A group of thirteen of us have just come back from a very enjoyable week in Ibiza. Not the sort of week one would expect to have in Ibiza, given that I was just one of two adults responsible for 11 teenagers – 99% of them were girls! Even just getting us all to the airport was a massive achievement, let alone trying to ensure that we got them all on the plane – like herding cats!
I suspect it’s just as well that I’ve never been before, I might have appreciated how difficult it was going to be to manage the expectations of our array of young charges who wanted to be there for the clubbing scene even though most of them were underage. Obviously Ibiza’s main USP is it’s legendary night life.
Now that I have been, I would just like to note that Ibiza is going to have to go on to my list of life disappointments. Not because it didn’t live up to expectations, but because it exceeded expectations. WHY didn’t I discover Ibiza when I was young enough to have enjoyed a misspent youth there? I suspect, in reality it was probably a good thing because I would no doubt be living there now as an ageing hippie, wearing Kaftans and swimming naked in rock pools. I would also probably be deaf after spending too many nights dancing to David Guetta’s music every week at Pacha. Demographically Ibiza is fascinating, especially if you love people watching like I do. There is a vast mixture of humanity all hanging out together as tourists, mainly looking cool – a lot of Germans (probably even more after Greece I suspect), British, French and Dutch.
So basically, we did Ibiza in a different way. A family sort of way – although any family that has 11 kids must be absolutely mad – FAR too many to handle. Two vehicles were required, one a mini bus, with me trailing behind with another 4 kids in the car. FAR too many trips to the supermarket. FAR too many of us at a table in a restaurant, FAR too expensive, FAR too many plates to wash up, FAR too many towels to pick up off the floor and I’m quite sure we were the only two adults on the island exhibiting any sort of stress – but actually a really lovely time was had by all and the great thing is that I managed to lose weight for the first time on a holiday on account of there never being quite enough food once all the kids had eaten!
We all spent a lot of time hanging out by the pool I don’t mean to make a sexist statement here, but in my experience, if I had been with my boys and a whole load of their mates the poolside would have been a very different experience. The girls are very good at sitting still for hours on end and were especially good at liberally applying suncream and reading books and listening to music in the sunshine so it was a very peaceful experience on the whole. They had enough bikinis between them to open a shop as it’s important to wear a different one every day, or sometimes every few hours (interestingly none of them match these days – why is that? I tried it one day and simply looked like I’d lost half of my outfit). Also just to note I didn’t see one bomb into the pool and was very tempted to do one myself..
Here are some of the things I’d recommend that you do with teenagers:-
1. Get a villa that is not too close to the town so that they can’t escape and misbehave unless you drive them! (although there are obviously serious disadvantages to this cunning plan when you have to keep driving them everywhere). We stayed near a pretty town called Sant Josep (Saint Jose) on the West of the island where every day we would go and buy the entire contents of the local supermarket. The villa we stayed in was so gorgeous you really didn’t need to leave:-
2. Take them on a boat for the day. You will swim in the clearest waters ever and understand a lot more about what the rock island looks like.
The dramatic rocky incline around the island:-
We hung out around Formentura – gorgeous with lovely restaurants. We had lunch at a very laid back place called Pirata Filet (I think).
The beach where the restaurant is:-
3. Visit Ibiza old town for dinner and shopping
4. There are some great beaches – we discovered Casa Balla – very cool with a beach club where you could hire all manner of luxury loungers and lunch or sit on the beach with a towel.
5. Check out some of the coastal walks but don’t be surprised if this is only appealing for the adults involved.
6. Go to Sunset Ashram for dinner. Very cool beach bar and beautiful sunset watching (obviously) as well as a very sweet little popular beach.
7. Enjoy the typically Mediterranean food – we had some great meals out
7. Driving around helps you get a feel for the island – I hadn’t realised that “Elvissa” is the Catalan name for the island and “Ibiza” is the Spanish name – all very confusing. Driving through San Antonio you realise the Yin and Yang of the island – basically sunset strip there was full of bars and clubs that I wouldn’t have wanted to go anywhere near, although I am obviously not the age demographic they are looking for.
I’ve got some great photos to show you but can’t upload them at the moment so I’ll add them later…