INFORMATION ABOUT THE ISLAND

We show you everything about Ibiza

Ibiza (in Catalan Eivissa) is an island located in the Mediterranean Sea and is part of the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands, in Spain. It has an area of 570 km² and a population of 142,000 inhabitants (INE 2016). Its length of coast is 210 km, in which small crags alternate. The maximum distances from the island are 41 kilometres from north to south and 15 kilometres from east to west.

It is located about 79 km east of the Iberian Peninsula, opposite Denia, and north of Formentera, with coordinates of 38.98° N 1.43° E. The island of Ibiza is divided into five municipalities: Eivissa, Sant Antoni de Portmany, Sant Joan de Labritja, Sant Josep de Sa Talaia and Santa Eulària des Riu. Its capital is Ibiza, (Eivissa, in Catalan), the municipality with the highest population density and with the greatest administrative and cultural importance. The second most populous town is Santa Eulària, followed by Sant Antoni, Sant Josep and Sant Joan. The population of the island increases considerably during the summer months due to the influx of tourists.

History of Ibiza

Ibiza is the result of different cultures that have influenced it throughout history, as is still the case today with the many visitors it receives in summer.

barco fenicio

The history of Ibiza dates back to the 7th century BC, (although there are indications of previous human occupation) when the Phoenicians began to build their first settlements. Ibiza town was founded in 654 BC under the name Ibsm (Ibosim). The excellent location of the island of Ibiza favoured trade with the rest of the Mediterranean regions.

The Carthaginians took over from the Phoenicians, turning the island into a true commercial settlement. However, after the fall of Carthage in the 1st century BC, Ibiza became a Roman town. The island’s situation, ideal for controlling the Mediterranean routes, led to numerous wars. In turn would come the domination of the Vandals, Byzantines and Visigoths.

Later Ibiza fell under Muslim domination, becoming dependent on the Caliphate of Cordoba under the name of Yebisah for years. The Arab influence bequeathed cultural features of great importance that still survive today in architecture, hydrology or even in dressing and popular customs. Its heritage is reflected in the names of places and methods of cultivation, as well as in the ruins of the castle of Ibiza.

In 1235, King James I “The Conqueror” attacked the island to free it from the Arabs. Catalan and Aragonese troops occupied the castle of Ibiza on the 8th August. The native Muslim population was then subdued and new Christian settlers were brought in, incorporating Ibiza into the newly founded Kingdom of Mallorca, within the Crown of Aragon. The island is divided into four districts, known as “cuartons”. Once occupied, the island had to be reorganised and the parish church of Santa María was built (the first church of which was the base of the current Ibiza Cathedral, which is located in the upper part of the old town, known as Dalt Vila).

Despite the conquest, Ibiza continued to be besieged by pirates and privateers. Their repeated attacks led to the construction of a large network of towers on the coast, which acted as lookouts as well as shelters. Many of these towers still exist. In the beginning, each of these towers could be seen with the naked eye from one another. In the event of an invasion or a sighting of a pirate ship, a bonfire was lit to warn the nearest tower, which in turn would light another bonfire and so on until the whole island was warned of the danger and could seek refuge.

In 1782 Ibiza received the title of city. Three years later, its extension was divided into parishes and the province of the Balearic Islands was created in 1830, into which it was integrated, and the five municipalities into which the island is currently divided were also established: Sant Joan de Labritja, Sant Josep de sa Talaia, Sant Antoni de Portmany, Santa Eularia des Riu and the city of Eivissa.

Today, Ibiza’s main industry is the tourism that arrives every summer. The 1970s marked the beginning of a transformation that is still underway. The arrival of many hippies was part of an important cultural change on the island that had already begun with the arrival of a large number of artists from Central Europe during the Second World War. All these factors have given cosmopolitan Ibiza a multi-ethnic character that continues to develop today, and it has played an important role in its transformation.

 

World heritage site

In 1999 UNESCO recognised the assets of Ibiza as World Heritage Sites. Authenticity, technical perfection, exceptionality and excellent state of preservation are the values that were recognised to reach this consideration. Posidonia oceanica, the settlement of sa Caleta, the necropolis of Puig des Molins and the walled enclosure of Dalt Vila, are the enclaves highlighted as unique assets of the entire planet.

