The story of the islands first and therefore original 'Hippy Market' dates back to 1973, when Club Punta Arabi decided it might be good business all round if they gave the hippies of the island space from which they could sell their wares... From this has grown an amazing success story, a market that to this day has in excess of 500 stalls and anything between 12-14,000 visitors each Wednesday.
I asked my friends if they wanted to come with me as I went to take a look. They all declined, citing "it's too busy" - something which was already worrying me as I'm not a fan of crowds at the best of times. Still, duty called and off I went.
It transpired to be a fabulous morning and this tip I shall share with you - get there early! I arrived just before 10am, parked my jeep with relative ease and close to the main entrance of the market, situated just outside Es Cana, on the road to the lovely beach of Cala Martina.
Walking in, I paused for a coffee (the cafe at the entrance was super busy but go deeper into the market for a range of other eateries to avoid queues) I then set off to walk through the stalls, my eyes I suspect growing wider with each step.
The range of merchandise available is mind boggling. Like hippie clothes - the stalls would keep you in colourful attire for a millennia. Like jewellery - you could leave covered in gold and silver from head to toe. What was particularly lovely to see was the number of both island and handcrafted goods on offer too. Looking for a quality gift from Ibiza? I suspect you'll be spoilt for choice here. Love art? You'll find talent galore. Very few of the stalls were trashy either - most offering market goods of slightly better quality than I was accustomed to on my travels.
Food outlets abounded as did entertainment - live music from groups across Spain and further afield come to the Hippie Market to wow audiences. As I had arrived early, I got to wander around in relative peace, even finding time to chat with several stall holders about their goods, gossip with the street performers and take in a few tunes from one of the bands. Better yet, the day wasn't too hot.
Finally, just as the crowds did start to become a little overwhelming for me, I turned and left but not before thinking I had had a really enjoyable morning and that it would be something I would encourage my friends who visit the island to go and enjoy too.
Open 10am - 8pm in the High Season and 10am -7pm in the Low Season, April and October.
Stay where the Hippy Market is happening, in the Azuline Club Punta Arabi.
Rated an excellent 9/10 by previous guests, the Arcomar Apartments in San Antonio Bay come highly recommended.
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