Top 13 Things to do in Ibiza

There’s so much to do in Ibiza that your holiday can end feel like being stuck in a whirlwind of parties and playas and mercadillos. I’ve asked the staff at Cafe del Mar for some wondrous things to do in Ibiza that will make any trip to the White Isle truly unforgettable.

THINGS TO DO IN IBIZA: DAY 1

MORNING

Starting the day at Cala Conta, get down there early to beat the high-season rush. Cala Conta is one of our favourite places to swim and snorkel, the fish are plentiful and the beaches are glorious. As I mentioned, it can get pretty busy in July and August, so feel free to bail out if it gets too packed- and we have the perfect location to decamp to.

LUNCH

By our collective opinion, one of the finest paellas on Ibiza is that made at Ses Roques.  Stunning traditionally made recipe Paella, conveniently located at a beachfront restaurant right next to Cala Conta. Una sabor magnifico. ses roques paella 5 day guide

EVENING

Cala Conta is just 20 minutes by scooter or car from the sunset strip, which means, of course, there’s no excuse not to catch the most famous sunset in the world, here at Cafe del Mar.  Grab a couple of mojitos, kick back and relax on cafe del mar things to do in ibizathe terrace and experience a rite of passage for Ibiza seekers that goes back nearly four decades.

Following the sunset, there’s a little time to collect yourselves before heading out to the grand finale.

PACHA

This season the legendary super club has laid on as eclectic a mix of house music as ever. Flower Power on Mondays, Solomun on Sundays, and in between you can on any given night catch David Guetta, Basement Jaxx, Hot Since 82, Bob Sinclar, Maceo Plex, Martin Solveig and Mark Ronson. Pacha opens at midnight but (across the board in Clubland) places don’t start picking up until 1-1.30am. Therefore it might be a good idea to take a little siesta after the Paella, to keep the batteries topped up for a long night of partying. guetta things to do in ibiza

 

THINGS TO DO IN IBIZA: DAY 2

MORNING

Rise and shine! What a night that was. So, you’re probably feeling a little fragile after staying up to irresponsible o’clock at the club. The cure is Cala Nova. Definitely, one of our favourite things to do in Ibiza is to snorkel off these beautiful shores.

Located right between Cala Leña and Es Caná, Cala Nova is long, with shallow waters that are ideal for young ones. One of our favourite places! If you’re feeling energetic, take a walk around the coves to explore Cala Leña and Es Caná. If not, no worries! Relaxation is the order of the day.cala nova things to do in ibiza

 

AFTERNOON

Speaking of which, you might as well pop back in to see us at Cafe del Mar in the afternoon. We’re open from 17:00 every day, after all. And besides, we miss you.

THINGS TO DO IN IBIZA: DAY 3

MORNING

Now that you are fully rested and recharged, it’s time to hit the hills. Ibiza is so much more than beaches and clubs. We also have some of the best hiking trails hike things to do in ibizaanywhere in the world. Check out some of the routes on Map My Walk and don’t forget to wear good shoes and take plenty of water. It’s a beautiful island to hike on, but the heat can creep up on you. Factor 50 is a mu st.

 

AFTERNOON

There is one reason to burn off the calories on holiday- and that’s to put them right back on again. Naturally, we don’t want to fill up on junk food so what we have in mind for you is a trip out to Ecocentro in Santa Gertrudis. They do great tasting and super healthy lunch time fare, with lots of vegan and veggie options. Plant power!

EVENING

We’re doing something a little different tonight (assuming it’s a Wednesday!) and that comes in the form of the psychedelic family friendly all night hippy pow-wow provided by Namaste @ Las Dalias. Entry is free before 2100, and the show goes on until 0500 with live performances and DJs. Something to get your squad in touch with their spiritual side!namaste things to do in ibiza

THINGS TO DO IN IBIZA: DAY 4

MORNING

One of the best and most rewarding things to do in Ibiza is to hire a mountain bike and head for the hills. On my first visit in 2015, I tried to do Cala de Bou to Es Vedra. It was fine on the way there, but after a sneaky beer at Cala d’Hort, I found my legs had stopped working properly and I had to push the bike up the hills on the way back. 

bikes things to do in ibiza

Rookie error.

