Category Archives: Balearics

Ibiza offers much more than nightlife and parties


Most visitors come to Ibiza to have fun and enjoy the island’s famous hot spots and nightlife.

But all of a sudden people are waking up to the fact that there’s an altogether different side to the island — and this summer Sunflower’s guide to walking and cycling on Ibiza (and neighbouring Formentera) has been one of our best-sellers.

Perhaps visitors have realised that even in summer it’s not too hot to walk the coastal paths, since there’s always a light breeze blowing in from the sea. There are myriad small paths to be discovered near each of the island’s holiday resorts — they run along the coast, or through fields, gardens or forests. And there are country lanes as well — ideal for cycling.

Our ‘Landscapes’ guide to walking, cycling and touring on Ibiza and Formentera is the perfect companion for those who want to get away from the party scene. Here are just a few photos of footpaths and cycle tracks taken from the guide (click thumbnail to enlarge)…

Holidaying in Royal Style


Decades ago, when Mallorca was sneered at as a downmarket haven for lager louts, Sunflower noticed that King Juan Carlos of Spain holidayed there every summer. ‘If it’s good enough for the king, it’s got to be good enough for “Landscapers”’ we thought. And sure enough – Landscapes of Mallorca was the first ever walking guide to that island and became a bestseller, winning an ‘Oscar’ from the Sunday Times for best travel guide.

This time another Balearic island, Ibiza, has been in the news. Before their marriage, Prince William and Kate holidayed at the home of her wealthy (and rather controversial) uncle Gary, in the south of the island. The tabloid press made much of the name of his house – the ‘Maison de Bang Bang’ – and the goings-on there.

Now Kate’s uncle has been unable to sell the house, so is renting it out. So you really could holiday like the royals … for a mere £20,000 a week. To take a peek, log on to

You’ll pass the house if you do Walk 5 in Landscapes of Ibiza and Formentera, near the airport and the salt pans (where you’ll see huge piles of salt with cranes and caterpillar machines chomping away). The walk mostly follows the gorgeous coastline, sometimes at the foot of the striking red Jondal cliffs.

Just like Mallorca, Ibiza need be nothing like the descriptions in the popular press. Not only are the coastal walks glorious, but the rural inland routes are exceptionally beautiful and gentle. The book describes several cycle tours as well, both on Ibiza and the neighbouring island of Formentera. What’s more, the climate is suitable for year-round walking!

A tragic warning on walking alone

Late July 2013. Both the UK and much of Europe were in the grip of a heat wave. Sunflower’s office received an urgent message one morning from a leading Mallorca luxury hotel in the Deia region. We were told that one of the hotel’s guests had on the previous day set out on one of the walks featured in our Landscapes of Mallorca walking guide. The territory to be covered included the rugged landscape seen in the photograph above. Apparently instead of having the complete book, he had torn out the relevant page describing the walk he intended to do and had taken it with him. But now, nearly 24 hours later, he had failed to return. The police intended to send out a search party to find him. We were asked if we could e-mail a pdf of the pages describing the walk. (This was because although the hotel had found the book, with the walk description torn out of the book it was not known precisely what route he would have taken.) Of course we immediately sent the necessary information and a map of the walk route.

Unfortunately, the hotel’s guest had ignored the advice in the book that one should never walk alone. He had also set off in conditions of extreme heat. (The hotel considered that the prevailing heat conditions were such that even an experienced walker could have run into difficulty in this mountainous region) So it proved. We later learned that the guest had sadly collapsed and died on the walk and the search party found his body.

Whether you’re walking in familiar territory or in a landscape that is new to you, and whether you walk in spring, summer, autumn or winter, avoid walking alone. Even in the most favourable conditions and in territory you know like the back of your hand, an accidental fall could leave you incapacitated and unable to reach help. (And a mobile phone so often proves to be without a signal just when it is most needed!) But especially in extremes of climate, whether it be bitterly cold in winter or abnormally hot in summer, think twice before setting off. Don’t ignore advice given by locals but above all, make sure you are accompanied by other walkers.

Enjoy your walking, but do follow the advice we offer to ensure the safety of both you and your fellow walkers. Comprehensive advice on safety while walking, appears in each guidebook published by Sunflower Books. Do take note of it.