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Introducing Ibiza

For many, Ibiza (Eivissa in Catalan) means endless partying in Mediterranean macro-clubs. There is, however, another side to the island. The Greeks called Ibiza and Formentera the Islas Pitiusas (Islands of Pine Trees), and about half the island (especially the comparatively unspoilt northeast) remains covered by these thick woods. Alongside hardy pines, the most common crops are olives, figs and almonds and, away from the main resorts and towns, the island has a gentle rural charm.

In 1956 the island boasted 12 cars and in the 1960s the first hippies from mainland Europe began to discover its idyllic beaches. A mixed World Heritage Site because of Ibiza City's architecture and the island's rich sea life, Ibiza soon latched on to the money-spinner of bulk tourism. Today the resident populace of 117,700 watches on as millions (more than four million passengers annually pass through its airport) visit S'Illa Blanca (The White Island) each year.

Birthplace of the rave, Ibiza has some of Spain's most (in)famous clubs and plenty of bars. But coastal walking trails, woods and quiet (if not deserted) beaches allow you to elude Ministry of Sound–style madness, too.