Siesta Forever, Just Chillax

Georgina is part of Team Time Out at Costa del Sol Retreats, which is run by two blissed-out blondes and offers bespoke packages including yoga, life-coaching, foot massages, NLP and meditation with the best experts on the island.


All wild locks and aligned chakras, Larah “with an h” used to run a design shop on London’s King’s Road.

Now she grows her own tomatoes and passes around a rose quartz stone, which, she says, encourages self-love.

Her business partner, Katja, is a 6ft-tall, horse riding, mustang-driving sexpot who hosts the retreats in her deluxe finca in the hills.

Together they aim to aid guests beat recession depression, help overstretched parents reconnect, party people detox and make the most of this places energy.


Andalucia is a very magnetic coastline,” explains Larah. “There are ley lines which resonate a special psychic or mystical energy and the soil has a high crystal composite which vibrates.”

Larah only wears white by day which, she says, is hazardous when it comes to spilling beetroot juice down the front, and she has successfully eradicated  90% of synthetic fabrics from her wardrobe in a bid to get back to nature and its resources.

At this point, I gingerly grasp the hem of my highly flammable Topshop dress and hope nobody notices.


A quick trip to the hippy markets at Marbella on Saturday courtesy of John in his minibus taxi– a fixture throughout summer – and I soon have a silk/cotton mix shirt/dress for only 25 euros (about £22) so I can hang out with the new-age crew, guilt free.

As much as everyone is whining about the euro right now I still recommend saving your pennies for the batik fabrics on sale here; they’re so sheer, light and buttery against your skin it feels like you’re naked wearing them.


Everywhere in Ibiza this summer people are selling the spirituality of the island. The happy, hippy days are back – and just in time for anyone who feels the threat of redundancy is making a day at the office resemble a game of Russian Roulette.

Ask German, an island legend and equestrian who used to ride into Pacha on horseback and dismount into a flamenco routine (until health and safety had a word).

“Those were the days when Pacha was just a great big shed,” clarifies Larah nostalgically.

Now, the handsome stud runs an equestrian centre and a leather shop called Ya (Paseo de Vara de Rey 21, Ibiza Town. +34 971 307 334) in order to work with the natural material he loves best.

After modelling a Chilean poncho, woven so tightly it’s waterproof, he spontaneously decides to make a belt. Deftly slicing some leather with a scalpel, he then flips and smooths the strap which warms in his hands until, gradually, pierced and grooved, it emerges into a very Ibithen can and boho accessory – a purchase that now has a history and character, more unique than anything mass produced in Asia for the high street.

Does he pine for the days he clubbed bareback? Not on your life.

From Ya I rejoin Katja from Ibiza Retreats to explore the island the way she prefers – on horseback via the Horse Country Club.

For anyone feeling wrecked after the party’s over, rocking astride a mare that’s doing all the hard work for you is the best way to get around.

What’s more, the island is full of thoroughbreds owned by rich celebs like Jade Jagger who let these equestrian centres use and groom them  while they globetrot. There are several advantages to riding on the White Island.

First up, it’s so hot and relaxed that the animals are very easy-going, which is great for beginners. The only times my horse shows any signs of playing up is when it takes a snack break to munch on some wild fennel.

As naughty as it is, this means I take the risk of trading my helmet for a cowboy hat. It’s one of those chances you only take on holiday, but to feel like a pioneer in the great outdoors is definitely worth it. The second draw is the terrain. Ibiza is really green which, for an island with some great weather, is rare.

The landscape is carved out with knotted olive trees, fig trees, lavender fields, fennel, fertile red earth, stone walls and salt lakes. Modern roads arrived just 30 years ago, but for the most part island life is off the beaten track, and the more intriguing for it.


If partying back in the day was fuelled by Lucozade and midnight munchies then Zen benders are properly catered for here with impressive pit stops such as the Parawdiso cafe in Santa Gertrudis (Venda de Fruitera 4. +34 971 197 528). The white, shabby-chic furniture is juxtaposed with hanging birdcages decorated with bright bursts of feathers, beads and disco balls, and the menus are bound into second-hand, hardback, classic books on each table.


Serving “beauty food for happy people”, as it boasts, Parawdiso offers a raw menu – an appealing proposition, but anyone who pictures a plate of salad and feels their stomach rumble in response needn’t worry.

An Asian salad with onion bread, spiced and toasted seeds will fill you up way past siesta. No-fat, no-sugar, no-diary never tasted so good. Add organic, fair-trade coffee, fresh juices and ecological wines and there’s really no need to toxify to get high.  If you doubt the food’s capacity to make you feel amazing, look to co-owner Sarah Weirich, 31, from Berlin.


A yummy mummy who looks 21, she wears an embroidered dress with tattooed seams up the back of her legs and exudes so much natural beauty I want to pocket her for a fashion shoot. Parawdiso is a great example of the new spaces in Ibiza offering as much off the menu as on, with weekly meet-ups for creative women where Sarah uses her fashion background to show how to customise your clothes.


No Ibiza after-party experience would be complete without some TLC for the body you’ve punished for so long.


Cue Atzaró hotel (Carretera San Juan km15, Santa Eulàlia, near San Lorenzo. +34 971 338 838,, a century-old family finca and part of the island’s agroturismo scene in which properties sustain themselves off the land.

Set in a huge orange grove with the scent of orange blossom on the breeze, the place seems to be fuelled on this sweet and seductive vitamin C, with jugs of the stuff glistening in corners of the Arabic/Asiatic fusion interiors.

It’s like Charlie And The Chocolate Factory for the healthy.

It’s here that I’m met by Rachel Parsons, mother of three and an English expat who has only left the island three times in 12 years. And, really, why would you?

Rachel is the Atzaró PR angel who educates me on the pleasures of this knockout hotel and leads me past a 43m lap pool to the Balinese spa where I enjoy a facial that was so much better than the usual cackhanded therapist smearing sticky stuff on your face leading to a breakout a week later.

Instead, Sandrine uses her feather fingers to such effect that I don’t even notice the pampering has begun until I snap out of my daydream and realise I’ve had an Indian head massage, a hand massage, my eyebrows tidied and Elemis products gently applied to my skin to give me a glow I couldn’t even get watching a newborn smile for the first time.

You don’t need to be a guest to make use of the facilities, but you do have to pay 25-35 euros (£21-£26), depending on the time of year, for a day pass, or 105 euros (£90) for the facial. Luckily, rates are reasonable and a glass of the citrus elixir after doubles the feel-great factor.


I’ve been in the saddle, the massage chair and the lotus position and though I may not have gone back to the dancefloor, there’s a major party in my chakras.

As the sun starts to set and a full moon rises, we end the day at Benniras beach, a secluded cove in the north of the island, where every Sunday spontaneous percussion sees the red sun disappear to a rousing drum roll.


I’ve not been around so many dreadlocks or so much tie dye since I was a student, but my cynicism doesn’t survive long when the times get tribal.

Is the party over? Actually, no.

It’s just that this summer in Ibiza, you look a whole lot better in the morning.