Dalt Vila is considered a perfect example of a fortified acropolis. Its Renaissance walls, built in the 16th century, consist of seven polygonal bastions and are, according to Unesco, a unique testimony to the model of military construction that was later exported to the New World.

Craft markets and medieval characters invade the streets of Dalt Vila on the second weekend of May, when the anniversary of the city’s declaration as a World Heritage Site is celebrated. Hundreds of people walk through the streets on a route of more than a kilometre in which thematic areas are interspersed with activities that were typical of the Middle Ages.

The Phoenician settlement of Sa Caleta, founded in the 8th century BC, was the first settlement on the island and is the most important example of the early Phoenician colonisation of Ibiza. This area was an excellent stopover for the routes they carried out in the Mediterranean.

The necropolis of es Puig des Molins was the cemetery of Ibiza from the foundation of the city by western Phoenicians at the end of the 7th century BC and continued to be used in Roman times from the 1st to the 5th century AD and also later during the 6th and 7th centuries AD. It is the largest and best preserved necropolis of the Phoenician-Punic culture with more than 3,000 Punic tombs. Ceramics, terracotta sculptures, scarabs, ostrich eggs, as well as other items for personal use, form part of the extensive list of objects found in this important archaeological site.

The Posidonia meadows only grow in the Mediterranean, and those of Ibiza and Formentera are of great biological wealth due to their perfect state of conservation. It is considered that in the Illes Balears i Pitiüses there are about 750 km2 of Posidonia meadows located on sandy bottoms and exceptionally on rocky bottoms, which provide large amounts of oxygen and organic matter. Posidonia oceanica has an annual growth cycle and dead leaves are deposited on the beaches protecting them from erosion caused by waves.

 

Culture

The island’s diverse cultural offer is centred on the Can Ventosa Cultural Centre. In this space, important plays have been performed, such as musicals, different dance styles, etc., which have been performed around the country.

Ibiza’s connection with art goes back a long way. Many artists have established their residence in Ibiza attracted by its colours, landscapes and rhythm of life. Raoul Haussman, Walter Benjamin and Rafael Alberti were the first to take notice of Ibiza. Other artists arrived later, such as Erwin Bechtold, Erwin Broner, Will Faber, Marca-Relli, Eduard Micus and Manuel Bouzo. The work of these and other artists has created a deep impression on the island, where there are more than 15 exhibition halls. The most important are the Club Diario de Ibiza, Via2, Ebusus or S’Alamera in the city of Eivissa, Sa Punta des Molí in Sant Antoni, Can Berri in Sant Agustí and Es Molí in Santa Gertrudis. Art i Fang in Sant Josep exhibits samples of ceramics, jewellery and sculpture. In Jesus, the Micus space shows the work of the German painter Eduard Micus and other exhibitions of foreign painters. Exhibitions in bars or restaurants are also common.

Jazz music takes centre stage at the end of the summer in Ibiza thanks to Eivissa Jazz, an international festival in which young musicians and jazz veterans delight the ears of the audience in a magical setting in the old town of Ibiza. Didier Lockwood, The Blues Brothers Band, Tete Montoliu, Phil Woods, Elvin Jones, Brandford Marsalis, Brad Mehldau and Avishai Cohen have all performed at the festival. Others have their residence in Ibiza like the German pianist Joachm Kühn and the Dutch flutist Chris Hinze.

The most important groups on the national music scene usually stopover in Ibiza in the summer.

Dalt Vila

A must for any visitor to Ibiza is the walled enclosure of Dalt Vila. These 16th century walls are one of the assets of Ibiza that are considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1999.

The signage work carried out by the Eivissa Town Hall has turned Dal Vila into an authentic open-air museum. Along different routes, you will find a series of information panels next to each of the significant elements that form part of the walled enclosure. There are three routes through the monumental complex: the classic one, which offers an overview of the historical complex, the bastions one, which runs along the perimeter of the wall, and the unknown route, designed to enjoy the charm of the narrow streets of Dalt Vila.