On the other hand, you are much smarter than I am, so you can look here for a route that will take you up to the beautiful almond groves and vale of St. Agnes. The climb takes you 250 metres above sea level, but the best part is the return journey to Sant Antoni is all downhill!

Another great trip is out to Sant Josep. The route from Cafe del Mar will take you right around the bay to Cala de Bou before forging on to conquer the hill, atop which lies Sant Josep.

EVENING

Take the bikes back to the hire shop and I guarantee that you will find yourself in pina colada things to do in ibizathe mood for a Cafe del Mar frozen pina colada. It’s good to replace electrolytes, just like a sports drink; except it’s not a sports drink in any sense of the word at all and has rum instead of taurine.

They taste so good though, it would be rude not to include them on our list of things to do in Ibiza.

THINGS TO DO IN IBIZA: DAY 5

MORNING

It’s the last day of our guide on things to do in Ibiza- so it’s going to be a good one, we promise. Now, everyone knows about Es Vedra. Everyone wants to go. This is expected after all the islet is one of the most iconic sights in Las Isla Baleares, if not the world.

But there is a problem. Unlike many Ibizan treasures, Es Vedra is not a secret. One of the finest places to absorb the magical view is the beach at Cala d’Hort. It’s a cool, tranquil beach with three great restaurants. Of course, in the season the traffic is intense. es vedra things to do in ibiza

The solution is a scooter. A 125cc moto will set you back around 20 euros for a day and is powerful enough to carry two people. Getting up and down the steep roads to Cala d’Hort is no joke! These tiny bikes can be parked almost anywhere, avoiding the traffic congestion. 

 

EVENING

Finish your day at the beach and the big rock out to sea, a sumptuous repast is DJ cafe del marconsumed and the scooter is returned. Then there’s little better way to complete the list of things to do in Ibiza than to go back to your home away from home. Yes! Back to Cafe del Mar. The Lounge is open until midnight with resident and guest DJs playing all night. What more could any of us want?

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Correfoc: The Fire Run

To Dance With the Devils….

For all Ibiza’s well deserved and legendary status as the global leader of dance music, there is another event that, for me, is better than any superstar DJ or secret villa party.

You never forget the night of your first correfoc.

A corre-what?

Well; to talk about the Correfoc on Las Islas Baleares, we must, of course, begin our story in Norway in the year 1107 at the court of King Sigurd I. These times -in the aftermath of the First Crusade to conquer Jerusalem- were ones of great upheaval in the Mediterranean. Much of Spain was controlled by the Berbers of the Almoravid Dynasty (from what is modern day Morocco). Although technically the land was split into independent taifas (territories), the rulers were weak and the threat of invasion by the bellicose Christians led to a great annexation by the Almoravids of these smaller states.

King Sigurd set off on his own crusade (with a skaldic poet to record his deeds) and promptly started fighting almost everyone he met along the way. Working his way at sword point around the Iberian coast, his longships eventually had to pass Las Pituisas- The Balearics. Imagine, the next time you are sat at Cafe del Mar that amongst the yachts, sleek longships are paddling.

His army passed by Formentera, where they noticed a great number of Saracen pirates had made a base. Located in a cave high on a cliff and well defended, it seemed a fortress. Being of Viking stock, Sigurd attacked anyway. Using ingenious tactics to overcome the pirates, he made off with large amounts of booty.

formentera cave correfoc
Interestingly, there is a ‘Cap de Barbaria’ on Formentera…. Berbers, or Barbarians?

Nordic Sagas of the Balearics….

skald poetry correfoc

The poet Halldorr wrote this verse to commemorate this part of the campaign.

“The highly renowned marker of slaughter-wheels (shields) came with his fleet to Ibiza. The chieftain of battle was eager for glory. The eighth storm of weapon points (a battle) was yet later stirred up on green Menorca, where the King’s host reddened their arrows.” 

