Eivissa, the capital of the Pitiusas (Pine Islands), is the cultural, social and political centre of... the island. It is home to all the attractions and the brash eccentricity that have made the island famous all around the world. The cathedral sits on the highest point of the venerable Dalt Vila. Below this, elegant houses cling to the slopes of the hill in terraces.
Europe's best-preserved fortified city is a labyrinth of narrow, winding streets. It is as if time has stood still here. Below the city wall are the two picturesque districts of Sa Penya and Sa Marina. By day, the lower part of the town seems somewhat sleepy, but it is buzzing at night. Passeig Vara del Rei, which is surrounded by grand houses, is the main square in the new part of Eivissa. The cafés and restaurants are an invitation to linger a while. On the other side of the harbour, white luxury yachts bob in the exclusive Marina de Botafoc. The panoramic view from here over the old town at night is simply breathtaking.more
City: Cala Sant Vicent in/near Ibiza Category: Sightseeing
The magnificent curving bay of Sant Vicent is surrounded by steep, thickly wooded, rugged cliffs. The... wide sandy beach and turquoise sea are what make this holiday resort in the north of the island so popular. The bars and restaurants along the beachfront promenade are an invitation to linger a while. The view from the Punta Grossa, at 174 m (570 ft), is among the most beautiful in Ibiza.
Opposite you can see the Illa Tagomago. It is one of the few private islands in the world and also a bird sanctuary. There is a hidden Punic temple near the Cala. From the 5th to the 2nd century BC, Es Cuiram was a holy place for the worship of the island goddess Tanit. The little village of Sant Vicent is worth a detour for its beautiful 19th century fortified church. The houses are scattered about in this remote area with its charming rural landscape. There is a lovely excursion that passes terraced fields of orange and almond trees on the way to the fishing village of Port de Ses Caletes.more
City: Es Vedrà in/near Ibiza Category: Sightseeing
One of the most unusual places in the Pitiusas is the jagged islet of Es Vedrà, a magnificent 382 m... (1250 ft) rock. Because of its majestic appearance, people have been ascribing magical powers to it since time immemorial. The view of the silhouettes of Es Vedrà and Es Vedranell at sunset is particularly spectacular. There is a footpath along the coast to the Sa Torre del Pirata watchtower.
There are many legends about these magical rocks: some believe them to be the remains of the lost city of Atlantis, or the counterpole of the Bermuda Triangle, while others actually believe the island is a landing site for extraterrestrials. It is believed that the Carthaginians worshipped their goddess of love, Tanit, in the caves of Es Vedrà. In the 19th century, Carmelite monk Francisco Palau, who lived as a hermit on Ibiza, chose it as the perfect spot for meditation. What remains a mystery is the fact that carrier pigeons lose their sense of direction when flying over the islet, and that goats can live here although there is no drinking water on the barren isle.more
Another short descent in the far southwest of the island, then you reach the parking lot, which is unfortunately... very small. Right behind it Cala d'Hort is waiting. However, a visit to this little bay is
not primarily for relaxing on your bath towel. The beach is just too rocky for that. It is rather for the superb view of the rocky islands of Es Vedranell and Es Vedrà which lie in close proximity. The two
rugged, uninhabited islands are called "Dragon Islands" and they are surrounded by an air of enchantment. With its rock ridge the larger island of Es Vedrà reaches a height of 382 meters.
Cala d'Hort is an ideal meeting place at sunset. Some spots on the terrace of the restaurant El Carmen are perfect for watching the sun go down – and a very good paella is served here as well.more
There's no doubt – Cala Bassa ranks in the top five most beautiful bays in Ibiza. Leaving the large... parking lot behind, you soon see a gorgeous panorama of water and sand. The water is crystal-clear and, depending on the position of the sun, appears in colors ranging from turquoise to dark blue. The curved sandy beach allows for a shallow, safe entry into the water. The small rock formations have their appeal as well. In the back of the beach you can retreat into the shade under pine trees – and this is quite exceptional on Ibiza's beaches! During the season a few beach bars are open.
