Almond trees in bloom
When the island is calm, well into winter and the new year, Ibiza witnesses a visually spectacular display full of magic and natural beauty. This takes place in mid- to late-January and can continue through to March, depending on seasonal weather conditions. To enjoy it, travel to Pla de Corona, a vast agricultural extension spanning 3 square kilometres that stretches from the Santa Agnès valley as far as the edge of the cliffs overlooking the sea.
This spectacle is the almond trees blooming. However, this is not a simple wildlife process that can be seen in other parts of the island’s landscape. The unique feature making the Pla de Corona bloom an extremely popular attraction is the layout of the farms and the number of trees planted. The extensive, fertile, red soil plains, so typical of Ibiza, are mainly used to grow almonds. Hundreds of trees make the area a sea of white flowers during blossom season. The blue sky, red earth, green forests and white almond in bloom paint an irresistible picture.
Around the Pla area, there are several elevated spots offering spectacular sweeping views over the trees, and the paths through the forest allow visitors to be at one with nature in her purest form and to enjoy a unique day out. Furthermore, there is a pleasant little road surrounding it, perfect for a bike ride, jogging and other sports or leisure activities.
This natural phenomenon arouses the interest of locals and visitors alike, particularly on the calm days common in this part of the Mediterranean in January and February. This is the excuse for organising regular hikes, excursions and races of every kind. For instance, the Popular “Almond Blossom” Challenge, one of the island’s most attractive races, covering 7.5 km along paved and dirt roads in Pla de Corona, with the almond trees in full blossom. Over 400 runners meet each year in the spot to compete in the different categories. It is particularly appealing for the younger age ranges, as the route is very flat, with no major changes in elevation. In fact, there is a 300-metres long beginners’ race for the youngest runners or competitors with no prior experience. There’s another 1 km trial for under 8/9s, under 10/11s, under 12/13s and under 14/15s. Registration is cheap, and the event is open to all.
Another extremely popular activity is the hike through the almond trees under the moonlight. Under the suggestive name of “Anem de lluna i mirem-mos sa flor”, this excursion brings together a dozen walkers each year who hike 11 km under the spellbinding light of the full moon. Leaving from the Sant Antoni city centre, from Passeig de les Fonts, the walk heads towards Pla de Corona on a route taking around 2.5 hours. Upon arrival, and as a climax, a torrada (barbecue) is held in the Santa Agnès town car park with sobrasada and other produce from Ibiza, at affordable prices. Visitors can head back to Sant Antoni in buses specially put on for the event. It is certainly an activity offering a different perspective of the magical and enchanting Ibiza countryside. Comfortable footwear, warm clothes and a torch are recommended. Due to the nature of the trail, the activity is not suitable for young children or pets.
The Corona almond tree blossom is the perfect excuse for hiking other trails leading to stunning lookout points, such as the one overlooking the cliffs of Sa Penya Esbarrada, also known as the Gateway to Heaven. Or the jaw-dropping path that, due to areas that look almost impossible, takes hikers from a cliff top to sea level. The famous descent to Ses Balandres, a spot of ruggedly beautiful coastline.