An extraordinary stone fortress rising over the Mediterranean, shaped by the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs and Christians.
A legendary port for privateers, Ibiza town can be seen from a distance thanks to its colossal 16th-century walls which enclose the full-of-life labyrinthine district. Bastions, small whitewashed houses, alleyways, churches and viewpoints set the stage for a universal and cosmopolitan environment, which is unique to the world.
The Renaissance fortress of Dalt Vila, together with those of Malta and Terceira Island in the Azores, represents one of the best preserved examples of bastion fortification. It was used by Felipe II as a model for the fortresses which would later be built in Cartagena de Indias and Puerto Rico. Its bastions, which are connected by high and solid stretches of wall, form a star-shaped structure with seven arrowheads on the ends. All of them are named after saints and allow you to see spectacular views of the city, the port, some of the beaches and the neighboring island of Formentera. The historic enclosure also holds an open-air exhibition which informs the visitor about the island’s long history.
Iboshim, the city of Bes, was founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC. After the destruction of Carthage, the Romans took the city and then the Vandals and the Byzantines. Later it formed a part of the Al-Andalus, until the Catalans reconquered it in the 13th century, making it Christian land. The trace of all of these cultures lives on today in Ibiza and in its walls, built on stretches of the often visible defense which was built by previous civilizations.
The charming fortified enclosure goes with the small streets around the port in the quarters of La Marina and Sa Penya, scattered with grocer’s shops and bars, along with art galleries, exclusive.
Almost in the shadow of the walls, we find the Necrópolis de Puig des Molins, which has several hypogea and treasures, dating back from the Phoenicians to the Islamists, which is exhibited in the Archaeological Museum, next to the cathedral in the upper part of Dalt Vila.
The walls and the old “city of the dead” form part of the collection of items declared as a World Heritage Site, along with the Phoenician Sa Caleta in the town of Sant Josep, and the posidonia meadows which are between Ibiza and Fomentera in the Ses Salines Nature Reserve. These are an important source of oxygen for the Mediterranean, a paradise for divers and the origin of transparent waters and the sandy spots of the beaches.
A walk through the paved streets of Dalt Vila
Sea-life: spectacular sea beds
Museums: From archaeology to contemporary art
Medieval Ibiza (second weekend in May)
International Jazz Festival (July)
Classical Concerts (Symphony Orchestra, Wind Band and Ciudad de Ibiza Choir)
Local Holidays (5th and 8th August)
A walk around the historic quarter of La Marina: Adlib fashion, crafts and local customs.
Gastronomy of Ibiza
Clothes shops and lively terraces forming this exotic hotchpotch, which is so characteristic of the island.