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Ibiza Spotlight Winter Diary - Christmas and magic waterfalls

Wine, storms and DC-10 New Year's Day

In the run-up to Christmas, the enthusiasm towards yuletide fun escalates and the local residents of Ibiza come out in full force, embracing whatever winter activities are up for grabs!

Here's a little bit of what we got up to, and how our 2016 ended up. Look out for the next installment of the Winter Diary in a couple of weeks.


Carols and mince pies

Ever on the hunt for a good mulled wine and a mince pie or two, we trotted up to Atzaro near San Juan for their Christmas carol celebrations. On singing duties were the unbearably cute members of the recently launched Pauline Quirke Academy for Performing Arts - a weekly class for 4-18 years olds to channel their inner actor/singer/dancer.

They made their way through a number of classic Christmas singalongs and we donated €5 each to Mojis, the local animal sanctuary, in exchange for our festive treats. We left feeling all warm and gooey on the inside!


Guzzling free wine

The next weekend was one of our highlights of the Ibiza Winter calendar - The San Mateo Wine Festival. Held in the north of the island, this now institution allows the island's farmers to showcase their home-brewed payes, or "local" vino. Upon arrival, we were encouraged to imbibe a total of 19 wines, for free whilst being treated to a display of indigenous Ibizan dancing.

The food on offer involves you purchasing a locally made sausage, which you cook yourself on a twig over a bath tub BBQ covered in chicken wire. An experience indeed! But be warned - the wine is strong and administers an excruciating hangover of a colossal magnitude.

The who's who of Ibiza always turn up to this shindig, which customarily ends in a massive dance off to a fairly average rock and roll cover band, in a school yard. Just brilliant!


The aftermath of the year's biggest storms

The week before Christmas saw some of the most apocalyptic storms the island has witnessed in the past ten years. Over the space of three days, more water fell than in the entire year and houses, businesses and roads were flooded.

The dirt roads that many use to access their homes were all but washed away and the island was unable to cope with this epic deluge. However, in true Ibiza style, the resilience of the locals was unconquerable. Gangs of islanders flocked together to help each other, buildings were pumped out, roads re-established and the island was back to it's normal sunny and chirpy self within days. It's times like these when the community spirit makes you burst with pride…


The quest for the legendary Ibiza waterfall

Now that water levels were more than replenished, we took advantage and set off to the only waterfall in Ibiza located somewhere between San Miguel and San Mateo. A rare treat, if you can find it; a trek down a very narrow and slightly treacherous dirt track leads to a hair-raising scramble into a canyon.

However, you are rewarded by the sight of the most spectacular waterfall cascading down the normally dry rocks into the valley from a height of roughly 50 metres. Having explored yet another of Ibiza's hidden treasures, we reconvened at Can Sulayetas, a charming finca restaurant tucked behind the fields of San Mateo.

We dined on a huge plate of their infamous montaditos - a platter of open toasted sandwiches smothered in melted cheese toppings - and local wine. A classic winter day out!


A Christmas jolly on the beach

An annual tradition is our Christmas lunch get-together at the stunning La Escollera beach restaurant in Es Cavallet beach. This year, 30 of us descended upon the venue for a delicious, if slightly rowdy, four-course lunch with lashings of vino!

We were greeted with welcome drinks on the terrace, and although the weather wasn't as warm and sunny as the year before due to the recent storms, it is always a fabulous feeling to be able to stand outside in mid-December, catching up with those we just don't see enough of during the season.

After an outstanding meal of paella, salt-baked sea bass, a range of delectable salads and unctuous mini-desserts, we adjourned to our fave winter hangout Paradise Lost in Ibiza Town where things got predictably out of hand. Jimmy and his magical rum cocktails have a lot to answer for!


Circoloco's annual new year knees up at DC10

It is difficult to articulate the hysteria and mass anticipation that us islanders exhibit in the weeks prior to DC10's Circoloco New Year's Day party.

For one day only in the winter, the hallowed doors of the legendary club swing open, with a stellar lineup that you'd die for even in the summer. We shook off our NYE hangovers with a Bloody Mary at home and headed to the club at 4pm - the hour that it opens - to be the first on the dancefloor.

As we parked up, we could hear the bass enticing us towards the gates, and after bumping into so many familiar faces in between the carpark and the door, we entered the terrace, had our first hierbas shot of the day and hit the dancefloor.

We loved seeing our faves Sub-ban, Clive Henry, Rob James and the Acid Mondays whipping the crowds up into a frenzy, but for us, it was Dewalta and Timo Maas that utterly slayed it.

Imagine being at the ultimate house party with all your mates all day, but the house is DC10! And that doesn't even half describe this gargantuan yearly event! We were in there for 14 hours and it just flew by. Can't wait till next year!


WORDS | Leena Sharma

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