Ibiza, Party Paradise or Vegan Yogi Heaven?

Holiday destinations acquire stereotypes, just like the travelers who go there become known for their nationalities… and the stereotypes that go with those. There are also the standard things you do in every destination. You go to India to do a Yoga teacher training, to Iceland to see the Blue Lagoon, to Turkey to go to a Hamman and get butt naked… you get the idea.

Ibiza has never been high on my list because I’ve always thought it was all about the house music and partying until the sidewalk becomes a river of vomit: ick. It’s not just a stereotype, either — it’s the island that inspired an entire TV series about suspicious parents following their pride and joys (unknown to their kids) to Ibiza, or other party destinations. Once there, the parents watched in utter horror as their children lost the right to ever be called “my little boy/girl” again.

Then I thought… as a French Canadian, how would I feel if someone assumed I fit all the Canadian stereotypes? If they expected me to say ‘eh’, ‘a-boot’, follow ice hockey and obsess over Tim Hortons? Have I been misjudging Ibiza all these years, just because of stereotypes? It’s time to peel back the vomit crusted surface of this little island, and find out what else it has to offer.

Retreats That Will Make You ‘Om’

Ibiza is the third largest of the Balearic Islands, meaning that if you don’t want to hear house and electronic music pumping over the rooftops while you practice your Savasana, you don’t have to. Ibiza has 60 gorgeous beaches, which means one thing: a plethora of ayahuasca retreats and spas have popped up, as well as some of the best boutique hotels in Ibiza which allow you to walk straight out of the door onto a white sand beach.

There are many fantastic-looking retreats in Ibiza (and read this if you’re wondering what to wear in Ibiza), none of which give any hint that the rest of the world know it as a party island. In that little oasis of peace, you’ll think the world outside doesn’t exist. If you want to still party, there are even Yoga packages designed with that in mind, which run Monday to Friday and leave you free to party at the weekend — only in Ibiza!

Vegan Food to Satisfy Any Hangover — or Just Hunger!

If you’re a healthy vegan or plant-based enthusiast who loves their raw and macrobiotic food, then you’re in luck: Ibiza is overflowing with options for you. There are three fully vegan places and numerous other veggie or vegan friendly ones, most of them serving raw food, cold pressed juices, and whatever else you can imagine. On a relatively small island, it’s like a health-food enthusiast’s dream!

In fact, veganism is so popular on this small island that it’s got its own website, Vegan Ibiza. You definitely don’t have to party to enjoy Ibiza, but I can’t help but think that if you do want to hit the clubs, the abundance of green juices and power-foods on this stylish island will drive out any toxins from the night before.

Get Active With Hikes and Cultural Exploration

Ibiza being known for its party scene means it gets ignored for what it really has to offer. Large portions of the island are registered as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and are thereby protected from being developed and turned into another club. This means you can still find Ibiza’s ancient history dotted around, like the remains of the first Phoenician settlement at Sa Caleta.

Ibiza’s rustic beauty means that it’s been used for quite a few film and photographic shoots, and if you’re going you should definitely pack your comfortable shoes. It’s still a small island, but the trails for walking and cycling will still keep you busy and require a packed lunch. Hire a car in Ibiza to get between trails and beaches more easily, and mean you don’t lose any time trying to catch the extremely unreliable public transport.

Booking flights to Ibiza for a Spain yoga retreat yet? You should be! I for one could definitely do with a bit of sun and nature right now. Perhaps there’s a benefit in Ibiza being known just as a party island: it leaves the rest of the island, with its rugged trails, cultural remains and beautiful beaches untouched for the rest of us. Grab your yoga pants and green juice, and let’s go: it’s time to hit the road that leads past Club Paradise, straight to Yogi Heaven.

Disclaimer: The article has been sponsored by AVIS.

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