The first time I saw Ibiza in 1997, I wrote a gloomy poem called Ibiza blues. It was a reflection on everything that I felt to be superficial and cold about the island, the partying, the drugs, the porn industry studios set on the top of magnificent hills, the German tourists who related their tales of Ibizan orgies in the German tabloid Bild, all of it.
At the time, my aunt who has been living in Ibiza for many decades, had a bar around the corner of the famous disco PACHA in Ibiza city. The bar would get crowded about 10 AM, because it was a preferred spot for the after-Pacha scene, frequented by many people who worked at Pacha, but also at other local discos and pubs.
One night I met an older German man there, who gave me and all the other women in the room a beautiful red rose. The next night I heard he had been found dead in his underwear in front of a famous brothel.
This was the first Ibiza that I knew. It was a sordid place, where charming middle-aged men sought the company of prostitutes and were consumed by drugs, where random Belgians would ask you flat out at the Pacha dancefloor if you wanted to have sex with them, and where I received dinner invitations from a millionaire Arab prince.
I didn´t take to Ibiza one bit. All I saw were drunken Brits passing out on the streets of San Antonio (the local British beach) and too many people trying to show off their money; both the ones who had it and the ones who did not.
Fortunately, my aunt lived in San Rafael in the beautiful Ibizan countryside in a magnificent palace of a country house, decorated by her with the best taste on Earth; she is after all the most talented interior designer I know. My favorite room, among many breathtaking options was the library, which had the coziest chairs and pillows, two large windows to the endless green fields and a selection of books that was to die for, in all the languages I can read.
Over the years, my perception of Ibiza has changed. I have been going there every couple of years, and I learnt that there are many different Ibizas. For example, my friend Angela Molina, known for starring in films by Luis Buñuel and Pedro Almodovar, once received me at a Mediterranean house in the middle of nowhere, which she had built for her family. Her husband is actually the son of a famous architect who has designed many of Ibiza´s most remarkable buildings. Through them, I discovered the Ibiza of the people who actually go there for the gorgeous nature, for the beaches overlooking beautiful islands, the turquoise waters, the views from soaring cliffs and the inviting forests.
The last time I saw Ibiza last year, I also took a ferry to Formentera, a smaller neighboring island which had everything to make me fall in love with it.
Ibiza is kind of a schizophrenic paradise. If you want to enjoy its nature away from the madding party crowds, you can. If you wanna party it up with a crowd that may include Jean Paul Gaultier or Naomi Campbell at the discos on top of the Old City or cruise the popular boardwalk by the harbour in your trendiest or most outrageous outfit, you can do that too.
Whichever form of the paradise may fit your taste, the island remains a paradise for all.
The best time to visit Ibiza is between May and September. If you can´t handle crowds, stay clear of the island in August.