How to Create a Mediterranean Garden

How to Create a Mediterranean Garden

Ibiza is a multicultural hotspot and the different cultures of the island have a direct influence on its architecture, design and décor. When it comes to interior design and home furnishing, Ibiza reflects perfectly this eclectic vibe and vibrant melting pot.

The island is home for a wide range of home furnishing stores, design boutiques and ethnic decoration shops. With so many choices available, finding the style that best suits you might become time consuming – no matter if you are decorating a single room or the whole house. To make things easy, let’s have a look at the 4 most popular Ibiza’s interior design styles:

Refined Rustic
This look combines rustic style with modern accents. The elements take inspiration from the traditional island decoration – furniture pieces made of natural materials with earthy, natural colours and simple home accessories, which perfectly blend with the surroundings. This style keeps the charm of traditional ibicenco farmhouse and brings out the character with simple lines and few decorative elements.

Worldly Eclectic
Ibiza offers many ethnic boutiques and quirky decoration shops, chock full of beautiful and unique items from all over the world. To achieve this eclectic style you should mix (and don’t match) modern pieces with antique objects, use vibrant colours & strong patterns, incorporate a hint of metallic accents and pick pieces that possess ethnic or oriental vibes. Give to your house a personality rather than an appearance of a plain space. Create a desired tidy sense of chaos, nothing usually feels like it was designed for the space, but rather found or chosen because of a meaning or its story.

Cosy Contemporary
Contemporary interiors are comfortable and welcoming without being cluttered and dark. This style is defined mainly by simplicity, delicate sophistication, clean lines and soft shades. Choosing the right pieces for the right spaces is key, allowing each piece to shine and breathe. If you opt for this style remember to mix and match elements to enhance the comfort.

Stripping things down to their bare basics, Minimalism offers an aesthetic that relies on the efficiency of the design. All finishes and colours are kept to a bare minimum. The popular Ibiza “white-on-white style” is very popular within minimalist modern design, it can be very inviting with its clean, crisp look. When done right, this look creates a serene and peaceful space, providing a chic, pure and natural take on design.

Healthier Life in Ibiza

When Larah and Susie came into our office looking for their own retreat space, we immediately understood what they needed for their yoga retreat project, Ibiza Retreats. Since 2008 Larah and Susie have been working to create a wellness “nexus point” for yogis and those in need of space and support to rejuvenate, heal and grow. 

Over the last 9 years, Ibiza Retreats has cultivated a portfolio of the finest retreat locations on the island – whilst also gathering a dream team of world-class teachers, holistic therapists, healers, healthy chefs and nutritionists to offer inspirational and transformational retreat experiences for guests from all over the world.

Ibiza Retreats has grown to become one of Ibiza’s most respected wellness organisations, so the need to have their own “home-base” grew too. Larah and Susie began searching for their own retreat space and therefore came to seek help at our offices. We immediately believed in their vision, the purpose of their work and recognised their need to connect with the right type of location, a venue that had the special, ‘soul-of-Ibiza’ energy as well as the right layout and facilities.

Our team knew they needed spacious bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms and multiple indoor and outdoor yoga, meditation and workshop spaces so that they could offer an all-year round opportunity for both their own retreats and for teachers and group leaders from around the world to bring their own groups here. During the search we helped Larah and Susie become increasingly specific in their brief, realising that they were seeking gardens and private chill-out areas to provide hammocks and plenty of intimate corners for all their guests to have the head and heart space they needed to revitalise. 

The size of the property they were looking for would have required a significant boost from investors and so, as an easier co-creation, we understood their vision and knew that they were seeking a soulful atmosphere with an owner/investor who also believed in the value of their project. We therefore connected them with the new owner of a stunning Finca, Can Balafi de Baix.    

Feeling a positive connection Larah, Susie and the owner agreed on a collaboration. They carried out the reformations needed to turn the venue into a truly spectacular and luxurious retreat home, with Ibiza Retreats to complete all the elements that make it unique as a retreat, creating a stunning yoga and meditation garden, multiple treatment spaces and “peace zones” and as client testimonials agree, it is a match made in heaven.  

