Ibiza is divided into five administrative regions: Sant Josep in the south, Sant Antoni in the west, Sant Joan in the north, Santa Eularia in the east, and Eivissa in the area just around Ibiza Town. The island is small, measuring only around 35 kilometres by 20 kilometres at its longest and widest points, and is surrounded by the Mediterranean sea.
The administrative capital of Ibiza is Eivissa, also known as Ibiza Town. This is by far the biggest, most elegant and most cultural town on the island, and has as its focal point the medieval Old Town (Dalt Vila), set atop a fortified hill with a castle and cathedral at its summit. The other large towns are San Antonio (Sant Antoni) and Santa Eularia. The island’s only international airport is in the south-east, near Ibiza Town and Platja d’en Bossa.
Ibiza’s towns and villages are connected by a network of mainly excellent roads, and it is rare indeed to find yourself in a traffic jam out on the open road. The two main roads are the C731, also known as the San Antonio road, since it leads from Ibiza Town to San An (via Sant Rafel and the clubs Privilege and Amnesia), and the C733, the Ibiza-Portinatx road, which has smaller roads branching off to Jesus, Sant Joan and Santa Eularia .
Getting to some of the smaller villages and more obscure beaches, however, can involve travelling along some shockingly unmade roads.
Some of the island’s most striking geological features include the Ses Salines salt pans in the south-east, which were the mainstay of Ibiza’s economy until the tourist boom of the mid-twentieth century; the Els Amunts range of hills in the north-east (near the village of Sant Miquel/ San Miguel); Sa Talaiassa – the island’s biggest peak at 475m – in the south-west; and the perennially impressive off-shore rock of Es Vedra, just off Cala d’Hort. This latter feature is alleged to have inspired Homer’s Odyssey, as the home of the monstrous Scylla and Charybdis, whose dangerous rocks lay near where the Sirens sang their seductive song.
Ibiza is largely flat, except for the few hills mentioned above, although the south of the island is somewhat more contoured than the north. Many of these tree-covered hills have now been developed into innumerable internationally owned luxury properties.
Formentera is similar in that it has a wooded and slightly hilly area (in its centre) extending to two flat plains at either extremity. The administrative capital of Formentera is La Savina, and this is also the island’s main port. Both Ibiza and Formentera are surrounded on all sides by long, sandy beaches and formidable rocky cliffs.
Jeanie Leigh is a freelance writer and has contributed to a number of publications, both on and offline. Most recently she has written articles for IndigoGuide.com