After writing a few posts about Europe’s crazy night life in Ios and the best beach parties in Europe I thought it was only fair I looked at the quieter type of life that can be found on these islands. In particular the famed party paradise of Ibiza. I have had a colleague write the following post on her experiences at a retreat in Ibiza to bring some balance back to my crazy hedonistic party posts
When you think of Ibiza, retreat may not be the first word that comes to mind, however I wanted to look at this iconic island from a different point of view. Before all night raves and bright lights, Ibiza is foremost place of outstanding natural beauty and hedonistic paradise. Aside from the main drags of San Antonio and the white sands of Cala Bassa beach, there is a more spiritual side to Ibiza. There are lots of retreats on the island, situated in various locations meaning you are spoiled for choice.
You can find hiking in the sumptuous countryside, yoga on the beaches, massages, horse riding, fasting and detox programmes, life coaching, romance recuperation for couples and just general healthy holidays. It just goes to show that there is a completely different side to the party paradise and of peoples general assumptions of the island. However on the other hand you can also get post party pampering and detoxing if you wish!
The first time I went to ‘retreat’, I went to Buddha House Ibiza. It’s a perfect place to go to purify the body and mind in the vein of the Buddhist religion.
They offer a programme of fasting, yoga and visualizations. They say that animals have taught us that fasting helps heal, in the sense that a sick animal will cease to eat in order to save the energy it would normally use to digest food; the animal would then use this energy to heal the body instead. Also a child with a fever will do the same thing, and even adults mostly refrain from eating during a fever. The concept of fasting is now used whilst you are perfectly healthy, the idea being you will allow even more healing energy to pass through your body.
There is also Yoga, taught on the premise that we do not look after our bodies the same in this day and age. We sit uncomfortably and never stretch and use our bodies to their full extent, so they teach us techniques through this medium. Also they promote drinking pure water during fasting to replenish the body’s natural reserves. Then there are the visualization sessions which are a series of mind exercises, which really help with relaxation and the feeling of wellbeing.
After really enjoying my first experience at a retreat I decided to go again with a company called Ibiza Retreats, which was led by a lovely woman called Larah Davis. She put together a package for me tailored to my own needs. I was put up in a beautiful lodge, and woken at 8am daily by a trained wellness therapist and given a full Thai massage on the beach. This time instead of fasting we ate the purest of the local vegetables and fruit, and drank only pure water. There was a multitude of yoga, hiking and meditation activities organised for me. It was a fantastic experience and as a holiday I would recommend it to anyone. Usually when most of us go away we think of it as a chance to eat and drink more than usual, sometimes to excess, and you go home feeling worse than when you left. A healthy holiday really does feel like you have been on holiday, and all your stresses and strains seem so much easier when you return.