Now fully booked for the whole year, Larah and Susie renamed the property “Casa Lakshmi Luz”, after the Hindu Goddess of wealth and prosperity (which begins with wellbeing). The home of wellness, light and love also serves as an art gallery for local artists and photographers and it’s white rendered walls hug the many layers of fruit and cactus gardens, with pools surrounded by pockets of lawn.

The original Finca is over 200 years old; artfully extended with Moroccan pool terraces and Balinese chill-out areas, an ample professional kitchen and indoor and outdoor eating spaces. Bougainville, Jasmine and other local Ibiza vines soften the walls where white curtains now flow from the columns. Splashes of purple and magenta from hammocks mirror the flowers and the overall sensation of well-being, as their guests have said: “Like a warm and welcoming bath, with just the right essential oils to help you relax and refined your inner-smile”.

Let’s Talk About Villas with Pools – Salt Water or Chlorine?

Before buying the property of your dreams, there is a mandatory certificate needed for you to become the owner of an Ibiza Real Estate. This is a fiscal number, called the N.I.E number – abbreviation for “Número de Identidad de Extranjero”, which translates as Foreigners’ Identification Number.

What is it? The N.I.E number, is like the British National Insurance Number or the American Social Security Number – it’s a unique code for each person that lasts for their whole life and allows them to pay tax, purchase property and pay utility bills.

When do you need it? When you are buying a property in Ibiza, then you need to have a N.I.E number by the time you sign the deeds of purchase before notary, an event known in Spanish as the “Escritura” (last step of the buying process). If you want to know more about the steps involved in purchasing a property, read our previous blog: 3 Steps for Buying a Property in Ibiza.

How to apply? There are three ways to apply for a Spanish N.I.E number. You can apply in person at the local police station of Ibiza, you can apply in person via a Spanish Consulate in the country where you live, or you can apply through a representative in Spain.

If you decide to go with the first option, while you are here in Ibiza, consider that is a relatively straightforward procedure. The only inconvenience is that you may have to wait for several hours in a queue in order to submit your application at the Ibiza police station, especially in summer when island’s population doubled. The process is as follows:

• First you need to book an appointment online – we would advice to book it well in advance.

• Then you will be asked to attend the police station of Ibiza to have an interview and bring all the necessary documentation.

• Then you will have a second appointment at the police station to collect you NIE card. You might be able to get an N.I.E number in person in Ibiza in a couple of days, but it could also take weeks, so best allow yourself plenty of time. Once issued, the N.I.E card, which may come in plastic card or paper form, will attach a unique fiscal number to you and you will use this in all business transactions you may be involved in.

Does N.I.E. number have an expiration day? N.I.E number certificates were being issued with a 3-month validity from the time of issue; after these months you were expected to apply for residency, or register as a non-resident. However, in 2016 the regulation was changed in order to get rid of the three-month expiry deadline, so N.I.E numbers are now valid indefinitely. In principle you can get your N.I.E number anytime before you buy, but to be on the safe side you might want to do this as soon as possible.

Exclusive sales as Lead Agency

As reported by the leading Spanish property portal,, the number of international clients interested in luxury properties (those valued at more than €1 million) has increased by an extraordinary 78.8% in the last three years.

With reference to prices, the average price tag of a luxury property in Spain is now around €2 million, which is 6% higher than in the country’s worst year in real estate business, 2013.

The amount of luxury homes currently on the market has also gone up from 2.3% of the total for sale in 2013 to 2.7% that are currently on the market.

Three quarters of the total amount of luxury properties are concentrated in just four zones within the country: Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga and the Balearic Islands.

If we look at the features of these kinds of properties, as you might expect, 84% of these are four bedroom houses or more, while 65% have an area of between 200 and 600 square metres.

However, not all of these properties, boast a swimming pool; only 60% feature this luxury, although this is directly connected to the area where the property is located.

In the last three years, prices have varied continuously, and have increased more in some areas than others. For example, properties situated on the coast, in destinations that are popular with international buyers, have seen their value increase as much as by 35%. Areas where luxury property prices have increased by more than 15% include Vila de Eivissa (Ibiza), Sant Feliu de Guixols (Girona), Sierra Blanca (Marbella) and Los Monteros (Marbella).

