At some point in the last 20 or so years, it was decided that an evening down the Dog & Duck just wouldn’t cut it as the setting for a groom-to-be’s last stand. Since then, an entire mini-industry has grown around stag parties (as well as the female version and mixed equivalent). The good thing about their extreme popularity is that it was inevitable that someone somewhere was eventually duty-bound to come up with several alternatives to paintballing, pub crawls and Bear Grylls-style back-to-the-wild weekends in Epping Forest.
But if you do want to be outdoors and want guaranteed good weather too, you could do little better than opt for Ibiza, that famously hedonistic, naturally beautiful and sun-kissed isle. While Ibiza holidays might at first mention seem like a stag cliché, there are many, many more activities and alternative ways of enjoying this rite of passage while out there. Read on for some pointers on how to make the most of your stag do with more than a little difference.
This involves the double whammy of taking a speedboat then ascending into the skies. Boats for parasailing excursions leave from the clubbing hub of San Antonio, so you and your party can set out into the surf at top speeds before being sent up nearly 500 metres above the waters. There are even some programs which allow up to five of you to be airborne at once – creating a collective adrenaline rush you’re unlikely to all forget in a hurry.
Some minor underwater training will be required before you submerge yourselves in the deep azure Mediterranean, where you’ll be swimming and breathing among the most amazing marine life in waters with visibility of up to 30 metres depth. The Cala d’Hort Marine Nature Reserve, just off Ibiza’s west coast, consists of 15 little islands and is generally thought to be one of the best diving sites in the whole of the Med – it is certainly worth checking out (image by atenza).
In Ibiza, there are trips and programs which can offer you and your group this traditional activity with a twist. While traversing the waters around the island’s west coast, you can fish for barracuda, tuna and bluefish – but your captain can also take you to secluded coves and beaches where you can snorkel and swim with dolphins (and jellyfish – watch out for their sting). Food and drink is often included and on your return journey, you might even sail by the island’s famed Sunset Strip.
Boat trip to Formentera
This activity would be a real asset on one of your many Mornings After – a boat trip to the tranquil and beautiful sister island of Formentera. The calming, crystal-clear waters and fresh sea air of the trip should help settle your heads and the ivory sands of the isle’s unspoilt beaches with their various dunes will aid your recovery and relaxation further. Cala Saona is one of the more peaceful beaches and there is mass conservation afoot on the island, so you won’t have to put up with multiple building sites and the attendant racket that normally comes with such things.
Also, if you want to feel replenished in body as well as mind, you shouldn’t miss out on a trip to Espalmador, a small, privately owned and uninhabited island just north of Formentera, which is open to anyone. Its most famous asset is a natural mud bath. Though there’s no proof it has any medical benefits, its psychological ones are legion: wallow and roll in the sticky, cooling slop, let it dry in the warming sun, then head for the turquoise waters and wash yourself clean. Then you’ll be feeling fresh enough to begin celebrating again from scratch.
These alternative ideas for a stag do are equal parts active and relaxing – so you can choose to indulge in as much as one or as little as the other as you think will suit your gang’s tastes. Whatever path you take, it’s sure to be more memorable than a night draining the taps down the local.
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Header image by lorensztajer