I and a couple of friends planned out a boys trip at the end of 2019 to Ibiza. When you hear “Ibiza”, What comes to your mind? Beach Parties? House Parties? Bar Parties? In summary, a lot of Parties. Well 2020 had other plans. If you live on planet Earth you know that COVID-19 crippled all activities, and we are all still recovering from its blow. Our trip was put on hold for a while due to travel restrictions by the Dutch government. Ibiza was placed on code orange by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This means that we were allowed to travel but there was a risk and only necessary trips should be taken. With all the cash that we had invested in the trip, it was a hard pill to swallow knowing that we might have to cancel our summer getaway without a chance of refund.
We finally decided to take the trip after much deliberation with each other. We ensured to follow all the COVID-19 protection guidelines and rules, and it was one heck of a trip. Follow our journey.
Flying during COVID-19
Although the heading says we flew from Amsterdam, we actually flew from Eindhoven. (I assumed it would make a cooler heading to say we flew from Amsterdam). Eindhoven Airport is one of the 5 airports within the Netherlands that travelers can make use of and is a very good option for low cheap flights within Europe. We flew on an aircraft that was only 10% full and we had to wear our masks throughout the whole flight. We were only allowed to take off our masks when we needed to eat or drink. It is what it is. This was such a weird trip that we met some people on the flight who told us they bought their flight tickets for 15 euros.
We landed at a scanty Ibiza airport late thursday afternoon, booked 2 taxis that took us to our Villa, and prepared for what Ibiza had to offer.
What to do in a restricted Ibiza?
Before we left for Ibiza, we already knew of the COVID-19 restrictions that were being enforced on the island. We had to wear a mask everywhere and also social distance when indoors as much as possible. We stayed in a Villa located in Playa d’en Bossa. Fortunately (or unfortunately) for us, we were able to get a mansion for a very cheap price due to the lack of patronage because of the pandemic. We also rented 2 cars for easy transit, and some scooters when we were at Formentera island.
Ibiza is known for its crazy parties but this was definitely not the Ibiza that we were searching for. Ibiza has so much more to offer; like its beautiful sceneries, clear blue seas, amazing old architecture, tasty local cuisines, boat cruises and much more. My friend Vincent, who visited during his gap year between his two educational studies, told me that Ibiza is an Island that is not built for its parties and large influx of tourists. I saw in person exactly what he meant by that. I spoke to a guy, who grew up and lived 25 years in Ibiza but could not visit a restaurant 30m from his house because it was always crowded with tourists, and you always needed a reservation. For the first time in a long while, the streets were not filled with drunk young people, but people walking their pets. The beaches were not filled with party goers but people who just wanted to relax with a book in their laps. I have a slight feeling that the natives of Ibiza aren’t hoping for things to go back to normal anytime soon.
As you can imagine, we needed some help figuring out what to do and places to go, especially during this peculiar time. I was lucky to be put in contact with someone who lived in Ibiza for many years. She gave us some tips and she was extremely helpful. Below, I will share some of the tips she gave me, and also some personal tips from my experience.
- Port, old fishermen’s village, old market, nice for eating out and walking
- D’Alt Villa: Upper city, old Cathedral, view of the sunset, nice for eating out and walking
- Shopping around Calle d’Aragó, sales!!!!
- cala gracioneta: Nice for eating out (Breakfast- Dinner)
- 1 km before the village: Bar Juanito – normally Hippy market, music on Saturdays
- Historic farmer’s local bar, and colorful people’s place for 40 years. Great vibes and food, music any time
- In the village on the corner is an iconic bar: Anita’s bar. Before the internet, it used to be the center of the Universe for mail, Coffee, tapas , local cakes and drinks.
Santa Eulalia, San Carlos, St Juan, San Miguel , San Mateo – Santa Inez(beautiful countryside), Santa Gertrudis.
Bar Costa- iconic Art Bar, big dried hams hanging from the ceiling. Look around in the back, too, have a drink , have a tapas (nothing is cheap in Ibiza)
Cala d’Hort beach+food
Nearby spectacular sunset over Es Vedrá, the tops of disappeared continent Atlantis! See map, ask locals!
South Playa Salinas, Playa Den Bossa, Cala d’Hort, North: Playa es Figueral
Café del Mar, San Antonio- Sunset, iconic music, food, drinks, sunset,
Pacha disco Ibiza- Tickets can be bought online
The Importance of Brotherhood
The trip lived up to its expectation. Even when you consider the pandemic restrictions, it was definitely one to remember. I believe this was mainly because of the amazing people present at the trip. Young men who are all on the journey of self development and creating support structures for each other. It does a great deal for every man, especially young men to find other men that share similar experience and personal values as themselves. This is much needed at a time where a lot of men are failing to live up to their responsibility to themselves, their family and the society.
Friends that can turn into brothers and stand by the following core values; Respect, Responsibility, Tolerance and Honesty.
I am glad to call these men my brothers and I hope to write other articles about trips with them.