Cala Bassa is located in the western part of the island, eight kilometers from Sant Antoni de Portmany. "Camping Cala Bassa" is one of the few campsites on the island.more
City: Sant Carles de Peralta in/near Ibiza Category: Sightseeing
Shopping as a happening - "Hippie market" sounds exotic, but is a little exaggerated. The real hippies... who run one of the up to 200 stalls are a minority here. The area around the restaurant Las Dalias looks artificial, and the price level is not exactly for bargain hunters. And yet: The hustle and bustle is worth having a look at and somehow part of the Ibiza feeling! On summer days the area is packed with thousands of visitors. There are endless amounts of scarves, belts and costume jewelry as well as blouses, baskets, leather bags, stuffed animals, fossils, used books, hats, children's clothing, CDs. If you keep your eyes open, you may well find one or two unique gifts.more
There is a lot to discover at Ibiza's harbor, which is divided into several areas along the bay. At the... foot of the old town hill Dalt Vila first of all the historic sailors' and fishermen's districts of La
Marina and Sa Penya are located. Today, during summer, this area is both meeting place and catwalk for those who love to go out. Once arrived at the "monument of the corsairs", you can continue your stroll towards the center of the bay: up to the ferry station Formentera (Formentera Estació), where the boats to the neighboring island depart.
The Nautical Club, the "fisherman's pier" Moll de Pescador and the container terminal are (unfortunately) uninteresting sights on the way to the other side of the bay. There you find the worthwhile destination Marina Botafoc (also spelled: Botafoch), where the rich and dock their yachts. Fancy boutiques and bars add to the exclusive ambience. From the marina the old town hill Dalt Vila presents itself like on a big screen – gorgeous!
In summer shuttle boats connect the downtown area with Marina Botafoc; in the city center the boats depart from Estació Formentera.more
An exploration of the northern part of Ibiza leads to the somewhat remote town of Portinatx, which has... an air of tranquility outside of summer. Measured against the size of the town, there is quite a large range of accommodation and restaurants. Portinatx, pronounced "Portinudge", has two small bays. The western bay is better suited for bathing, the eastern one is much deeper and flanked by rocks. Above the eastern bay Far des Moscarter, a lighthouse painted in black and white, catches the eye. It can be reached by foot but the hiking trail is not well signposted, so in case of doubt just follow your instinct. Your efforts will be rewarded with a beautiful panorama of the coast.
As alternatives to the beaches of Portinatx two other beaches can be found a few kilometers southwest on the road to Sant Joan de Labritja: Cala des Xuclar and S'Illot of Renclí. Both beaches are small and pebbly.more
City: Sa Talaia de Sant Josep in/near Ibiza Category: Sightseeing
At 475 m (1560 ft), Sa Talaia is the highest mountain on the island. Its name goes back to the Arabian... occupying forces. At its feet is the village of Sant Josep. The centre of the village is Plaça de s' Església, which was restored in typical island style a few years ago. Locals and tourists alike meet for a chat under the 1,000-year-old olive trees.
The one-hour walk to the top of Sa Talaia is an impressive nature trail. You walk along under shady trees past olive groves and old vineyards from which the traditional "ví pagés" is made. In good weather, the view stretches as far as Alicante. You can tell that village life in Sant Josep is very much alive and well, especially on a Sunday, when the locals make their way to church. The massive church of Sant Josep was built around 1730 and is home to one of the most beautiful altars on the island, which was created by the Mallorcan Peter Bosch. The carved wooden pulpit is also worth seeing.more
City: Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera in/near Ibiza Category: Sightseeing
An attractive fortified church surrounded by a handful of white houses and a little main street, which... stretches all of a 100 yards through the village. A few boutiques and little shops, among them the legendary "Bar Costa" - this is the artists' village of Santa Gertrudis.
Artists and art lovers meet in the bar over a delicious "pa amb pernil" (ham roll) and swap the latest gossip on the island. There is also the bizarre sight of numerous legs of ham dangling from the ceiling. And an impressive collection of pictures in the back rooms. As Santa Gertrudis is the most central place on the island, every day-tripper is almost forced to pass through this little village. Whether you are browsing through the junk shops of Casi Todo for antique furniture and curiosities of all kinds, or taking a look at one of the two art galleries, Can Daifa and Libro Azul, or simply enjoying a "pa amb pernil" or a stylish evening meal on the church square: Santa Gertrudis is simply the cult place to be!more
The historic settlement of Balàfia not far from the village of Sant Llorenç is the best-preserved fortified... village on Ibiza. The complex, which comprises five white cube-shaped farmhouses (cas pagés) nestled close to one another, is a perfect example of the original peasant architecture of Ibiza.
