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Ibiza - Overview and Essential Travel Information
Though not the capital of the island, Ibiza Town is where it all happens. In many aspects itís the center of the island, its focal point. Itís here that youíll find most clubs, bars Cafes and restaurants. The city itself is beautifully located on top of a small hill. Surrounded by a couple of fortresses, the stronghold still proudly dominates the bay and the harbour at her feet. There are three main areaís: The harbour and the Sa PeŮa quarter, the old city within the walls and the new city. All three have their own distinct and unique character.
Most people arriving with package holidays are parked in huge apartment complexes in San Antonio Abad or other villages on the island - that means that the skyline of Ibiza Town is to much damaged by the cheap white and ugly flat like hotels that have already ruined by most of the ones beautiful coasts of Spain. In Ibiza Town you find small pensions and rented apartments instead.
It's pretty easy to find your way around town. From the Ferry Terminal the old streets of the Sa Pena quarter bring you up to the walled old city D'Alt Vila Within the walls thereíre still quite a number of medieval buildings, of which the tower of the Cathedral is by far the most impressive. Here youíll also find the more classy restaurants, hotels and apartments. For cheaper options you have to go down to the harbour or to one of the suburbs or other villages on the island. Just south from Ibiza Town are the suburbs of Figueretas and Playa d'en Bossa. Both have beaches, bars and restaurants.
The Dalt Vila or high town is the origin of Ibiza Town, though thereís not much left from the Phoenician colony that settled here over 2600 year ago. With the cathedral in its center itís foremost a medieval city in plan and organization.
With all the different nations sailing by and the strategic position of Ibiza, thereís always been an emphasis on defense. The town has developed in a chaotic way around the castle and the church, the traditional centers of power. Additions were made when needed and terrain conditions allowed. And of course each time the wall had to be expanded.
The Italian engineers Juan Baptista Calvi and Jacobo Paleazo Fratin constructed the present day wall in the XVIth century according to the Renaissance conception of defense. Itís not as high as the medieval walls had been and much thicker and thus adapted to the new way of warfare using cannons and mortars to breakdown a defense wall. The walls consist of seven bastions armed with artillery, connected by defensive walls. The bastions are placed forward so they could defend the walls in-between. Inside you can still find remains of the medieval walls, arranged in four adjacent areas, each on a different level and easy to recognize.
Most traditional sights can be found within the walls of Dalt Vila. This is the place you should start your cultural and historical exploration of Ibizaís past.
Barrio de la Penya y de la Bomba
These colorful quarters is the center of Ibizaís pulsating life, crowded and busy 24 hours a day.
Enclosed by the old town-walls Ibiza's historical center is located at the top of the hill and offers a beautiful panorama. As this is the oldest part of town, itís here that youíll find the most interesting old buildings and several monuments to visit.
The cathedral, which is at night the center of Ibizaís gay extravaganza, is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Building began in the 14th century and continued fro two centuries. The mayor part of the present day church however dates back to a severe restoration in the 18th century after Spanish troops took over the island. Thus there are two styles to be recognized, the Catalan-Gothic style from the first building campaign, which can mainly be seen in the tower and the Baroque style of the nave.
This museum displays the archeological finds from the island. If youíre into Archeology you should not miss the cave of Ses Fontelles well known for itís prehistorical wall-paintings.
Museo MonogrŠfico del Puig de Molins
A unique museum on top of the Punic necropolis Puig de Molins. This is probably the most extensive collection of Punic art in Europe.
Every saturday, a flee market takes place at the race-track of San Jordi. You can find the so-called 'Hippy Markets' along the Carrer d'Enmig and its off-streets. The stands sell everything, but are specialised in local art and souvenirs. It's worth the effort to go there and have a look around.
Go to Groch if you want to buy the latest fashion in leather. It has a varied collection of classical, sporty, leisure and sexy leather clothing. gillian: this shop was cheap and tacky the leather was fake and the colours were awful. the sports labels were copies and fakely sewn.
A must to go if you are looking for a special gift. This shop has a varied collection of watches, earrings, juwela and other bijous. Also look for the special collection of lighters.
This shop has all shoes and boots for every occasion. Only the best quality of Spanish leather is used for the shoes, bags and belts. The designs are from people such as Gilmart, Nordica, Tolino and Picolino, though for reasonable prices in this shop. When you buy a designers-item, you'll get an additional surprise.
This is Ibiza's oldest delicacies shop. Casa Alphonso gas a good selection of international cheeses, pates, exotic fruits and vegetables.
address: located in the centre of San Antonio.
Deportes El Corral
The best supplier of sports goods on the island, ranging from tennis to soccer and from fishing to golf.
Classical brands, such as Lacoste, Florentino, Caramelo and Feuntecapala are sold here. When you need some advice, ask Juan or someone else from the friendly staff.
Information provided by cctraveler2 at Travelpost.com