A Non-Party Guide to Ibiza

Ibiza is often referred to as the party capital of Spain as music has always been a part of its cultural ethos. But there is more to it than just rock and roll. The hedonistic destination has a lot more to offer than pulsating nightlife, concerts and clubs, discotheques, and boat parties. The Mediterranean island, which forms a part of the archipelago of the Balearic Islands offers several experiences including cultural immersions, wine tasting, cave exploration, village visits, and even a city of the dead. So here is an eclectic list of things to do and see in Ibiza, besides heading to the nightclubs. https://goo.gl/maps/Pi6656oYHLnRXaFt5

Dalt Vila - The Old Town

Built over 2500 years old by the Phoenicians, Dalt Vila (https://goo.gl/maps/Pi6656oYHLnRXaFt5), literally translating to The High or Upper Town, is an acropolis with formidable bastions, castles, and cathedrals that are atmospheric with cobbled stoned alleys and ancient architecture. As you trudge along the fortified hilltop settlement to the summit, feast your eyes on the azure hues of the Mediterranean along the way. Little cafes, quaint churches, craft stores, medieval monuments, and mansions add to the charm of this UNESCO Heritage Site. 


Puig des Molins - The ancient Necropolis in Ibiza

Time travel to the 7th century and delve deep into the ancient cemetery of Ibiza. 

The Necropolis (https://goo.gl/maps/9GyKAE2B51gzPLU57) with its burial caverns houses over 3000 tombs and you can even go underground to see stone coffins with skeletal remains. The City of the Dead as it is called was used by the Phoenicians and the Punics and even the Romans as a gravesite. A UNESCO Heritage Site, the Necropolis also houses an Archaeological Museum which showcases excavated objects, besides giving you a glimpse of the burial rites and beliefs of different civilisations. You can learn more here https://maef.eu/en/museo-puig-des-molins/


Ses Salines Natural Park - Ibiza’s White Gold

Ever since the Phoenicians landed here 2500 years ago, Ibiza has been harvesting salt, referred to as “white gold”. And driving around the salt pans and ponds of the Ses Salines Natural Park, you can see some of the biodiversity hot spots for birds as well. The natural park includes coves, beaches like Ses Salines Beach, and churches like the Church of Sant Francesc which even has an interpretation centre. You can also learn about the historic salty legacy and the manual processes. Even today statues of the salt workers stand as a tribute. 


Get charmed at Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera

Nestled right in the heart of Ibiza and a far cry from the club culture of the island is a microcosm of the real Ibiza - a quaint village called Santa Gertrudis (https://goo.gl/maps/niG5L8jnuwEE7pUr5). The pedestrian square is straight out of a picture postcard, with a bevvy of restaurants, cafes, and craft shops lined up along the cobbled streets. Painted in shades of white and yellow, the medieval church is designed like a fortress and is a showstopper by itself. The entire village, surrounded by orchards, is steeped in tradition and yet, exudes a bohemian vibe. 


Lose yourself at the Es Canar True Hippie Market


Lose yourself at the Es Canar True Hippie Market

Vibrant, aromatic, eclectic and artisanal, the flower power of Ibiza comes alive in this oldest and largest hippie market that started in the mid-70s. Musicians, designers, artists, craftsmen and women come together with their handmade creations, inspired from all over the world. Much more than just a handicraft market with over 450 stalls, there are live performances, food trucks, and craft workshops, all spread over a leafy sprawled village, surrounded by trees. The market https://goo.gl/maps/QMnuJjbbubQqoxqd7) is open every Wednesday. 

More details at https://m.facebook.com/HippieMarketEsCanar/


Cave exploration at Cova de can Marca


Cave exploration at Cova de can Marca

For the adventurous, a cave that was historically once the home of pirates should definitely be on the itinerary. Explore Cova de can Marca (https://goo.gl/maps/k4CofeXH1o2L3eYu9), 

descending underground to explore the warren of caves where smugglers hid their contraband years ago. The views of the ocean surrounded by the rugged cliffs are quite dramatic too. The caves are now lit as the stalagmites and stalactites create a vivid atmosphere and you are also treated to a sound and light show. 


Feel the magnetic pull of Es Vedra 

Magical and mystical, Es Vedra (https://goo.gl/maps/AqhqwU4hGiyTV1Gy5) is a rocky island with monolithic limestone outcrops that rise majestically from the sea, creating a dramatic setting. According to the legends, this was the home of Goddess Tanit, the patron deity of the Phoenicians. Some people believe that this island has a magnetic energy that can lure you and hence say that the island is also haunted by sirens, who are mythical human-like beautiful women with alluring voices that lure men. While others add that even UFOs have been sighted! No doubt, the island viewed from the cliffs towering above Cala d’Hort Beach does have a breathtaking effect on one. 


Savour the wines at Can Rich Winery

Taste the flavours of Ibiza at the Can Rich Winery (https://goo.gl/maps/TPvnVpyKsx7XRnRL9), located near San Antoni. The 21 hectares of vineyards also include olive trees and you can book a winery tour that includes tastings as well. While you learn about their organic farming and traditional production techniques, you also get to taste the different local and imported varieties and the two special Ibizian herbal liqueurs, Hierbas Ibicencas and Cafe Caleta. Besides the reds, whites, rosés, and sparkling wines, they also produce olive oil. You can book your tours here http://bodegascanrich.com/en


Discover Santa Eulalia 

One of the largest resort towns in Ibiza, Santa Eulalia (https://goo.gl/maps/QWTMEZ8CgjdgL5N38) is a cocktail of culture and traditions, churches and beaches, marinas and promenades. Walk or rent an e-bike and explore the town; go to the old church, follow the course of the river, or try to catch the mythical fameliar (the elf). Santa Eulalia is a delightful town with so many experiences that you might need an entire day there. Read all about the town here https://visitsantaeulalia.com/en/ 


Say salut to the sunset from La Torres 

Make a date with the sunset from the terraces of La Torres (https://goo.gl/maps/F2iKAEBjq8RfYF789), Ibiza’s iconic restaurant that is set amidst the rugged rocks of the beach. Sunset here is more than just a ritual. It is a tribute paid to the magical moment enacted by nature as all the guests and staff stand up and honour the moment with a round of applause. Raise a toast and dig into local cuisine and savour this experience. La Torres is also a boutique hostel, and the restaurant is open throughout the day, although reservations for dinner have to be made well in advance. 

Website to book https://www.latorreibiza.com/en/restaurant-terrace.

Published on: Nov. 29, 2022, midnight Last modified on: Jan. 16, 2023, 12:52 a.m.
Lakshmi Sharath
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Lakshmi Sharath

Lakshmi Sharath is a storyteller and traveller who believes that people make places.