The Balearic island of Ibiza may be the birthplace of the rave, and thousands of clubbers and fashionistas may pour onto the bars and clubs and beaches in the summer. But there's far more to the island than that, which is why travellers with no interest in the infamous bars return to Ibiza year after year.
The Greeks called Ibiza and neighbouring Formentera the ‘Islands of the Pine Trees' and to this day forests remain – half the island is densely wooded, with olive, almond and fig trees as well as the scented pines. The relatively unspoilt northeast is virtually rural, with a rugged and rocky beauty edging the forests, and numerous walking trails that allow visitors to take in some of the most scenic spots. There are beaches and bays aplenty out of sound of the beats of the summer rave scene, and along the southern edge of Ibiza, salt flats and small coves lend a beguiling feel to the coastline.
There's culture as well as sea, with the capital Ibiza Town's medieval walls of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dalt Vila and the old quarter providing an evocative stroll. While it's easy to escape the hedonism the White Island is famous for - and indeed many bohemian types do just that by heading north and taking up residence amid the bazaars and holistic retreats and alternative ideologies - it would be a shame not to dip into the fun.
Es Vedra island, Ibiza
The heightened buzz of the port in Ibiza Town makes it an incredibly atmospheric place to spend an evening or many evenings. There are numerous restaurants to enjoy outdoor dining amid the bustle, any number of bars to dip into for a nightcap or two.