The Balearic Island of Ibiza is known for its techno clubs, wild parties, and extreme night life. But, if you're old and crusty like me, you might just discover another aspect of the island that will urge you to return time and time again.
In Ibiza Town you can stroll along the port and sip a glass of Spanish wine at one of the high-end cafes while watching the million-dollar yachts pass by. Or, even better, embark on a hike up through Dalt Vila, which literally means "high town," a fortified settlement that sits above the city.
The sun-bleached buildings and crumbling stone alleyways breathe history and life and beauty. It's easy to spend a day exploring the multitude of cramped shops and hidden cafes, search for an elusive souvenir or the perfect pitcher of sangria, all the while imagining which space behind all of the blue or green shuttered windows you would call home if you could stay on this island forever.
It's no wonder so many people come to Ibiza and never leave. Our hostel director didn't. The man who served us sangria didn't. And I didn't want to, either.
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Whichever Way You Look, The Views From Dalt Vila Are Well Worth The Climb
Despite the Balearic Island of Ibiza's reputation for hardcore partying, its natural and man-made beauty is hard to overlook.
My friend Brad has this travel theory. He says whenever you visit a new place, you should always – always – climb, ride, hike, or fly to the highest point.
Not only does it help you understand the lay of the land, but the views are usually worth it.
So when he suggested we climb Dalt Vila, the fortified medieval castle above the city, we agreed. Within its crumbling walls are winding cobblestone streets, hidden shops and galleries, quaint cafes and restaurants, and impressive views from the top. There, looking down from the battlements housing cannons left to bake in the sun, is a sprawling view of the city and harbor on one side, and the vast Mediterranean on the other.
Be sure to wear your walking shoes, bring sun screen, and prepare for the thigh workout of a lifetime. But in the end, Brad was right - it was totally worth it.