Photographer: Daniel Balda
Photographer: Daniel Balda

See the Stylish, Sophisticated Ibiza That Even Club Kids Can’t Ruin

The nightlife made the island famous for a certain set, but a new book documents the quiet coves, stunning beaches, and cool architecture that made it great in the first place.

Some people call it the White Isle. But aside from Ibiza’s ivory beaches, this is an island that glows in technicolor. In their vibrant new tome, Ibiza Bohemia (Assouline), fashion editor Renu Kashyap and travel writer Maya Boyd offer up a visual love letter to the hedonistic Balearic Islands paradise they call home. “The south is a heady, visceral playground of beautiful beaches, sugar cube villages, and extraordinary sunsets,” writes Boyd. “The north is the land of olive groves, ancient churches, and sheer cliffs plunging down to inky horseshoe calas. ... Everywhere is the light: the high, bright, colorless light whose extraordinary quality is known the world over, whose unearthly clarity has seduced writers and painters for eons.”

Strobe lights? Foam parties? DJ booths flooded with laser projections? That’s not the Ibiza Kashyap and Boyd are after. These sunlit images—which represent the work of more than a dozen world-class photographers—reveal an Ibiza that only locals know.

A Baroness in Bohemia
A Baroness in Bohemia

Monarchs and mystics, aristocrats and ayurveda: they’re not compatible in many places. In Ibiza, they’re deeply enmeshed. This is, after all, the place that Boyd claims gave birth to the hipster elite. Here, co-author Renu Kashyap and the Baroness Kicki von Michel dive into the waters around the uninhabited island of Es Vedrà. Literature lovers, take note: Local legend says this limestone outcropping was referenced in the Odyssey as the home of the sirens that lured Odysseus off course.

Photographer: Anne Dokter

Rooms With a View
Rooms With a View

Interior designers have often found inspiration in Ibiza’s sweeping landscapes and saturated colors, which makes for plenty of alluring vacation homes like this one. The most luxurious rentals are available through such specialized companies as Unique Properties & Events, rather than Airbnb, which has a corner on more affordable rooms on this island. But don’t overlook traditional hotels; promising, new options seem to be opening by the minute. The clifftop Seven Pines Resort, with 123 suites tucked into a handful of whitewashed bungalows, opens this fall with rooms similar to the one shown here. And the 38 sultry, gray-blue rooms at Sir Joan offer a stark contrast to the building’s exterior, which gleams like a tower of white Jenga blocks laid on its side.

Photographer: Eugenie Pons

Natural Beauty
Natural Beauty

Much is said about Ibiza’s beautiful crowd, but the beautiful architecture deserves attention, too. Eivissa, the island’s Unesco-protected main town, has buildings that date as far back as 654 B.C., and its prevailing aesthetic takes cues from its history: Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors, and Spaniards all lived here. The bougainvillea that drapes the many lime-washed walls only adds to the architectural appeal.

 

Photographer: Ana Lui

Secret Corners
Secret Corners

Ibiza’s craggy perimeter means the island is dotted with secret coves—pristine places to work on that signature leathery tan. Cala Tarida, a tucked-away, tiny strip of sand within close range of better-than-average beach cafés, is worth seeking out on the southwestern tip.  The cave shown here is even harder to find. You’ll have to ask local guides to point you in the direction of the “secret cave of Es Vedrà,” a location that is considered privileged information. If you do make it, local custom dictates that you leave a special object behind for the next visitor.

Photographer: Petrovskye & Ramone

Culinary Spirit
Culinary Spirit

Pictured here is the home of Anne Sijmonsbergen, author of Eivissa: The Ibiza Cookbook, and her husband, René. This year, the destination draws another culinary import in the form of Nobu Matsuhisa, whose first European resort opens this month in Talamanca Bay, with 152 rooms, four restaurants, and a pool bar. Food here will range from composed Mexican dishes and Mescal-themed drinks at Peyotito to gluten-free salads and smoothies at Celicioso—and Japanese fusion at a namesake Nobu outpost. 

Photographer: Ana Lui

A-Plus Homes for the A-List
A-Plus Homes for the A-List

This stunning estate, with its original stone walls and mod hammock chairs, belongs to Yvonne Sporre, the boho-leaning fashion designer and onetime face of Dior. Unlike celebs who are more associated with the island’s nightlife—think Christiano Ronaldo, Paris Hilton, and David Guetta—Sporre illustrates Ibiza’s deep, creative pedigree. Other regulars here include Jade Jagger, Dolce & Gabbana muse Marpessa Hennink, and Cirque du Soleil chief executive Guy Laliberté. 

Photographer: Oberto Gili

An Eccentric History
An Eccentric History

Painter Grillo Demo, shown here at his home, Villa Favorita, has lived in Ibiza since 1978. In Ibiza Bohemia, he reflects about his early years on the island: “In those days, we didn’t come to Ibiza for holidays; we came to Ibiza to change our lives. We didn’t know what we were going to do, but we knew we were going to do something different.”

Photographer: Philippe Vogelenzang

Dive In
Dive In

Explore the Balearics from the decks of this wooden sailboat, called Tirot la Blanc, by chartering it from the owners of Once Upon a Boat, Marlot Caspers and Hugo Pazos. The duo (shown here, practicing swan dives) offers eight-hour day trips around the islands, and they can organize everything from snorkeling trips that take you to little-known white sand beaches to simple dance parties on the high seas.

Photographer: Petrovsky & Ramone

Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard

The sun sets over Jade Jagger’s former home. Didn’t get the invite? It’s hard to be disappointed with the evening displays on this island, no matter your vantage. But skip the clubby Sunset Strip in San Antonio and head to picturesque Benirras Beach instead, where drummers show up each Sunday to send off the sun.

Photographer: Magnus Marding/Electrolux Grandcuisine, courtesy CameraLink, Stockholm

Bird's Eye View
Bird's Eye View

It’s always a toes-in-the-sand party at Playa Es Cavallet, seen here from an aerial perspective. Clothing is optional, music is a given, and the nearby El Chiringuito restaurant is a hub for locals and celebs alike. 

Photographer: Daniel Balda

Open Sesame
Open Sesame

This Moorish-style archway leads out to turquoise waters. To discover them for yourself, take a ferry from Barcelona or Valencia (nine or five hours, respectively) or fly from Barcelona (which takes just one hour). The airport is serviced by more than a dozen airlines, including Iberia, KLM, and Air France, as well as budget carriers RyanAir and EasyJet. 

Photographer: Matthieu Salvaing

Book Club
Book Club

Ibiza Bohemia book cover, published by Assouline.

Source: Assouline