There are some areas where prices have remained stable since 2013 – Palma de Mallorca, the Salamanca district of Madrid, La Moraleja (Madrid) and Pla de Remei (Valencia).

As with everything, trends keep changing and what was once popular, no longer is. This can be applied to the property market and the area where people choose to live. In the last three years, some destinations have become more popular, while others have seen their appeal decline.

Idealista report increasing interest in luxury properties in the following areas: Sant Feliú de Guixols (279%), Sant Josep de Sa Talaia (177%), Palma de Mallorca (173%), Javea (158%) and Sierra Blanca (150%).

Demand of luxury properties in the North of Ibiza is growing among wealthy foreign buyers

The ibiza property market boasts an incredible selection of properties – from residential buildings and modern villas, to traditional fincas and luxury apartments. Finding the right property can become quite tricky and especially time-consuming. There really is something out there to suit every kind of style, taste, as well as budget.  Our approach is completely different from other estate agents, after an initial meeting where you explain to us what you need and what kind of property are you looking for, we will present a short list of properties – only the ones that best fit your requirements and dreams! Knowing the pros and cons of each type of property is fundamental to avoid unpleasant situation in the future – for instance potential restriction on building or unexpected costs of maintenance. To take the stress away and help you make your choice easy, we have listed the pros & cons associated with the 3 most common type of properties available on the Ibiza property market, as well as a rough guide to their prices. Fincas in Ibiza Traditional Ibiza farmhouses are the right choice if you seek the quiet rural lifestyle. Privacy, seclusion and a home full of character, are the main pros of this type of properties, as well as beautiful views and plenty of outdoor space – but consider they don’t come cheap, be prepared to pay a premium to live in the countryside of Ibiza! Keep in mind that unless you buy a newly-reformed finca, it’s very likely that you’ll need to carry out some renovation works. Many of these traditional Ibiza farmhouses can be hundreds of years old, which means thick walls, small windows and modest kitchen and bathroom sizes. If you need to carry out renovation work, a disadvantage is the time-consuming process required for permission and work in general – even for small renovation. In fact you might occur in some restrictions regarding planning permission, due to the cultural heritage of the finca. But on the plus side, after all this work, you will have the house of your dreams! Also remember that fincas require constant maintenance; so a downside is the ongoing cleaning and maintenance costs associated with the everyday upkeep of this type of property. Modern Villas in Ibiza Newly built villas have the essential advantage of not having renovation costs in the near future, as well as the main advantage that once you buy it, you can then move in the same day. Prices can depend on the location and size. Modern villas in Ibiza are beautifully designed, taking into consideration modern home living and are built to a very high-standard. These type of properties have also a good rental income if you don’t want to live here the whole year, as you can rent it out easily. As villas are normally larger in size – a disadvantage, much like for traditional fincas, is the ongoing cleaning and maintenance cost associated with the everyday life of these type of properties. Apartments in Ibiza Apartments are the right choice if you love the buzzing town-life. In the last coupe of years Ibiza has seen an increase in construction of new residential buildings, with a boom in the municipalities of Ibiza Town, San Antonio and Santa Eularia. If you want that village feeling but are looking for something a bit more quiet than the villages of Santa Gertrudis, San Joan or San Rafael are good options. Overall the cost of an apartment is more accessible than country houses and modern villas, but still well above the average price of the Spanish property market. For example a 2 bed property goes from the lowest price of around €250.000 in the North of the island, to the highest in Ibiza town of approximately €1.250.000. The disadvantage of living in an apartment is the noise of the neighbours, which can multiply in summer with rental holidaymakers. Also apartments do not give you the freedom to make many modifications to the home, but overall this is the only option available if you don’t have a big budget.

Buying a property in Ibiza with a mortgage

In a previous post we spoke about the “3 steps of buying a house in Ibiza. This time we will look at the real costs related to buying a property in Ibiza.

When you buy a property in Ibiza, you need to consider that over and above the property price, you must pay several costs and taxes. We can safely say that the estimate cost for purchasing an Ibiza property is between 9% and 12% of the property’s purchase price, including taxes and obligatory additional charges. These costs are broken down as follows:

2. Transfer Tax 

When buying a property in Ibiza, there is a state tax you must pay, whether you buy a new build property or an existing one.

