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Top 8 Dalt Vila cultural experiences

We look at how to get the best of your visit to Ibiza's UNESCO world heritage site.

There are hidden treasures all over Ibiza and one of the best places to find them is at the UNESCO World Heritage site, Dalt Vila. As you make your way up the narrow steep paths with cobbled roads, you will find amazing panoramic views and a bit of history around every corner, more than 2500 years worth of it, in fact. We pick out the 8 best cultural experience in this unique location.

1. Visit the Archaeology Museum

Dalt Vila is home to many museums showcasing centuries worth of history and the whole site itself lives and breathes history. The Archaeological Museum located in the square near the Cathedral, right at the top of Dalt Vila, is not to be missed. With many valuable treasures in its collection, covering over 3000 years of history on the island, you can see relics from Phoenician, through Punic and Roman times, all the way to Moorish medieval objects, which chart the varied history of the island.

2. Feel history on the battlements

As you walk around the streets of Dalt Vila, you will see the 7 bastions built to protect Ibiza throughout the centuries and you can almost feel the presence of history as you walk around them. The largest of the battlements (Baluards in Catalan) is Baluard de Santa Lucia (see photo below), with stunning views and cannons on display. This is where soldiers used to stand guard, ready to protect the island against pirates and enemies. Baluard de Sant Jaume has military technology on display showing how it's evolved over the years, while Baluard de Sant Pere has an impressive audio-visual presentation and Baluard de Sant Joan appears as one of the turrets on the emblem of Ibiza Town. All baluards showcase extraordinary views over the city of Ibiza, Ses Salines and the island of Formentera.

3. Soak up the atmosphere in Plaza de Vila

Plaza de Vila is one of the main plazas (squares) behind the walls of Dalt Vila and can be entered from the dramatic ramp through the imposing gateway of Portal de Ses Taules. On your journey upwards, you will pass by roman stone statues, medieval gateways and ancient cobbled stone courtyards. Once in the square you will see that there are many residents, see the balconies filled with geraniums or an old payesa (typical Ibicenco country woman) doing their washing. At night the square comes alive with traditional performances, numerous restaurants and plentiful shopping.

4. Jazz it up in August

In August since 1989 the Eivissa Jazz Festival is held at the Santa Lucia Battlements. Enjoy jazz under the stars from many established artists, rising stars and local artists. Providing a distinct alternative to the electronic sound dominating the summer months on the island, this location really adds a new dimension to the special jazz sound.

5. Get arty and visit the Museum of Contemporary Art

The permanent exhibition has more than 100 paintings from the famous collection of Narcis Puget Riquer and his son, showing an interesting insight to Ibiza over the decades. You will see a mixture of vibrant watercolours, video art, Japanese prints, poster and photography art. The old building has over 200 years of history and adjoins the modern new building via a stunning courtyard. Many temporary exhibitions and traveling displays visit this Gallery. As you roam Dalt Vila you will also spot many other exhibitions with traditional and modern artwork.

6. Attend a dramatised visit to Dalt Vila

Imagine going on a theatrical journey of how life at Dalt Vila once was, well imagine no more, as every Saturday for only 10€, you can experience a dramatised visit around Dalt Vila on a tour lasting nearly 2 hours. Learn about the history of the medieval period onwards and go inside the workings of Dalt Vila, how it was protected and who it needed protecting from.

7. Go Medieval!

Easily one of the highlights of the year is the Medieval Festival that takes place at the start of May each year right throughout Dalt Vila over the course of a long weekend. Expect to see everything and anything all under a medieval costume change, including panto, parades, fire eating, knights in shining armour, stalls, birds of prey, traditional crafts, artisanal goods and layers upon layers of market stalls. One not to be missed.

8. Dance under the stars

The annual dance music conference IMS, marks it's closure with a pair of huge parties held during late May, where they take over the Baluard de Santa Lucia and provide an unbelievable location for electronic music to be heard in. This unique setting saw the likes of Jamie Jones, Seth Troxler, Eats Everything, Annie Mac, Pete Tong and Steve Angello in 2014.

​WORDS | Jodie DS

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