San Antonio Abad
Forests, beaches, cliffs, valleys planted with olive and almond trees… Nature is one of the great assets of the Ibizan town of San Antonio Abad (Sant Antoni de Portmany, in Catalan). It is for good reason that 80% of its surface area is protected land. One of the most fascinating areas in ecological terms is Es Amunts, a small mountain range around 30 kilometres in length, largely clad in pine and juniper trees.
The beaches, as in the island’s other municipalities, are really beautiful, and backed by desolate, rugged landscapes. The waters are always crystal clear and the sands fine and golden. The most recommended beaches are Cala Salada, for its remarkable, unspoilt scenery, Cala Gració and Cala Gracioneta, which also have rocky outcrops. However, the most accessible coves and beaches are integrated into the town: Caló des Moro, S’Arenal and Es Pouet. These offer a full range of services, and have the advantage of being very close to San Antoni de Portmany town centre.
Another great attraction is the Cap Blanc aquarium, known on the island as the Lobster Cave. This is a salt-water aquarium set into the rock, and is home to rays, grouper, moray and other local fish species. The aquarium also functions as a recovery centre for marine species.
The cultural heritage of San Antoni is rich and impressive, and includes remarkable prehistoric paintings, exquisite white churches, and important defensive towers. It is worth highlighting the church in the little village of Sant Rafael, which commands a picture-postcard view of the island, and the church of Sant Antoni, which houses altarpieces to San Roque and the Virgen del Rosario, as well as a seventeenth-century carving of Sant Vicente Ferrer.
Very close to Sant Antoni’s historic quarter is the underground chapel of Santa Agnés, discovered in 1907 and the subject of a multitude of legends. This is a sight not to be missed, as is a visit to the cave of Ses Fontanelles, also known as the Cova des Vi (or Cueva del Vino) [Cave of Wine], with its incredible prehistoric paintings dating from the Bronze Age and depicting maritime subjects.
The natural setting of Sant Antoni de Portmany makes it perfect for all kinds of water- and land-based sports. So hiking enthusiasts have an amazing opportunity in the shape of the Rutas des Falcó, five hiking trails of varying degrees of difficulty that allow visitors to get to know the municipality and enjoy its countryside and beaches. It is worth finding the time to visit the Ca’n Bernadet viewing point to admire the stunning view of the bay, or the Cap Nunó cliffs, near Cala Salada and their impressive precipitous slopes. You could also sign up for one of the Full Moon Night-time Walks between June and September; or two events that take place in autumn: the Island of Ibiza Two-day Hike or the Mountain Half Marathon.
But it’s not all about sport in this part of Ibiza. Sant Antoni Town Council organises numerous activities throughout the year. One of the highlights is the “Flower Power“ festival, held in January, which attracts hundreds of participants dressed in hippy fashions and 1960s gear. Sant Antoni is a place where Europe’s best and coolest nightlife co-exists in harmony with leisure activities aimed at the family tourism market.
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