Miss W’s blog: Winter rituals – Sunsets
As I look out my window right now, suffering a serious case of DC10 on New Year’s Day induced writer’s block, I am struck by the jaw dropping beauty of the winter sunset taking place over Dalt Vila at this very moment. Who needs art when you’ve got a view like that, right?
But wait, I hear you all say. Is she mad? Did DC10 turn her brain into a genuine pile of mush? The sun simply does not set over Dalt Vila in Ibiza. Ever. The sun sets in the west!
Yes, yes, of course I am aware of this, but you see, in winter, the sunsets aren’t limited to a certain strip of concrete on the island’s west side as some magazines would have you believe. The light, the colours, the shadows, the magic… it makes its way across the entire island as twilight sets in and the sun starts to set. Sure, you might not see the actual sun sink into the sea, and there might not be a DJ serenading it with chillout tunes, but I can assure you, it is every bit as magical, every bit as beautiful and every bit as powerful as any summer sunset you’ll bear witness to.
With that in mind, I come back to my computer – I mean, this blog’s not going to write itself and the clock is ticking – and a quick glance at my Facebook feed reveals a wash of pink, gold and orange, as so many of my Ibiza friends are sharing their very own experience of this exact same moment. In a matter of moments, I see the sunset from Ibiza town, from the Marina, from the west, on a beach, over the old town, in the country and even from a yoga studio! It’s just so stunning it’s impossible to keep it to yourself.
I ask my good friend Google why we experience such intense scarlet skies at this time of year, and he/she tells me it’s because the sun sits so low on the horizon, which means each ray passes through more air as it heads towards our little human eyeballs. Within all this air are more molecules to scatter the smaller wavelengths of the colour spectrum – which are the violets and blues – away from your eyes. By the time it reaches us, there’s no blue to speak of, just the magical burnt orange, fiery fuschia and glowing gold rays. And thus concludes our science lesson!
So to anyone who thinks they’ve been here and done that, if they’ve witnessed an Ibiza sunset in the summer, please let me share with you some of the lesser-known ways to experience the magical sunset in winter. Minus the crowds!
Watch it in the west
Just because the San An sunset strip has shut up shop for the season doesn’t mean sunsets are any less enjoyable from the west side of the island. And now, thanks to the team who pretty much have a monopoly on sunset venues in the west, we have an all-year round place to enjoy it: Hostal La Torre. What used to be an old school cheap hostel with a view to die for was recently given a revamp by the renowned Mambo group, who restored it to its former glory as a Spanish hotel, bar and restaurant and now boasts nightly resident DJs spinning chillout sets as the sun sinks into the sea. Simply stunning – but be sure to wrap up warm as you’re practically sitting on a cliff!
Watch it from a restaurant
As the sun’s position has moved to a more south-westerly position, there is no finer terrace on the entire island than that of Cotton Beach Club on Cala Tarida from which to watch the winter sunset. Thankfully, the beautiful venue is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the off-season, offering up its sensational views to one and all, complete with roaring fireplaces, live music, a kids corner, fabulous cocktails and a delicious menu.
Watch it to the sound of the beating drums
Ahhh Benirras. There is no more an iconic alternative than this northern beach, where the famous hippy bongo players create a one-of-a-kind soundtrack to the sunset every Sunday night, all year round. The sun may not set directly behind the big rock jutting out from the sea – often referred to as ‘The Hand of God’ – but it doesn’t stop the fiery skies over the beautiful bay turning into a magical, fairy tale like like paradise complete with a hypnotic, unforgettable beat.
Watch it from the rock
Es Vedra has long been touted as Ibiza’s most magical, mythical and magnetic spot, and whether you’re a believer in the rumours or not, there’s no denying the power of the emotions it conjures up as you witness the sky start to change from orange and gold to pink and purple at sunset throughout winter. Whether you go solo to meditate, practice yoga, chant or do whatever it is you do, or you go in a group with a bottle of cava, it’s a sunset that should be experienced at least once in your lifetime.
Watch it in the countryside
Go for a meander any time from about 4.30pm until just after 6pm in the campo, and be prepared to spend most of the time tripping over, as it is very nearly impossible to look where you’re walking as you’ll have your eyes glued firmly to the sky. Watching nature’s amazing natural spectacular cast its shadows and light over the hills and valleys of Ibiza’s countryside is like pure magic – just remember, once the sun’s gone, it gets dark really quickly so you might need to remember to bring a torch!
Watch it from the Marina
Just look at the main picture in my blog (thanks to the wonderfully talented Ana Lui for that one!). Need I say more?
Ed’s note: Sunrises are also just as magical at this time of year… if you just so happen to be awake for them!