Navigating the Ibiza market scene

iBIZAN'S MARKETS

There are many enviable aspects of Mediterranean island living. Warm, sunny days and mild, balmy nights are par for the course; long, leisurely lunches are encouraged; a stunning beach complete with golden sand and crystal blue water is never more than a 20-minute drive away. But more than that, for those days when lounging at la playa sounds simply too demanding, there are plenty of additional alfresco activities to keep minds (and wallets) occupied. Ibiza, for example, is blessed with a string of quality and quirky markets, each with its own speciality and completely unique charm. No matter how much you love your beach days, it’s well worth setting aside some time for immersive stall exploration.

The sensible arrive in the morning, when the sun is still low in the sky and all the best buys are on display, and, this is a highly recommended approach, because few can find the strength required to wander among a mishmash of artefacts at 2pm on a boiling hot, August afternoon. So, rise early and make haste for your chosen market – that’s the first step on the journey to shopping success. The second is to know what you’re looking for, because as mentioned, every market in Ibiza is slightly different, with its own little quirks and intricacies that make it one-of-a-kind.

"las DALIAS, eS cANAR, san JORDI & SAN JUAN"

First up is Las Dalias, which can lay claim to the title of Ibiza’s most famous market. Located just outside the picturesque village of San Carlos in the north of the island, Las Dalias is open every Saturday, and without fail, causes a roadblock every weekend. It’s a popular choice but it’s at the higher end of the hippie scale – the vendors here are renowned for their craftsmanship, and with 200 stalls it feels a bit like a labyrinthine assault on the senses. There’s music, food and much merry-making – exactly how you’d expect an Ibiza market to be. In August, it is also open at night, to make the most of the cooler evenings.

The island’s oldest and largest hippie market, however, is in the seaside town of Es Canar and takes place on Wednesdays in summer. Home to over 500 stalls, plus entertainers, food, and a variety of eclectic performances, this isn’t for the fainthearted. You can also find all manner of crafts on display here, from paintings and jewellery to bikinis and bags, but if you’re keen to spend more time browsing and less time at a complete standstill it’s well worth arriving as early as possible. This is one where you should bring the kids – there’s plenty for them to see and do.

Those with a nose for a bargain and stamina to rival a marathon runner will be in their element at the legendary San Jordi flea market. An unrivalled locals’ favourite, this sprawling selection of random goods is housed within the local horse racing stadium, all year round. Anyone can pitch up and sell anything, so while that doesn’t make for the most efficient of shopping experiences, patience often pays off. Plus, it’s fun to spend a morning delving into the unwanted and unloved goods of someone you’ve never met before, and to leave with something you never even knew you wanted.

Heading back up north, there’s the San Juan Artisan Market, which takes place every Sunday in the sleepy, authentic village. This is a relaxed but more high-end affair, with art, clothing and locally-grown, organic fare on offer. There’s live music every week, organic plant-based treats made fresh on the day, and a real sense that you’re getting a glimpse into the real lives of locals. There’s only one main street in the entire village but the market takes over (even taking over the back streets) and everyone comes out to browse. Be sociable and stock up for the week ahead or score some Ibiza-centric souvenirs that will make great gifts for those back home.

"BENIRRAS, CALA LLENYA, FORADA & MERCADO VIEJO"

The market at Benirras, meanwhile, is right on the beach and gets particularly busy on Sundays, when seemingly the entire population of Ibiza descends to see the famous bongo drummers playing to the tune of the sunset. Largely a selection of island-made crafts like jewellery, crochet beachwear, leather bags and accessories and various other hippie-inspired attire, this is the perfect market if you’ve sunk fully into the bohemian, Balearic way of life, and now need the feathers to prove it.

Another family favourite is Cala Llenya market on the island’s east coast. Open every Sunday, all year round, this laid-back breeze of a spot is often full of traders selling all manner of brightly-coloured hand-made goods, while the onsite restaurant serves up a giant paella alfresco and a little food truck sells grilled German sausages – the scents wafting in the air are enough to entice anyone in from the street. There’s a lovely, relaxed vibe plus live music and impromptu dancing, ticking all those quintessential market experience boxes.

Foodies will want to make a beeline for the Forada market, located next to Can Tixedo on the countryside roads between San Antonio and San Rafael, because here is the place to line cupboards with an array of organic produce including fresh fruits and vegetables, wine, honey, fresh bread and homemade cakes, all interspersed with some stunning artwork by local artists, which are dotted about the space. A wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon, be sure to source the stalls selling the local tipple, Hierbas Ibicencas – it is the weekend, after all.

Finally, for a truly authentic experience, head to the centre of Ibiza town to wander among the ancient cobbled pathways of Mercado Viejo, the ‘old market.’ Traders have been coming here to sell their crafts for thousands of years, and these days, it’s home to suppliers of fresh, local produce like fruits and vegetables, flowers, olive oil, cheese, chocolate, and all the other delicious things that ordinarily you wouldn’t indulge in. Afterwards, take a seat on the alfresco terrace right opposite at Croissant Show, sup on coffee, and watch as passersby climb the ancient drawbridge that leads up to Dalt Vila – a true Ibiza experience at its best.

For more information about the markets around the island, contact our guest relations team, they will be delighted to give you a personalized recommendation: 

E: guestrelations.ibiza@7pines.com             T: +34 971 195 200

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