A few hundred metres from the famed look-out point for Es Vendre, you will find a strange succession of stone circles on the dusty ground. These circles, made from small rocks were first created by hippies. Now they serve as an ever evolving monument for visitors, who wish upon the stones and add them to the rounds.
These circles also mark the entrance to one of my favourite spots in Ibiza. Walk to the edge of the cliff here, peek over and you will be greeted with an astonishingly pretty view. This peculiar place below should be on the tip of every tour guide's tongue, yet, despite its fame in the late 1960s and early '70s. Instead, this once-popular pilgrimage for the happy hippies, searching out the unusual, unexplainable and serene, has remained relatively untouched and below the mass tourism radar.
I had visited Ibiza four times before hearing about Atlantis (The name given to the cove of Sa Pedrera in the Cala D'hort nature reserve), finally tipped off by local friends about this coastal beauty spot, a haven for swimming, snorkelling, basking in the sun and admiring the wonder of Es Vedra Island.
Perhaps it's because Atlantis is not accessible by road or path. It's easy enough if you have a yacht! But, alas, I do not. So, for me, it was the hard way or no way.
I had to brave the 40 minutes, intense downhill hike/scramble down. Slipping and skating my way down the loose limestone cliff in the blistering heat, swearing most of the way, wishing I had a rope at points. Please do not attempt this in flip flops! I passed three deflated adventurers, who'd had to turn back early on defeated. However, ethereal beauty awaits the tourist intrepid enough to work for it.
The usually irregular, craggy rocks that make up the cliffs to the sea here are angular, crisp and exact, unlike anything I've seen in nature. The incisions in the coastline form an angular jutting basin, which pools the aquiline seawater, creating a majestic bathing area. I had heard tales of the natural elements coming together to form a triangle with its own mystical energy.
I was not surprised to learn that many once believed the rock had been carved out by an Alien species, such is the oddness of its appearance.
To this day, long after it was proven that the formations are actually the remanence of a quarry used to supply the raw materials for Ibiza town in the 16th century. Nevertheless, the legend holds firm and UFO sightings are still frequently reported in this spot. Whether the reporters have been out sampling some of the islands more narcotic based entertainment prior to their visions is anyone's guess, but I didn't see any little green men in the scrub.
Over the years Hindu style carvings and tags have appeared in the soft rock, which have more than likely been left by recent visitors than ancient civilisations. Nevertheless, they add to the strangeness and ambience of the place. What's less welcome is the poorly executed painted graffiti that marks some surfaces.
We only had to share this lovely spot with a handful of fellow explorers, which made it even more special, despite two of them being naked! Some had chosen to sunbathe in the quiet while a few thrill-seekers were cliff jumping. Take a picnic and lots to drink, as you won't find a shop or café for miles, then bask in the sun and enjoy your time in Atlantis. You'll find it hard to leave, but ensure you do before nightfall as the climb back to your car is a rough one that you'll need good vision for.
There is an undeniable peaceful aura here, whether from the rhythm of the lapping waves against the rocks, the mesmerising stature of Es Vedra looming above, or the plenitude of wildlife skittering all around, I don't know. But, there was a warmth in my soul when I left which would have me return, despite my grumbles for the journey.