Discovering the white island

Over and above its Mediterranean character, the island of Ibiza becomes a haven of peace in shades of white

Day 1: From Ibiza to Santa Eulària des Riu, a walk through the essence of the island

The time that the days start to get longer and the Mediterranean recovers its turquoise essence is precisely when the island’s magic blooms once again in Ibiza. Frenzied in summer and a haven of peace in winter, the isle reaches its perfect balance with the first sunrays of the month of March.

Your stay in Ibiza starts right here and in this season: a sensorial and cultural route that shows us that white, pure and traditional essence that bestows meaning onto the isle, its peasant houses and even its nature. What is the starting point of this journey through the white island? Ibiza and Santa Eulària des Riu.

Having arrived at Ibiza’s port or airport and settled down in the capital for a few hours, one need only take a look to see that the city of Ibiza is not entirely white. While taking this evidence as a maxim, we have chosen this location as a starting point as it is here – thanks to the museums and art centres that take shape in Dalt Vila- that you will begin to understand the island’s most primary history as well as its architectural evolution.

Just as a local would do, you will start the route at Plaça de la Vila (in the old town) with a breakfast composed of ecological coffee and well-done orelletes (the star pastry in Ibiza). Once your stomach is full of local flavour and your camera is fully charged, the time has come to traverse the streets of Dalt Vila to stop at some of its main museums and art centres. Which is the best of these for learning about the rural past of the island? Puget Museum, an art centre located in Sant Ciriac street, where one can see Ibiza’s whitest, most authentic and traditional side in its paintings.  

Having gone through the old town and enjoyed a most enjoyable walk in the Ibiza Marina – a route in which you will be able to see how the AdLib garments, the traditional white clothing of the island, are made – you will head towards your next destination on this first day of your visit to Ibiza: Santa Eulària des Riu.

Located some seven kilometres from the capital and with the Mediterranean Sea as its background, Santa Eulària will not only show you some of those white peasant houses that have made Ibiza famous, but also take you to such truly interesting spots as Es Puig de Misa, in the high part of the city. During this visit, in addition to seeing the most traditional side of Santa Eulària, you will be able to enjoy some truly unique, highly photogenic views.

Day 2: The route of the white towns: Santa Gertrudis and Sant Carles

Some of Ibiza’s White essence has its origins – as we said before – in the peasant houses, a type of construction that dates back to the archipelago’s Muslim period. Even if these peasant homes (likewise common in such other places as Greece or Tunisia) are distributed all over Ibiza, it is in the interior part of the island where they acquire an extra character and personality. What are the standout parts on this second day of touring Ibiza? The towns of Santa Gertrudis and Sant Carles, two rural treasures to be found right in the heart of the island’s geography.

At some nine kilometres from the capital and some eight from the centre of Santa Eulària des Riu, we find one of the prettiest white towns in Ibiza: Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera. Composed of groups of numerous little white houses, it represents the purest essence of Ibiza and the most pristine rural tradition.

In its streets, in addition to enjoying its white beauty, its tranquillity, its corners and its popular craft shops and art centres (such as the popular Libro Azul), you can also get a taste of the most authentic gastronomic side of the isle in such places as the famous Bar Costa. Located in the main square of Santa Gertrudis, this bar gained fame as the meeting point for hippy artists on the island who would eat there in exchange for their paintings.

Before evening falls and having walked and dined in the pretty streets of this village in the island’s interior part, you can continue your expedition in another of Ibiza’s most authentic inland urban areas: Sant Carles de Peralta.

In addition to the location, its 1700 bell tower and its tranquillity, Sant Carles de Peralta (which lies some eighteen kilometres from the capital) is a traditional destination with lots of little white houses, in which tranquillity is dominant and walking constitutes a great delight. Thus, once you have reached the city centre, the traditional visit will enable you to enjoy its many peasant houses, its natural environment and its views.

One of the main attractions in Sant Carles de Peralta is the famous hippie Las Dalias hippie flea market, which is not to be missed and makes the best way of getting to know the more appealing boho chic side of the isle.  

Located less than 500 metres away from the centre of its rural nucleus, this flea market is known all over the world for the quality of everything being sold by the craftspeople: from dresses to jewellery and wooden boxes, footwear and many other items. Enjoying a few hours’ visit to this venue is a more than recommended experience.

Day 3: The spectacle of the almond trees in Santa Agnès Valley

Even if many believe that Ibiza’s most important natural spectacle lies in those famous sunsets that attract thousands of tourists during the summer months, it must also be said that the island, in its interior zone, conceals a unique natural experience that can only be enjoyed in the months of January and February. Yes, we are talking about the blossoming almond trees, a natural episode lasting several weeks that takes place in the idyllic area of Santa Agnès Valley.

Choosing Santa Agnès Valley as the last route in this white Ibiza, ever-present in catalogues and postcards, is more than simply wise. Known as the Valley of Calm, the place fiercely protects that natural authenticity so typical of the island.  

In order to enjoy the experience of seeing the almond trees blossom, you will have to cover the little more than seventeen kilometres that separate the capital from Santa Agnès Valley, which lies in the northwest of the Ibiza. Once you have located this area of natural interest, you should then go straight to the bucolic little town of Santa Inés (Santa Agnès in the Ibizan dialect).

Sheltered by very high hills, with a unique natural environment and a magical rural essence (including the endless rows of peasant houses with their traditional white tones), the town of Santa Agnès will regale you with a unique vision of Corona, an immense valley full of green meadows and flowering almond trees. It is early in the morning that you will be able to enjoy this experience to the fullest, as you are treated to unique views tinged with white and rosewood tones.

Once you have become impregnated with this natural spectacle, you are advised not to leave Santa Agnès without having checked out the popular Can Cosmi restaurant, a gastronomic centre noted for its truly delicious potato omelettes.