From this part of the saga we can see that Sigurd of Norway visited the Balearic Isles, killed a lot of people, and then carried on his way to the Holy Land. Once there he decides to do some more fighting, eventually returning to Norway by land; undefeated and with a splinter of the True Cross for his trouble.

This was the first Christian assault on the Balearics, which at the time was a strategically critical location in the Mediterranean. From the islands, one could raid across a huge area of Southern Europe and North Africa. The potential for piracy on the seas was also not lost on the Berber occupants, and for centuries they were a thorn in the side of both the Christians to the North and rival factions on the Barbary Coast.

Inspiration.

King Sigurd’s battles showed that a conquest of the islands was at least possible. Therefore, in 1114 another crusade by the Count of Barcelona and his allies destroyed Ibiza’s defences, laid siege to Palma on Mallorca, and captured the ruler of the taifa, taking him to Pisa in chains.

Count of Barcelona correfoc
Visitors to Barcelona might know Count Ramon Berenguer III from his statue

This did not wrestle control of the islands from the Berbers. However, the Catalan crusade finally ended the piracy that the inhabitants of the islands had perpetrated. It would not be until 1235 and the Reconquista by the King of Aragon that the Balearics would be brought into what we might consider the beginnings of modern era Spanish control.

So what has a Norwegian king and the crusades have to do with 21st Century Ibicencos setting off fireworks and dressing as devils?

Not so much- except that without these events, and the subsequent Catalan suzerainty over the islands, the Ball des Diables might not have crossed the waters to Ibiza. The first recorded event of this kind- a clear precursor to the Correfoc- was in 1150. By the time of the Reconquista, the event seems to have been a popular occurrence at court.  Imagine a sort of play that takes place in-between meals. Like an intermission featuring devils and acrobats, and we’re getting close.

At some point in the mists of time, the Ball des Diables moved outside, adopted by the church. A regular feature of catholic Corpus Christi events, it is likely that the Correfoc/Ball des Diables persisted as part of the Catalan lifestyle until the times of cultural repression under General Franco.

A Correfoc -literally ‘fire run’- was popularised again in Catalonia and the Balearics during the 1980s. During this time, a great wave of rediscovery for folklore and history took place. Accompanied in the modern age by a team of drummers (Batucada) that take their musical influence from Latin American Samba, local people revitalise an old tradition with the spirit of modern Catalonia.

The bateria of drummers pound out deep rhythms as the devils dance and spray sparks at you. The smoke of spent gunpowder hangs thickly in the air amid the screeching fireworks. Leering and capering devils, horned and wrapped in cloaks show their wrath.

The tale is that of good versus evil. In the towns across Ibiza young people will brave the ‘fires’ of the devils to show their bravery. Historically this is likely to have been an important rite of passage- for boys and men at least.

I first encountered a Correfoc with complete surprise, at the Fiesta of Sant Carles in November 2015.San Carlos Ibiza

 

It remains my favourite event anywhere on the island. At first the beautiful town square. One side is a village green reminiscent of the small towns back home in England. On the other side, cobbles, and on the festival days, a stage is erected. Pleasingly, a bar is present too.

With carnival stalls with tests of skill and a barbecue, the fiesta appeared to be a regular village fete.

And then, the drums. And then, the fireworks and the fusion of pagan and Christian. Then, the dance in the fire. To see Correfoc is to look into Catalan culture. Whether it is the large Correfoc in Barcelona or the more intimate displays on the islands, it is not to be missed.

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The Myths of Es Vedra

Es Vedra is an island of mystery.

You cannot strike up a conversation about Es Vedra without talking about the many stories that wrap a nd occlude this little rock like the spells of cloud that sweep in from the sea.  Describing Es Vedra is nearly impossible. Why does it enrapture us so? Maybe that’s why we find stories about Es Vedra so fascinating- they help us put what we are seeing into context. It is a place of great beauty, intense power, and magic that you need to see to understand… and even then…

Islanders, fishermen, and researchers of paranormal events claim to have witnessed strange events in the waters near this islet of just 3.8 kilometers around and a height of 382 metres. 