The most impressive entrance to the old city is the Portal de ses Taules, opposite the Mercat Vell. From here, the visitor will begin a journey through history in which they will be able to visit monuments such as the cathedral, town hall, Plaza de España, chapel of San Ciriac, etc.

On the second weekend of May, the Ibizans celebrate the anniversary of the city’s declaration as a World Heritage Site. The walled city of Dalt Vila goes back to the Middle Ages and visitors enjoy walking through its streets in front of the most diverse characters of the time, such as troubadours, jugglers, magicians, buffoons and puppets. In addition, in the different stalls you can buy handicrafts, clothing, jewellery or home-made food products.

 

The beaches

With an area of 572 square kilometres, Ibiza offers 21 kilometres of beaches. It is not difficult to imagine that there is always a beach nearby, anywhere on the island.

Playa d'en BossaThe island’s beaches stand out for their singular beauty, their turquoise waters with their transparency, which is due to the Posidonia Oceánica, recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage Site.

The municipality of Ibiza has three urban beaches: ses Figueretes, Talamanca and Platja d’en Bossa, the largest on the island and which Eivissa shares with Sant Josep. Es Cavallet and Ses Salines in Sant Josep are two beaches of great natural beauty that attract many famous people from all over the world every summer. In Sant Josep there are other beaches such as Es Còdols, sa Caleta, Cala Jondal, Cala Llentrisca, Cala d’hort with the magical islet of Es Vedra, Cala Vadella, Cala Tarida, Cala Bassa and the Platjes de Comptecala llonga.

In turn, Sant Antony has spots such as S’Arenal, Cala Gració, Punta Galera, Cala Salada, Caló d’es Moro, at the foot of the Blau Parc Hotels and Platja des Pouet next to the Sirena Apartments. In the north of the island, we can find beaches such as Portixol or Cala Aubarca. In the municipality of Sant Joan, beaches like Benirràs, Cala Xarraca, es Port de Sant Miquel and Cala de Sant Vicent merge the family atmosphere with the traces of the hippy movement. In Santa Eulalia, you can find wonderful beaches such as Aigües Blanques, es Pou del Lleò, s’Estanyol, cala Mestella, es Canar and Cala Llonga.

 

The sea

The turquoise colour of the waters of Ibiza is one of the main attractions during the summer months. Its transparency makes bathing in one of its beaches a unique experience, whether in one of its beautiful coves, practising some nautical sport or on a trip in a pleasure boat.

The island of Ibiza is surrounded by some of the smallest islets, the most remarkable of which, Es Vedrà, is the natural monument par excellence of the island of Ibiza Located in the municipality of San Josep, it has become   a symbol of the island, both for its beauty and for the legends that surround it. The islet is almost 400m high, which is impressive from close to the coast. The islet is populated by goats, following a tradition of its former owners, who deposited their herds there to avoid having to worry about them escaping. The beach of Cala d’hort or the towers of es Savinar are two perfect places to contemplate the islet.

Enjoying Ibiza from the sea is one of the greatest attractions for visitors to the island. Accessing hidden coves or magical corners along the coast is a highly recommended option. The island has three nautical stations, one in Santa Eulària, another in Sant Antoni and the last one in Sant Josep, which function as an activities centre. Holy Week offers two of the most important competitions in the Mediterranean: la Ruta de la Sal and Ophiusa.

The salt mining that already existed in Phoenician times in Ses Salines, now coexists with an ecosystem of great ecological value, rich in birds and fauna, where human activity and ecology coexist in harmony. Ses Salines has been a Natural Park since 2001 and covers an area of 400 hectares. About 50 species of birds nest in its wetlands and about 200 waders (storks, flamingos and herons) and birds of prey among other species stopover here.

Architecture

The Ibizan farmhouse, characterised by its pure geometric forms and robust, solid construction integrated into the landscape, is designed to be functional, adapting to the climatic conditions of the island. Its thick walls with white lime to reflect the sun, and small windows, insulate from the cold in winter and heat in summer.

The cubic units of the house increased as the number of inhabitants of the house increased, around a central unit called the porxo, which served as a foyer and dining room when there were fiestas, from which there was access to the bedrooms, storerooms and kitchen. The scarcity of water caused the construction of roofs that collect the rains and channel them to cisterns to be used for consumption. In the Ethnological Museum of Santa Eulària, you can visit a farmhouse converted into a museum, which reproduces the daily life of the past.

