Simply Ibiza – 10 Amazing Places to See (and most won’t cost you a penny)

The glorious White Isle means many things to many people but it’s not all about the nightlife. Here’s 10 incredible places that are well worth visiting (especially out of season) and the good news is that most of them won’t cost you a penny.  Invest your time and energy in Ibiza and it will pay you back many times over. 

1. ES VEDRA

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Simply spellbinding looking out to the magical rock protruding from the south west of the island.  Said to be one of the most spiritual places in the world this amazing 413m high mass of mesozoic limestone never fails to take your breath away and has been known to reduce adults to tears. Watch out for the purple goats too.

2. ATLANTIS

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Close to Vedra down a steep incline is the mythical ‘Atlantis’ literally carved into a small deep bay. Once used as a quarry to farm the stones to build the walls of Ibiza Town now the amazing rock formations seem perfectly carved to create a mesmerizing spot to sit and chill in the cool winds in front of the turquoise blue sea.  Even though it’s not signposted many people find their way there every day and bask in it’s spiritual glory. Save some energy for the walk back though!

3. SA TALAIA


475 metres above sea level, close to the village of San Jose is the highest point of the island. It’s definitely worth the effort,  go to the top and you can see the whole island beneath you, only then do you realize exactly how small the white isle is. You will also find a solemn memorial with all the names of the people who perished in Ibiza’s biggest air disaster on 7 Jan 1972 when flight 602 crashed into Sa Talaia with 98 passengers and 6 crew aboard, there were no survivors. More info here

4. THE BENIRRAS FINGER


Sitting majestically in the middle of Benirras bay in the north east of the island is a giant rock that points up from the sea that the locals refer to as “God’s Finger”. The real magic of Benirras begins around half an hour before sunset when hippy drummers appear almost out of nowhere and begin to bang their drums. This famous beach is a magnet for free spirit and the finger is it’s emblem.

5. DON PEDRO WRECK DIVE

 
At 2:30am on the 11th of July 2007 just after leaving the harbour, a clueless cargo ferry captain crashed into the reef of the ‘Dado Pequeño’ (Little Dice) islet and unwittingly created not just an environmental nightmare but also one of the biggest and best dive sites in Europe. The helpless vessel sank within 30 minutes (with no loss of life) and is now located less then 50 meters below sea level and measures 142 meters long.  Fauna and flora have gradually covered the wreck making it more spectacular every year and earning it the diving nickname ‘Jewel of the Med’.  (Organised excursion with Dive Centre essential)

6. SAN MIGUEL CAVES


The underground caverns of the Cueva Can Marça in Puerto San Miguel are eerily silent and illuminated in strange colours, the formations of stalagmites and stalactites make a weird backdrop to a tour of the cavernous galleries.  Originally used by smugglers to store contraband, the marks they used to guide them in the dead of night can still be seen on the walls. Visitors also get to see the magnificent views out to sea from openings hewn into the cliff side. (Entrance fee applicable)

7. LAS SALINAS SALT FLATS


Drive as far south as you can and you come to a arrowhead with Las Salinas beach on the west side and Es Cavallet beach on the east. Directly above this are the famous salt flats that for over two thousand years has given the island one of its greatest treasures. The salt gathered from the combination of sea and sun was a source of work and food for many of the island’s inhabitants over the years and Ibiza’s “white gold” is considered one of the worlds’ finest varieties of salt. The salt flats are a surreal, spectacular vista especially when the wild flamingoes come and visit.

8. PUNTA GALERA ROCKS

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Follows the signs to Cap Negret and join the other walkers heading down to this secret sunbathing hideaway and you will be rewarded with amazing views and crystal clear waters. The rock formation makes it easy to rest and take in the sun rays but make sure you arrive early as it can get busy. Popular with nudists if you want to get an all over tan.

9. D’ALT VILA – IBIZA OLD TOWN

 
The soul of the island sits proudly atop the capital like a protective mother watching over her flock. The walled town dates back to a bygone age when Ibiza was constantly invaded and is still magnificently preserved in this UNESCO world heritage site. Forget the clubs for a day as you really haven’t experienced Ibiza until you’ve walked around Dalt V’ila and immersed yourself in the history and passion of the White Isle.

10. SUNSET AT SES VARIADES

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One of the biggest and best free shows in the world as day to turns to night and thousands witness one of the most stunning sunsets on earth. Sit on the rocks with a can of beer or treat yourself to a VIP table at the world famous Cafe Mambo, the atmosphere at sundown is simply electric. Don’t forget to clap.

