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The wonder of Ibiza's almond trees in bloom

A must see island spectacle for 2017

We all know that Ibiza is stunning all year round, though for many people it reaches the pinnacle of its beauty in January and February. This is when the almond trees come into blossom painting the island in hues of pink and white.

Why go?

Very simply it is an unmissable sight. The valleys and orchards become swathed in pastel pink and snowy white blossoms as far as the eye can see. The light reflected from the explosion of petals gives the countryside a special clarity. You can wander amongst the trees and inhale the sweet, heady scent that fills the air.

At night the blooms become an ethereal glow of silvery white carpet created by the moonlight. Top tip: it's really worth trying this out when the moon is full.

Almonds are an important ingredient in traditional Spanish dishes such as the Christmas favourites 'Salsa de Nadal' and Turrón, a sweet candy, as well as the Romesco sauce that accompanies the special onions known as calçots which are celebrated across the island in early spring.

Where is it?

The most famous display is in the Corona Valley surrounding the pretty village of Santa Inés and you can also see the orchards in full bloom in the San Juan Valley and in the countryside around San José.

When to go

This year, the cooler winter means that the blossom is a little later and we can expect the magic to really start towards the end of January with early February being a great time to experience this transformation.

You can hop in the car and drive around the established routes for an independent approach but you also have the option to share the wonder on one of the many walks that are organised to witness the blossom in all its glory.

What is the history behind it?

It is believed that almond trees were brought to Ibiza by the Phoenicians more than 2,500 years ago. It wasn't until the nineteenth century though that they became an important commercial export. The almonds started to command good prices and thrived in the prolonged spells of dry weather. By the 1960s they were the most planted tree on the island.

Increased competition meant that by the 1970s demand dropped and many Ibizan farmers lost their best source of income. In recent years, the Ibiza Preservation Fund and Greenheart Ibiza which is behind the well-known ecological finca Casita Verde, have looked to conserve almond farming by presenting an almond cracking machine to the farming cooperative of San Antonio to enhance commercial viability.

Here is a selection of island walks to see these magnificent pink-white flowers:

Walking Ibiza

Each year, Walking Ibiza organises full moon almond blossom walks. This year they are on 10 and 11 February. More details coming on their Facebook page.

Hiking Ibiza

Almond blossom hike with a calçots barbecue at the end. This daytime walk starts from San Agustin this Sunday 22 January, setting off at 11.30am in front of the village's church. At the end, for an extra fee, you can join in on the calçots event and tuck into these delicious roasted alliums. Call +34 602 544 272 to reserve a spot.

San Antonio public walk

You can join in on a free full moon almond-blossom walk by turning up at San Antonio's town hall (ayuntamiento) on Passeig de la Mar on 11 February just before 8pm. A bus service to take you to Santa Inés is also included. Note: walk given in Spanish.

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