Another typical element of Ibizan architecture is the watchtower. The constant pirate and Berber assaults in the past led the inhabitants of Ibiza to build these surveillance systems, which cover the entire perimeter of the island. The 14 towers allow the marine horizon to be controlled from all angles. When a dangerous vessel was sighted, the population was warned from these towers by smoke (during the day) or light signals (during the night). The inhabitants then took refuge in some of the towers attached to their homes, or in the forest or more commonly in some of the towers attached to the churches.

Scuba diving lovers will find in the Pitiusan bottoms an added attraction to the island. Sa Pedrera, ses Margalides, es Vedranell or the Illes Bledes are some of the most spectacular spots for diving.

 

Fashion

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Ibiza has been able to export fashion with its own stamp and identity to the rest of the world: Adlib fashion. Rescued from the customs of the hippies, who used to wear the underwear of the peasants on the outside, the adlib dresses are characterised by their white colour and lace and embroidery. The central philosophy of Adlib fashion is “dress as you wish, but with elegance”. Every year, Eivissa hosts the Adlib Catwalk, dedicated to this way of dressing, which brings together numerous prestigious journalists and models every year.

The island abounds in clothing establishments of the most prestigious firms. Some of the most important fashion brands can be found in the chain of La Sirena shopping centres, with shops all over the island: Calvin Klein, Levis, Diesel, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Converse, Puma, Nike, Adidas, etc, as well as countless ideas to give as presents to those you love the most..

Some designers make Ibiza and Formentera a must for their summer holidays.

 

Night-life

Ibiza’s night-life has become a world-renowned landmark. On the one hand, the early arrival of the hippy movement that brought music, ideology and cultures to Ibiza that were unknown to the rest of Spain, and on the other hand, the local permissiveness and the countless nightclubs, together with the large number of foreign visitors that the island receives every year, make Ibiza the vanguard of the world music scene. The DJ and dance music industry has set its sights on Ibiza, and attracts celebrities from fashion, cinema, music and sport. In Ibiza we find the world’s most famous clubs such as Pacha, Amnesia, Privilege, Ushuaïa, Hï, Es Paradís, etc.

As an alternative to the parties that are held every night in Ibiza’s nightclubs, you can choose to stroll through the numerous streets of the port, and sit on any of its terraces to watch the most different atmospheres of the island mix.

 

Wedding Island

The natural beauty of the island of Ibiza, as well as the numerous restaurants and hotels, make Ibiza an idyllic place where more and more couples feel like holding their wedding. Every year famous people from the world of cinema, politics, sports, etc., choose Ibiza to get married. Taking advantage of the fact that Ibiza is the cradle of Adlib fashion, it is common for both bride and groom and guests to wear white and be quite casual at weddings in Ibiza.

Ibiza is particularly popular for same-sex weddings. This type of union is permitted and recognised by Spanish law. The island promotes itself as an open-minded community that welcomes all types of couples. This lack of prejudice makes Ibiza an ideal place for all kinds of couples, whether homosexual or heterosexual

 

Shopping island

Commerce is one of the main activities that move the island’s economy, through a wide network of establishments that allow residents and visitors to spend hours searching for clothing, footwear, decorative and gift items, accessories and a host of other items. The Marina, Vara de Rey and the suburban development in Eivissa, calle Ample in Sant Antoni or the surroundings of s’Alamera in Santa Eulalia are some of the areas of the island where it is easier to find whatever you want. The commercial network of la Sirena y Art stores, offers a large number of fashion items, footwear, accessories, etc. all year round.

Buying fashion in Ibiza is very common among tourists who visit the island. The most prestigious brands have increased their network of stores on the island. Dresses, suits and accessories of the best brands are available in more and more shops on the island.

