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Exploring Ibiza - San Agustin

Starting our new series on exploring Ibiza, we visit the village of San Agustin.

San Agustin is a sleepy, almost impossibly pretty little village halfway between San Antonio and San Jose. If you blink you could almost miss the unobtrusive turn-off, marked only by the most subtle of signage and an equally sleepy, traditional style Ibiza bar tucked into the corner.

I took the narrow lane that gently winds up to San Agustin on a beautiful, sunny spring day. The windows were open, the chilled Balearic sounds of the radio only slightly louder than the enthusiastic chirping of the local birds. I felt one of those little explosions of joy that often accompany such day-time excursions into the ‘real' Ibiza.

As I crested the hill, the old church appeared majestically on my right and for a moment I faltered as the road seemed to well, end! But do not fear my intrepid Ibiza adventurers! Simply turn right at the church and take your pick of the 2 car-parks provided, one on either side of the main church building. Park. Then pick your mouth up off the floor as you check out the stunning, panoramic view of the glorious mountains of San Jose.

The church itself, almost 200 years old, is something of an ode to good old Ibicencan stubbornness. Its simple, solid architecture reflects this local trait, having taken the efforts of 3 bishops over 28 years to get the local villagers to agree to have it built! Although less embellished than many churches on the island, its simple architecture is much admired for its purity.

If you stroll around to the other side of the church there is a tiny bar called Bar Berri with a large terrace and a beautiful view of the surrounding pine-clad mountains. Although the bar was closed, there were a couple of local gents stocking up the shelves and catching up on a spot of woodwork. I stopped to smile and say good morning (as one does in Ibiza) and received an equally cheery response. I felt most welcome!

Strolling along, taking in the smell of wild lavender and freshly shaved wood I stopped now and then to admire the ubiquitous white, Ibicencan houses dotted around San Agustin. Their immaculately pruned hedges and rose bushes contrasted merrily with the wild poppies, wheatgrass and forget-me-nots that sprouted exuberantly by the roadside.

Heading back through the town square and back down the hill were the two village shops. A tiny tobacconist and an equally diminutive grocery store. Possibly the friendliest dog in the world came trotting out of the grocery store to greet me. I was making new friends already!

Bidding a fond farewell to my new canine friend, I headed past the shops up the only other small road in the village. The houses boasted some remarkable architecture. I saw ancient chimneys formed in mysterious shapes for reasons long forgotten. Recycled timbers knarled and polished by the sea and enjoying new lives as door beams.

An elderly Ibicencan lady drew water from a well into a bucket attached to a long rope. She noticed me looking over, put down her bucket and headed my way, no doubt wondering what I was doing loitering around her front garden! Well, I introduced myself politely and we had a lovely chat. She was 88 years old and her husband 94. She was as fit as a fiddle and blessed with a beautiful big smile that covered her entire face. Still living in the traditional, rural Ibicencan way, happy to stop, chat and pass the time of day or give a warm welcome to a stranger. I was utterly charmed. This was the real Ibiza.

So, Ibiza lovers, this is about simple pleasures. We all know that the island has the best parties in the world plus amazing restaurants, bars and beaches. However, if you fancy experiencing its untouched natural beauty, hire a car or get on the bus and have a stroll around San Agustin. Oh. And It won't cost you a single centimo.

Quick Facts

What? A stroll around the village of San Agustin

When? Day-time for the best views.

Where? About 4k out of San Antonio following the San Jose road, then left and up the hill.

Why? Local history, architecture, culture and nature, what more could you ask?!

Cost? Gloriously FREE!

Top Tips? Look out for the two art galleries. Bar Berri is open from 6pm.

Disabled? Whilst there are no steps, so wheelchair friendly, do be aware that the hills are quite steep with cobbled stones.

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