Do you agree? Have I missed anything? Don’t hesitate to let me know via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 
  

Testing Times as Ibiza Taxi Drivers Stage Protest 

  

The illegal transport issues reached a head yesterday as over 150 taxi divers and their cars blocked off many parts of Ibiza Town in protest about the increased level of pirate taxis on the island and the lack of control from the island government. The taxi drivers met up outside the Consell (government building) sounding their horns until President Vicent Torres came down for a face to face talk where he heard 1st hand about their concerns.

Pirate taxi transport has steadily grown from an underground business to blatant harassment especially at Ibiza airport where flight arrivals are met by men touting their services even before the clients have stepped foot outside the terminal building. I witnessed this myself last week as I was accosted by over 10 pirates with an air of menace immediately after stepping through the electric doors in arrivals.

This situation has been allowed to gain momentum without control and now the taxi drivers have had enough but the simple fact is that there aren’t enough legal taxis to cope with the demand especially during the main peak weeks so it’s easy money for the ‘pirates’ with long taxi queues awaiting passengers at the airport. You can’t blame tourists for taking the easy option and paying a little more rather than wait in the taxi queue for an hour. There is also serious questions over the service from some legal taxi drivers which is less than exemplary, cherry picking who they take and making up their own rules along the way and being a speeding nuisance on the roads. 

The lethargy in dealing with pirate taxis is also mirrored in the same way that the street sellers are dealt with. These men wander around harassing tourists and forcing their goods on them, it’s out of control yet the local councils don’t seem too concerned so while the Balearic government is preparing to tax tourists, our greatest commodity, they seem unwilling to tackle the day to day problems that the island faces.

The usual excuses for this lethargy are that the law doesn’t allow local authorities to be effective, the people arrested have no money to pay the fines and they know how to ‘play the system’.   Yet local governments seem to be able to change the law in respect of certain things such as closing times where legal businesses are affected so why can’t they tackle blatant illegal businesses that don’t pay a penny in tax? Illegal taxi’s, ticket sellers, street hawkers and prostitutes are operating on the island because they are allowed to do so and we are diminishing our core product because it’s getting out of control.

Fellow blogger Danny Kay in his excellent recent piece said “Why is it that in Dublin or London there are no Looky Looky men, illegal PRs, prostitutes or drug dealers accosting tourists in Temple Bar or Trafalgar Square? Because they are not allowed. It is illegal for them to be there and they would be locked up if they tried it” A simple philosophy but something that may be the only way forward for the white isle.
In the changing political climate now would be a good time for the coalition island president Vicent Torres, Vice President Viviana de Sans and their team to face up to a few home truths, apply a zero tolerance policy and clean up our island once and for all or the wrong type of headlines will only get worse. A few more taxis on the road might be a good idea too. 

An Idiot’s Guide to Ibiza Politics

It’s been a busy year so far for the local politicians on the White Isle and it’s just about to get a whole lot busier – whoever said politics is boring obviously wasn’t referring to Ibiza.

After the May elections it’s Spanish tradition to give new local governments a 100 day grace period but that time is now coming to an end so buckle up and expect plenty of mudslinging as the gloves come off and island politics gets a little tasty again. Having been involved in the last election campaign and having been referred to as an idiot on more than one occasion here’s my own unique overview of how the island currently stands after the euphoria and disappointment of the elections followed by the June inaugurations.

* denotes incumbent ruling party/parties

CONSELL INSULAR (IBIZA ISLAND COUNCIL)
IN: Vicent Torres (PSOE) – OUT: Vicent Serra (PP)
Popular Party: 6 seats
PSOE*: 4 seats
Podemos*: 3 seats

Vicent Torres

Points of Order
: The socialist PSOE party and left wing Podemos finally joined forces after some protracted and fractious negotiations to oust PP President Vicent Serra.  PSOE’s Vicent Torres became island president whilst Serra resigned as president of the PP taking the blame personally for his party’s poor election results. He will carry on as opposition leader in the council but has been replaced as President by Jose Vicente Mari Boso.

Any Other Business: New president Vicent Torres speaks perfect English and is a former Director General for Balearic tourism and was the person who signed the winter flights agreement with Ryanair back in 2007. Torres will also oversee tourism whilst Podemos leader and Vice President Viviana de Sans will be in charge transparency, participation, good governance and employment/training.

