Ibiza's Hippie Heritage
February 05, 2016

Ibiza's Hippie Heritage

Hippies have been a feature in the collective memory of Ibiza for decades. But to truly understand the how and why of the Ibiza hippie invasion one needs to go right back to the Golden Years of Hollywood when a gang of bohemian actors and hangers-on took the slow boat from mainland Spain to discover this island paradise.


Errol Flynn would sail by, escaping some scandal or another. Not long after Elizabeth Taylor followed and Ursula Andress bought a house here. The Brits were not to be outdone either. During the 50s, Ibiza saw the likes of Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliot, Diana Rigg, Terry Thomas and a gaggle of young aristocrats take up residence. When Laurie Olivier pulled up in 1965 Ibiza’s reputation as the cool crew’s hangout was sealed. It was these trailblazing non-conformists who paved the way for the flower children of the late 60s and 70s.

Folk-rock icons such as Joni Mitchell, Nico and Syd Barrett all turned up (and turned on) at some time or another, following in the purple haze of the draft dodgers and soul seekers that came before them. No doubt the attraction was Ibiza’s isolation from the rest of the world, which at the time was engaged in a pointless war, facing economic hardships and generally trying its best to grimly hang onto the ideals of the flower generation.


Unlike the real world, Ibiza was still innocent and beautiful. The locals, after decades of physical and political isolation, enjoyed the newness of the peluts (translation – hairy ones, aka hippies). Elsewhere the flower children were being chided for not growing up but here they were accepted with open arms and the option for affordable living.

Candlelit beach parties, spiritual awakenings and free love lived alongside old-fashioned farmers, traditional customs and horse drawn carts. It was a period in the island’s history that laid the foundation for what it has become today.

Hippie Market Place With Couple

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