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The Rise and Rise, of Rural Tourism in Ibiza.

There's a new kid on the block of Ibiza's tourist scene

There's a new kid on the block of Ibiza's tourist scene and he's growing up fast. Rural, or Agrotourism, almost unheard of a mere ten years ago, is making a big impact as the fastest growing sector of the island's tourist economy. A high growth rate over the last few years has brought the number of agrotourism establishments to over 30, a massive increase on the three which existed at the end of the 90's.

So, what exactly is Rural Tourism?
As the name implies, the link between all these rural retreats is their countryside location and ironically, the only other common denominator is their complete individuality.

The four star Hotel Village in Calo den Real with pretty well every modern convenience known to man, is a world away from Can Marti where guests live in complete tranquillity in the midst of an organic farm. But they all give every visitor to Ibiza's countryside a helping of the peace, serenity, and unhurried pace of life that still exists away from the tourist hotspots.

And why Ibiza? Firstly, size IS important. Ibiza is the biggest little island in the Mediterranean and everything is in easy reach. It's 20 or 30 minutes to practically every one of our 60 beaches and sandy coves, quarter of an hour to cosmopolitan Ibiza town, packed to the gills with bars, clubs and restaurants, and just round the corner are the island's charming sleepy villages. However, there's still enough space to get away from everything and totally relax in your chosen rural idyll without a gruelling two-hour drive from the airport.

Secondly, Ibiza is a jewel. Small but perfectly formed, it may not be spectacular, but everything fits together just so. From its pine cloaked hills (50% of the island is still covered by natural forest) to fertile valleys whose rich red earth is punctuated by olive trees, almonds and carobs. From spring fields alive with the colour of a myriad of flowers, to the coast, bold and craggy with glimpses of the Med around nearly every bend of the winding roads.

So what are the advantages?
Rural tourism gives its guests individuality. Unlike faceless package tour hotels, many of our rural hideaways occupy old fincas and farmhouses, some hundreds of years old, with rough-hewn stone walls, sabina wood beams, shady arbours and acres of land. Rooms and suites can have traditional features, antique furniture and log fires, be dotted with artworks and hints of the middle and Far East, or be coolly minimalist and modern.

Small, flexible establishments with a limited number of rooms provide a personal, friendly service where nothing is too much trouble and the list of activities on offer for those who like to do more than relax by the pool is almost endless.

Can Pere is a niblick's drive to Ibiza golf club.

The Xarc set in acres of fruit trees, is still only a short drive from Santa Eulalia.

Can Lluc provides its guests with free bicycles to tour the farm and surrounding area and pony trekking is available nearby

Can Curreu has one of Ibiza's best restaurants, its own horse stables, a gym and can arrange private boat excursions.

For the gadget conscious, there are saunas, hydromassage showers, DVD's, Play Stations, air conditioning, and satellite TV's, and Can Marti even has a Renault 4 for hire!

Quite naturally all this choice and luxury comes at a price, but not a huge one. Ibiza Spotlight's statistics reveal that today's visitors to Ibiza are more discerning than the traditional package tour market. The increase in budget airlines servicing the island at extremely competitive prices has given travellers extra cash, which they are spending on better quality hotels, and the value for money provided by rural hotels is second to none. It's therefore no wonder that even though certain tour operators are pulling out of Spanish destinations for cheaper resorts, Spain itself will receive a record number of visitors, over 60 million in 2008.

Put in a nutshell, Rural Tourism gives visitors to Ibiza choices. The choice to live the country life in total relaxation, with or without the luxuries of modern day life, or the choice to combine the best of both Ibiza worlds in the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Ibiza town and its world famous clubbing scene.

Ibiza Spotlight has a range of rural and agrotourist hotels, which are mostly open throughout the whole year, so why not browse and book?

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