Set of figurines from Es Culleram. Archaeological Museum of Ibiza and Formentera © Ministerio de Cultura
Ibiza is the product of an intricate mosaic of cultures, a crossroads of civilisations and the various peoples who, over the course of thousands of years, have left their mark on this idyllic corner of the Balearic Islands. We suggest discovering the more remote side of this island, which was founded by the Phoenicians who gave the place its name (Ibosim), and transformed it into a strategic enclave in the 6th century B.C.
There are numerous corners which recall the Phoenician past of the 'white island'. Come and explore the cave of Es Culleram, in Sant Vicent de sa Cala, an old shrine dedicated to Tanit, the goddess of fertility, health, life and death, who is the symbol of Ibiza. This is an almost mythological place, set in a natural environment of outstanding beauty, which will captivate you from the very first instant.
But it is in the settlement of Sa Caleta, in Sant Josep, where the Phoenicians first settled in Ibiza. A trail of walls from ancient dwellings and archaeological remains dating from the 8th and 7th centuries B.C. show what life was like in the trading colony at that time. Come and visit this site, which is the embryo of the future city of Eivissa, and a unique example of Phoenician urban planning in the Mediterranean. Narrow alleyways, small, irregularly-shaped squares and a variety of different architectural constructions make this settlement a genuine open-air monumental site.
The traces of this ancient civilisation will take you back through history to the necropolis of Puig des Molins, the largest and best-conserved Phoenician site in the world, and with incalculable historic value. Visitors are recommended to make a point of exploring this immense area surrounded by olive trees, and which exudes a unique sensation of peace and quiet. There are 3,500 hypogea or underground tombs still surviving, and you can go down into the ancient burial sites of the island's first settlers. You can also marvel at the ceramics, terracotta sculptures, ostrich eggs and amulets which were found during the excavations, many of which are on display in the Archaeological Museum located in Dalt Vila, the oldest part of the historic site of Eivissa
This journey back through history is only one of many options awaiting you in Ibiza, an island of white villages and unspoiled nature, all bathed in the bright light of the Mediterranean, which for centuries has captivated the many different civilisations who have settled here. It is also today one of the world's top holiday destinations, thanks to its vast offer of leisure and recreation options.