways than one.