Visitors can not only enjoy magnificent beaches in the Balearic Islands, but also a wide range of leisure centres, nature parks that showcase fauna and waterfowl, impressive natural caves, manor homes, world-famous archaeological remains and more. An array of cultural and entertainment activities to suit the most varied tastes. A myriad of alternatives also exist for nightlife.
Evissa - Ibiza
The city of Eivissa offers to its visitors a varied supply of leisure. The districts of the Port, La Marina and Playa d'en Bossa concentrate the nocturnal diversion of the city.
The native night of Eivissa is famous throughout the world: Discos, bars, pubs, restaurants invade the streets of the island and illuminate with their lights the native night of Eivissa. The supply is so varied that it would not be right to mention concrete places, being able to enjoy widely the multiple atmospheres that the city presents.
For those who prefer to enjoy the day, Eivissa also offers a varied supply to them: sport facilities where to practice their favorite sport, beaches qualified for the practice of marine sports or to dive and discover the beautiful marine bottoms of the island, and other centers where, for example, enjoy a horse ride by the inner Eivissa.
The supply is complemented with other spaces and artisan activities of leisure such as cinemas, concerts, rooms of game, markets where buying becomes a colorful experience, etc.
Puig des Molins
The archaeological site of the Puig des Molins situated at the foot of the mountain of same name, next to the "Museu Arqueològic del Puig des Molins" (at the moment closed due to renovations), was the cemetery of Eivissa since the foundation of the city by Occidental Phoenicians at the end of the VII century BC. The initial necropolis experimented an important development in the Punic era, to be precise from the VI century BC to the end of the I century AC, reaching 50.000 square metres of occupied area. The cemetery was still used in the Roman era from the I to the V century AC and also later in the VI and VII centuries AC.
The site is the biggest and best conserved necropolis of the Phoenician-Punic culture with over 3.000 Punic tombs with chamber and access well called hypogeums, although only 340 are visible from outside. Visitors to the site can enter a group of hypogeum equipped with lights and stairs.
In 1977 the necropolis of the Puig des Molins was declared a Property of Cultural Interest and in 1999, together with the fortified area of Dalt Vila, the Phoenician settlement of sa Caleta and the prairies of Posidonia of the Natural Park of ses Salines, was declared World Heritage by Unesco.
Summer (from March 16 to October 15): Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and festivities closed.
Winter (from October 16 to March 15): Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays and festivities closed.
The second largest town on the island, San Antonio was originally called Portus Magnus by the Romans. Its full title is Sant Antoni de Portmany or San Antonio Abad (Castilliano & Catalan respectively).
The older part of the town extends from the 16th Century church down to the port area, as this was originally a fishing village. This is the area known nowadays as the West End - and fishermen are scarce. The port, being a natural harbour in a strategic position in the middle of the Mediterranean, played an important role in the island's history for many centuries as different civilisations invaded the island.
Unfortunately still recovering from a sleezy reputation, courtesy of bad press in all forms of media, this used to be the main tourism centre of the island back in the early days. This was because the other towns of the island encouraged people to cover all exposed flesh, even in the height of summer, and discouraged dancing other than on fiesta days - meaning complex folk dancing only!
San Antonio was then more permissive and attracted tourists from mainland Europe to the island, to the extent that it became the San Tropez of the Balearics - if not the southern Mediterranean. In those halcyon days the West End was the best place on the island to find the finest restaurants and rub shoulders with the often aristocratic yacht owners whose craft were moored in the beautiful, unspoilt bay.
These days, during the main clubbing season of July & August, it heaves with young people enjoying their first holidays without their parents - learning about adolescence, drinking, music, dancing and the opposite sex etc. The two months before and after these two are dominated by families, with big smiles on their faces, enjoying the incredible range of entertainment options available and the beautiful nearby beaches, just a short ferry ride away.
The island's third largest town, but allegedly the richest town in all of Spain - per capita, Santa Eulalia sits 15km north of Ibiza town on the eastern coast of the island. It dominates the mouth of the only river in the entire Balearic Island group and for this reason has always been of enormous strategic importance to the island. The walk along the river is lovely in itself, despite the fact that it has dried up over the years as the water table on the island has fallen, it now runs for barely half a kilometre to the old Roman bridge that used to serve the town, but the ducks that live beneath the bridge are an unusual sight.
Santa Eulalia has a larger indiginous population than San Antonio, the second largest town, and for this reason changes its character little in or out of season. Perhaps the locals have sussed the succession of beautiful beaches from Agua Blanca in the north all the way down to Ibiza town and realised that this is the perfect base? Unfortunately though, over recent years the pace of development around the fringes of the town have doubled its size - so perhaps the locals talk too much.
At the top of the hill as you enter the town from Ibiza sits the most imposing church you are ever likely to see. The most complete example of the characteristic local architecture to be found on the island, apart from the fortress of Ibiza old town itself. Built in the 16th Century to replace one previously destroyed by the Turks, it is a complex of annexes topped with domes to either side of the nave, and hilltop shade from which the views over the island are magnificent. At night the hill with the church at its crest are floodlit making the arrival over the river bridge into Santa Eulalia from Ibiza a special experience.
Turning right at any point upon entering the town one arrives at the long promenade which runs the entire length of the two beaches between the river's mouth and the marina. This is lined with mature trees and divided by a big fountain at its centre. It is also lined with a huge selection of cafe's and restaurants along its length. In addition within the town, set back from the beach a couple of hundred meters, is the famous 'Restaurant Street' reinforcing the town's reputation for providing the widest range of quality, gastronomic options available on the island.
A cosmopolitan town with a relatively small 'seasonal' population, it changes little from one season to the other, unlike many other resorts on the island.
Las Dalias and Punta Arabi
In San Carlos in the North-East, set in the grounds of a restaurant, this weekly market continues in Saturdays throughout the year. Many consider it to be a more original and traditional alternative to the larger Wednesday market at Es Caná. Wonderful selection of handmade clothes and jewellery, you can be sure to find that little something for everyone. Open until late in summer, 'til 18.00 in winter, every Saturday.
A visit to the famous Hippy Market on the grounds of the holiday club Punta Arabí in Es Cana, near Santa Eulalia, held every Wednesday (from may to october) from 10.00 - 19.00 hrs., is a must. At the market you have an enormous variety to choose from: the most exotic batik wraps and clothing to tailor-made leather mocassins and an tantalising variety of east-asian silver jewellry and trinkets. If you look around you can still find some of the original hippies, although most of them have grey hair by now! Like a time-warp back to the 1970s. Every Wednesday.
Puerto de San Miguel
A quiet little hamlet near to the inhospitable northern coast of Ibiza, which roughly translated means "the gateway to the unspoilt coast of the north". A beautiful old 18th Century church surrounded by a few houses forms the obvious 'village', but in years gone by this was the heart of local civilisation when Sunday came around and the outlying population met to congregate and worship - while the youngsters mingled and chatted each other up. Those rituals have changed nowadays - at least among the 'modern' island population - but the theory remains unchanged.
If you find yourself here and unsure what to do next, check out Cala D'Albarca which is indisputably one of the most beautiful coves on the island - totally unspoilt.
Cova C'an Marça
Breathtaking sea views as you descend steeply to the entrance. Enter this multi-level, yellow-gold world, plotting the smugglers' ancient route with a multilingual guide. Mysteriously, silently over eons, stalagmites and stalagtites have formed into figures, temples and rocket stations. At the heart is a spectacular Music & Light Show with a 30 ft. cascade of diamond-bright water.
Visiting times: Tours hourly from 10.30 a.m till sunset. Open all year.