In high season (May to October) most shops extend their opening hours considerably, making it easier for visitors to shop at night

 

Crafts

Ibizan craftsmanship dates back to the Punic and Roman times, and they still work with materials offered by nature such as clay, wood and esparto grass. In Sant Rafel there are several pottery workshops where you can buy their works and every year in the Paseo Vara de Rey in Eivissa, there is a Crafts Fair where the island’s craftsmen go. In the Archaeological Museum of Ibiza, we can observe samples of vestiges of the island’s past craftsmanship through figures from the Punic or Roman period, basins, vessels, plates and other objects that form part of this legacy.

A special mention should be made of the hippie markets held in many parts of the island. The craft activities carried out by hippies in the seventies led to the creation of this type of market, some of them internationally famous, which still survive today. The best known is La Dalias in Sant Carles, which is held every Saturday. Adlib clothes, costume jewellery, sandalwood, exotic musical instruments, ethnic music CDs, jewellery, decorative fabrics, statuettes, Hindu antiques, sarongs, books and much more are sold in it. There is also a restaurant and other places where you can taste natural juices or Arabian pastries in the market. The other most important market on the island is the Punta Arabí market, which is more than thirty years old and offers visitors its 400 craft outlets every Wednesday.

Opening times for the island’s markets:

  • Las DaliasOpen all year Saturdays from 10.00 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. In summer, Monday and Tuesday nights, and in August on Sunday evenings.
  • Punta Arabí en Es CanarOpen from April to October. Only on Wednesdays. From 9.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. in May and September and from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. in April and October.
  • Sant JordiSaturdays from 9.00 a.m. to 2.30 p.m.
  • Santa Eulària(s’Alamera promenade): Open from May to October. Every day except Sundays. May and October mornings only, June and September until 5.00 p.m., July and August from 9.30 a.m. to 10.30 p.m.
  • Cala Leña(Cala Leña Restaurant – San Carlos): Open in summer, Fridays and Sundays and in winter, Sunday. Friday from 12.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. and Sunday from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
  • Eivissa(La Marina neighbourhood): Open from April to October. Every day in April, May, September and October, from 5.00 p.m. to midnight June, July and August, from 5.00 p.m. to 3.00 a.m.
  • Platja d’en BossaFrom May and October Only on Fridays. From 10.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m.
  • Sant Antoni(Passeig de ses Fonts): Open from May to October. Every day From 6.00 p.m. to Midnight
  • Sant Miquel(Plaza de Sant Miquel): Open from mid-May to mid-October. Only on Thursdays. From 6.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m.

Gastronomy

The restaurant industry is a very active sector in Ibiza. The island has more than 850 restaurants, characterised by the freshness of the raw materials and a very  personalised customer relationship.

Fish is present as a speciality in many restaurants on the island. They are typical dishes like the bullit de peix, the guisat or the borrida de ratjada. One of the most popular fish among Ibizans is the raor, considered a luxury due to its scarcity. Other typical species are roja,  gallo and espardenyes.

The influence of typical Mediterranean cuisine is present in the Ibizan table. The use of olive oil or the influence of the sea on recipes is examples of this. However, there is another more deeply rooted aspect, linked to the rural world in which meat and sausages are the protagonists. The arróz de matances is a clear example of this, or the ossos amb col. Another emblematic dish is sofrit pagès.

As for drinks, Ibizan herbs are the most popular liqueur on the island. Made at home in the traditional way or by distilleries such as Marí Mayans or Can Rich. These herbs are made with more than 18 different plants and they have an aniseed taste. In addition to Ibizan herbs, Frigola is also a typical liqueur, made from thyme and drunk as an aperitif. Special mention should be made of caleta coffee, made with lemon, cognac, cinnamon and coffee beans.

Typical of the pig slaughter is the sobrasada, stuffed belly or butifarró. Equally typical are the goat and Pitusa sheep cheeses, honey, country wine or olive oil, which is made on the island in ancient trulls.

As far as pastries are concerned, flaó is probably the most original of all the specialities. This is a cake made with fresh sheep’s cheese and mint as its main ingredients. Another typical dessert is the graixonera, made with dried ensaimadas, milk, eggs, cinnamon, sugar and lemon.  Orelletes and bunyols are usually distributed at almost every local celebration. The salsa de Nadal is a kind of liquid nougat that is made at Christmas.

