Ibiza 2010

The second half of September could mean only one thing — time to head back to Ibiza for the annual pilgrimage.

We arrived on September 18 with a serious plan in hand, involving 10 days and 11 nights with a well-balanced combination of beach visits, culinary destinations and evening entertainment. The result was one of my most packed but enjoyable visits to the island yet.

Highlights included seeing several friends who are either resident in Ibiza or were visiting from all over the place — the U.K., Switzerland, Japan and elsewhere. We made a one-day voyage to the neighboring island of Formentera and tooled around on a scooter from one end to the other. We also dined at everything from a fish shack to a Michelin-starred garden restaurant.

One of the more interesting culinary experiences had to be our lunch at Cala Mastella. The restaurant there is famous for once having turned away the King of Spain for not having a reservation! You have to reserve a spot at least a day in advance. There is one seating per day, at 2:30. In the back of the half-covered, half-open air room is a big pot in which the proprietors make traditional Ibizan fish stew (bullit de peix), purportedly with fish caught by the owner that morning. That's followed by a serving of rice cooked in the leftover broth from the stew. Delicious.

Overall, we visited 7 beaches and toured one new village (plus 4 villages on Formentera), had a top notch meal every night, and I managed to make it to about 12 different parties. Regarding the latter, house music made a triumphant return to the scene this year after years of techno dominance, but the house in fashion was a deeper, darker, almost underground style which I really enjoyed listening too. Also, the trend towards more outdoor events took hold and while there was a bit of oversaturation (such that some events were poorly attended) it is a welcome trend.

I'm already looking forward to next year and making plans to visit more locations and also complete my set of the island's Michelin-starred restaurants. It is amazing to me that after 10 years there are still plenty of new things left to see  on this little island.

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