The traditional cas pagés is based on Arab design and is the island's trademark. The flawless beauty of the house, which is made up of several cubes put together, was the result of a feeling for functionality and climate - an aesthetic which inspired leading architects and designers including Le Corbusier, Josep Lluís Sert and Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus movement. The three fortified towers in the settlement are a reminder of the threat pirates represented in the 16th century. The fishbone pattern of the red-brown towers, the crosses drawn in chalk to ward off evil spirits, the three-foot thick protective walls along narrow streets, the grain mills, the oil presses, the baking ovens and the wells make Balàfia a real treasure trove.more
City: Port de Sant Miquel in/near Ibiza Category: Sightseeing
Immerse yourself in mysterious worlds once roamed by smugglers: in the dripstone cave Can Marça natural... history meets island history. In former times, cigarettes and liquor were hoarded here. Today there are light and sound effects as well as an artificial waterfall, which can be started at the touch of a button.
It is not possible to explore the cave on your own. You have to join a guided tour that lasts about 30-40 minutes. Near the ticket booth you can enjoy the magnificent view over the north coast of the island.more
City: Sant Antoni de Portmany in/near Ibiza Category: Sightseeing
The sea and the harbor left their mark on Ibiza's second largest city Sant Antoni de Portmany. After... a stroll around the inner harbor you can set sail right away. In summer, glass bottom boat trips start from here.
A promenade with a friendly atmosphere reaches from the port area to Punta des Moli with the windmill of Sa Punta, a restored relic of the 19th century. Occasionally, exhibitions are hosted here, while show performances take place on the nearby open-air stage during the season.
A fortress-like, white church towers in the old city of Sant Antoni - but nighthawks have only one thing in mind, the "Westend" where the number of bars is as huge as the noise and alcohol levels. If that's what you like, go ahead and taste the nightlife around Carrer de Santa Agnès, Carrer de Ramon Vicent Bartomeu, Carrer de la Mar and Carrer de Colom Cristòfol. Outside the old city you find the legendary Café del Mar, the most popular sunset spot.more
Drop your pants - Cavallet beach is not only a well-known nude beach, but also a popular meeting place... for gays. Cruising takes place behind the dunes in the adjoining forest that reaches all the way to the foothills of the salines. Those who don't have any hormone-controlled intentions enjoy the beautiful, sandy beach and crystal-clear water - not to forget the view of the island's capital, Eivissa.
South of Platja d'Cavallet you can go hiking through the rocks to the headland of Punta de ses Portes. For centuries, the easily visible Torre de ses Portes, a bold guard tower, has been standing there.
Platja d'es Cavallet is located in the south of the island. From Sant Francesc de s'Estany the route leads through the saline area.more
City: Santa Eulalia del Río in/near Ibiza Category: Sightseeing
On the way up to Puig de Missa, the church hill of Santa Eulària, you can easily get out of breath,... but the sight is worth it in many respects. It is not only the fortified, whitewashed church with its
roofed courtyard and thick masonry walls. The cemetery's multi-level drawers and many decorative details are interesting as well. But there is even more. A small museum shows art works of the painter Laureano Barrau who died in 1957. And a slightly larger museum, inside a historic country house, makes visitors familiar with Ibizan folklore. Among other things you get to see costumes, jewelry, an old olive press, kitchen utensils and agricultural equipment.
However, the view from the church hill is a little less spectacular: over the densely built up Santa Eulària d'es Riu you look at the ocean and the hills of the hinterland, where the population density
City: Sant Miquel de Balansat in/near Ibiza Category: Sightseeing
Sant Miquel de Balansat is one of the more quiet villages of the island, located in the north. In a field... of pine, almond, orange and olive trees you find rural seclusion. The white houses look rather modest, on the highest point of town you find the church, which was built between the 14th and 16th century. Many island explorers simply drive by and head for the beach resort of Port de Sant Miquel.
Every Thursday evening, however – between early May and late October, starting from 6 pm – Sant Miquel de Balansat comes alive and is at the center of attention. Dancers in typical dresses then meet on the church hill Puig de Missa for "pagès ball". And that's not boring folklore, but a lively cross-section of the traditions! A worthwhile experience.more
Dalt Vila, the old town of Ibiza, is a fortified district. Its walls and strongholds tell of troubled... times, when people lived in constant fear of enemy attacks.
Baluard de Sant Jaume, the "bulwark of Jakobus", is a witness of the past and an interesting sight. Here you see military equipment from the 16th to 18th century, as well as replicas of historical weapons such as sword and halberd, but you are also allowed to lift cannonballs or experience what it feels like to wear a heavy suit of armor. For children up to twelve years admission is free.more
Ibiza's cathedral is situated in a strategic location. With its massive, fortified structure the church... towers up above the upper lining of the old town wall. Inside, you find yourself in a large, white-washed room, the light passes through a modern glass window. The sanctuary holds an eye-catcher, a Madonna sculpture called Nostra Senyora de las Neus.
