I’ve followed Walking Ibiza on social media for a while now, and have always been intrigued by their walks in Ibiza, and especially so when I was following their Around The Island in 10 Saturdays hikes back in October/November of last year. At the time I was in the UK where it was wet and cold, and in comparison the Around The Island walks I was watching on Walking Ibiza’s Facebook page seemed very appealing! 

2021 is the 20th anniversary of my Ibiza story – first visiting the island in 2001 on a lad’s holiday and falling in love with the place. It’s fair to say that during those years I’ve spent a majority of time in its clubs, and major towns. In recent years I’ve grew more fond of walking longer distances – and thus the challenges of 25km weekly walks and getting to see new areas of this magical and beautiful island was fascinating to me.

This year is also the 10th Anniversary of Walking Ibiza, which was born from founder Toby initially walking the island on his own, with just 1 euro to survive on. He did just that with the generosity of strangers along the way. When I moved to the island in December, I messaged Toby to ask about joining the next Around The Island Saturday walks. These were meant to start in January, but eventually started at the end of March due to Ibiza going back into lockdown after Christmas. “A great adventure to walk the entire coastline or just one section. Fill 2021 with great memories” it said on Walking Ibiza’s website, and so I decided to do just that. 

The walks started at 8am on Saturdays, and as I didn’t have transport yet, I asked in the group Whatsapp if anyone could help me with a lift to the start point of my first walk – Stage 2 around the island, starting at Experimental Beach. Walking Ibiza regular Charlie very kindly offered me a lift (even coming out of his way to pick me up), and straight away a new friendship was born. On the car journey Charlie told me of his life in Ibiza ranging 20 plus years and running Circo Loco @ DC10 and Essential Ibiza. When we arrived to the start point, everybody else was equally as welcoming as Charlie. I felt a part of the group straight away, and it was great as we started walking to speak to everybody else in the group and learn their Ibiza stories, and what brought them to the island.

Here’s some of the highlights below;

3rd April – Stage 2: Feeling it from Experimental beach to Es Cubells

Stage 2 started at Experimental Beach in the South, through and past the airport, catching sight of some pink flamingos in the distance, and a nice cold beer at the end in the beautiful town of Es Cubells.

About 20 kms / 550m height climb & 7 hours in total including stops.

8th May – Stage 6: West coast views from San Mateu to Benirras

Stage 6 from San Mateu took us high into the rocks, as well as walking across a natural stone bridge 28 metres above the sea! We finished at a busy Benirras beach where there was drumming, and cold beers!

About 26 kms / 1000m height climb & 9 hours in total including stops.

15th May – Stage 7: Around the top from Benirras to Tanit’s Cave

Stage 7 started at Benirras as we headed towards Tanit’s Cave through the beautiful North of the island. A lovely coffee stop in Portinax, and through the crystal coast (we managed to find some crystal rocks!) and the abandoned hotel, before finishing, and heading back to the start point (by car!) for a now weekly tradition of a cold beer to end the day!

About 26 kms / 900m height climb & 10 hours in total including stops.

22nd May – Stage 8: Blessings from Tanit’s Cave to Cala Lleña

As we headed towards Aguas Blancas, we were offered a choice from Walking Ibiza guide Simon – swim through the sea, or climb over the top of the cliffs. Kelly, Ankhana and myself took the sea option, whilst the rest of the group headed over the cliffs. When they descended around an hour later, some looked as though they’d seen a ghost, and were full of cuts (poor Lauren joining us on her first walk must have wondered what she’d signed up to!) and some hierbas was needed at the next beach bar stop to calm nerves. They had achieved something incredible, congratulations to them, and by comparison our 2 minute swim seemed extremely easy! We headed towards the finish point at Cala Lleña, where there were much deserved beers at the bar!

About 25 kms / 450m height climb & 8 hours in total including stops.

29th May – Stage 9: Within grasp from Cala Lleña to Amante

Stage 9 was probably my favourite walk of the ones I have completed so far – an absolutely beautiful stretch through the East of the island. Starting at Cala Lleña and through the towns of Es Canar and Santa Eulalia (where we stopped for ice cream) before heading towards Cala Llonga beach (the descent from the steps towards the beach was simply heavenly – like something out a movie and is the lead photo on this article), where we enjoyed a cool swim and drink. Today’s word of the day (there’s a different one chosen by the group leader each week) was choices. We were given a choice of finishing the walk by going through the easier route of along the road, or the harder route up through the hills. Spurred on by the possibility of not receiving our medals, we opted for the hills option, and we were glad we did, when rewarded with excellent views from atop. Simon also took the choice to pet Otto (Kelly’s dog), but that was a choice he wish he hadn’t taken! The dogs Otto and Manu have joined us for a lot of the walks, and they’ve done brilliantly throughout.

About 23 kms / 600m height climb & 8 hours in total including stops.

5th June – Stage 10: The home run from Amante to the Finish line

Stage 10 took us from Amante and through some posh big houses in the hills of Talamanca, before ending at Ibiza Town, where we were greeted with thunder, lightening and rain! We were drenched through, and had a quick celebration before we headed home to prepare for the end of walks meal and drinks at La Chickeria in Santa Gertrudis. We had an evening of celebration, with medals being handed out for each stage completed, and stories talked about from the walks around the table.

About 16 kms / 421m height climb & 6 hours in total including stops.

The walks have been absolutely brilliant, enjoyable, and at times challenging – for example when hiking up hills that seemed like they were never ending whilst out of breath, or abseiling down a rocky edge with a rope (big thanks to Florian and Patrick for helping me down!) and falling flat on my arse whilst descending down some gravelled rock (I styled that one out quite well I thought!) – but being out of your comfort zone makes you stronger and more confident. 

I was unable to complete Stage 1 due to work, and Stages 3, 4 and 5 due to a combination of work and a nasty infection in my right foot. This healed in time for Stage 6, and I completed Stage 6 through to 10. I look forward to completing Stages 1, 3, 4 and 5 (and 6 again – there was debate as to if Charlie and myself had fully completed Stage 6 when we headed off route briefly towards the end to San Miguel to get some drinks, so complete it fully next time we must!) in October, when the walks start again. If you’re interested in joining, keep an eye on the Walking Ibiza website – https://walkingibiza.com/ for more information. 

I started on these walks as a way of seeing more of this amazing island, and ended with making some great new friends (more hikes together through the summer are already planned!). Everybody was welcoming and lovely, and special shout outs to the car lifts I received from Charlie, Tim, Simon (a great guide with plenty of stories to tell – his Ibiza knowledge is unrivalled!), Casey and Ankhana, without who’s help I wouldn’t have made it to some of the walks (or would have cost me a fortune in taxis!) – and also thanks to the rest of my fellow walkers who have all brought great energy to the group every week. 

Also big up to Kelly, Tim and Sara for fully completing all 10 stages, the rest of us will hopefully achieve that milestone in the future!

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