Spinalonga is a very small uninhabited island close to the coast of Crete. In the early twentieth century it was a leper colony. The last inhabitant, a priest, left the island in 1962. Life on Spinalonga during this period is vividly but sensitively described in Victoria Hislop’s novel The Island.
Just 1.5 miles off the south west coast of Ibiza lies the mysterious island of Es Vedra. The island ha no human inhabitants – although a Carmelite monk spent a brief period there in retreat in 1855. Its steep slopes and caves are populated only by wild goats. But it is also home to a sub-species Ibizan lizard and to a colony of an endangered bird of prey, the Eleonora’s falcon.
Es Vedra also seems to attract its own micro climate, its peak frequently being cloaked in low cloud or swirling mist.
Not surprisingly, the island has been the source of many myths and legends: it was said to the the home of sirens and sea-nymohs who tried to lure Odysseus; it was the holy island of Tanit, the Phoenician lunar goddess; more recently there have been numerous sightings of UFO’s. There is also a fable about the Giant of Es Vadra.
For me, Es Vedra has always had a strange fascination.