Dalt Vila: A Fortress in Ibiza

Towering over Ibiza is Dalt Vila (“High Town”), a hill also known as Ibiza Old Town. The walls of this UNESCO World Heritage Site have protected the island from enemies for centuries, and its cobbled streets have been around for thousands of years. Winding roads, narrow paths, and terraces abound in this fortress.

Enter through the steep Portal de Tablas, which is guarded by statues. Walk across a drawbridge, and pass through the courtyard into the main square, Plaza de Vila, with its shops and restaurants. You’ll meet the Ibicencos here, dressed in their traditional attire – the women with their headscarves, shawls, and emprendada jewellery; the men with their hats, vests, and belts.

Stroll along and you’ll see the fourteenth-century Santa Maria de les Neus (“Mary of the Snows”) cathedral, a whitewashed structure in the Catalan Gothic style. A bell tower rests on top of the rectangular building. Inside you’ll see the Diocesan Museum, which houses Catalan art, altar items, and religious documents. The castle perched on Dalt Vila’s summit stands like a silent sentinel watching over the old city.

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Relive bygone days at the Archaeological Museum of Ibiza, which is in Dalt Vila’s Cathedral Square. You’ll find artefacts such as coins, drawings, and glassware from the Phoenician, Roman, and Arab eras.

For souvenirs you won’t find anywhere else on your Ibiza holidays, head to the shops. Step inside Galleria Tanit for jewellery made of coral, aquamarine, turquoise, and other rare gems. Browse through Hydra, which sells paintings of everyday Ibicenco scenes. Scarves, tops, and bags for kids and grown-ups are sold at Thalasso Colours.

End the day with a romantic candlelit dinner. Reserve a table underneath the vines at the terrace of the highly recommended Spanish restaurant, Can Den Parra. Start off with Caprichos de la Casa, and lose yourself in flights of fancy as you sample this appetizer. For the main course try some Grilled Sea Bass, a favorite Spanish dish. For dessert, have some pastry with figs and chocolate.

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