According to legends, some millennia ago the mother goddess of the Phoenicians was born here. So much mystery surrounds the island that nobody really knows what is the truth, what is fantasy, and what is a myth based on truth.

Many swimmers (including the famous José Amengual, an underwater hunting hero in Spain) claim that they’ve heard loud underwater deep bass notes near to Es Vedra, seeing huge shoals of fish changing direction in fright. Could it be undiscovered sea life or something… else?

There are those who believe that Es Vedra gained properties of energy accumulation when it separated from Ibiza millennia ago. According to legend, it forms with the rock of Ifach in Alicante and the southwest coast of Mallorca a sort of Mediterranean Triangle. It is known as the Triangle of Silence and some associate it with the famous Manises UFO Incident. If you look on this chart, you can see that Cafe del Mar is almost at the epicentre of a spooky triangle that could cause strange, magical things to happen….

es vedra triangle of silence

The Manises UFO

On November 11, 1979 (at 11pm on the 11th day of the 11th month, incidentally) A Super-Caravelle aircraft en route from Palma de Mallorca to the Canary Islands with 109 passengers on board had to make an emergency landing at Valencia airport Because of a UFO. The pilots claim that they were pursued “by several points of red light, which went up and down in an unconventional way.” The lights appeared just as the plane flew over Es Vedra. By any reading, that’s an unidentified flying object!

Pilot Francisco Javier Lerdo de Tejada, who had fifteen years of experience and more than 8,000 flight hours, reported the events as follows. “At 23.08 I started a climb, according to the flight plan, from 23,000 to 33,000 feet. In the middle of the climb I saw two red lights, in parallel, of such enormous intensity that they were brighter than our instrument lights, or whatever it was, in which they had to be installed and followed a path of collision with us. They were moving at an incredible rate, faster than any conventional aircraft, and they stopped instantly at a very short distance from the Caravelle.”  Tejada claimed to have made the emergency landing at Manises airport due to “a real risk of collision.”

Once the plane was on the ground, several people still reported observing the strange lights from the Manises control tower for more than two hours. Imagine the stories the ground crew would have for their families that night!

Lights in the sky

The Caravelle crew detected the alleged UFO half an hour after takeoff, between Ibiza and Alicante, the same area where a boat crew claimed to have seen a “rain” of UFOs. “About nine o’clock at night last Tuesday, when we were about fifteen miles from Formentera, there appeared before us lights like flares that did not remain static. Yellow lights less than eight miles from us” said Jose Luis Gonzalez, captain of the ship. He claimed that more than fifty UFOs had surrounded them for six hours.

“The” UFOs” turned out in this case to be paratroopers with lanterns that were taking part in the recording of a program for the National Radio of Spain. At least that’s what the government said. And Roswell was really a weather balloon, of course. 

ufo newspaper clipping es vedra

The Hermit of Es Vedra

The mythological pedigree of Es Vedra was further enhanced by Francisco Palau y Quer (1811-1872), founder of the Tertiary Carmelites of Spain. 

Francisco retired to pray in a cave on the islet. “This mountain is an islet west of Ibiza. Separated from the island, rising from the depths of the waters to the sky. There are no more inhabitants here than I. I have the Hermitage two leagues at noon of the island. The brothers, who have a fishing boat, bring me here, leave me alone and they return. At the top of the mountain, there is a fountain, and the openings of the rocks are my cells. Here I retired ten years ago and I find what a hermit can desire, ” said Father Palau.

Palau, like so many of us, wanted to escape the pressure of the so-called civilised world. Perhaps he, like us, was drawn to Es Vedra by the magic contained in the rocks themselves.

On this island “which rises on the crests of the Mediterranean Sea,” he remained there for days at a time. His mission was “to unite with God and his Church”.

Father Palau was the person who has spent the most time on the island and his mystical experiences in which he describes ladies of light and celestial beings have been reinterpreted by some, after the Manises UFO Case, as UFO sightings.

