IBIZA ISLAND - ATTRACTIONS
South of the La Marina and Sa Penya neighborhoods, you will find the oldest part of Ibiza Town, called Dalt Vila (`the upper town`). This portion of town is located inside defensive walls built at the request of King Philip II of Spain in the late 16th century. Inside the town walls you will find most of Ibiza Town`s must-see attractions. There are two main entrances into the walled city: Portal de ses Taules (`Las Tablas` in Spanish) and Portal Nou. Portal de ses Taules is adjacent to the farmers` market outside of the walls and the Museu d`art Contemporani d`Eivissa inside the walls. Portal Nou is on the western side of Dalt Vila, connecting the Baluard de Sant Pere inside the walls with Plaza Reina Sofia and the Universitat de les Illes Balears on the outside. The walls enclose an area which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Zone.
The southern portion of the walled old town of Ibiza consists of Ibiza Castle and Ibiza Cathedral. The castle dates from the 12th century, when it was just the whitewashed `Almudaina` which housed the administrative offices and military barracks of the conquering Moors. The current castle dates from the 16th century, when it was fortified further at the request of King Phillip II. The ruins of the old Almudaina and the newer castle, located around and above the Almudaina, were merged in the 18th century.
Ibiza Cathedral is dedicated to Our Lady of the Snow (Catedral de la Verge de les Neus in Catalan). The oldest cathedral on the island, it was founded in the 13th century and housed in a building that was believed to have once been a mosque. The cathedral`s current look dates from the 15th century, and the façade was constructed in the Catalan Gothic style. Note the many Gothic art pieces inside the five-nave chapel. Our Lady of the Snow is celebrated on her feast day each year on August 5.
Address: Plaça de la Catedral 1, Dalt Vila, Ibiza Town
The Punic necropolis of Puig des Molins, outside the walled city but still deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located approximately 1,000 feet away from Portal Nou on Via Romana. Puig des Molins (`Windmills Hill`) is considered the largest and most noteworthy Punic necropolis in the Mediterranean. Approximately 350 tombs are visible to the visitor as square subterranean `hypogeae`, but there are in reality over 3,000 tombs inside the necropolis. Tours inside the necropolis showcase the history of Ibiza Town, from the time of the Phoenicians until the year 1235, the year the Catalonians conquered Ibiza.
Address: Via Romana, Ibiza Town
The museum of contemporary art opened in Ibiza in 1969, and when it opened it sought to capture the zeitgeist of the artistic movement that was flowering in Ibiza at that time. Since then, paintings from local and international artists have been on display, many of which evoke imagery and themes relating to Ibiza. There is also a very important section focusing on engravings. The most important paintings inside the museum include selections from noted painter Antoni Tàpies (1923-2012) and architect Enric Miralles (1955-2000).
Hours of operation:
April 1-June 30: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday
July 1-August 31: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Friday
September 1-30: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday
October 1-March 31: 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
Not open on Mondays
Address: Ronda Narcís Puget, Dalt Vila, Ibiza Town
If you head west from the airport instead of going east toward Ibiza Town, just a mile away, along the Disseminat sa Caleta, you will find a headland where the Phoenician settlement of Sa Caleta was once situated. The Phoenicians arrived around 650 BCE and built their very first settlement here, eventually moving east and building a settlement near the marina of what is now Ibiza Town. The reason why the Phoenicians chose those areas to build settlement is due to their proximity to salt marshes; they used the salt trade to their advantage and created the island`s first economy. The remnants of stone buildings once used by the Phoenicians are presented in an open-air museum. Along with other sights around the island such as Ibiza Town`s Dalt Vila, the settlement of Sa Caleta is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Address: Disseminat sa Caleta, Sant Josep de sa Talaia
Approximately 12 miles away via road and hiking trails from Sa Caleta is the mountain of Sa Talaiassa. At 1,558 feet, the summit of Sa Talaiassa is the highest point on Ibiza Island. The word `talaiassa` means `vantage point` in the Ibizan dialect of Catalan. It offers great views of the nearby coast, all the way to Ibiza Town. It is a popular drive/hike for those who want to be connected to nature while on the island.
For those travelers who want to connect to the `hippy culture` that made Ibiza famous the world over, you must go to one of the `hippy markets` that sell homemade crafts, jewelry, and clothing both new and second-hand. There are two massively popular hippy markets on Ibiza Island: First, there is the Las Dalias Market, which occurs every Saturday year-round from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (8 p.m. in the summer season) and every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evening from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the summer season. Then there is the hippy market in Punta Arabí, the first such market on the island, which is open every Wednesday from April to October from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (to 7 p.m. in June, July and September and to 8 p.m. in August). There are also hippy markets in Cala Llonga on Thursdays and in Sant Antoni de Portmany on Fridays. During the summer there are also pop-up street markets in many Ibiza towns, usually found along the seaside promenades or near the harbors.
Perhaps the most popular caves on the island, the Can Marçà caves comprise an area of approximately 95,000 square feet and the tours of the area can take you into rooms nearly 1,000 feet inside. In the room, each with their own cute nicknames (such as `the Buddha room` and the `waterfall hall`), you can see different rock formations such as stalagmites, satalctites, and helictites. It is said that these caves were used as safe hiding places by pirates and smugglers.
Hours of operation:
November 1-April 30: 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Sunday
May 1-October 31: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Sunday
Price: Approximately €10.50 for adults/€6.50 for children
Address: Port de Balansat, Puerto de San Miguel
The Cova de Santa Agnès is situated inland approximately 1.2 miles northeast of the port of Sant Antoni de Portmany. The underground cave has been known to honor Santa Agnès de Corona, the patron saint of Sant Antoni de Portmany, and has been noted in local legend for hundreds of years. In fact, the idea of the cave-as-religious-dwelling was put into practice as far back as the Paleo-Christian era, and pottery found inside the cave even suggests it was used as a religious gathering place for the Muslims when they conquered the island.
Address: Carrer Capella 26, Sant Antoni de Portmany
Es Vedrà is an islet located a mile and a half off the southwestern corner of Ibiza Island. At its widest point, there is a quarter of a mile separating the northern and southern shores, and the island stretches from east to west for nearly a mile. It is tied to a number of local legends, such as the island having a high magnetic force (third-strongest in the world, only behind the North Pole and the Bermuda Triangle), or it being the home of the sirens who tempted and seduced Ulysses in Homer`s Odyssey. The most popular legend, however, is that the islet was the birthplace of the Phoenician goddess Tanit.