Contrary to popular opinion, Ibiza isn't all about nightclubs and house music. Long before electronic music even existed, artists and new age thinkers flocked to the island and made it their home. Indeed, the free-spirited clubbing scene for which Ibiza has become famous flourished from the 'hippie' culture that dominated the island in the seventies and eighties. If you escape from the tourist bustle of Playa d'en Bossa or San Antonio you will discover an island with a completely different set of charms. Addicted caught up with Larah Davis who runs Ibiza Retreats to find a new reason to fall in love with Ibiza all over again.
Addicted: Why do you love Ibiza? Do you think there is something magical about the island?
Larah: Yes, indeed. There is a powerful energy here. Ibiza has a draw which is more about the way that people feel when they are here: excited, uplifted, energised …and free! Accepting of who they are and who they want to be.
Addicted: What do you think makes Ibiza extra special as a great destination to unwind?
Larah: The natural beauty, which immediately clears the head; the turquoise salt-water to soak in and release the toxins; the juxtaposition of highly sophisticated, sexy bars and clubs with farmers who have been working the land for thousands of years is so beautiful. You can immediately be within nature – away from noise, cars, computers – even the blackberry can be well out of range in many places. In this environment you can be yourself and "go with the flow" – not having to do something or be someone – this is pure relaxation. That in itself releases stresses – mental and physical tensions. And of course the focus of the whole island on enjoying yourself, living your life to the full – whatever this means to you – liberating, lovely – do what feels good!
Addicted: Why did you set up Ibiza Retreats?
Larah: Ibiza Retreats was set up with a Vision to enable people to tune into the many amazing natural resources for healing and wellbeing here. When you get away from the partying there is incredible natural beauty – there are enchanting, magical locations to stay and there is an uplifting energy and a vibrant, diverse mix of people – teachers, therapists, specialists in many different arenas of wellbeing for the mind, the body and the spirit. People who have traveled around the world and trained with leading teachers & masters bring a melting pot of international influences here.
Addicted: What sort of services do you provide?
Larah: Together with my partner Katja Paschmann, we work with an A-Z of amazing teachers & therapists able to offer private sessions in areas such as acupuncture, aromatherapy massage, shiatsu, Japanese facials, many forms of yoga, pilates and meditation. We also offer Alternative Island Activities such as Horse-riding through the countryside, kayaking and many Workshops from Sound-healing to Japanese Butoh Dance.
Addicted: Ibiza is probably more famous for partying than relaxing, are people sometimes surprised when you tell them about Ibiza Retreats?
Larah: People say "what a great idea" and how good it is to have the option to enjoy Ibiza's many different colours, to balance a party holiday with a retreat to recuperate and revitalise. Many people talk about having heard about "the hippy side" to Ibiza, yet it is all one island. Dancing under the stars was happening here long before the dance music arrived! It is a side that people love to discover, because it still feels untouched, less material and more real, with welcoming, loving people and restaurants that have been here for decades.
Addicted: Speaking of partying, do you ever get groups of people who want your help to recover before heading back home?
Larah: Absolutely – we specifically offer post-party purification, pampering and detox days. We can help people experience a very deep cleanse with the detoxes which we offer with Ilona Pantel, doctoral approved fasting guide and nutritionist. For those who want the post-party purification these Day Retreats can be offered in your own villa, home, on boats or in one our Day Retreat locations where we whisk you up for vital you-time, phones are turned off and we serve detox teas and juices, cleansing seasonal fruits and with our amazing team of therapists, create packages that help tired dancing feet recover with Reflexology, re-energise with Holistic Massages, clear toxins with lymphatic drainage, and emotional blocks with Reiki and much more.
Addicted: As someone who lives in Ibiza full time, you must know lots of 'Ibiza secrets'! What's your favourite thing to do / place to go on the island that Addicted readers may not have heard about?
Larah: Honestly I love yoga on the beach and finding a spot, normally on the cliffs towards Portinax, near Cala Xarraca, where even in summer I can find pure turquoise blue water to dive into and swim with the fish. Horse-riding across the island is also amazing in Springtime, cantering through fields of fennel and flowers and then stabling the horses at Can Caus where they do the best meats and cheeses on the island….
Addicted: And what's your recommendations for eating?
Larah: La Paloma in San Lorenzo or lunch and dinner and Parawdiso in Santra Gertrudis for raw foods In both places the food is organic and made with pure love! You feel soooo good when you eat it! Juices, smoothies, salads and fresh fresh fresh fresh!
Addicted: What is your top tip for anyone coming to Ibiza this summer?
Larah: Balance your party time with some rest & relaxation – this will enable you to not only explore and enjoy much more of the island, it will leave you looking and feeling fabulous – whether Pura Vida or Amante for yoga on the beach, extending your holiday with a 3 x day private tailored retreat or a Day Retreat for Healthy Hens. It is food for the soul. Explore Santa Gertudis and San Joan for a touch of real-Ibiza community and amazing dining.
Addicted: Thank you for speaking to us!
If Larah has given you a taste for the calmer side of the island and you fancy a day of detoxing as part of your holiday this summer, click here to find out more about Ibiza Retreats.