Estás aquí

Ibiza's port - a world-class destination

Big improvements

Ibiza has seen great development in the past ten years: improvements to roads, more top-end accommodation and a steadying increase in tourist numbers have all helped it stay on top as a number one global destination. One part that has seen much development in Ibiza Town is that of the port area which have seen some big transformations, making it something of a world-class city.

This year saw a big upgrade to Ibiza Marina at the foot of Dalt Vila, completed in late May. An investment of some €5.5 million has transformed the area, making it much more tourist and resident friendly. This spend only makes up a small part of the total €140 million budgeted to upgrade the area, of which €80 million has been used up so far. The walkway here has been pedestrianised and the bars there have been able to extend their terraces: before you had to suck your breath in just to get through. After opening it up, and adding lots of lighting and limiting traffic access, tourists and residents can now saunter down unimpeded and enjoy the spectacular views out to sea.

Free concerts

A big part of the Ibiza Marina upgrade was the port stage area which last year was the venue for lots of free concerts. These included top DJs events and even a venue for Ibiza Gay Pride, which made its reappearance this year after a several years, using the stage as its end point for the parade. By installing the stage and providing the ability to offer free concerts, the town council has ensured that the area can provide something for all. The quays have also been restored allowing for more luxury boats to dock.

With a fair whack of cash still to be spent, we can expect a lot more. There's a bit of debate about what's going to be happening with the old ferry building, El Martillo. It's going to be knocked down for sure, but whether a new square is built in its place or a brand new building is still being decided. If a new building is constructed, it will be used for offices and amenities to support this part of the port – anything more commercial has been rejected.

The improvements are being labelled a ‘port for the city' and that means there should be something for all, since the town council doesn't just want luxury development. Plus, be assured that any new development here won't detract from the loveliness of the citadel of Dalt Vila that looms above it. Other plans include a new pedestrian promenade and an amphitheatre; a current big debate is looking at a proposed underground car park too. Parking is going to need to be a priority if the tourist upswing continues – that's for sure.

Ship numbers cruising upwards

And the tourists keep on coming: 2014 broke all record for visitor numbers, almost 20% up over the previous year. Visitors from Holland went up a whopping 38% for that same period. Next year a big spike in numbers of cruise ships landing on Ibiza is expected, with a projected 28% total increase.

Over in Marina Botafoch, it's all about luxury and it is now considered to be one of the most exclusive marinas in the Mediterranean; indeed it now accomodates many of the mega-yachts of the world's super-rich. Stella McCartney opened a store in early summer this year and became neighbours with other high fashion retailers and more are to follow next year. Right next door is the Cavalli open-air restaurant along with the Casino in the adjacent Gran Hotel. This hotel, this year, opened a new restaurant, Heart, a joint venture of celebrated molecular gastronomy chef, Ferran Adría and Cirque de Soleil founder Guy Laliberté.

Making more waves

It doesn't stop there, Lío Ibiza, the club-restaurant that features extravagant and spicy cabaret continues to make waves. Then there's Pacha and its El Hotel and the many apartment blocks that have gone up recently. One of the brightest new landmarks is the magnificent Las Boas, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, who also designed the more Andalusian-styled Patio Blanco apartment block a short walk away.

Whilst, these changes have been rapid and have divided opinions, it's fair to say that the improvements to the ports have prettified the area and made more use of it. More changes are coming too and one thing's for sure, Ibiza is pulling out the stops to make sure it provides something for the many of us that come here each year. Watch this space for more.

WORDS: Julian Heathcote

Contenido relacionado