It’s the season for hiking Ibiza and I try to get out in nature with my friend Charlie Ellington as often as I can.
I’d only been in Ibiza a short time when I met Charlie six years ago. He’d just moved to the island himself. He opened his house up as a coworking space a couple of times a month. It was a cool thing to do and gave me a great opportunity to meet people.
Charlie runs a busy design studio designing interfaces for mobile and web apps and doing product design. His current clients are based in New York, Australia and New Zealand with globally distributed teams. His work is, as he says, “as remote as can be.”
He moved to Ibiza with his girlfriend who he met in Greece to start a yoga retreat company, after a short stint in London, which they realised was not where they wanted to be. They moved to Ibiza while they decided where in Europe they wanted to live.
“We spent one summer running retreats, which went really well. When I discovered you could kite surf here – my real passion – we never left,” Charlie says.
“With the coworking days, I wanted to connect to more people,” Charlie told me. “I thought there must be people like me working remotely. I put it out there and people came. I always made sure there was wine and beer at the end of the day so there was an after works drinks feel to it.”
This “If I do it, people will come” approach applies to Charlie’s hiking Ibiza groups. “It’s very simple. I do a lot of hiking and I wanted people to hike with. It’s not massive, not organised, not commercial, just a way of getting groups of friends together to be in nature.”
Although Charlie is laidback about the hiking Ibiza groups, he does have deeper motivations.
“One is very personal,” he says. “It’s to build a deeper sense of community with people who are similar to me and want to do something more adventurous than just work hard or party. The other is that I thought if I could get more people out in nature, they might take more interest in their environment and take care of it.”
Personally, I love going on Charlie’s hikes. He always manages to show me a part of the island I haven’t seen before or a view I didn’t know existed. His routes can be challenging but you’re sure to end up somewhere spectacular. And he’s great company to share a beer with when you get there.
Charlie’s favourite hiking Ibiza routes are in the north of Ibiza. “The best bits are to the west of San Miguel going round to San Antonio,” he says. “The views are incredible – gigantic cliffs towering over the sea – and amazing pine trees. You’re miles away from anywhere and there are no houses nearby. It feels very remote. The fact that you can drive for just 15 minutes, walk for an hour and be completely in nature is one of the reasons I’ve stayed in Ibiza.”
We also do longer walks together. It just depends on how long we have.
To find new routes, Charlie refers to the Secret Ibiza books published by Walking Ibiza. He also uses a Wikiloc app where people share routes they’ve discovered. “I go in with a rough idea of where I want to go,” he says, “and see what people have uploaded.”
Charlie’s own Wikiloc profile, ‘Charlie’s Trails’, is where he logs his own hikes.
How about opportunities to stop and have lunch?
“One of the great things about hiking Ibiza is that there are plenty of amazing restaurants dotted around the island. I often plan a walk around having lunch at one of these.
Charlie has three favourite restaurants at which to finish a hike.
From La Paloma, San Lorenzo, you can do an inland hike to one of the mountain signal towers and enjoy amazing views across the island before looping back through a mixture of pine trees, valleys and farmland.
Here are some hiking suggestions around La Paloma.
Amante on the south side of Ibiza is more upmarket. You get to it from Santa Eulalia following ancient forest paths, looking down into beautiful bays as you walk.
In the north you have Las Puertos del Cielo (The Gates to Heaven) in the woods behind the village of Santa Inés, also known as Santa Agnés, where there’s some of the best hiking on the island. There’s a simple restaurant on the point overlooking the tiny Ses Margalides islands that does amazing seafood.
This was one of the places where the hippies used to gather to watch the sun go down and it’s truly magical.
If you’d like to go hiking Ibiza with Charlie, and I really recommend his hikes, get in touch with him on WhatsApp. He’s happy for anyone to join the group.