Chance of Success: 6/10 – Torres is a good man but this well meaning coalition could flounder if Podemos decide to throw their toys out of pram.

EIVISSA (IBIZA TOWN)
IN: Rafael Ruiz (PSOE) – OUT: Virginia Mari (PP)
Popular Party: 8 seats
PSOE*: 8 seats
Guanyem*: 4 seats
MC Epic: 1 seat

Rafael Ruiz

Points of Order
: Rafa Ruiz of PSOE and Joan Ribas of left wing ‘Guanyem’ got up close and personal to get rid of PP Mayor Virginia Mari promising to restart the many projects that were mothballed by the previous administration.

Any Other Business: The previous PP led council had been mired in scandal and had no fewer than 3 Mayors during it’s 4 year administration. Marienna Sánchez-Jáuregui resigned after 2 years due to an ‘irregular payments’ scandal then Pilar Mari was forced out after sending insulting text messages. Virginia Mari was the 3rd Mayor but her tenure lasted less than 10 months.

Chance of success: 7/10 – The new government will appeal to Ibiza Town’s multi cultural electorate and in any case can’t be worse than the previous fiasco, can they?

SANT ANTONI DE PORTMANY
IN: Jose Tur (PSOE) – OUT: Pepita Gutierrez (PP)
Popular Party: 8 seats
PSOE*: 6 seats
Reinicia*: 4 seats
El PI*: 3 seats

Juanjo Ferrer, Jose Tur, Pablo Valdes

Points of Order
: The white isle’s 2nd largest town saw a cataclysmic shift as the smaller parties buddied up to form a 3 party coalition to remove the PP for the 1st time ever. Jose Tur (aka Pep Cires) became Mayor with Pablo Valdes (Reinicia) becoming deputy Mayor and Juan Jose Ferrer (El PI) as 2nd deputy mayor. The biggest shock here was the new people’s party ‘Reinicia’ who came from nowhere to claim 4 seats using strong rhetoric and propaganda mainly through social media.

Any Other Buisness: Previous Mayor Pepita Gutierrez was de-selected by her own party causing a split in the ranks from which the party never recovered. Ex bank chief and new mayor Jose Tur Pep Cires is technically retired and doesn’t take a salary as he already receives a pension.

Chance of Success: 6/10 – rising star Pablo Valdes of Reinicia is one to watch for the future but may be dragged down by internal conflicts. Lots of potential surprises in store especially in years 3 & 4.

SANTA EULARIA DES RIU
NO CHANGE: Vicent Mari (PP)
Popular Party*: 12 seats
PSOE: 5 seats
Guanyem: 4 seats

Vicent Mari


Points of Order: Ibiza’s sweet seaside town saw PP Mayor Vicent Mari re-elected for his 3rd straight term but this time with a lower majority. Although he said he wouldn’t run in 2015 he was ‘persuaded’ to change his mind and promised to keep on working hard and take up the challenge of the ‘second revolution of tourism’ (whatever that means).

Any Other Business: Talamanca, Jesus and Can Furnet might be overlooking Ibiza Town but all are in the municipality of Santa Eulalia.

Chance of success: 9/10 – this staunchly conservative municipality may struggle to work with the socialist island government but should consolidate their position as Ibiza’s most pleasant tourist resort.

SANT JOSEP DE SA TALAIA
IN: Josep Mari Ribas – Out: Neus Mari Mari
PSOE*: 9 seats
Popular Party: 6 seats
Guanyem*: 4 seats
Alternativa Insular: 2 seats

Jose Mari Ribas

Points of Order
: PSOE and Guanyem joined together to make Josep Mari Ribas (aka Agustinet) mayor once more. It was a sweet victory for Agustinet after a motion of censure removed him from the Mayors office in December 2011 when the PP and the ‘Alternativa Insular’ party ganged up and outed him.

Any Other Buisness: San Jose Town Hall has been bogged down for many years with court cases and corruption claims. Agustinet has promised to address issues of public transport, noise pollution (especially beach bars/clubs) and water distribution over the next 4 years.

Chance of Success: 6/10 – Agustinet will want to settle scores from 2011 so expect some fireworks. Never a dull moment in Sant Josep and there could be major headlines from the municipality regarding beach clubs.

