I am the worst sort of explorer, in that I am always stubbornly and vocally un-interested in something unless it’s something I’ve discovered.
True to form I have always publically yawned over Atlantis – Ibiza’s “secret” beach. The locals assure me it is no more or less than a rather nice beach and that’s good enough for me.
However, one of my best mates was over from London for the weekend. He’d found Atlantis on his last visit and – like any good evangelist – wasn’t going to let me off the hook till I’d found it too. So off we go in the hire car with a bottle of water, a camera and some sensible shoes.
Lucky it’s one of those glorious Mediterranean autumn days where the sky is hazy blue and the sun is a silky gold as melting butter.
The first leg of our hike takes us to the most incredible view of Es Vedra I’ve ever seen. I spin in dazed circles around the top of the lookout tower, as enchanted as Alice in Wonderland.
Next up, the fun stuff. A slip-slidey journey down towards a narrow spit of land. Jumping from rock to rock, skidding on loose gravel, occasionally grabbing onto an errant pine branch and clinging for dear life. Above us, climbers are traversing a proper cliff, brightly coloured ropes swaying in the light breeze as they call to each other. They are enviably calm.
I nearly panic when I have to shimmy down a couple of metres of sloping stone to reach the fabled pool at Atlantis. (The only thing I’m more afraid of than heights is spiders, or possibly vice versa, depending on the height and/or size of spider involved.)
When I stop hyperventilating and look around I am dumbfounded. Blunt columns of soft, oatmeal-coloured stone frame the opal sea. Tiny speckled fish dart above shallow, rectangular steps showing where indifferent rock was quarried into a pool. Stone cairns of various sizes are dotted around and swirling, primitive faces break the right-angle lines of earlier craftsmen.
Finally, I get it.
Over dinner with my housemate’s visiting parents I pull out the camera. “Have you heard about Atlantis? It’s this secret beach… It’s amazing…”
Yep. I’ve officially joined the ranks of the Atlantis bores!