Just over five kilometres from Santa Eulària des Riu lies the tiny village of Sant Carles de Peralta, established in the late 18th century following the construction of its church. Today, with just a cluster of buildings in its tiny hub, Sant Carles retains the old essence of Ibiza’s rural parishes. For, rather than town centres, island villages functioned primarily as meeting points for the country folk who lived scattered across the valleys or véndes.
Traces of the region’s former agricultural customs linger on in its beautiful valleys and can be glimpsed from the road while en route to some of Sant Carles’ coves and beaches. The rustic lifestyle can also be appreciated by enjoying a meal at any of the restaurants where local produce from land and sea are served, Ibicenco lamb (anyell d’Eivissa) being one such speciality.
Cradle of Hippie Culture
After centuries of virtually changeless history, Ibiza in the 1960s became a Mecca for young artists, intellectuals and hippies who found in the island an inspiring virgin territory where they could get away from unfulfilling western society. The majority of those foreign visitors settled into farmhouses in Sant Carles de Peralta, thus establishing the cradle of the hippie movement in Ibiza – and by extension, the rise of the hippie markets, created to help artists sell their art and craftwork. Near Sant Carles one finds the famous markets at Punta Arabí in Es Canar, and Las Dalias, just beyond the village.
What to See in Sant Carles de Peralta
Any sightseeing route through the eastern part of Ibiza should include this village, centred on the Church of Sant Carles, whose façade exhibits one of the island’s most outstanding columned porxos. Using the church as a starting point, other ethnographic treasures may be visited, such as Font de Peralta, a stone fountain dating back to the early 17th century, and the Trull de Ca n’Andreu Museum, an exceptional prototype of the island’s traditional rural dwelling, containing, among other relics, an 18th-century oil press.
As do other coastal areas of the island, Sant Carles de Peralta has its own defense tower, torre d’en Valls, built in the 18th century near the little cove of Pou des Lleó. From here one is afforded an excellent panoramic view of Tagomago Island, an iconic feature of the municipality’s coastline and an official Protection Zone for Birds (ZEPA).
If you wish to finish your route by the sea, Sant Carles has direct access to some of the municipality’s beaches, such as Cala Llenya, Cala de Boix and Es Canar, a busy tourist town with numerous cafés and restaurants fronting its nice beach. Many of the attractions Sant Carles has to offer can be enjoyed by taking cycling routes nº1, nº2, nº3 and nº 5 or walking routes nº1, nº7 and nº11.
Calendar Dates for Sant Carles de Peralta
– Gastronomic Days – Squid Fair: last Saturday in October
– Patron Saint Festivity of Sant Carles de Peralta: 4th November
– International Piano Festival and Contest: biannual fixture held in late August and early September