From Hard-Partying Clubbing Mecca to Clean-Living Capital: How Ibiza Reinvented Itself

Ibiza, Spain - amoklv/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images
Ibiza, Spain // Photo by amoklv/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

by Anna Tyzack, The Telegraph, June 8, 2017

It may be better known for hedonistic parties than juice bars and yoga studios, but it was Ibiza's laid-back vibe that drew fitness guru Lindsay Jay to the island three years ago.

"I was pregnant with my first child and didn't want to be a London mum," says Jay, whose YouTube channel has more than 150,000 followers.

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"I wanted a slower pace of life and liked the way that in Ibiza everyone has a dog and grows their own fruit and veg. I've started keeping chickens in our garden."

Over the past few years, a clean living, outdoorsy community has sprung up on the island and with it a host of new detox spas, organic restaurants and meditation camps. Jay and her partner, Ivor Campbell-Davys, run YogaFit Ibiza, which hosts yoga retreats for burnt out city dwellers - more than 250 people sign up each time.

"It's a relaxing place to be and you can bring the whole family," Lindsay says. "There's a sense of living in the moment, of leaving behind your stresses and recharging."

This explains why there are still British buyers investing in properties in Ibiza post-Brexit, says Cathy Ouwehand of Ouwehand & Associates estate agency. Demand for holiday homes on the White Isle has outperformed sister island Majorca and mainland Spain over the past five years and prices have risen more than 20 per cent since 2015. "It's not the place it was 10 years ago - it's grown up," she explains.

This is not to say Ibiza has lost its mojo. It's been a celebrity party island since the Fifties, when Grace Kelly went there on honeymoon, but these days the club scene, cemented in the Seventies, is more sophisticated. You can eat organic food, watch cabaret and, in beach clubs such as El Chiringuito, leave your little ones in the kids' corner while you drink rosé in the sun.

"The clubs are all part of the island's vibrancy," says Jay, who enjoys letting her hair down once her son, Hercules, two, is in bed. "A real energy builds at sunset in the south west of the island where all the clubs are."

Upmarket venues such as Heart, run by chef brothers Ferran and Albert Adrià and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, and "designer" restaurants such as Cipriani appeal to the oligarchs and hedge funders who descend in July and August. They rent out Miami-style beachfront villas with private nightclubs near the village of Es Cubells in the south west for more than £20,000 per week.

Numa Heathcote, of estate agency Aylesford International, says: "Ibiza rivals Saint-Tropez these days. All the big yachts are here in summer and there's champagne being sprayed in the nightclubs."

Away from the glam, however, the island is very much a family place. There are sailing clubs and tennis clubs, riding stables and golf courses - and it is easy for parents to find a babysitter. "It's got all the elements you need for a great holiday - you can dip into the clubbing scene and eat out at fancy restaurants but you can also enjoy tapas in Ibiza Town and swim in the sea," says Heathcote.

As a second home destination, it is still cheaper than the South of France. The best homes sell for up to €20 million (£17 million), but most homes go for €400,000 to €1.5 million, says Susana Sánchez of Lucas Fox.

British buyers, in particular, are attracted to the rustic farmhouses or fincas in the middle of the island, near villages Santa Gertrudis and San Mateo, which start from €750,000. "You're 20 minutes from everything, the beach, the airport and Ibiza Town," Heathcote says. "And if you live here all year round there is the Morna Valley, an excellent international school."

The quieter agricultural northern part of the island, around Santa Eulalia and San Carlos, is also an increasingly popular place to invest, thanks to the island's improving road network. "It's extremely tranquil and laid back yet still only half an hour from all the action - prices here will continue to grow," he says.

A moratorium on building instigated by the current government has put a stop to large-scale developments in order to protect the aesthetic. Even those restoring ruins and renovating Seventies houses will have difficulty gaining permission to extend them, according to Heathcote. "You can renovate but it is getting harder to extend the footprint," he says.

This is a sore point among second home owners, as weekly rental prices increase considerably if a property has four or more bedrooms. "It's very normal for a house to rent out for €5,000 to €7,000 per week and prices go up from there," says Ouwehand. "Many home owners rent out their houses in summer and enjoy the island in the off season."

This means missing out on the party scene but winter, according to Jay, is Ibiza's best-kept secret. "The sky is still blue, the trees are still green and you can still wear a T-shirt," she says. "If you're British, you appreciate the fact that the White Island is never grey."


This article was written by Anna Tyzack from The Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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