Sant Joan de Labritja (San Juan)
San Juan in the northeast of the island is the smallest municipality in Ibiza, both in terms of area and population. The main town with a village character lies sleepily in the middle of the Es Amunts range of hills; only on the three larger sandy beaches of Port de Sant Miquel, Portinatx and Cala de Sant Vicent has tourist activity developed with the associated hotel buildings.
The 18th-century fortified church of San Juan is not typical of Ibizan architecture, with its pointed bell tower. You can get the key to the church in the adjacent Bar Vista Alegre, which has retained the charm of old Ibiza. The whole place breathes tranquility and that “let your soul dangle” that attracted so many hippies in the 60s and 70s. This scene has also survived here far more than in the rest of Ibiza: esotericists, mystics, naturopaths, astrologers, ecologists, the whole wide range of alternative civilization dropouts offer their services. The mayor’s office is hidden in a side street on the church square.
Sant Miquel de Balansat (San Miquel)
The mighty fortified church of San Miguel high up in the north looks defiantly far across the country. It was built in the 14th century and expanded several times. In the Capella de Benirràs, which was added later, frescoes from the 17th century were discovered, which were extensively restored in 1994 by international experts. Folk dance performances take place on Thursdays at 6 p.m. on the church square. The Colla de Balansat is the island’s oldest folklore group and also performs at festivals abroad.
Below the church hill, the village stretches along the road that leads over from Santa Gertrudis. The numerous buildings are an example of the unimaginative architecture of modern times.
Two nice excursions lead down to the Port de Sant Miquel, which is no longer a port but a beach used by tourists. Almost at the water, a narrow path branches off to the left, which leads uphill via the small Caló des Motons to the old defense tower Torre des Molar. The path is poorly marked with blue patches of paint; Once you have arrived at your destination, the great view over the sea to Benirràs Bay is worth the effort.
On the other side, a road leads past the hotels uphill to the Cova de Can Marça stalactite cave. The cave, whose entrance is only 12m above sea level, was long used by smugglers, who entered the hiding place directly from their ship. Their color markings can still be seen today. To make the stalactites and stalagmites look even more significant, the tour ends with a roaring play of light and water accompanied by music.
Sant Vicent de sa Cala (San Vicente)
A winding road leads east from San Juan along a former torrent bed to the sea. Halfway there is the village of San Vicente, undoubtedly the smallest on the island. The associated buildings – school, grocery store, pub – are so scattered in the landscape that at first you only stand alone in front of the church. This dates from the 19th century and was the last one to be built as a fortified church.
A visit to the Es Culleram cave on the Puig des Clapers is worthwhile. If you continue towards the sea on the main road from Sant Vicent, you will see the red signs. In Phoenician times, the cave, which offers a magnificent view of Cala de San Vicente, was the place of worship for the Tanit priestesses. It is divided into several natural main and side rooms. In 1907 a large number of terracotta figures were found here, all of which are in the museum today, including the famous Tanit bust, replicas of which can be bought in any souvenir shop. In recent years, the island council has organized guided tours; ask at the tourist office.
Sant Llorenç de Balàfia (San Lorenzo
Far inland is San Lorenzo. But that didn’t stop the pirates from penetrating even here. San Lorenzo owes its nickname to the ancient Balàfia defense towers, the only ones not on the coast. The few houses are crowded close to the three towers, in which the farmers of the fertile Es Pla d’Atzaró plain took shelter in case of danger. The small fortress from the Middle Ages is worth seeing, but if you visit, remember that the buildings are inhabited.
Behind the fortified church from the 18th century is a small nature reserve with a picnic area, from which you have a beautiful view of the rural landscape. A school, two pubs, a few houses and a large parking lot for the tourist buses make up the rest of the village.
Portinatx is the northernmost point of Ibiza. A large holiday center with many hotels, several streets, bars, restaurants, shops, mini golf course etc. From the cliff by the lighthouse you can even see the island of Mallorca in the distance on a good day.