SANT JOAN DE LABRITJA
NO CHANGE: Antonio Mari (PP)

Popular Party*: 9 seats
PSOE: 2 seats
Guanyem: 1 seat
MEC: 1 seat

Antonio Mari

Points of Order
: Sleepy northern municipality Sant Joan is about a safe a seat as you could wish for with Antonio Mari Mari (known locally as ‘Carraca’) being returned for a 5th straight victory. He has promised to maintain the municipality as a quality touristic destination but also concentrate on local issues such as transport and sporting infrastructure.

Any Other Business: Sant Joan has only 3500 registered voters making it the smallest municipality in terms of voters, it also has the largest Romanian population who take their voting responsibility very seriously.  The surname ‘Mari’ features in 8 of the 13 PP councillors names.

Chance of success: 10/10 – ‘Carraca’ to continue his strong leadership over the north of the island with his bull terrier attitude. He knows that the north is the relatively untouched gem of the island so cross him at your peril.

I know it’s not Ibiza but also let’s not forget…..

FORMENTERA
NO CHANGE: Jaume Ferrer (GxF)

GxF* (People for Formentera): 9 seats
Popular Party: 4 seats
PSOE: 2 seats
CompromisFormentera: 2 seats

Jaume Ferrer

Points of Order
: Formentera continued to be the only municipality in the archipelago that is ruled by it’s own autonomous party, shrugging off interference from outside and returning Jaume Ferrer again as it’s leader but now with his own majority. The 4th Balearic island continues to be a world class destination with its feet firmly in the eco-friendly camp. A shining light in local politics that, strangely, nobody else seems to want to replicate.

Any Other Business: Most of the candidates and parties share a common goal and cross party agreement is quite normal only arguing over the detail.

Chance of success: 9/10 – Formentera hearts and souls are firmly fixed inwards rather than to Ibiza, Palma or Madrid. The jewel of the Med continues to shine bright with it’s own autonomy.

So there you have my personal overview of where the island currently stands but there will be plenty of twists and turns ahead so expect daily headlines with accusations and counter accusations from all the usual suspects, smoke screens and mirrors and even the occasional agreement. Ibiza is many things but it is never dull and that is also reflected in the corridors of power. We are watching!

Ibiza Weekend Offender: The Changing Face of Tourism

As the sun finally sets on another busy August, Ibiza now has only 8 more weeks of ‘summer’ tourism until it’s time to batten down the hatches, count the pennies and relax as international tourism goes into standby mode for almost 5 months.

While the blue chip businesses have reported record numbers, others are talking of a steep decline in takings. There appears to be a big swing in fortunes which has taken many by surprise but times are changing and not least the profile of the ‘tourists’ that now grace the white isle.

Ever since the ‘low cost’ carriers began flying into Ibiza nearly 15 years ago the type of tourist has been gradually changing and now the cycle is almost complete.  The traditional 7, 10 and 14 night family package holiday is now exclusively reserved for school holidays – 1 week in May/1 week in October/6 weeks in August – so out of the 26 week ‘summer’ season there are 18 weeks where families with kids don’t come into the equation. For June, July and September Ibiza still relies on it’s traditional 18-35 market and then a slightly more mature market in May and October.

All this has given rise to the Ibiza Weekend Offender – those who are cash rich but time poor, those who pack 7 days of action into a 3 or 4 night stay, those who view a weekend in Ibiza in the same way they view a festival, those who don’t come on holiday but have a ‘weekend away’ so only need hand luggage and most importantly those who spend the same amount of money in 3 days as they would in 7.

The official government figures back this up, the average stay in Ibiza for 2015 is as follows:

Jul:  5.45 nights per person
Jun:  5.30
May:  4.79
Apr:  5.03
Mar:  4.46
Feb:  3.67

On closer inspection the average stay has been in free fall since 2008 and we can only presume this will continue as the world gets smaller. The figures suggest that we all want to travel more, to find new and exciting destinations but we also don’t want to miss out on our annual “Ibiza Fix”.  So the new profile of Ibiza tourist will now come over for a long weekend and because time is so precious the result is an overly organized trip where the same 4 or 5 venues are visited leaving no time to discover any of the other magnificent places that Ibiza has to offer.  Unfortunately spontaneity is almost extinct for the Ibiza Weekend Offender who lives on social media.

In fact for some the thought of 7 nights on the White Isle is now almost unthinkable, mainly because their health and wallet couldn’t take the pressure so weekend traffic is considerably higher than during the week. It had to happen sometime – Ibiza has grown up, it sleeps during the week and parties at the weekends.

