Santa Eulalia del Rio
Located on Ibiza’s eastern coast, the municipality of Santa Eulalia del Río (also known as Santa Eulària des Riu in the Ibizan language, and Santa Eulàlia del Riu in Catalan) takes its name from the island’s only freshwater spring. This municipality has 46 kilometres of coastline, dotted with over 20 coves and beaches of varying size and appearance. Many of the coves are hidden away, and the excellent quality of their waters has made them a popular family holiday destination. In fact, this was the first municipality in the Balearic Islands to declare an urban beach (the one at Santa Eulalia) ‘smoke free’. An interesting fact: at one end of its coastline stands Tagomago, a rocky islet that possesses one of the island’s most important marine ecosystems.
Santa Eulalia is a particularly popular destination with hiking enthusiasts, thanks to its mild climate (the average temperature is 11° C in winter and 30° in summer), and its glorious and appealing natural setting. This is a peaceful and sustainable area, which has a long hippy tradition, and where a convivial harmony prevails between families, groups of friends, older people and those who travel here on business.
Santa Eulalia has a host of attractions. There is much to enjoy apart from the beaches of fine, white sand: beachfront restaurants, defensive towers, museums, majestic churches, centuries-old mansions, picturesque villages, wine and olive oil presses, and endless scenes of natural beauty. Santa Eulalia’s heritage includes many fine monuments — the stamp and legacy left by the various peoples who have passed through here from the Bronze Age up to the present day.
Nowadays, Santa Eulalia is a rich and diverse tourist destination on the track towards sustainability. It is worth remembering that one of Ibiza’s most influential movements was that of the hippies who left in Santa Eulalia two of the island’s most emblematic and historic street markets.
Santa Eulalia’s outstanding cultural institutions are the Can Ros Ethnographic Museum, which houses a host of artefacts documenting life in the past: centuries-old jewellery, all kinds of vestments, stately doors and water cisterns; and the Can Planetes Interpretation Centre, located in a former flour mill, which explains the importance of water for the island’s population down the ages.
Bear in mind also, that for many years the municipality of Santa Eulalia was a haven for many artists and intellectuals, who found a source of inspiration in this peaceful and diverse area. This is certainly true of Laureano Barrau, whose artistic legacy is displayed in the Sala Barrau, and of James Taylor, an English poet and painter who spent the last 30 years of his life here. Other intellectuals who made this area their home were the American musician and writer Paul Eliot, the painter Erwin Bechtold, the singer Margalida Roig, and the sculptors Andreu Moreno and Adolf Aymat.
There is even an Ibizan Association of Visual Artists which publishes an annual Ruta del Arte [Art Trail], a cultural journey across Sant Carles, Santa Gertrudis, Es Puig d’En Valls and Jesús. This is also a remarkable odyssey for the taste buds, as the trail includes traditional restaurants offering typical Ibizan cuisine along the way.
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