The history of Ibiza: a parade of civilizations

Dive into a sea of wisdom

Mavi Iglesias Mavi Iglesias

The history of Ibiza: a parade of civilizations
You might be familiar with the immense joy that fills your body every time you arrive in Ibiza. It’s a sensation we can say with some certainty that people of civilizations before you felt as well. Whether you come to conquer the island or not, you should know that Ibiza will conquer your heart too.


Just looking at a map of Europe you can see that this island oasis is located at a strategic point in the Mediterranean Sea. Ibiza connects the eastern and western worlds and is equidistant between the European and the North African coasts. If we add that to the fact that it has spectacular natural beauty and offers abundant natural goods such as salt, fertile fields, a perfect climate and idyllic beaches, we will understand why Ibiza was -and still is- a treasure to conquer that belonged to different empires throughout the ages.

Sculpture of God Bes

During the Neolithic period, in the recent Stone Age, Ibiza was only a visiting place for sailors dedicated to trade. Vestiges have been found proving that the island was definitely inhabited in the Bronze Age by Iberian villages. Later, the Phoenicians arrived (8th century B.C.) and after them, the Greeks, who called it—along with Formentera—the ‘Pityusic Islands’, which means “islands covered with pines”. Then, in 654 B.C., the Carthaginians established and founded Ibosim (in honour of God Bes), with its naval factory and its sophisticated fortress which was destroyed later in 146 B.C. by the Romans, to whom Ibiza surrendered peacefully, allowing it to maintain its social systems and culture for some time.

Phoenician ruins of Sa Caleta

Bringing things to more modern times, in 70 A.C., the island became Ebusus, municipality of Hispania, until the arrival of the Vandals in the 5th century, provoking the definitive decadence of the capital, which remained in a semi-abandonment state for long periods.


The Muslims made it to the island again naming it Yābisa and settled in the 10th century, reaching its apogee in the 11th and 12th centuries. Finally, the Catalans founded Eivissa city in 1235 and they were the last to nail the flag. They quickly changed all the names of the cities—adding first the names of their saints—and opened the doors of their Christian churches (rebuilding the original Arab mosques) as a communal meeting point. It’s architecture was a fundamental reason for UNESCO to declare Ibiza a World Heritage Site.

Dalt Vila, Ibiza

There are several archaeological sites and cultural points of reference, such as the Phoenician ruins of Sa Caleta, the Puig Des Molins Necropolis Museum, the Contemporary Art Museum and the entire historic centre of Dalt Vila, as well as the remains of Romans’ aqueducts, towers and constructions distributed all over the island. Get lost in the countryside, go to the ruins and cliffs, and you’ll be transported to another time where no one could have imagined that this island is now dominated… by the electronic music empire. Come on! Take a break, explore this interesting side of your holiday kingdom and find some inspiration to keep partying with all your heart, as the good pirate of the dance floor we know you are.