The challenge to local business is how do you convert the near 7 million arrivals into profit as the juxtaposition is that as Ibiza becomes ever more popular it’s the same places that continue to succeed and it’s nothing more sinister than a genuine lack of time for an Ibiza Weekender Offender who can only cram in so much partying and selfies into 72 hours. So instead of seeing the beauty of the island it’s flash hotel rooms, pool parties and super clubs. Sounds great if you are in Las Vegas but surely not if you are on one of the most beautiful islands of the world.

So the good news is that Ibiza is at the top of it’s game but the not so good news is that certain sectors aren’t getting their traditional piece of the pie and don’t seem able to react accordingly. Meanwhile the top end gets more exclusive/expensive as the demand grows and the bottom end continues to cater for those who want the experience but not the cost. The bad news is that the middle market again gets squeezed out and when it comes to tourism that’s where the money is for the normal day to day businesses on the island.

‘Meon Villas’ to Close Down

 Another Mediterranean villa provider has announced it’s closure today after large tour operating group TUI confirmed it’s ‘Meon Villas’ product will close in October. This comes after Ibiza specialists ‘International Villas’ suddenly ceased trading at the end of July just as the market was entering it’s peak period.

Susan Allan from TUI said “The market for villa holidays has changed over the years. We have as a result reviewed our business model and taken the decision to no longer operate the Meon Villas programme post October 2015.  The outcome has not been taken lightly and we would like to thank you for your support and commitment over the years.”

TUI says that it will now go forward with it’s Sovereign brand and although Meon stopped offering Ibiza a few years ago it is yet another example of tough trading conditions for traditional tour operators who can’t offer the flexibility that private villa owner/managers can.

Airbnb and small businesses now dominate the segment offering maximum flexibility and prices without any add-ons. Ibiza has seen a large rise in holiday villa rentals over the last 5 years as laws have been simplified and investors turn traditional family homes into state of the art holiday villas with all mod cons.

The good news is that the consumer has never had a wider choice of accommodation options but the bad news is that the market will continue to be squeezed so expect more ‘consolidation’ in the coming months.

Read my previous blog: Ibiza Villas: Stick or Twist

50 Reasons why Ibiza is STILL the Best Place in the World!


To celebrate my 50th blog here’s 50 REASONS WHY IBIZA IS STILL THE BEST PLACE IN THE WORLD. Don’t believe everything you read in the press but do experience it for yourself. Remember though that it’s a game of 2 halves – quiet winters followed by busy summers so choose your dates wisely and find the Ibiza that is right for you.

Special thanks to everyone who contributed to this list via social media – all photos my own.

