A world away from the hedonism of the island's legendary club scene, Ibiza's old town looks like it has been lifted straight out of medieval times. The entrance is via a drawbridge, which takes you within the walls and into the cobble-stoned main square, Plaza de Vila. The name itself means 'high town', and one of Dalt Vila's attractions is the view.
From the battlements you have a great vantage point to look down on the lower settlements and the sea below. The narrow streets and alleys are packed with bars and shops selling local crafts. The Museo Puig des Molins houses an impressive array of Roman artefacts discovered on the island.
Rising defiant out of the sea to the west of Ibiza is the island of El Vedra. More like a giant boulder than an island, the 400-metre tall limestone rock is now a nature reserve. A spectacular site at sunset, El Vedra is best known for the myths and legends associated with its past. Some believe it to have been the home of the deadly sirens mentioned in Homer's Odyssey. Some also believe it to be the tip of the lost city of Atlantis. Take a boat tour around the rock, some of which feature glass bottoms to enjoy the area’s marine life.
First found by smugglers and used to stow away their contraband, the Can Marca cave is set high into the cliffs at San Miguel and dates back over 100,000 years. Packed with giant stalagmites and stalactites, fossilised underground waterfalls and prehistoric lizard species, the cave is a different kind of treasure trove today. Guided tours in English will explain the geology of this natural wonder.
The first towers were built in the 16th century as a necessary defensive tool for the island. With its isolated position along a main trade route, Ibiza and the neighbouring Formentera were popular targets for looting pirates. These round stone towers were the residents' early warning system and now you too can enjoy the spectacular views they afford.
Tip * Booking your Tours, Transfers & Airport Parking before you go will save your money & time and ensure a stress free start to your holiday
From the 1970s onwards, Ibiza has been a haven for those wanting to escape the ratrace for a simpler, more peaceful life. Glimpses of the older hippie culture are still clearly visible, particularly at the island's hippie market. Here you will find plenty of locally made goods, from shoes to jewellery as well as other less typical items. On Wednesdays you will find this riot of colour occupying the streets of Es Canar. On Saturdays it moves to San Carlos. Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the market is a great spot just to wander around.
Depending on to whom you, the heady concoction known as hierbas can cure your cough, arthritis, or simply help your dinner go down easier. An Ibizan institution, there was a time when almost every family on the island combined their own mix of herbs and fomented it into a strong spirit. Today the ingredients are more set in stone. The dominating taste is aniseed, but there are also hints of thyme, rosemary, lemon, and orange. A total of 18 plants go into the drink, which is 30% proof. Found at every bar, café, and restaurant, it makes a pleasant drink when water and sugar are added, perfect for after a good meal.
Many beaches in Ibiza are dotted with bars that provide the pre-party or after-party for the legions of clubbers the island attracts. But if you are willing to travel a little bit, there are some hidden bays with great beaches. Cala d'en Serra is a great example. It is a short drive from Portinatx; you travel down a rocky road until it peters out and you have to park up and walk down the track for the rest of the distance. A small, sheltered cove, there is a crescent of white sand and clear waters ideal for snorkelling.
Just 6.5 kilometres south of Ibiza lies its neighbouring island, Formentera. Perfect for a day-trip, you can reach the island by boat. If you feel like exploring, hiring a bike is the best idea.
From excursions to daily and weekly rentals, there are plenty of ways to enjoy the Mediterranean that surrounds Ibiza. If you are an experienced sailor without a yacht handy, you can rent one to pilot yourself while you are on the island. If a charter seems like going a little too far, landlubbers will find plenty of companies offering services to Formentera or Es Vedra.
There are also a large number of ferry services connecting different parts of the island as well as boats to the Spanish mainland.
To reach the island's far-flung beaches and to escape the well-worn tourists trails, renting a car will stop you breaking the bank on taxi fares.
Consider car hire in Ibiza to travel at your leisure.
With four companies in operation on the island, Ibiza is well-served by buses. The vehicles themselves are well-maintained and air-conditioned, and tickets are cheap. Between the major resorts like Ibiza City, Santa Eularia and Portinatx, expect a bus every half an hour.
A green light on display means the taxi is available for hire. If you are splitting the cab between a group, it can be an economical way to get around the island. If you are planning to stay out late, the disco bus takes over from the standard companies at midnight, ferrying revellers between the main nightspots until 6 a.m.
Within the towns themselves there is no need for any mode of transportation other than your own two feet. Just pick up a town map from the tourist information centre and away you go.
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