  • If you buy a second-hand property you must pay the Impuesto sobre Transmisiones Patrimoniales (ITP, starting at 8%) 
  • When buying a new build property, you must pay the Impuesto sobre el Valor Añadido (IVA, starting at 10%) 

In both cases, it’s the buyer who must pay the tax on property transfers, calculated according to the total value of the property being sold.

2. Local Property Tax 

This tax is similar to the council tax in the UK and it’s called Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles (IBI). It’s a local tax raised by the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento) where the property is registered. 

The tax base is calculated with regards to the Catastral value of the property (Valor Catastral). The tax rate varies depending on the size of the municipality where the property is located. The total amount charged is the property catastral value multiplied by the tax rate. If you buy a property in Ibiza, you will have to pay this tax only once the property has been register to your name. 

If you buy an existing property, before signing the Escritura, the seller is obliged to present the last receipt for the payment of rates (IBI) to the notary or your lawyer. Bear in mind that your lawyer should also obtain a certificate from the Local Rates office (Racaudacion Provincial) to confirm that all rates have been paid. In the eventuality that the IBI has not bee paid by the previous owner, the local town hall may charge unpaid IBI for up to a maximum of five years in arrears, with penalties of up to 20% for late payment.

3. Other costs

When buying a property you will incur in many other external costs, some bigger than others. These expenses will include agency and legal fees, notary expenses, the property registration, if you choose to buy with a mortgage this will add extra costs too. Don’t forget about the bank cost to set up a Spanish bank account and transfer the funds across from your home country bank account, plus eventually the Income Tax Provision if you buy from a non-resident. 

For more information on how we can help during the buying process, visit our Service Page.

3 Steps for Buying a Property in Ibiza

If you’ve decided to move to Ibiza with your kids, it’s time to look at the school options available on the White Isle. For being a small island, Ibiza boast not only great public school options, but also some exceptional private schools, which you may wish to consider if your kids do not speak Spanish yet.

Let’s have a look at the public options

Firstly consider that all the public school teach in a mix of Castilian and Catalan, with Catalan being the main language. Also take into consideration that deadline for submitting applications for new starters is usually around mid May. When you will submit the application, you can express your interest up to a max of 5 schools. Usually children are allocated to schools firstly based on the area where they live. If you would like your kid to join a state school outside your area, then you have to hope that the school has some places left after they assign the spots to children who live by the school, although a points system is used which takes into consideration other factors such as: where the parents work or if the child has an older sibling already attending the school.

Let’s have a look at the private options available. 

If your kids speak Spanish you might want to consider the Spanish private school of Ibiza, Colegio Mestral. This school is located in Ibiza Town, in the neighbourhood of Can Misses. They teach in Spanish and Catalan is a compulsory subject only for Spanish citizens. The students can stay up to the age of 18 and multilingualism is promoted throughout the years. Some subjects are also taught in English, to enable students to learn the English language in a more natural way. 

If your kids do not speak Spanish, a good option is the Morna International College. The school is based in Santa Gertrudis, in a traditional finca surrounded by beautiful gardens and views. The school follows UK National Curriculum up to A levels from nursery and reception years. The classes are taught in English and Spanish is mandatory throughout the years. Morna promotes multilingualism as pupils can learn also German as a facultative language between years 7 and 10. The school also is great to support any interest the pupils might have in art, science and IT. 

The third option is a French private school, The  College Français, based in San José. The school teaches mainly in French and it’s a great option if your are coming from a French speaking country and your kids do not speak Spanish yet, or also if you would like your kids to obtain mastery of the French language and receive a French education. The students can stay up to the age of 16.

There is also an alternative school available: The Green School. This school follows the Italian Montessori approach to teaching, which has an emphasis on independence for children, for example, students can learn concepts from working with materials rather than direct instruction. The school taught in English and Spanish and until now pupils can stay only up to middle school, high school is not available yet.

