Ask any Ibiza local what their favourite time of year is, and you might be very surprised by the answer. Those who live here year round know Ibiza’s beauty really shines during the cooler months – the island enjoys around 300 days a year of pure unadulterated sunshine and after the frantic indulgences of summer, the crisp blue skies and still-warm seas of the low-season are like a salve to the soul.
While the rest of Europe reels in the shock of sub-zero temperatures and surprise snowstorms, here, people are still picnicking on the beach, taking dips into azure waters and enjoying the many cultural events dotted across the off-season calendar. Autumn and early spring are surprisingly warm and Seven Pines Resort Ibiza is ideal for visitors with a hankering for sunshine and luxury. Don’t let the island’s hard partying reputation fool you; low-season Ibiza is Europe’s best-kept secret.
Island residents mark the start of this exquisite season with the celebration of Halloween. Decorations abound throughout Ibiza and some of the island’s most lavish parties (yes, even bigger than summer) celebrate the creepy joy of dressing up in ghoulish terror. For kids, there are costume parades, pumpkin carving competitions, parties a-plenty and way too many sweets.
At this time of year, the natural world of Ibiza experiences a kind of resurgence. The summer heat creates a lethargic ambience, best only for mooching around beaches, pools, restaurants and clubs. But the temperate climes of autumn open up opportunities to commune and connect with the island’s natural beauty without breaking a sweat. Guided walks through pristine forests reveal a cornucopia of treasures from edible mushrooms and wild herbs to ancient ruins and hidden caves.
Throw in a mountain bike and/or a kayak and you’ll see the island in a whole new light. The hordes of people are gone and more often than not, it’s just you and the beauty of Mother Nature. Rock climbing, caving, stand-up-paddle, horse riding, fishing and open water swimming are just a handful of the many activities made more enjoyable by the gentle temperatures.
For millennia, the almond has been a staple crop for Ibiza and towards the end of February and into early March, thousands of these noble trees burst open with the palest delicate blossoms. Traditionally locals partake in full moon walks amongst the almond groves of Santa Agnes on the west coast. Witnessed day or night, the spectacle of millions of elegant white flowers casting a gossamer glow across the valleys is unforgettable.
The cooler months are the perfect time to focus on the mind, body and soul. Pure Seven provides several options for personalised retreats and programs on each cusp of the summer season. Focus on mindfulness, yoga, tai-chi or combine those ancient arts with personal training and life coaching – obviously tying everything together with the menu of deeply relaxing body and beauty treatments. This is the time to focus on self-care and wellbeing and with Ibiza fast becoming the wellness centre of Europe, there are myriad options to choose from such as esoteric experiences with shamans and spiritual guides to nutrition support and fitness training.
The cooler months see festivals, markets and celebrations at many of the island’s picturesque villages. This is also the time of the Matanzas, a farming tradition that goes as far back as anyone in Ibiza can remember. Whole villages gather at the ritual slaughtering of the fattest pigs. Absolutely everyone lends a hand and nothing goes to waste. Sausages are stuffed, local cured meats such as sobrasada and butifarra are prepared and cuts are divided amongst family members while huge vats of the delicious arroz de matanzas (a pork and rice specialty) are prepared and enjoyed in tented halls. It’s a truly local experience to which everyone is welcome.
Throughout the year each village and town celebrate their patron saint’s day. Often the celebration includes ball payes, traditional dances performed in ornate costumes handed down through generations. The Ibiza drum and flute provide the soundtrack to this mythical ritual, keeping the beat of tradition alive. It’s an excellent opportunity to experience local handicrafts in action such as basket weaving, the fashioning of espadrilles and lace making.
Speaking of local artisans, with such a vast network of local craftspeople, artists and experts on the island, our guest services department can create bespoke experiences for guests that speak directly to their interests. Take a private intensive Spanish language course, touch up on your life drawing skills, learn the art of digital photography, master traditional cooking, bond with your inner drummer – wherever your interests lie, we can connect you with the right person to extend your skills and learn new ones.
History buffs will enjoy touring some of the gorgeous whitewashed villages, especially the bucolic Santa Agnes, San Mateo and Es Cubells – all of which contain historic architecture and folkloric traditions. Several ancient ruins dot the island as do some ancient pirate towers. The island’s museums stay open all year round and a visit to the archaeological museum and Phoenician necropolis of Ibiza town is a must do. The winding streets of Dalt Vila, Ibiza’s UNESCO heritage listed old town is also blissfully free of foot traffic during the wintertime.
Under the radar of many is Ibiza’s art scene. The Museum of Contemporary Art has an impressive permanent collection featuring artists such as Marí Ribas Portmany, Erwin Bechtold, Barry Flanagan, Erwin Broner, Raoul Hausmann and many more. Temporary exhibits have included works by Jim Hodges, Edmund de Waal, Irene de Andrés, Cy Twombly and Joan Miró among others. The building itself is a masterpiece, intertwining a historic military bunker with a contemporary structure designed by architect Victor Beltran Roca.
The art scene doesn’t end there. Contemporary gallery space Art Projects Ibiza and Lune Rouge show works by some of the world’s best contemporary artists among them Takashi Murakami, Jenny Holzer and Olafur Eliasson. La Nave Salinas is another art space situated in an ancient stone warehouse and has exhibited iconic video installation work by Bill Viola, a celebration of Keith Haring and works by Marco Brambilla and Kaws.
Sunset in Ibiza is already well known as something special but as the northern hemisphere turns towards winter, there is a deepening of the sky’s colours – winter sunsets are truly sublime. From the suites and terraces of Seven Pines Resort Ibiza, this nightly spectacular plays across the changing sky reducing even the most stoic amongst us to tears of awe. The vivid glow of an autumn sunset has a scientific explanation but on witnessing the kaleidoscope, it’s difficult to put it down to anything but magic.
Surrounded by the beauty of the forest and the sea, Seven Pines Resort Ibiza is a wonderful autumn or spring home base. Romance abounds across Ibiza at this time of year as things slow down and the island takes in a long deep breath; and again after winter when it begins to come to life again. These are the times where the true community of Ibiza comes to the surface; where tradition is celebrated, family and friends gather and life is lived by the rhythm of the season. In true Ibiza style, everyone is welcome to come and take respite on the white isle.