A Spanish island territory in the sun-soaked Mediterranean Sea, Ibiza is one of the biggest islands within the Balearic Island chain off of Spain's Eastern coast. However, in her colorful past, this escape destination has had many other names.
The Greeks first called this place the "Pitiusas," meaning "the pine-covered island."
According to sources at Foreign Policy News, Homer briefly wrote about this location when describing the neighboring Es Vedrà island, the sirens' home that Odysseus sailed past with wax-filled ears to block out the sounds of the deadly sea nymphs' songs. You can see Es Vedrà from Ibiza's shoreline, and to this day, its geomagnetic field is so strong that all compasses fail here.
The island became "Ibiza" in 654 BC when the first Carthaginian founders came from Phoenicia, an ancient civilization near modern Lebanon and Syria's plains. The Carthaginians were rich traders in their time and used Ibiza as a port to export its most-profitable good: salt, a.k.a. "white gold." The Phoenicians adored the lunar goddess Tanit during full moons on Ibiza's shores, almost as a foreshadowing to what would later become future full-moon parties both here and in popular tourist destinations like Koh Phangan, Thailand.
Then as the Romans tended to do around that time, they ended the partying by conquering Ibiza and all of its surrounding islands in the Balearic Island chain by 123 BC. The dark ages that followed left very little historical traces, but we do know that this poor island endured the occupation of Vandals, Barbarians, Byzantines and even a 500-year-long stay of Arabs, who called this location their "Yebisah," which coincidentally sounds quite as if you were trying to pronounce "Ibiza" in Arabic.
Even though the Catalans claimed Ibiza back by 1235, the rise of pirates plagued the island since it was often the target of these sea-faring bandits. If you look at the few surviving relics of 16th-century architecture, especially the churches, some still show traces of cannons they had installed on the roofs to keep the pirates at bay.
After the tumult of the Spanish Civil War passed, Ibiza lay in quiet isolation, welcoming the stray travelers who stopped by. Those with a more Bohemian nature came to see this island as a reclusive paradise, and Ibiza began attracting creative types like painters, writers and countercultural types in the 1930s. Later on, hippies positively thrived on Ibiza, and some never left.
Then, it finally happened. Ibiza gave birth to the rave.
Alfredo Fiorito told The Guardian how he was the main DJ for Amnesia, the very first club on the island that opened in the 1970s. Reaching its peak around 1987, it was a farmhouse converted to a mostly outdoor club that attracted many new musicians and even Indian gurus. It was relaxed and cheap, opening at 3:00 a.m. when all the other clubs closed to keep the party alive until the middle of the day. This hotspot became so outrageously popular for being different, open and freer than other party spots that now-famous London DJs Danny Rampling, Nicky Holloway, Paul Oakenfold and Johnny Walker all opened their own clubs back home specifically to recreate the incredible vibe from Amnesia on Ibiza, spreading the concept now known as raves throughout Europe.
Today, Ibiza is one of the hottest vacation spots in the world, an ideal stop for cruises and incredible luxury vacations.