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Discover Ibiza’s charming neighbourhoods

We are pleased and proud to present the third edition of our successful Ibiza Real Estate App. If you are searching for a property in Ibiza, want to sell your own house, or just fancy a glimpse into the Ibiza property market, then you should not miss it! The app has been designed to be available in all formats and for any device. If you’re a first-time reader you can download it, for free, from the iTunes Store or Google Play. If you already have our previous edition, it’s now time to update it – just click on update when you tap the logo on your device and it will automatically update with the new features.

This new version features:

• The very best properties on the market right now – from stylish apartments in prime locations and stunning modern villas with spectacular sea views, to authentic countryside fincas nestled in the heart of nature. These properties are just a taste of the beautiful homes available in our outstanding portfolio. • In-depth information regarding our wide range of services, such as: real estate consulting, legal services, market valuation and also rental services. As we pride ourselves on providing our clients the most comprehensive service. • Our new Market Report. This report highlights the different characteristics of the real estate market in the north, south, east and west of the island, including the average purchase price for each area and the distinctive lifestyle. This insight into the local market is particularly valuable whether you want to start a new life in Ibiza, want to invest in a holiday home or simply wish to sell your existing property. • Exciting news; such as the opening of our new branch in San Juan. This new office was born out of a growing demand for properties in this northern area. • Great stories; such as our collaboration with the local wellness experts, Ibiza Retreats and the new partnership with the local charity Ibiza Preservation Fund.

Our new Ibiza real estate office recently opened in San Juan

Gould Heinz & Lang proudly announces its support of the Ibiza Preservation Fund. GHL has decided to donate 1% of the commission of each sale to the IPF. We all love the island we are living on and are happy to give something back and support an organisation that in turn supports cutting-edge environmental initiatives carried out by local organisations, such as Alianza por el Agua. Furthermore, we try to back the cause by informing our clients about sustainable ways to create their gardens, save water, use ecological materials, minimise the size of their pools and lawns, etc. Selling real estate on Ibiza is not necessarily a contradiction to being conscientious about the various problems associated with tourism and the construction industry.

Ibiza weddings

“The European Central Bank is expected to take action to see off the threat of deflation — falling prices — in the eurozone, possibly introducing its own quantitative easing, or money printing, programme in the new year. This is likely to cause the euro to weaken against the pound, meaning that repayments on mortgages in overseas currencies will fall in sterling terms, as will property prices in the eurozone…” Why having a second home abroad is becoming more feasible and popular, particularly in Spain and France: The Times – Second homes abroad are back in fashion

Christmas Eve-nts

Every Sunday, Elements, in Benirràs beach, opens from the afternoon ’til midnight with live DJ’s, offering a winter menu and activities such as yoga classes. As we are fortunate enough to have at least as many sunny days as rainy days on the island throughout the year, we recommend you take the opportunity anytime to enjoy and celebrate the unbelievably beautiful nature – with the famous sounds of the Benirràs drumming ’til the sun goes down! Elements, Benirràs

Traditional cuisine

Ibiza is SUCH a mixture of tastes and possibilities, we cannot refrain from urging you to experience the flee market at Cala Llenya at one point or another. Check out the laid back flamenco and open air garage sale set-up that goes on every Sunday at the rastrillo: Rastrillo de Cala Llenya

Ibiza October Festival

If you are interested in what makes Ibiza “the Mecca of the famous,” you may be interested in browsing around Ibiza Luxury Destination. Here you can learn a bit about fashion, events and how-to’s around the island.

Ibiza closing parties

Gould Heinz & Lang is thrilled to present its new app coming up very soon: the 1st real estate app on Ibiza!!!!

Celebrity gossip

Check out the latest Blakstad finca we are offering you, displayed in a beautiful article from White Ibiza: Can Mateus

June 23rd, 2014

“Nit des foc, nit de rock” Let us not forget the folkloric aspect of Ibiza: on Monday evening, in San Juan, the traditional Nit de Sant Joan event takes place, where crowds are welcome to jump over consecutive fires with the immediate purpose of having great, unusual fun, and the background meaning of burning the old and welcoming the new. Read more about what is going down in San Juan: Diario de Ibiza – Esperando la noche de fuego

