The capital of Ibiza is situated in the south-east of the island near the airport. Although it has the smallest surface area of all of the districts of Ibiza, the population figure of around 50,000 means that just over a third of the inhabitants of this Balearic island live here. While the official name of the town is Ciutat d'Eivissa, it is usually known to the locals simply as Vila. The heart of the town is known as Dalt Vila and stretches up to the old cathedral. It is enclosed by a mighty fortified wall, which was originally built by the Moors to protect against attack. Even today the upper town is only accessible through one of the two gates. Every evening many visitors enjoy a stroll around the streets and squares within the fortress walls and admire the windows of the art and fashion shops and maybe also settle down in one of the restaurants for a romantic dinner in the open air and to enjoy the sublime view over the rest of the town.Small alleyways with countless bars, restaurants and shops lead off from the front gate of the "Portal de ses Taules". While it is comparatively almost deserted during the daytime and in winter, every evening in the summer crowds of tourists come to stroll among the stalls of traders, the shops and the restaurants and bars with their tables outside. You can buy a wide range of souvenirs here, ranging from fashion to crafts, and also to eat there is everything your heart could desire, from fast food to excellent regional and international cuisine. Partygoers use the bars to get into the mood for their visit to the night-club later on and the promotional teams from the big clubs provide an extra dose of entertainment and fun with their elaborately designed costumes.
Below all the hustle and bustle of the streets lies the harbour bay of Ibiza town with its large commercial port and the two marinas of Ibiza Nueva and Marina Botafoch. Together they form one of the largest locations for private boats to anchor in the Mediterranean and among the countless motorboats and sailing boats are some of the most expensive and impressive yachts in the world. It is definitely worth taking a walk along the jetties to see the rich and famous of the world in their floating living rooms. The route along the long harbour promenade also leads via some of the trendiest restaurants, the most exclusive hotels and the Casino of Ibiza through to Pacha, the oldest of the big famous clubs on the island, which is also the only club which is open all year round.
In the centre of the island's capital there are no beaches, but you don’t have far to go to cool off in the sea. Only two kilometres south-west of the old town is the fine sandy beach of Playa Figueretas, bordered by a promenade lined with palm-trees and many large hotels. It is the first choice for guests of the surrounding accommodation, which means that in summer it gets really busy here. The beach has lifeguards, some water-sports facilities, restaurants and shops and the sea is shallow at the water’s edge, which makes it particularly popular with families with children. Not quite so central, but more popular amongst the inhabitants of Ibiza town, is the spacious beach of Talamanca. It is separated from the town by the large harbour and in the background only a few buildings can be seen. Overall it is very quiet in this bay, but with its several restaurants and a beach club, there is something here for all ages and tastes.
The most famous beach in Ibiza is also not far from the island's capital. Playa d'en Bossa is three kilometres long and stretches from Ibiza town to the island's airport. For decades, this beach has been known for its crazy parties, not least thanks to the world-famous clubs Space and Ushuaia and also the legendary Bora Bora beach bar. Today Playa d'en Bossa is especially popular among young Germans and British, as it covers a wide range of entertainment, from the chic beach club to the Irish pub.
Even further south, on a narrow headland in the midst of a conservation area, Ses Salines offers a quiet place to rest after a long night of partying. Although this beach also counts as one of the hotspots of the island especially for the young and trendy, the focus here is on relaxation. On the opposite side of the headland lies Es Cavallet, the counterpart of Ses Salines. On this spacious beach you can always find a quiet spot and Es Cavallet has made a name for itself, especially in the gay and nudist communities.
On the south coast of Ibiza and not too far away from Ibiza town, the bay of Cala des Jondal is another attraction for party-lovers. Here beach clubs, most notably the Blue Marlin, and restaurants line up behind a relatively plain beach. The Blue Marlin attracts guests from all over the world and especially a very wealthy clientele and symbolises the exclusive beach lifestyle which would be inconceivable without a yacht and champagne.
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