When the lights come on: Ibiza in the close season

OF THE destination nightclubs in Ibiza, only Pacha stays open all year round. Some beach bars stick it out until the weather turns, but in general the island is a quiet place out of season.

But don’t mistake the lack of noise for a lack of things to do: there’s plenty going on after the clubs shut up shop. Outside the towns and resorts the countryside is packed with surprises.

San Mateo is a tiny village in northern Ibiza renowned for its highly fertile soil ideal for growing grapes. Many of the village’s residents produce their own wine and every December they get together at the San Mateo Wine Festival for a mass tasting. The best bit? All the wine is free – great news for your wallet, not so much for your head the next day.

Elsewhere, there’s September’s three day Medieval Festival, which takes place in the Old Town and celebrates Ibiza’s history of peaceful coexistence between races and religions. The festival is about as far as you can get from the pounding house music that dominates in the summer – well worth a visit for history buffs.

The other side of the new year there’s the annual Almond Blossom night walk, which takes place every February under the full moon.

The flowering of the Almond trees gives the countryside a pinkish-white blanket that looks spectacular under the silvery light of the full moon.