 

Folklore

As far as tradition and folklore are concerned, one must talk about the traditional Ibizan folk dance, which is full of symbolism. The jumps and steps of the man around the woman symbolize a posture of power, virility, noise and exhibition. The woman remains balanced and impassive in the face of the alleged male superiority, always avoiding looking into the eyes of the man as they go through the different steps of the choreography: Sa Llarga, Sa Curta and ses nou rodales. In Ibiza, more than twenty colles (peasant dance groups) keep this tradition alive and perform in the different celebrations throughout the villages..

One of the typical costumes of the Ibizan peasant is the gonella. This costume can be worn in two variations, with mantelina (headscarf) combined with a gold emprendada, or with capell(hat) with a silver and coral emprendada. The costume is combined with gold buttons and silk shawl. The Emprendada has great value not only due to the amount of gold that it has but also by its sentimental power, as it is a jewel that passes as a dowry from mothers to daughters generation after generation. The woman’s hands are adorned with several gold rings with hearts and keys symbolizing love and security.

The typical man’s costume is much simpler and more austere. It is made up of thick linen trousers and a shirt with embroidered cuffs and collar, a red sash on the waist and a red barretina on the head

Emergency phone numbers

EMERGENCIAS Y SEGURIDAD
Bomberos 112
Comisaría Policía 971 398831
Guardia Civil Ibiza 971 301100
Guardia Civil San Antonio / Sant Antoni 971 340502
Guardia Civil Sta. Eulalia / Santa Eulària 971 330227
Guardia Civil San Juan / Sant Joan 971 333005
Policía Municipal 092
Policía Nacional 091
Policía San Antonio / Sant Antoni 971 340830
Policía Municipal Sta. Eulalia / Sta. Eulària 971 339841
Policía Municipal San José / Sant Josep 971 800261
Protección Civil 112
Serv. de emergencias de Baleares 112

AYUDA Y ASISTENCIA
Alcohólicos Anónimos 971 317677
Cáritas Diocesana 971 311762
Centre d’Acollida Municipal 971 190966
Médicos a domicilio y ATS 971 393 232 / 971 193585
Narcóticos Anónimos 902 114147
Patronato para la Protección de la Salud Mental y Bienestar Social 971 304168
Proyecto Hombre 971 310225
Oficina de Atención Ciudadana 900 713878

AMBULANCIAS
Ib-Salut 061
Ambulancias 971 393232
Ambulancias 971 342525
Cruz Roja 971 390303

CENTROS SANITARIOS
Clínica del Rosario 971 301916
Cruz Roja 971 390303
Cruz Roja del Mar 971 191212
Hospital Can Misses 971 397000

TRANSPORTES
Aeropuerto información 971 809000
Campañías aéreas
Iberia / Air Nostrum 902 400500
Air Europa 902 401501
Air Berlín 901 116402
Compañías y Agencias Navieras
Trasmediterránea 902 454645
Baleària 902 160180
Inserco 971 322110
Mediterrànea Pitiusa 971 322443
Iscomar 902 119128

SERVICIOS
Inspección Técnica de Vehículos – ITV 971 195906
Alumbrado Ibiza (Averías) 971 191687
Gesa (Averías) 971 226262
Aqualia 902 18 60 18
Capitanía Marítima de Ibiza 971 192059

ADMINISTRACIONES
Consell Insular 971 195900
Ayuntamiento de Ibiza / Eivissa 971 397500
Ayuntamiento de San Antonio / Sant Antoni 971 340111
Ayuntamiento de Sta Eulalia / Santa Eulària 971 332800
Ayuntamiento de San Juan / Sant Joan 971 333003
Ayuntamiento de San José / Sant Josep 971 800125

TAXIS
Parada taxis San Juan / Sant Joan 971 333033
Parada taxis Sta. Eulalia / Santa Eulària 971 330063
Parada taxis San Antonio / Sant Antoni 971 340074
Parada taxis Aeropuerto 971 395481
Radio taxi Ibiza / Eivissa 971 398483
Radio taxi San José / Sant Josep 971 800080
Radio taxi San Antonio / Sant Antoni 971 343764
Radio taxi Sta. Eulalia / Santa Eulària 971 333033