Debbie Rae Does ... The Legend of Es Vedra and The Pirate Tower
For a rock in the sea, this little anomaly has a big reputation. 413 metres tall, it juts from the water like a fountain slicing the sky.
Although small, Es Vedra is technically an island, around 1.5 miles off the west coast of Ibiza. A sanctuary for endangered gulls and falcons, along with over 150 different rare flora and fawner species, it is a nature reserve, uninhabited and illegal to visit. So, if you can't set foot on this rock and you can't see the fantastic species it safeguards from your perch on the hill, why do thousands flock each year to stare in awe upon it? When, to be frank, there are quite a few rocks in the sea to look at in Ibiza; What makes this rock exceptional?
One of the more bizarre urban legends is that, according to some researchers, Es Vedra is the third most magnetic place on Earth. Is this why many people report feeling a strange surge or energy when near it? From what I can ascertain, the island is primarily Mesozoic limestone, which has no magnetic properties. So, maybe it's something else?
Could it be because of the many myths? That Es Vedra was the birthplace of the goddess Tanit, or perhaps, that sea sirens and seductive nymphs once graced its cliffs? Although attractive, none of these enticing tales is enough to draw the swathes of sunset watchers day after day. That accolade goes to the titan of myths, the legend that has enthralled children for generations and captivated the imagination of grown men. Es Vedra is reported to be the gateway to The Lost City of Atlantis, and what's more…there is proof to be seen.
My guidebook touted Torre Del Pirata (Pirate Tower) as a 15-minute uphill walk to a derelict lookout tower. In truth, this was a 30-minute challenging climb up a hill, some time spent with no visibility of the tower or path.
We aimlessly clambered up rocks before realising we were in the wrong place. Having overshot our mark, it was a scramble back down the hill, which wasn't straightforward but was well worth the effort.
This is not a well-publicised tourist spot. However, I had been tipped off by some ex-pats, who had been living nearby for 8 years. It took me ages to find a book with information about this place, but this lends to its appeal. When I arrived at Torre Del Pirate, I found that my husband and I had the whole place to ourselves. Opposed to the crowds at the first viewpoint, we didn’t pass a soul on the way or back down.
It felt almost otherworldly to be alone, with such resplendent views on an island known for its crowds of party-goers.
My second surprise here was that the door of the tower had been prized open, and rocks placed as makeshift steps so we could clamber inside. I’m sure we were not supposed to go in this building, but the lure of mystery was too much and we were respectful to touch nothing. To stand where men had once worked, looking out for invaders and pirates centuries before was unexpectedly moving.
It is from up high that you will see the unusual cuts into the stone of the coastline, forming pools of clear turquoise sea. I have not seen waters like this outside of the Caribbean, I can see why these pools were believed for centuries to have been left by the lost civilisation of Atlantis. You can not reach these pools by road or path, so it is the lucky few who can get there on yachts or brave the climb who can swim here (you can find more on this is my blog Debbie Rae Does ... The Lost City Of Atlantis).
Watching the golden sunset behind Es Vedra I could see why it has attracted so many people over the years. The beauty alone is enough to make you stop, rest and take stock. Being there is an experience I would parallel with meditating.
I can’t claim to believe the myths and legends but I can categorically tell you that the beauty of this place will enrich your life and leave you with a memory to warm you on your darkest of days.