  1. LIBERAL ATTITUDE – turning a blind eye is a way of life
  2. THE PEOPLE – the weird & wonderful are welcomed and accepted with ‘open arms’IMG_6203
  3. RELAX  you can always find your special place even in the height of summer
  4. AGELESS – sexegenarians dancing at super clubs is standard
  5. SUNSET – one of the worlds best (I’m yet to see better)  
  6. DJ’s – the island is their Mecca, from the wannabe’s to the world famous
  7. FASHION – achingly trendy people of all ages everywhere
  8. LOCAL DISHES – paella/sofrit pagès/arroz de matanza/bullit de peix to name just a few – local food lovingly created then lovingly scoffedIMG_5829
  9. SANGRIA DE CAVA – with fresh fruit on a hot day mmmmm
  10. BENIRRAS DRUMS – experience the true hippy flavour, getting into the rhythm is compulsory
  11. ES VEDRA – a truly magical place, feel the magnetism as it draws you in
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  12. ATLANTIS  – this mythical place actually existsIMG_0030
  13. NUDISM – walking round naked without a care in the world on one of the islands many nudist beaches
  14. TAPAS – a couple of euros will buy you tasty delights that will put a smile on your face not a hole in your pocket
  15. MARKETS – Las Dalias, Sant Jordi, Punta Arabi, Cala Mastella, Forada – dig deep for hidden gems
  16. VILLAGE SHOPS – usually run by the older generation whose local knowledge knows no bounds
  17. CHURCHES – breathtaking historical buildings that light up at nightIMG_5107
  18. IBIZA WINTER RESIDENTS – the only Facebook page to follow (Read my IWR Blog)
  19. MUSIC – It’s a way of life from live vocals to EDM to folkloric flutes, it’s everywhere!
  20. THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH – Ibiza keeps you young, fact! (ask Wayne Lineker)
  21. HIERBAS IBICENCAS – the local liqueur that’s good for the heart but not the headliqueur-hierbas-ibicencas
  22. AUGUST FIREWORKS – San Ciriac in Ibiza Town then San Bartolome in San Antonio, incredible displays watched by thousands
  23. LOCAL FIESTAS – every town and village has one and the whole population comes out to eat, drink and party
  24. AMAZING VISTAS – the island is still mainly untouched when you get out of the 3 largest towns
  25. BEACHES – white sand, blue sea – stay away from peak season and have one all to yourselfIMG_2195
  26. CRYSTAL CLEAR WATERS – better than the Caribbean?IMG_9325
  27. FORMENTERA – the jewel of the Med is only 25 mins away by fast ferryIMG_0267
  28. SPRITUALITY – more yoga retreats than California, feel the aura….
  29. SEMANA SANTA – Easter celebrations see the island shut down for 4 days and hooded take over the old town
  30. SUNSHINE – an average of 300 days per year speaks for itself
  31. LOCATION – barely 2 hours from most European capitals – quicker to get to the white isle than a few junctions around the M25
  32. CLUBS – the worlds largest, best and outlandish, all on a small island, equals a Clubbers Paradise
  33. ANIMAL PASSION – cats and dogs are more cared for than humans (see point 18)IMG_2786
  34. CAN RICH – local winery on the outskirts of San Antonio
  35. FLAO AND ENSAIMADAS – local bakeries making tasty treats
  36. MENU DEL DIA – a delicious 3 course meal with a bottle of wine for less than €10 (who said Ibiza was expensive?)
  37. WINTER CYCLING – fun races such as the ‘Porquet’ or amazing trails leading to incredible viewsporquet
  38. SPORTS – football, cricket, rugby, polo, basketball and much more, sport heaven 
  39. GETTING AROUND – less than 30 mins to anywhere on the island, except August of course
  40. FEBRUARY CARNIVAL – while the English eat pancakes Ibiza comes alive with floats, fancy dress and dancingDSC_0589
  41. HIPPY SPIRIT – they came in the 60s and never left, passing on their spirit to future generations  
  42. D’ALT VILA – Ibiza’s stunning old town and world heritage site with it’s fantastic cathedral at the top 
  43. ALMOND BLOSSOM – take a romantic walk through the groves in February
  44. FOLKLORIC DANCING – history and culture combined with high kicks and athleticism to penny whistles and drums  
  45. WINTER – no VIP just the real Ibiza
  46. MATANZA – the traditional slaughtering of the pig to keep your winter shelves stocked, a necessity back in poorer days and still a tradition todayIMG_3089
  47. VINO PAYES – potent homemade wine that’s very warming come January (sometimes better with lemonade though)
  48. BOATING HEAVEN – from superyachts to llauts to pedalosIMG_9421
  49. GIRLS AND BOYS – quite simply the best looking people in the world
  50. IBIZA LOVE! – so much love for 1 small island from so many peoplelove

¡Ibiza Shore Cancelado!

  

De manera sorprendente los productores del propuesto show de la MTV “Ibiza Shore” han anunciado la repentina cancelación del reality show televisivo citando “circunstancias más allá de nuestro control”.

El show iba a empezar a ser grabado en las próximas semanas y la cancelación viene después de que el Presidente de la Isla Vicent Torres dijera que cualquier establecimiento que colaborara con los productores seria sujeto a rigurosas inspecciones. Bora Bora renunció rápidamente a su colaboración junto con otros establecimientos de Ibiza… También ha habido una ola de histeria colectiva de los isleños enfadados con este tipo de show que continuamente resalta el sexo, las drogas y la cultura discotequera de la isla.

 El show es la versión española de “Jersey Shore”(EEUU) y “Geordie Shore”(Reino Unido) y sigue a un grupo de individuos atractivos documentando sus subidones y bajones y las relaciones personales dentro del grupo. Por más que los productores intenten decir “es una montaña rusa emocional” no hay duda que es valor de choque, un accidente de coche televisivo.