May 20th, 2014

According to Ultima Hora, the Balearic Islands have made most of the sales to foreigners in 2013. The Balearics have also topped the amount of sales above €500.000. According to this article, “the Balearics are in fashion. There is a demand and a growing interest, especially in the last two years, to own a luxurious, or otherwise, property in Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza or Formentera.”: Ultima Hora, 5 de maio, 2014

May 2nd, 2014

The Hard Rock Hotel (HRH), which is due to open this Summer on Ibiza, is launching a restaurant that is estimated to cost more than €1.000 per head. Get ready to join the top-end crowd while enjoying exquisite cuisine and endless opportunities to titillate all your senses! Hard Rock Hotel, Ibiza

April 15th, 2014

Today the north of the island gains another attraction: the snazzy and gorgeous Las Dalias Chiringuito, on Es Figueral beach. Listen to live music and to the house DJ looking at the sea, enjoying delicious meals in between a dip in the sea and sunbathing sessions! Check it out… Las Dalias Chiringuito

February 6th, 2014

According to The Sunday Times, “Ibiza will remain one of the top places to buy on the Mediterranean in 2014.” Joanna Leverett, head of international new developments at Savills, also alleges that “high-end tourism is booming and there is a strong rental market.” These statements are based on observations of doubling sales last year, particularly in the areas of the old town, the marina and nearby Talamanca.

January 10th, 2014

A work of pure beauty and intelligence: “La Casa Eivissenca – Claus d’una Tradició Mil·lenària,” written by Rolph Blakstad and edited by his family, is our latest recommendation. It depicts in great detail the Ibizan farmhouse – keys to an ancient tradition, reflecting over 40 years of work by Rolph Blakstad, investigating the system, measurements and philosophy behind this unique architecture. He found out that the mathematics behind this architecture has its base on different forms of sacred geometry, such as the flower of life, the Fibonacci numbers, etc. Although the book has so far been edited only in Catalan, Rolf Blakstad plans to release an English version soon. Get your copy at our office or send us an email. This gorgeous book was presented on Thursday, 5th of December in the Club Diario de Ibiza:

Blakstad’s La Casa Eivissenca – Diario de Ibiza

December 12th, 2013

The highlight of our end of year – the relaunch of our webpage, newly designed yet as ever packed with exclusive properties and the essential information about the best real estate service on Ibiza!

September 18th, 2013

Already, in the evenings, the early September breeze indicates the beginning of Autumn.  We need to make the most of the summer while it is still hot! For a delicious lunch with breathtaking sea views over the rocky cliffs of San Miguel, try Eden, Na Xamena’s delicious restaurant and lounge. Hotel Hacienda Ibiza, Restaurante Eden As a wonderful evenings plan, we suggest you enjoy yourself at Atzaró’s Music & Sushi Lounge, a delightful space to spend the evenings… Atzaró Ibiza Enjoy the warmth…

August 16th, 2013

Deep into the summer, we suggest a location that should not be missed: Amante Beach Club Ibiza, a luxurious rural restaurant with one of the most amazing sea views over a rocky cliff… just circle Cala Llonga and you will land on this fantastic spot! Amante Beach Club Ibiza Further south, don’t miss Nassau Beach Club, a super location for enjoying great food and lazy summer days… Nassau Beach Club Ibiza Join us in making the most of this season!

August 6th, 2013

The atmosphere is starting to bubble… Yesterday a gorgeous party opened the carpet for yet another luxurious and upbeat hotspot, Destino. Ibiza just does not seem to run out of amazing possibilities, where the exclusive dance side by side with the chilled-out: what a unique destination! Destino Ibiza

May 13th, 2013

Santa Eulalia’s recent town-hall square reformation is a great complement it to its family appeal. A top-end Beach Club, Nikki Beach, has its Grand Opening White Party on the 11th of July, attracting glamorous crowds from all over the world, including Saint Tropez, Marbella and Miami Beach. This is yet another attraction, as well as Babylon and Atzaró Beach, and the recently-built Congress Palace for culture lovers, that greatly increases the value of property on our coasts, as Santa Eulalia goes beyond its already much beloved status, appealing to every crowd! Nikki Beach Ibiza Atzaró Beach Ibiza Babylon Beach – Essential Ibiza Palacio de Congresos, Santa Eulalia