Dalt Vila Spain

What do you think of when you book a holiday to Ibiza? It turns out there’s far more to Ibiza Town than just a beach holiday or party destination. The town has a surprising amount of history, centred around the hilltop old town, Dalt Vila.

A grand entrance

Meaning ‘Upper Town’, the old town was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, and today stepping inside its historic walls is like walking into a living museum. For the full effect, take the rather steep climb to the main entrance at Portal de Ses Taules, where you’ll enter the town over a drawbridge flanked by impressive stone statues. Once inside the walls you’ll be instantly charmed by the cobbled squares, Catalan and Gothic buildings, castle, and buzzing main square.

Souvenir shopping

Head for Dalt Vila harbour to shop at the atmospheric Sa Penya market where you’ll be able to pick up local handicrafts as souvenirs, or stroll to the impressive Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Snows. Along the way you’ll find rows of art galleries and shops packed with unique work by talented local artists and craftsmen.

A stroll in the sun

There’s so much to see here that sometimes just wandering around the labyrinth of cobbled streets lined with colourful flowers is enough. You’ll see local children playing football, discover ancient wooden doors leading to secret stone courtyards and tiny chapels, pause at antique shops and jewellery boutiques, and find restaurants dotted with fairy lights.

The best views in town

For the best views in Dalt Vila, climb to the top of the castle’s battlements and you’ll be able to see all the way to the harbour. Look out for the 16th century Church of Santo Domingo and the statue of the Cuban war hero General Joaquin Vara de Rey in the main square. The castle is also where you’ll find the archaeological museum with an impressive collection to please history buffs.

While you’re here it’s also worth visiting the Puig des Molins necropolis, which offers a fascinating insight into life in ancient Ibiza with its 3,000 tombs dating back to the 7th century. For something a little more modern, the district is also home to the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Drinking and dining in Dalt Vila

Dalt Vila is the perfect place to enjoy a romantic meal or atmospheric drink as you watch people go about their business. You’ll find plenty of charming traditional restaurants serving authentic local cuisine like guisat de peix (fish in creamy potato sauce) as well as cosy bars and open-air cafés in Plaza de Vila, the main square.

Something happening all year round

Although there’s plenty going on in Dalt Vila all year round, the summer months are the liveliest. Festivals and open-air concerts seem to be taking place on every corner and the ramparts are often home to an open-air cinema. You’re also close to Ibiza Town’s two beaches, Playa d’en Bossa and Talamanca.