La pregunta ahora es donde ponemos el límite. Eso significa que TODOS los reality televisivos son persona non-grata o hay una norma para unos y otra para otros. No hay duda que mientras algunos estarán celebrando otros estarán preocupados que esto marque un peligroso nuevo precedente contra la Televisión, que estimula interés a muchos millones de personas diariamente.

Con más programas de Televisión y una película planeados para los próximos meses vamos a ver con qué tipo de reacción serán recibidos antes durante y después de la producción. Este ¿es un guiño por el sentido común o un guiño para la censura indebida? Solo el tiempo lo dirá así que vigilad este espacio pero por ahora el resultado es:

IBIZA 1 – REALITY TELEVISIVO 0

British Bobbies on the Ibiza Beat


From 17 August 2015 – for 1 week only – Officers Sergeant Brett Williams and PC Martina Anderson of West Midlands Police are about to become ‘famous’ on the streets of San Antonio as they patrol in 2 shifts, from 7am until 10pm, and assist local law enforcers in investigations where British holidaymakers are offenders or victims. The officers will wear full British uniform in what is being described as a ‘trial operation’.

The 2 British ‘Bobbies’ (who will have already done a week in Magaluf, Mallorca) will be accompanied by 2 specially designated Guardia Civil officers and will be housed in 4 separate hotels donated by the San Antonio hotel association.
It’s an interesting and brave initiative that has been funded and planned with help from the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth office that will see British and Spanish law enforcers join together for the first time in Ibiza’s 2nd largest town that has a far from untarnished reputation.

The British Ambassador to Spain, Simon Manley, said: “The presence of UK police officers will help to remind British holidaymakers of the importance of respecting local laws and customs, ensuring that everyone has a safe and enjoyable holiday, free from trouble and crime.”

Andy Marshall for the National Police Chiefs’ Council said: “Their presence will offer reassurance to both locals and UK citizens in areas that significantly increase in population during the busy summer holiday season and provide support to victims of crime during what can be a traumatic experience, especially when away from home.”

What will be interesting is the inevitable difference in approach from the Spanish and British officers on the streets to problems that can sometimes be controlled through clearer communication yet are often exacerbated by language and cultural barriers. It is hoped that the Spanish police might learn some techniques in quickly solving confrontations that just involve over zealous holiday makers.

In 2013 I accompanied a group of influential local San Antonio businessmen to Newcastle for an invited weekend and they were amazed how the local police force were high profile on the streets yet easily communicated with the party crowd often diffusing situations quickly and positively in the town centre adding to the atmosphere rather than taking away. Seeing that there are parts of San Antonio that have little or no police presence at crucial times of the day any help in this direction can only be positive.

San Antonio councillor Aida Alcaraz commented “This is a pilot project, we hope the ‘Bobbies’ take away a clear picture of the situation and return next year at the start of the season”.

Some parts of the British press have been critical calling it a ‘farce’ and a ‘paid holiday’ however only time will tell whether this is just a political PR exercise or a project that can grow and evolve into helping Ibiza and specifically San Antonio during the busy summer months.

Watch this space!

Ibiza Villas: Stick or Twist?

  

A little over 10 days ago local Ibiza villa retailer ‘International Villas’ went into liquidation just as we were heading into peak season. It seemed a strange time to go under and even though there were a few sinister rumours flying about when you consider that villa payments are due by the beginning of August it was possibly just a case of negative cash flow in difficult trading conditions?

The villa market in Ibiza is now an important part of island commerce with many investors buying a 2nd home to rent out and also many locals refurbishing their inheritances for a secondary income. The recent government initiative to simplify the legalization of holiday villas has also meant that it’s now become a viable money spinner rather than a cash in hand, nod and a wink extra. 

Never has there been so many villa companies, agents and middlemen, when I started renting villas in the mid 90s there were only 45 registered properties on the island (no wonder they were mostly fully booked). Any internet search will now reveal over 3000 villas online and that doesn’t include the ones that aren’t advertised. 

Airbnb is a recent phenomenon that has become popular however there is a fundamental flaw in their system; Because the owners/retailers don’t receive any money until after the client has arrived they reserve the right to cancel the booking right up until the last minute. This is OK for a short city mini-break but not very reassuring when you are responsible for a group of 10 people for 2 weeks in August. Your money may well be protected but that’s no consolation if your booking is cancelled the day before your arrival.

The entire villa market has also taken a PR bashing as internet shysters have been defrauding holiday makers on an industrial scale, UK’s Primetime TV show ‘Watchdog’ even ran a section on it putting the MD of Owners Direct under the spotlight and in the hot seat. Is it any wonder that tourists have decided to go back to town centre hotels especially as Ibiza is raising its game in this field. 

