In Ibiza the field has the aroma of salt. The low unevenness of the Balearic island invites easy walks between fig and almond trees, streams and valleys, cisterns and terraces. Walks in which it is possible to find those interior landscapes that Walter Benjamin visited in the thirties of the last century. “The most virgins that I have seen in habitable lands”, assured the German philosopher and essayist. From his fondness for hiking a story emerged, Al Sol, but also the certainty that nature, culture and history went hand in hand on any tour of this territory. A century later, the largest of the Pitiusas maintains some of those views that the fierce urbanism has not yet contaminated. They can be known thanks to a handful of hiking routes. Most run through dense pine forests overlooking the Mediterranean that sometimes include stops in secluded coves. A dip out of season is also possible.
It is Caló de s’Illa
A shattered path seems the last option to discover the secrets of Ibiza. Full of potholes and without signs, it is an old forest track a few meters from Benirrás beach and enters an eerily silent place. In the forest, the air rocks the tops of the pines until it creates a sound similar to that of the waves of the sea, which here is lost from sight for a while. You have to ascend about 20 minutes to see it on the horizon from a young pine forest repopulated after the 2010 fire. In the distance you can also see the destination of the walk: the tip of the east, at whose feet is hidden Es Caló de s’Illa, one of the smallest and most remote coves from the island’s civilization. Until you get there, the trail narrows to zigzag through sandy soil and finally into a bed of oleanders and wild carrots. This is one of the loneliest baths in all of Ibiza, so even in autumn it’s worth it. There are just 3.5 kilometers that can be traveled back or, why not, embark on a circular route between dream houses and a typical Mediterranean landscape to return to Benirrás eight kilometers later.
It was preached
At 475 meters above sea level, Sa Talaia is the highest point in Ibiza. Its comfortable ascent sums up what the interior of the island has to offer. The lizards scamper along the old walls and among the small thyme plants that scent the surroundings. There are fig trees of surprising shapes and olive trees that give the impression of having been there for a few centuries. Also small orchards and a pine forest with views of the distant islet of Es Vedrà. The route starts from a cobbled alley in the western part of Sant Josep de Sa Talaia, very close to the parish that gives the town its name. The climb is constant but gentle, alternating between trails and forest tracks to the south of the summit, which is circled until reaching it following the official route, although there are also more direct alternatives. The descent is calmer and even allows a trip to the Ses Roques Altes chapel, built in the 1970s in honor of the 104 fatalities in a plane crash.
Faro des Moscarter
It is difficult to describe the sensations at the foot of a lighthouse that rises 52 meters from the ground. With isolated flashes every five seconds, the lighthouse des Moscarter tides with its black and white helical bands. It is the highest in the Balearic Islands and stands on cliffs next to a forest of twisted junipers. The excursion to him is simple. It is born in the cove of Portinatx and strolls through a rocky terrain bordering the Mediterranean, with the occasional shock for those who suffer from vertigo. It is a short walk of barely a kilometer and a half that then continues east to Punta des Gat and, now to the south, it heads until it opens to the unique cove d’en Serra. There, the path forks: a road that returns to Portinatx (covering a total of six kilometers) and a track that goes down to the beach and connects with another path that surrounds the area a little more, until returning to the starting point completing a 12-kilometer journey. The restaurant El Puerto (971 32 07 76) and the one at the Los Enamorados hotel are two excellent ideas to regain strength.
From the cove of Portinatx there are some small boats that make a beautiful journey to the cove of Es Portitxol, a corner of transparent waters far from civilization. The taste of the mouth when discovering it is much better if it is arrived from land and after the effort of a walk. “Here you come to experience rural Ibiza, that of its brave neighbors, half farmers and half fishermen; the fighter and tenacious Ibiza, the one that managed to survive despite the pirate attacks and the inconveniences of the landscape ”, encourages Miguel Ángel Álvarez in his guide All the beaches of Ibiza. To find it, you just have to go to Sant Miquel de Balansat, take the direction of Sant Mateu and follow the indications to the Isla Blanca urbanization, where the road ends in a large parking lot. Several signs indicate the path from there, which initially runs through dense vegetation, with large brambles of wild blackberries. On the way, beautiful views of the sea, old lime trees, threshing floors and old terraces with fig trees. Two kilometers later, the cove stretches out like a small turquoise lake open to the sea. The route can be made circular, saving the imposing slope of the mountain to the starting point. Time to savor the pizzas and montaditos of Can Sulayetas (971 33 45 67), one of those corners that still keep the essence of an island that is grateful to explore on foot.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.