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History and curiosities of Ibiza

Ibiza is a magical place where anything can happen – and it does happen! An island welcoming millions of people every year, home to many different civilisations in the past. The blend has shaped a distinct set of unique customs and traditions, and given rise to the most amazing stories. All this you must know if you are to understand Ibiza’s culture and essence.

Ibiza’s history and curious facts

  • The name ‘Eivissa’: The name ‘Eivissa’, or ‘Ibiza’, is thought to have originated with the Phoenicians as a reference to Bes, a deity associated with fertility, brotherhood and fragrances. The Romans translated the original name, meaning ‘Bes’s Island’, into ‘Ebusus’, which then morphed into the forms used today.
  • Sant Joan’s weird macaroni: Ibiza’s gastronomy includes several delicacies that are best tried with your feet on the sand: sofrit pages (peasant’s stew), lobster, squid with sobrasada (local sausage), bullit de peix (fish stew) and the weird macarrons de Sant Joan. Why weird? Because they are like regular pasta, but cooked in water with milk, sugar, cinnamon and lemon. The outcome is something like rice pudding.
  • White, Ibiza’s colour: When in Ibiza, do as Ibicencos do. You can never go wrong if you are dressed in white. It is the colour the island is identified with, mainly because of the almond blossoms that cover most of the land, the sunlight reflected in the crystal-clear water, and the white clothes and symbols of the hippie movement.
  • Pirate fights: The Dalt Vila walls, in the old town, are the best kept costal fortification you will find in the Mediterranean. Designated as a World Heritage Site in 1999, the walls and turrets that crown some of the cliffs, mounts and rocks by the sea were built to fight off the Barbary pirates under the Kingdom of Aragon, in the days of King Philip II.
  • The magic of Neptune Grass: Why does the water in Ibiza look so turquoise, so bright, so clear? It is because of an almost insignificant, almost unpleasant seaweed known as Neptune Grass (Posidonia oceanica). It keeps the water clean and pure, making the rocky and sandy bottom perfectly visible from the surface.
  • Pine tree islands: ‘Ses Illes Pitiüses’ – the name given to the archipelago made up by Ibiza, Formentera and about 50 smaller islands – makes reference to the smaller Balearic islands, after the large numbers of pine trees (pitys in Greek) of three different varieties growing on them.
  • One island, one river: Ibiza has several streams and watersheds, but only one river, flowing across Santa Eulària des Riu, which reminds us of this fact in the name. Santa Eulària is one of the largest municipalities on the island (153.6km2), comprising several interesting villages, such as Sant Carles, Jesús or Santa Gertrudis.
  • Country: Spain
  • Time zone:
  • Change: Euro
  • Electricity/AC voltage: 220 V