So taking all this into consideration the demise of International Villas isn’t too difficult to understand. 

So under these conditions is there a future for Ibiza’s villa market? Of course there is but it’s a competitive business and owners and agencies need to find a way to differentiate their product from the rest.

If you are a prospective villa client then do your homework, speak to the owner/agency in detail, ring their office, check their website and look for 1st person reviews. If you follow this advice then it will soon become clear if the person or business you are dealing with is reliable or not. If in doubt then don’t book with them as there are always plenty of other options. Don’t just take their word for it and don’t send any money to strange bank accounts in even stranger countries.

The good news is that with all the competition there are some amazing bargains to be had meaning that modern villas with private pools can sometimes be cheaper than 2 star hotels. So proceed with caution but with a little common sense you will soon be sipping cocktails in your own private pool watching the world’s most famous sunset with some extra money in your pocket and a great big smile on your face.

My Top 5 AMAZING BOATS in IBIZA 

  

Ibiza has become the playground of the seriously wealthy who descend on the party capital of the world to have fun and also show off their amazing toys. 

Amongst them is the planet’s 2nd largest privately owned yacht appeared off the coast of San Antonio. “Eclipse” – owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich – measures 162.5m/533 ft, has 2 helicopter pads, 24 guest cabins, 2 swimming pools and several hot tubs. It is also equipped with 3 launch boats and a mini-submarine that is capable of submerging to 50m. 70 crew members are needed to operate the yacht and serve the guests. WOW!!!!!

“Eclipse” isn’t even the biggest yacht out there!  In a mind-blowing display of one-upmanship Khlaifa Al Nahyan, the President of United Arab Emirates, launched the €500M “Azzam” in 2013 and at 180m/590 ft ‘dwarfs’ Eclipse by 18m/60 ft.

As a ‘celebration’ of obscene wealth here’s my 5 favourite completely excessive boats that I’ve seen in Ibiza waters over the last 12 months. All photos taken from my very own insignificantly small boat.

 Eclipse – see above, Roman’s €340M floating palace with bullet proof glass, 2 helicopters and 1 submarine among it’s toys. Say no more.

Wow Factor 10: It has a fully equipped nightclub

 RC – Roberto Cavalli’s 40m/133 ft yacht named after himself (naturally) cost a relatively cheap €30M and is proof that size isn’t everything. It’s uber-fashionable with animal print furniture ,15 staterooms, a spa and optional fur coats if the weather turns a little chilly.

Wow Factor 9: It changes colour as you approach it.

 “A” – when it comes to cutting edge design it doesn’t come any edgier than this tug. It was designed by Philippe Starck and Martin Francis and delivered in 2008 at a cost of around €250M. With a length of 119m/390 ft and weighing almost 6,000 tonnes it’s named after owners Andrey and Aleksandra Melnichenko. It’s provocative styling has made it a true marmite boat with comparisons to submarines and battleships. It’s known as the “most loved and loathed ship on the sea” and can accommodate 14 guests in the owner’s suite and 6 further guest suites – it has 37 crew.

Wow Factor 10: It costs over a €1M to fill it’s fuel tanks

 Main – Giorgio Armani’s 65m/213 ft mega yacht is sharp, fit, slim and is the water version of the famous Armani aesthetic. With angular lines and an unusual dark-green color the boat is more lean, mean war machine than fat and happy pleasure cruiser. “Main” has 6 spacious guest cabins, elevator, jacuzzi, indoor gym, cinema screen, multiple bars, a gigantic sundeck.

Wow Factor 9: It has 12 statement staircases

 Tiara – this amazing 55m/178 ft sailing yacht is not just a passing visitor but an island resident and is moored permanently off the coast of Cala Tarida right opposite its owner Guy Laliberte (Cirque du Soleil founder) huge hillside mansion. “Tiara” provides 5 luxurious staterooms for 10 guests. The owner’s ‘apartment’ is on 2 different levels and features a superb lobby and study. The master stretches the width of the boat and features a large marble bathroom and king sized bed. There are 4 further spacious staterooms plus accommodation for it’s crew of 12.

Wow Factor 8: Rental is a cool €180,000 per week (plus expenses of course)

For everyone else there is the euromillions draw every week……..