Anthropology of Ibiza and it’s Cultural Side by Zoe Newlove
With the infamous white isle being most known for her party culture, super clubs and music scene, it is quite hard to grasp the idea of there being an actual history and culture to the island.
Yet, if you look carefully as you drive around the island, you can see scattered churches, lighthouses, wells and ruins of times gone by.
If we go right back to the beginning, the first ever settlements on Ibiza can be dated back as far as 3000 years ago, with the Carthaginians discovering Ibiza in 654 B.C. Ibiza town is, in fact, one of the earliest towns to be discovered in Europe.
Battles and invasions, with Romans, Arabs and even Pirates, there is a lot be said about the history of Ibiza. And right up until present day, the island is still the same, may be without the war cries, with the accepting nature of all kinds of cultures, people and races.
All corners of the world arrive and meet on this tiny island, and celebrate everything it has to offer. If you are looking to discover more of Ibiza and its culture, then read on as this post is a dedicated guide to the Anthropology of Ibiza.
One of my favourite places to visit, is Dalt Vila in Ibiza Old Town, the grand fortress overlooking Eivissa. It honestly looks spectacular when it is lit up at night, glistening in the surrounding harbour waters.
Begin your exploring by walking up the giant drawbridge, the entrance, which leads to a cobbled courtyard. Climb up through the tiny streets and be rewarded with incredible views spanning right across to Formentera.
The castle and its walls are home to many restaurants and bars, antique shops, a monastery and several museums. You can get a real feel for the culture and history of this island, right here, hidden behind these walls.
I would highly recommend wearing shoes with good grip, as one thing about this place that always stays in my mind, is that the floor is extremely slippery. It is not fun sliding around on those cobbles trying to walk uphill.
In May it is home to the Medieval Festival and for 4 days it celebrates the island’s interesting history, and it really is quite the spectacle.
It is as if you had stepped into a time machine, you are whisked away back to the middle ages. With markets selling handcrafted goods of all kinds, street stalls selling food and drink, and jesters and jugglers parading with torches, Ibiza town comes alive.
There are many beautiful vineyards across Ibiza and Formentera, producing some of the most delicious wines. Ibiza even has it’s very own wine festival, which takes place every December in San Mateo.
If you cannot visit the island out of season, do visit Can Maymo Winery, over in San Mateo, it really is worth it. Plus, there is a petting zoo, so there are lots to keep the entire family entertained.
The biggest wine producer in Ibiza is Can Rich de Buscatell, here in San Antonio. They produce eco friendly wines, but they also make olive oil, salt, balsamic vinegar and hierbas too.
Benirras Beach & God’s Finger
Every Sunday, down on Benirras beach, you can hear the sounds of drums beating and voices chanting as the sun goes down.
Originally hundreds of people gathered in protest against the first Gulf War in Iraq, in the form of an anti-war event. This tradition has since continued, a ritual that truly encapsulates the spirit of Ibiza.
The sun sets, just behind an enormous rock, out at sea, which is known as God’s Finger. It makes for a great photo moment. Find out more about the drums on Benirras Beach here.
If visiting museums is what you are after, then why not visit the Contemporary Art Museum of Ibiza or the Museum of Archaeology. Museu d’Art Contemporani is a restored, 17th century building situated over an archaeological site.
It is in the heart of Old Town, Ibiza and filled with many contemporary exhibitions. It contains collections dating from the 1960s as well as younger, up and coming artists local to Ibiza.
Climb right to the top of Dalt Villa, and check out the permanent exhibition of artefacts held in the Museum of Archaeology. All that history I mentioned, it is all in here, a highly intriguing education visit that is a must for lovers of history and Ibiza.
The Ethnographic Museum in Santa Eulalia is an old country house, typical of the Ibiza rural style of architecture. There are typical representations of the islands former more pastoral way of life, with all manner of utensils and farming equipment on display.
One thing I sure love to do when on holiday is making sure I fit in a visit to an Ibiza market. Ibiza’s markets are notorious for their long-standing hippy culture, handcrafted gifts, clothing and food stalls.
There are so many to choose from, but I would personally recommend Es Cana Hippy Market, with over 500 stalls, live music and street performers, it is so much fun and you will easily lose hours exploring and buying those msut have holiday momentoes.
Then there is San Juan Artisan Market, every Sunday completely filled with so many delights. And of course, Las Dalias markets held on Saturdays (all year) and Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings in the summer (June – September).
Yes, there really is the Ibiza version of Stonehenge, an art installation called Time and Space, created by artist Andrew Rodgers. This has become a popular tourist spot but is definitely worth a visit. It overlooks Es Vedra and is a great spot for catching the sunset and star gazing.
No one is quite sure what this sculpture represents, is it a sundial, an offering to the Gods, or even aliens. Why not check it out when you are next in Ibiza and decide for yourself? Find out more about this Stonehenge and it’s location here.
There truly are so many amazing things that this island has to offer, you just have to unfold it and dig a little deeper to find the Anthropology of Ibiza and it’s Cultural Side.