The Pitiusas (known as the islands of the Pine Trees and named as such by the Greeks) was self-governed during nearly 700 years through the institution called The University, which was in charge of the protection of Ibiza and Formentera, the salt industry, the irrigation system, etc. Unfortunately in 1717 this rights were lost and weren’t regained until 1978 with the beginning of the Constitution and the end of the dictatorship of Franco.
In 2007 each island passed on to having their own island Council (Consell Insular).
The island of Ibiza is situated in the Mediterranean sea on the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula, and is part of the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands. The island is divided by 5 municipalities: Ibiza (which is Ibiza town, or Vila as the locals say), Santa Eulària des Riu, Sant Josep de sa Talaia, Sant Antoni de Portmany, and Sant Joan de Labritja.
The population of Ibiza currently surpasses 150,000 inhabitants, and doubles in the summer.
The island is famous for its multiculturality, the tolerance, and the mixture of identities from ancestral times.
In 1999 the UNESCO named in Ibiza the following places as World Heritage Sites: the fortress of Dalt Vila, the Punic necropolis of Puig des Molins and Sa Caleta, the archeological site of Ses Païses de Cala d’Hort, and the Natural Parc of Ses Salines together with the Posidonia meadows.
The Natural Parc of Ses Salines is a parc which occupies 16,000 hectares (13,000 are marine). It extends from the most southern end of Ibiza, Ses Salines, to the northern part of Formentera, including s’Estany del Peix, s’Estany Pudent, and the beaches of Illetes and Llevant. This marine area also encompases the strait between Ibiza and Formentera, known as Es Freus, where you’ll find isles, such as Espalmador. The Posidonia meadows, although many call them a sort of seaweed, they are in fact a marine plant and they play an essential role in the oxygenation and filtration of the water. It is the reason why Ibiza and Formentera’s waters are transparent.
Additionally, the denomination of “Ses Salines” attributes its name to the salt industry found in the Natural Park. Salt was the main source that sustained the economy of Ibiza during centuries, dating back to the Phoenicians.
The UNESCO, therefore, selected Ibiza as one of the places to conserve and protect for future generations.