Guardians of the island’s most precious resource
You might not notice them at first glance, but the Ibicenco heartland is peppered with wells and springs, sometimes standing by the side of a country road but more often than not located in close proximity to a farmhouse. Simple and unassuming in appearance, they are a vital element for life and underscore the fact that the island’s greatest treasure is fresh water.
The permeability of Ibiza’s terrain makes possible the creation of underground water tables which feed both the fields and the people. This hydro wealth, which only occasionally issues forth in streams, expresses itself more frequently in the numerous springs and wells that dot the landscape, both throughout the island’s interior and along its coast. While the majority of these water sources are found near traditional farmhouses, those that were intended for communal use are located along roadways, often at crossroads that formerly connected different villages and settlements. Those communal wells became places where the traditional “well dances” (ballades de pou) were held. These festive occasions brought together the inhabitants of a locality following harvests, or other shared activities, and featured celebratory dancing and singing.
In the municipality of Santa Eulària des Riu, two of the most notable water sources are Pou de Gatzara (a well) and Font de Peralta (a spring). The former is believed to date back to the 17th century and marks a site where dances were held every year on 25th July in honour of St. James. Located near Santa Gertrudis, this well is considered the geographic centre of the island. Font de Peralta, located near the village of Sant Carles, was officially chronicled in the 17th due to a battle launched there against Turkish pirates on 20th September, 1620. Currently, it still has water and, when this reaches its maximum level, it overflows into a stone basin. Every year, on 29th June, a popular fête is held there in honour of St. Peter. You can visit two additional springs in our municipality by taking hiking route #2, which passes by Font d’Atzaró and Font de Perella.