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A walk in Dalt Vila, the historical center of Ibiza

Written on : 09 April 2019

If Ibiza is often related to parties, a walk in Dalt Vila will be enough to deconstruct the misconceptions you may still have. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Dalt Vila is the historical center of Ibiza. You can easily get lost in the cobbled streets, staring at the linen hanging from the balconies, the charming cafes where traditional Spanish music plays and pretty flower garlands which color the cobblestone streets. Perched on a hill, Dalt Vila will make you discover Ibiza in an unusual way. Far from the ready-made ideas, you will stroll along the market stalls, the harbor and you will admire the lights of the city, which, at nightfall, radiate Dalt Vila.

History of Dalt Vila, Ibiza’s Upper Town

History of Dalt Vila, Ibiza’s Upper Town

Fascinating and mystical, Dalt Vila (literally "the Upper Town") overlooks the entire island of Ibiza. As a true historical center, Dalt Vila is perched on hills and offers panoramic views of the so-called white island. Dalt Vila has always been popular because of this ideal location. First populated in the Phoenician era, the walls of the city were built for the first time in the 5th century in order to fight against pirate attacks. Until the 16th century, these ramparts were modified to be enlarged and react in case of attacks. New fortifications were added, particularly during the reigns of Philip II and Charles III until reaching the seven current bastions. In 1999, the beautiful city of Dalt Vila became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There are now five accesses to the city of Dalt Vila. We recommend you to take the Portal de Ses Taules, the most impressive one. The paved trail will take you to the drawbridge which offers breathtaking views of the city's cathedral.

Dalt Vila: what to see, what to do

Dalt Vila: what to see, what to do

Although it is possible to walk all the ramparts of the old city in less than an hour, we strongly recommend you to lose yourself for a few hours in the maze of central streets of Dalt Vila. Relaxing and fascinating, Dalt Vila will make you discover an unknown side of Ibiza. Behind the glitter, you will find a cultural and historical island.

Among the must-sees, you should not miss the Ibiza Cathedral! Built in the 13th century, this emblematic cathedral was then renovated according to Gothic style in the 18th century. Admire the impressive architecture of this monument that has become the main attraction of the city. Make the pleasure last and climb to the top of the acropolis. From here, you will have a breathtaking panoramic view of all Dalt Vila where narrow streets are mixed up with whitewashed houses. Inside the cathedral, there are also beautiful artworks that will make you want to learn more about the culture and history of Ibiza.

From the famous Portal de Ses Taules, you can go to the Museum of Contemporary Art of Ibiza, one of the must-see places for all art lovers. In front, the bastion of Santa Llúcia enjoys a breathtaking view of the harbor.

Take a walk on the Plaça de Universitat from which you will have a great view through the openings of bastions and esplanades of the walls. Then, cross the Patio de Armas to reach Plaça de Vila, a lively place with many shops and restaurants. Take the opportunity to collect some souvenirs to bring back in your suitcases!

Another point of interest in Dalt Vila is the Puget Museum. Founded in 2007, this museum houses a large collection of artworks and emphasizes the collaboration between the painters Puget father and son and the Ministry of Culture of the city of Ibiza. If the museum exhibits mainly artworks by Narcis Viñas Puget and his son, Narcis Puget Riquer, there are also many temporary exhibitions.

Stroll through Dalt Vila until you reach the Punic necropolis of Puig des Molins. It is a massive necropolis sheltering more than 3,000 tombs from the Phoenician era to the Punic era. The Puig des Molins is an important source of knowledge to understand the influence of the Carthaginian civilization on the island of Ibiza and more generally on the archipelago of the Balearic Islands. Continue on Plaça d'Espanya and take the steep tunnel that will take you outside the city walls. From here, you will have a new and very beautiful view. After taking a few photos for your Instagram feed, go to the second atmospheric tunnel that houses a beautiful collection of weapons and armor.

If you can, we recommend you staying in Dalt Vila until nightfall. Thus, you can watch the sun go down in a gradient of roses and oranges. If you will be speechless in front of the spectacle of the sky, we advise you to wait until the sky is covered with indigo to admire Dalt Vila in the dark night. There, the lights invade the city and give another color to this historical
center.

How to get to Dalt Vila?

How to get to Dalt Vila?

It is easy to reach Dalt Vila by bus from different places in Ibiza. Several bus lines run from San Antonio, San José or Cala Tarida. If you rent a car to organise a road trip in this Pityusic island, the road is clearly marked and rather well indicated until Dalt Vila. In the same way, it is possible to rent a boat and arrive at the harbor of the city to then reach the historical center. Finally, do not forget that the streets are paved in Dalt Vila. So be sure to pack good walking shoes with you!