Catalan mountaineers climbed the island for the first time in August 1950 , challenging another ancient legend that states “it can never be climbed, because whoever tries it and mounts the summit will instantly change sex.”

Lizards and goats and Catalonians, oh my

es vedra goat

Francisco Martí Ferrando and Manuel Puig were the first to tread the crest. “The top of [Es Vedra] is an esplanade 15 meters long, five meters wide. Many vegetation grows in the form of forest, but most were completely dry. The island of Ibiza can be seen very little, the mountaineers wrote in their notes. They were three-quarters of an hour at the top before descending. They saw lizards “about 10 or 15 centimeters long” and Martí Ferrando seemed to notice a wild goat, although Puig doubted that it was there. There were no traces of UFOs in 1950, and, of course, they remained male after their feat.

What are your favourite Es Vedra legends? Have you seen any UFOs, buzzing around Es Vedra at sunset? 

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Cafe del Mar Heroes: Lluis Güell

If you are a friend of Café del Mar, you may have heard the name of Lluis Güell. Even if you don’t know his name, his dream is the same as yours, his hand has had his way in shaping your life. It is Lluis, maverick Catalan artist, who channeled eroticism, Christian mythos, il nomine Gaudi, et spiritus modernité, pop-art,  and visionary surrealism. Finally, Güell distilled these ideas into a tangible, earthly form.

The result, of course, was the origin of Café del Mar.

To sit inside the cafe is to be enveloped by the mind of a master artist. For regular people like you and I, it can be hard to understand. Lluis Güell didn’t care about money. He didn’t care about fame or fortune. He didn’t care about public opinion or whether he was considered a success. He didn’t even care if people liked him at all. As a result, I am reminded of the words of The Art of Noise referring to Claude Debussy, the French genius who arguably began modern music as we know it.

“He didn’t believe in the Establishment

He didn’t believe in Bourgeois Convention

He didn’t believe in Beethoven or Wagner

He believed…. in Debussy”

If you are reading this at Cafe del Mar right now, consider listening to Debussy. As Debussy understood the impressionism of music, being the subjective aspect of the art, so did Güell. Both artists grasped intuitively what Paul Bourget meant by the words:

“Il faut vivre comme on pense, sans quoi l’on finira par penser comme on a vécu.”

“One must live the way one thinks or end up thinking the way one has lived.”

 

 

Beginnings/Memories of Lluis Güell

Güell was born in Banyoles, Girona as the Second World War drew to a close. Franco’s Spain had been kept out of the conflict thanks to huge bribes from the British, and so was relatively unscathed by the destruction of global mechanised conflict- if not unscathed by authoritarianism and the civil war of the 1930s.

It’s hard for me to imagine what it must have been like for Güell. He was born twenty years later and a hundred kilometres north from where the great Gaudi died; in a time that politicised faith and suppressed his Catalan language. 

cafe del mar luis guell

We are left only with his art, memories of those that knew him personally, and a dwindling number of buildings touched by the hand of greatness. We are told that Lluis Güell was sometimes difficult to work with. We are told that he could be impossible to compromise with. Consequently, we are told that he could be hard to be friends with.

Isn’t that the case, with genius? It seems like an affliction as much as a blessing, to be surrounded by us mere mortals, placed on an unrequested pedestal and rarely understood.

Güell believed that in the postmodern era, that the disco had replaced the church as a venue for transcendental ecstatic moments.

It is in this mindset that Lluis shaped his architecture, the reflection of his talent.

reflections

Lluis Güell skinsadLluis Güell skinsad bar

The subterranean sexual stalagmites of Club Skinsad in Banyoles, a place that is in design a three-way split between the Moloko Milk Bar in A Clockwork Orange, Luke Skywalker’s House from Star Wars: A New Hope, and The Chauvet Cave in Southern France, documented by Werner Herzog in his 2010 documentary, Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Of course, the effect is astounding; at once a galaxy far away (with distinctly North African decor) a post-modern-futurist drug den, and an ancient religious site, the only record of a people who lived and died over thirty thousand years ago.

es paradis pillar

Lluis Güell es paradis

You might recognise the pillars here if you’re a seasoned clubber (or have been on the island for forty years!). What we are looking at on the right is an aerial shot of Es Paradis, Sant Antoni– before the roof went on. However, the interior that we see is also the work of Güell. Two years of his life went into what remains to many “the most beautiful club in the world”.