The roots of the cathedral building are gothic and reach back into the 14th century. Allegedly, a Moorish mosque once stood in the same place. The large baroque extension of the cathedral was completed in 1728.more
"The Island of Eivissa is beautiful, planted with vines and produces many grapes," wrote the medieval... Moorish geographer El-Idrissi. You can read this quotation on a plaque in the small Interpretation Center Madina Yabisah, which focuses on the historical era of Islam in Ibiza. Salines, irrigation ditches, cultivation of olives - all thanks to the Moors.
Tangible evidence of the Muslim past is a piece of the city wall, which was integrated into the museum. At the touch of a button you can watch an interesting video in English.more
The Archaeological Museum invites you on a journey into the eventful past of the islands of Ibiza and... Formentera. Looking at
the modest entrance, you do not expect the vast extent of this small, winding cultural facility.
The museum is well-designed and well-structured. Punic clay figurines, amulets and amphorae are among the most interesting exhibits. From the Roman era there are oil lamps and remains of grave stelae. From the museum you also have access to a great lookout (Mirador Santa Tecla) next to the cathedral.more
The Diocesan Museum, which includes four little halls and can be reached from the interior of the cathedral... is small but nice. The retable Las Almas with its many little details stands out as a true masterpiece. Evil is symbolized by devil figures with horns and long tails, in the background small-scale demons fly through the air. The master of this 16th century altar screen remains anonymous to posterity.
Among the other exhibits you find sculptures of Sant Jaume (St. James, built around 1463) and Verge del Roser (Rosary Virgin,
around 1571). Ibizan jewelry from the 18th/19th century and a monstrance of gilded silver are presented in the museum as well.more
The historic palace Can Comasema on the hill in the old town welcomes its visitors in a nice little courtyard... and houses an art museum. The name "Puget" refers both to the father Narcís Puget Viñas (1874-1960) and his son Narcís Puget Riquer (1916-1983).
The collection of oil and watercolor paintings shows that both Pugets were gifted painters. Among the motives are street views of Dalt Vila, scenes from the port, festivities and country life.more
The route to Platja d'es Codolar, through the saline area, is dusty and bumpy - but once you get there,... you will be rewarded. Codolar Beach lies hidden in the very south of the island, west of the salines and north of the "falcon cape" Cap Falcó. However, it is not the beach itself that attracts so many people (too many stones and rocks). No, the main reason is the absolutely superb location to enjoy the atmosphere and view at sunset. There are enough rocks to find your own personal spot and look out to the magical islands of Vedranell and Es Vedra.
When driving to the beach, the final destination is a parking lot. Even though there is no sand, you can still go swimming at Codolar beach of course. The water is crystal clear.more
City: Ses Salines in/near Ibiza Category: Sightseeing
The Reserva Natural de Ses Salines in the south of the island is the most important nature reserve in... the Pitiusas. On the Platja Ses Salines, the "Sa Trincha", "Jockey Club" and "Malibu" beach bars are the most popular meeting points. The more daring punters head for the legendary "El Chiringuito" on the Platja des Cavallet.
Long sandy beaches stretch out over an area of more than four square miles alongside lakes used for salt extraction. It is home to many wild birds. Migratory birds also spend the winter here, and in winter you can see flocks of pink flamingos flying over the lakes. The many paths are perfect for lovely walks and bicycle rides. If you ride along the salt basin, you can see the crystals of the salt mountain shimmering in the distance like an iceberg. As long ago as the time of the Carthaginians, this ‘white gold’ was the main source of income for the islanders. Every year, around 70,000 tons of salt are extracted and exported from the Sa Canal harbour to the Netherlands and Denmark.more
City: Sant Carles de Peralta in/near Ibiza Category: Sightseeing
This small linear village is regarded as the birthplace of flower power. The hippies living on Ibiza... in the mid-sixties used to meet at “Bar Anita’s”. The bar, with its picture-postcard patio, still retains its characteristic atmosphere. Just a few hundred yards on from the centre of the village, the best hippy market on the island takes place every Saturday in Las Dalias (all year round, from 10 am to sunset).
In the brightly decorated interiors and in the yard surrounded by vineyards, hippies peddle silver jewellery, ceramics, incense, brightly coloured clothing and exotic culinary treats. At the same time, the culture centre also houses a restaurant, a concert hall and an art gallery. As well as its reputation as a meeting place for hippies, the pretty Església de Sant Carles is the venue for wonderful classical concerts by international performers every summer. A few miles further on is the popular nudist beach of Aigües Blanques. Surrounded by high cliffs, the 500-yard-long beach is a hot favourite with those in the know.more