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Ibiza Winter Diary - Three Kings and Flower Power!

Roasts, sunsets, parades and dancing

As the post-New Year blues fade away, Ibiza starts to return to its normal January standing. Calm, tranquil and pretty chilly of a night. The influx of festive visitors and the buzz of the party island has all but disappeared and we settle ourselves into the most sedate part of the year. Boy do we love it! But don't be mistaken. Of course, you can choose to hibernate with ‘Netflix and chill' or vamos to BPM festival in Mexico chasing the rave, but there are also lots of lovely things to do for all age groups on the island, even during this - the ultimate of down seasons.

Sunday - Forty Fives

A sleepy and relaxed weekend leads to a need for a proper Sunday lunch and we head down to Forty Fives for a big, long and lazy lunch. Located in Playa d'en Bossa, this is the closest you're going to get to a pub roast on the island and when we arrive, it is already busy with families and groups laughing and eating around tables both inside, where the footy is on, and out on the terrace. The roast dinners here are generously portioned with mention-worthy Yorkshire Puds (very important for a Yorkshire lass like me!) and come complete with all the trimmings. We manage to while away 3 hours over Bloody Marys and a couple of bottles of wine and we finish the meal with a hearty crumble and custard. Satisfied!

Tuesday - Three Kings

The day that the island's munchkins have been waiting for! It's the Three Kings or Dia de Los Reyes Magos, which is the Spanish equivalent of Christmas and marks Epiphany or the day that the three kings brought gifts to 'Baby Jesus'. In the evening, the Three Kings arrive into Ibiza port by boat, alight their floats and proceed on a trip around the town chucking handfuls of sweets at the crowds. As always, we have taken up a prime location on Vara De Rey, which marks the end of the procession, and we guzzle beers and cheap wines at the fair whilst awaiting our chance to grab some of the booty. Local school kids in costume sashay past in between the floats, who at this last stage of the game have a lot of candy to get rid of! So we fill our pockets and as the fresh-faced youth of the island file into the big tent in the square to receive their pressies, we slouch off to Plaza Del Parque for a night cap.

Wednesday - Fiesta

The actual Three Kings Day. I go off in search of a ‘Roscon', or huge doughnut shaped bread covered in sugar and candied fruits. As is custom, we share said cakey over cups of tea and much fun follows when one of my mates is the winner of the little toy which is hidden in the bread, and is supposed to be good luck for the rest of the year. He takes a little bit too much pride in wearing the paper gold crown that came with the cake for the full duration of the afternoon! Boys will be boys...

Thursday - Hostal La Torre Pink Sunset

The sunsets at the moment are simply breathtaking. At approximately 5pm, the sky has been taking on the most gobsmacking pink and red hues, so we decide that we should celebrate this with a couple of beers over at Hostal La Torre in Cala Gracioneta. Taken over in 2015 by the Mambo Group, famous for their sunset experiences down on San Antonio's sunset strip, they have kept this charming hotel and restaurant true to its Spanish roots. With chairs and tables strewn across the rustic cliff edge, this is a wonderfully refreshing place to witness the unrestricted sunset views in the summer. We are chuffed that it is open all winter too and they have made the terrace warm and cosy with heaters and comfy seating. Perfect for enjoying the spectacular neon sunsets at this time of the year.

Saturday - Flower Power San Antonio

Another highlight in the Winter resident's calendar! For one night only in early January, San Antonio's West End opens its doors and a huge marquee in the fountain square plays host to a Pacha's Flower Power! It is unbelievable to see how many people are actually still here on the island as they come out of hibernation to dress like hippies and dance to Abba and the Beatles all night long. Talk about letting your hair down! When we arrive at around 11pm, the party is in full swing, most of the families having left already. We grab a drink from one of the temporary bars that have been set up and head straight into the tent where the real action is! We are joined by tons of familiar faces as the night gets busier and sweatier and we stay raving to 60s and 70s tunes until the early hours. Who says there is an off-season in Ibiza!?!?

Ibiza Winter Diaries

WORDS | Leena Sharma

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