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Ibiza and Formentera

Ibiza - General Information

Eivissa or Ibiza is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea, and belonging to Spain. With Formentera, it is one of the two Illes Pitiüses. Major cities are Ibiza Town, Santa Eulāria des Riu and San Antonio.

Eivissa is the official Catalan name and the name used for his inhabitants; but the name used by Spanish speakers and the rest of the world is Ibiza.

Ibiza - History

In 654 BCE Phoenician settlers founded a port in the Balearic Islands, as Ibossim, later known to Romans (as "Ebusus") for its wine, marble, and lead. The Greeks who came to Ibiza during the time of the Phoenicians were the first to call the two islands of Ibiza and Formentera the Pitiusas ( "pine-covered islands"). With the decline of Phoenicia after the Assyrian invasions, Ibiza came under the umbrella of Carthage, also a former Phoenician colony. The island produced dye, salt, fish sauce (garum), and wool.

A shrine with offerings to the goddess Tanit was established in the cave at Es Cuyram, and the rest of the Balearic Islands entered Eivissa's commercial orbit after 400 BCE. Ibiza was a major trading post along the Mediterranean routes. Iberia began setting up its own trading stations along the nearby Balearic island of Mallorca, from which great quantities of the reknowned Balearic slingers were hired as mercenaries for the diverse wars Carthage was fighting.

During the Second Punic War the island was assaulted by the two Scipio brothers [209 BCE] but remained loyal to Carthage. With Carthaginian military luck running out on the Iberian mainland, Ibiza was last used by the fleeing Carthaginian General Mago to gather supplies and men before sailing to Menorca and then to Liguria. Ibiza managed to negotiate a favorable treaty with the Romans, who spared Ibiza from further destruction and allowed it to survive with its Carthaginian-Punic institutions well into the Empire days, when it became an official Roman municipality. This survival made Ibiza an excellent place to study Carthaginian-Punic civilization in later years, but also turned the island into a sleepy imperial outpost as it became more and more detached from the important trading routes of the time. The island was conquered by James I of Aragon in 1235.

Ibiza - Tourism

Eivissa is a very popular tourist destination, especially due to its legendary riotous nightlife (mainly in Ibiza Town, the island's capital on the eastern shore). The most famous clubs include Privilege (the world's largest club which holds the weekly event known worldwide as Manumission on Monday nights), Es Paradis (famous for its water parties), Amnesia (famous for its foam parties and what goes on there), Space (opens at around 8AM) and Pacha. Ibiza is also famous for Café del Mar, a chill spot in Sant Antoni where many people watch the sunset every night.

Formentera - General Information

Formentera is the smallest and most southerly island of the Balearic Islands group; it is one of the two Illes Pitiüses, along with Ibiza. It is 19 kilometres long and is located approximately 3 nautical miles (6 km) south of Ibiza in the Mediterranean Sea.

The island can only be reached by ship, so relatively few tourists come to this location, making it a much quieter place than the other islands in the region. It is best known for the fact that nude sunbathing is allowed on most of its beaches.

Formentera comprises one municipality, also called Formentera, and has a population of 7,461 (2002). It is part of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands.

Formentera - History

The island's name is usually said to derive from the Latin word frumentum, meaning "grain." The island had been occupied by the Carthaginians before passing to the Romans. In succeeding centuries, it passed to the Visigoths, the Byzantines, the Vandals, and the Arabs. It was conquered by the Catalans and became part of the Kingdom of Majorca.

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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