As I already explained in my story on Hostal la Torre, I was rather sceptical about Ibiza, but this was fast turning into a blossoming love. Ibiza’s diverse and surprising side is particularly charming in the off season. I was here in February, when the island is asleep and belongs to the Ibicencos (the locals) once again, the going is slow, nature awakens and the large masses are still safely at home! A perfect destination for a weekend or longer… a welcome break from the cold and grey Northern Europe.

In my further explorations I move from the coast to the rural part of the island: the next two nights I’ll be staying at a beautiful old finca – farm – with an enormous garden, a magnificent place that stimulates the senses, for instance with its overwhelming smell of blossom and oranges. Sitting at my laptop back home, I can still invoke this intoxicating scent when I close my eyes! This finca has been in the family for centuries and in 2004 it opened its doors as the first Agriturismo on the island.

Upon my arrival, the first thing that strikes me is the overwhelming peace and quiet. Atzaró is an oasis of quiet pleasantness, especially this time of year. I am warmly welcomed and the friendly staff take their time showing me around. My room is across the road, in the more modern part of the hotel. What a pleasant surprise: my suite is huge, featuring a Balinese daybed in the front garden and a canopy bed in a bedroom smelling deliciously of orange blossom. Followed by a light and spacious bathroom with pleasant amenities. And the icing on the cake: the back garden features another bath and shower for the ultimate outdoor bathroom experience. And this is what wins me over completely: an outside bathroom always puts me in a tropical mood, rain or shine! Of course, staying at this Local Hideaway comes at a price, but the great thing about Atzaró is that they’re opened throughout the year (many locations close their doors for the winter months) and they significantly lower their rates during these off season months, which makes staying here more affordable. And I can assure you that the double rooms are equally comfortable… I’ve made sure to check them out of course! In addition, during the winter months the lovely and sumptuous breakfast is included in the price, as are the daily yoga classes and the use of the wellness facilities….. just so you know 😉

Of course, I can’t spend all my time bathing outside…. time to go in search of that Ibiza vibe, and there’s really only one place to go to: one oldest bars on the island: Bar Anita. Back in the sixties, it was the place to be for the hippies on the island. Perfect for a night of eating tapas and drinking, the ideal place to catch up on old times with a dear friend, while watching local life go by around you. The sting is in the tail though: the locally brewed Hierbas, a local herb schnapps, the best on the island…. dangerous stuff, let me warn you!

The next morning I tuck into the lovely breakfast at Atzaró – a perfect lazy Sunday morning – and then it’s time to work the remains of Hierbas out of my system…. a hike proves the perfect remedy! This season is particularly great for walking, the weather is not too hot and there are many routes to take. A visit to the hippie market is also a definite must. And every Sunday the locals get together at San Juan market, so this hangout is another place I visit!

After all this fun, it is high time to get back to Atzaró and chill out for a bit. A round of wellness and lazing about with a good book is what I need, taking some time to process all I’ve seen and done these past couple of days. A little voice in my head tells me to: “stop being so prejudiced about certain destinations but to go and experience them first hand!” And that’s the truth! For Ibiza certainly is a wonderful (winter) escape, especially when you use one of my Local Hideaways as base for your trip! Pure island bliss!