Las Dalias Ibiza by Tanya Taylor
This year the alternative social hub of the north, that is Las Dalias Ibiza, celebrates 65 years of providing diverse musical and culinary delights to passing tourists and locals alike.
It’s home to the world famous Hippy Market where every Saturday people flock to San Carlos to be immersed in the glittering curiosities on display.
In peak season up to 20,000 people pass through its doors making it one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island.
As well as this, it also hosts two night markets per week and many unique musical and cultural events. From humble beginnings, Las Dalias has grown into an Iconic institution of modern-day Ibiza.
Back in 1954, a local man named Juanito thought his sleepy little village could do with a little bit more action. He was a carpenter by trade so with the help of a few friends he constructed a small, simple, wooden building on the roadside, complete with dance floor and bar.
It went down a treat with the locals who would gather there to make merry, at any excuse. Inspired by his success Juanito decided he would try and pull in a bit of custom from the new “tourists” on the island. He offered them nights of passionate flamenco performances, barbecues and paella all washed down with jugs of sangria.
The curious tourist loved this authentic Ibiza experience and Juanito enjoyed success once again. In the early seventies, Ibiza embraced a wave of free thinking hippies to her shores. They brought many exotic and alluring items with them from their travels east and Punta Arabi Hippy market, in neighbouring Es Canar was born.
After a long day lounging and haggling at the market, the colourful market vendors would head down the road to Las Dalias to unwind. It became a very cool hangout where musicians would spontaneously gather, jamming into the night.
The Hippy Market began in 1985 and every Saturday since then the place becomes a maze of twinkling trinkets and gifts from afar. Sounds, colours, smells and activity make up the vibrant bustling atmosphere and you will find an amazing range of fascinating and unique gifts on offer. Most things are hand made and you can chat and haggle with interesting and friendly vendors. It’s a fantastic family event complete with children’s area, where the little ones can enjoy arts and crafts.
The Saturday market starts at around 10 am and runs till 8 pm. It’s open all year round but in the winter months, it’s much smaller and quieter.
One market a week simply wasn’t enough to appease the demand of visitors so in 2005 the night market was launched. It brings a whole new dimension to the market experience, It’s much cooler in the evenings for a start and the twinkling fairy lights give it a much more relaxed and romantic atmosphere.
The night market is on every Monday and Tuesday from 7 pm to 1 am.
The venue today, lovingly established over the years, has developed into a large but intimate mix of indoor and outdoor space. The main courtyard is beautifully surrounded with trees and vines and this is where the parties take place under the stars.
From the courtyard, a path winds down to the main market space that’s scattered with food trucks and a couple of bars with views of the gentle, rolling hills of the Ibiza countryside sitting prettily in the background.
Returning to the courtyard an obscure door on the left leads you into the newly refurbished roadside bar, or on party nights, through to the indoor dance floor where the music continues after midnight. The whole place feels like a mini-festival with plenty of interesting nooks and crannies to explore.
Diversity is a theme that runs through the core of Las Dalias and here you will find delicious traditional Spanish cuisine alongside rich and exotic tastes from all around the world. The Roadside Café is open every day, and it’s relaxed vibe and simple but tasty menu attracts both tourists and locals in abundance.
The main restaurant is inside the venue and is only open on market days or party nights.
It sits beautifully under a vine-shaded terrace and has an amazing array of eastern and western dishes to enjoy.
On top of this, there are all the mini bars and food trucks to choose from too, where you can find fresh juices, homemade pizza, snacks, cocktails and street food. The selection of tasty and interesting treats to be found here cater to every dietary need and even the fussiest eaters will be spoiled for choice.
The range of events held at Las Dalias is just about as diverse as it’s menu. Presented on the main stage, bringing a multinational crowd of party people together is a mix of local and international musicians.
The sound here would best be described as World Music and features a mix of flamenco, reggae, rock and alternative live music as well as trance, house and a bit of mild techno from local DJs such as Eva Pacifico and Lenny Ibizarre.
On the 11th of July, Las Dalias is hosting its second launch party of the year for Rotomto Sunsplash reggae festival. This one is featuring the legendary Johnny Osbourn.
The new regular feature, Rumours, featuring DJ and producer Guy Gerber, will be held every Sunday throughout July and August. It coincides with the Las Dalias Street Food Festival and special Sunday night market.
The party starts at 7 pm, running long into the night and it’s completely free entry.
As well as parties, Las Dalias also hosts a range of festivals and events that celebrate culture, community and art. Prices vary for each event but usually range from 10 to 30 euros.
Every Wednesday night throughout the summer it’s Namaste that holds the crowned glory of parties in the north. This iconic night has been running for 22 years now and is by far one of the most popular nights at Las Dalias.
It was started by the “World Family” after they were inspired by their trips to India. They brought back with them the spirit of the east, expressed in music, food and psychedelic decorations of Hindu Icons.
When you step inside it feels like you’ve dropped into wonderland and it takes a few seconds to adjust to the very impressive decoration. It’s a family friendly event that starts at 7 pm with people sitting on glittering cushions to enjoy the live music show.
Slowly during the evening the party increases and the cushions make way for a dance floor. Outside, as well as many snack bars and a small market there’s a very mellow and cosy chill-out area complete with plenty of places to lounge and gaze into the campfire.
The live music finishes at midnight but then a small inside room opens up with DJs on until 6 am. Namaste is on every Wednesday and entrance is free between 7 pm and 9 pm and then 15 euros after.
So if you like to party but don’t necessarily want to brave the super clubs or maybe you’re on holiday with the family, Las Dalias is the perfect place to go for a “tranquilo” day or night out.
Whether you go for the market or music event, you’ll always find a warm and inviting atmosphere and a real feel for the alternative Ibiza scene. Las Dalias is a unique and interesting place that’s an ingrained part of modern Ibiza culture, much more than just a hippy market.
Tanya can be found up in the northern hills of Ibiza. When she is not taking care of horses, she is usually scribbling away about nature, sunshine and all of the other wonderful things Ibiza has to offer