 

Lluis Güell summum

The DJ booth in (now closed) Cala de Bou nightclub Summum was a lectern-cum-angelic cloud-decked pagan altar. Overhead, cavorting cherubims sing hosannah in Güell’s new, hip-shaking religion.

A.G (After Güell)

Perhaps, as a culture, we have become more difficult to impress, less prone to fancy; treating whimsy as merely something to be done ironically. Maybe this is why we live in an age of amorphous blobitecture, backward looking and rigid neo-classical, and functionalist eco-structures. Maybe Lluis Güell could only have existed at the convergent point after the post-hippy depression and during the optimistic naïveté of the mid to late 1970s.

Consequently, it seems impossible that that Café del Mar could be built today. First of all, who would be brave enough to claim that an acid-trip ice cream shop of the high seas could not only be realised in three-dimensional space, but be one of the most beautiful examples of interior design of the century? 

In opposition to our current style since the turn of the millennium, immunecafe del mar interior to cynicism (except when working with it conceptually) Güell achieved what is impossible in the age of Facebook likes and Twitter followers. He changed the lives of millions while remaining virtually anonymous.

Modernity

Today people can gain huge wealth and status by, for example, playing video games on YouTube.  In our hyper-connected world,  we look for something tangible in the digital.  What would Lluis have made of this? In any case, a deeper connection has been made between us all, through his art. How many likes for this post? How many shares for these fluted pillars and sexualised clouds.

Güell seems anachronistic in that context. His work is so non-digital and so sensorial, that to even try to put the two worlds together seems perverse.  Come to think about it, I think Lluis Güell might have enjoyed that juxtaposition, were he here to see it.

Lluis died on the 13th of December, 2005.

In conclusion, thank you, Lluis Güell. We owe you everything.

 

 

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In Search of the Ibizan Wall Lizard

The Ibizan Wall Lizard. Cool as heck.

Lizards licking an ice cube

Ah, nature! Living on Ibiza has many benefits, but being surrounded by such a beautiful environment is surely in the top one or two. Those of you who have visited Ibiza before or live here year round will know the Wall Lizard well. These little neighbours are surprisingly confident unless startled, and are full of character.

If you don’t like these guys then I don’t know if we can be friends. I mean how cute can you get?!

We might think that humans own Ibiza, with our concrete and noise and clubs, but this is a lizard island.  It’s their backyard. We are relatively new arrivals. 

Image6

I make absolutely no apologies for being a total nerd for the Ibizan Wall Lizard. What stars these guys are. The fascinating aspect for me is how the Wall Lizard has adapted to life on Las Pituisas. By most measurements small islands are not good environments for non-aquatic lizards, the food supply can be scarce, and competition high.

Strange adaptations

The fact that these lizards are so numerous is an indication to us that something very peculiar has happened to a species that at one point would have been completely carnivorous.

They learned to eat fruit.

I have discovered through über-scientific trial and error tests in the field (I lie on the beach and throw bits of fruit at lizards) that this species is particularly fond of grapes, but will go for strawberries as well. Apparently these guys will also eat smaller lizards and lizard eggs if given the opportunity, along with their usual diet of ants and insects. While cannibalism is pretty grim, again this is an adaptive response to living on islands. When there’s less prey available, a smaller lizard starts looking pretty good.

Wall Lizards also dine on flowers, nectar and seeds when they can find them, which means that on Ibiza we have lizards that pollinate. Imagine that!

The lizards also help the plants spread out by eating fruits and then depositing the seeds far from the original plant. Isn’t that cool?

Don’t feed the lizards Cheetos though. They’re not good for anyone.

