The walled enclosure of Dalt Vila, easily among the most beautiful citadels in the Mediterranean, is an unmissable day trip for anyone on holiday in Ibiza. Leaving the beach and nightclubs behind for an afternoon of absorbing the local culture will leave you stunned by the history of the island and enlightened by the architecture and art Ibiza Old town has to offer.
Though nothing is going to stop you visiting more than once this part of the White Isle! A walk around this citadel, with or without a guide, is a wonderful way to spend a day. Mealtimes in Dalt Vila’s squares are also a great opportunity to try the local cuisine with breathtaking views.
We’ve jotted down some of the highlights you can enjoy especially in Autumn, when there are fewer tourists. Simply start at the city’s gates, Portal de ses Taules, and head toward the highest part of the old town, taking in the sites along the way.
Historic architecture of Ibiza Old Town
● Portal de Ses Taules
The Portal de Ses Taules is the gateway through the fortification that runs between Sant Joan and Santa Llúcia. This majestic main entrance to Dalt Vila was built in 1585 as a protection for the highest part of Ibiza old town, and is considered a World Heritage Site.
● The bastions of Dalt Vila’s walls
The bastions of Sant Pere, Sant Bernard and Sant Jaume form part of Dalt Vila’s city walls, dating back to the Renaissance. The Sant Pere bastion is located at the far northwest end of the zone and is one of the most complex pieces of architecture in the whole ensemble. You can take a guided tour of the bastions and within the military architecture you’ll see casemates and courtyards where artillery was kept such as cannons, a heavy-gauge mortar, muskets, swords and helms.
Ibiza old town restaurants
● Plaça del Sol restaurant
This terrace adorned with flowers and fruits is known for its romantic dining experience. As one of the most beautiful Ibiza old town restaurants within the walls of Dalt Vila, most visitors choose this spot for its panoramic views across the town and port. The menu offers a variety of mediterranean-style dishes and, of course, serves wine and the herb liqueur Hierbas Ibicencas, a ‘spiritual’ aniseed liquor.
● Plaça de Vila
If you’re not sure where to eat out head to Plaça de Vila, a picturesque and cosmopolitan square with several stores, restaurants and terraces to enjoy wonderful meals. The Plaça de Vila also has a long history and is just a stroll from the Vara de Rey promenade.
Cultural attractions in Dalt Vila, Ibiza
● Contemporary Art Museum
This museum is situated in a 17th-century building and displays collections from artists that emerged on the island in the 1960s, works by Tàpies and Miralles and lesser-known artists that resided in the Balearic Islands. Take a stroll through this Ibiza attraction’s beautiful gardens before you leave.
● Monastery of Sant Cristóbal
This monastery is the oldest existing institution on the island, having been founded back in 1599. The current building was constructed in the middle of the 20th century but holds many relics from its origins, and the monastery’s nuns sell Orelletas and other typical sweets to the public.
● Puget Museum
This beautiful palace, known as Can Comasema, is open to the public and will take you on a journey to old rural Ibiza with the paintings it houses. It was built in the 15th century and likely used as a factory originally. The authentic exhibitions on show in a gothic property perfectly capture the island’s Catalan influence. Its depictions of life before development arrived to the island were painted by son and father, Narcís Puget Riquer and Narcís Puget Viñas.
● Madina Yabisa Interpretation Center
Discover the Ibiza of medieval Moorish times in this centre, whose name, Madina Yabisa, was that of Ibiza during the Moorish occupation. Audiovisual technology guides you through the historical and urban evolution of Ibiza in the Middle Ages, all displayed within what was the headquarters of the courts of justice in the 16th century.
All these museums, buildings and attractions in Ibiza are worth a visit and can be seen year-round. However, just outside of high-season, in Autumn for example, you’re likely to enjoy these Ibiza attractions without crowds, and a more relaxed environment.
If you do decide to visit in the middle of summer it’s recommendable to start the walk early in the morning or when the sun drops behind buildings in the afternoon before heading back to the most popular hotel zone.
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