Ibiza’s World Heritage Site route
Our island is very precious for more reasons than just its beaches which you can easily reach in your rental car. Ibiza’s World Heritage Site route will lead you to four places that UNESCO included to its list for Ibiza’s Biodiversity and Culture in 1999, and it will take you along Ibiza’s most natural and historical side.
Ibiza’s World Heritage
This year is the 20th anniversary of Ibiza’s inclusion on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Under the denomination Ibiza’s Biodiversity and Culture, there was a will to protect and emphasize the special value of four places on the island: the tick meadows of Posidonia oceanica that stretch out along the Ibizan coast, Sa Caleta’s Phoenician settlement, Puig des Molins’ necropolis and Dalt Vila’s citadel which is at the top of Ibiza city. This Ibiza’s World Heritage Site route can be done all year round, although if you decide to do it in summer, we recommend you start it first thing in the morning to avoid the heat.
The beginning of the route: Puig des Molins Necropolis
The necropolis and Sa Caleta’s settlement are two important endowments from the Phoenician-Carthaginian period that tell the story of the important role they played for the island’s ancient Mediterranean economy. This route begins in Ibiza old town (Dalt Vila) on the hill where the most important Occidental Mediterranean necropolis sits: Es Puig des Molins. The archaeological site stretches for five hectares and has a labyrinth composed of over 3,000 tombs engraved into the rocks which date from the 6th to the 1st Century BC. During the visit, you will be able to see some of the tombs as well as the necropolis’ museum.
Next stop: Dalt Vila
Ibiza’s citadel is an excellent example of Renaissance military architecture, as it has preserved its fortifications which were built during the 16th Century by order of King Philip II of Spain. UNESCO did not only point out how well preserved they are but also the great influence they had on the creation of the New World’s Spanish settlements’ fortifications. Make sure to also walk along Dalt Vila’s Santa Llucia bastion, the cathedral’s square and the footpath along the walls which begin there. For a more detailed tour, don’t miss our post A stroll in Dalt Vila in 10 stops.
The natural jewel of the Ibiza World Heritage Site route
The third stop along the route will take us to either of Salinas’ Natural Park’s beaches: Es Cavallet and Ses Salines. They are both a prime example of sand beaches and dune systems with outstanding preservation due to the influence of the Posidonia meadow which sits between Ibiza and Formentera and is actually the largest one in the world. This ecosystem purifies and provides oxygen to its waters, it offers natural protection to many species and it prevents sea erosion on the coast as it acts like a cushion. UNESCO made an effort to underline the importance of this very valuable natural asset and to protect it from dangers such as illegal anchorings.
Fourth and last stop: Sa Caleta’s Settlement
Not too far from Es Bol Nou beach’s entry (a few metres away on foot), facing the sea, you will reach Sa Caleta’s Phoenician ruins, dating back from the 6th Century b.C. when a Phoenician settlement stood there. The archaeological site has only preserved the outline of the roads, squares and houses, as well as the platform of a communal bread oven and remains of what where possibly metallurgic ovens. Here, with another Phoenician nook, is where UNESCO’s Ibiza World Heritage Site route ends.
Would you like to get to know other interesting places in Ibiza?
Get into your Moto Luis rental car and follow the car routes along Ibiza which we have confected for you on our blog, these itineraries are ideal for all year round. Make the most of your Ibiza holiday!
Main photo: © illesbalears.travel