Evolution in Action

It is an evolved strategy of survival that is produced by the millennia long isolation on Ibiza and Formentera that these lizards have experienced. We see the effect of evolution in other ways too. The colours of the Ibiza Wall Lizard are more varied than the trinkets that bear the shape of the reptile at Las Dalias Market.

The Wall Lizard, sort of.
Pay attention class, this is NOT a Wall Lizard.

What will surprise you to learn is that the coloured lizards are geographically segregated. The lizards in the North and South are different colours, as are the East and West. The wall lizards that live on Es Vedra are a deep purple, for example.

On Formentera, the effect is astounding. The Formentera Wall Lizard is brighter and larger than its Ibicencan cousin, and the colours are astonishingly vivid. Separated only by short distances, what we see is dozens of sub-species of lizard scattered across the islands.

On Formentera the lizards show off bright colours.
On Formentera the lizards show off bright colours.

Amazingly, we don’t know exactly why these lizards have adopted such a wide variety of markings. Some theorise that large, bright lizards are broadcasting their prowess to other lizards, to stake claim on territory.  In an evolutionary sense, this works for smaller lizards too.  It would be a bad day indeed to fight a lizard that is much bigger than he looks. Much better for everyone to see from a safe distance who is a competitor, and who is simply going to eat you.

So what is the other lizard on Ibiza?

Through a combination of what I describe as interpretive artistic representation and simple ignorance, the lizard that appears on merchandise and throws and fabric bags and bumper stickers is the wrong lizard.

Not an Ibizan Wall Lizard
Just wrongness in every sense

 

What we have ended up with is a mish-mash of the Ibizan Wall Lizard and this guy. This is a Moorish Gecko, who’s name should tell you his origin. This guy is the one you might see skittering up your wall at night on his suckered toes, and while he is very cool he lacks personality, which the Wall Lizard has in spades.

Ibizan 'wall lizard' art
This is not a Wall Lizard. It’s a lizard that crawls on walls.

So, this is what is commonly thought of as the symbol of Ibiza. Compared to the other photos I’ve posted here, you can see that there’s been a misinterpretation of the brief. You can see that this silhouette is clearly that of the foreign invader, the Moorish Gecko. Note the splayed feet with rounded toes, compared to the slender claws of the Ibizan Wall Lizard.

Why this has happened is easy to understand. The Ibizan Wall Lizard acquired it’s name because it likes to hide in the nooks and crannies of walls. The Moorish Gecko is more likely to be seen on the walls of your apartment as it hunts for mosquitoes.

A Wall Lizard, despite its name, is actually incapable of climbing vertical, smooth walls like the gecko, and so the confusion has arisen. Probably. I’m not a lizard expert.

Sympathy for the Reptile

I don’t think the Wall Lizards mind too much that we draw them wrong, though. They seem above such petty concerns as that.

There’s something I’d like to finish with that occurs to me when I meet the lizards on my travels. The Wall Lizard is cold blooded, which we think as being inferior to our internally regulated, mammalian temperature.

In some ways for sure.  There’s a lot to be said for being a mammal, we have opposable thumbs and Netflix for a start. There is another perspective to take though. The lizards are far more in tune with their environment than we are. They allow themselves to respond to the world rather than struggling in vain to bend it to their will.

In this way, the Ibiza Wall Lizards are able to tolerate much higher levels of internal heat than we are, absorbing the energy for use in movement. Is it because of this that you never see a stressed Wall Lizard? Lizards might move quickly sometimes, but always with that knowing smile on their faces.

They get the Café del Mar mentality, instinctively.

Maybe we could learn a thing or two ourselves, about ourselves.

Perhaps we could stand to be like the Wall Lizard in our day to day lives. Adaptable to our changing environments, never letting the heat get to us. Understanding that when others misrepresent us or paint us inaccurately, it’s usually not about us at all, it is more likely to be a lack of understanding or a misconception.

Taking a tip from the Wall Lizard, it might be good to remember it’s no big deal, and there’s still plenty of sweet fruits in the world.

 

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