This is the least-populated and northernmost municipality on the island, and also the most rural and traditional one, with the most pristine nature: ideal for anyone seeking a relaxed holiday.
Sant Joan de Labritja is set in the geographical zone of Es Amunts, where Ibizan traditions are the most deeply-rooted, amongst pine trees and valleys of fertile red earth. Sant Joan celebrates its ‘festa major’ on the night of 23rd to 24th June, with the traditional bonfire jumping to bring us good omens. Peasant dancing, music played by flutes, drums and castanets, and the typical sweets —‘flaó’ and ‘orelletes’— are never missing in the popular festivities of this municipality, which also includes the villages of Sant Miquel, Sant Llorenç and Sant Vicent.
The churches of Sant Llorenç and Sant Miquel, around which traditional dance exhibitions are held, are an example of traditional Ibizan architecture. This municipality’s wealth in terms of heritage can also be found in the fortified village of Balàfia, of Muslim origin, or in the defence towers of Balanzat or Portinatx.
One recommended visit is the cave of Es Cuieram, near Sant Vicent, where the bust of the Phoenician goddess Tanith was found which protects Ibiza and is another symbol fo the island. A trip to the caves of Can Marçà, in the Port of Sant Miquel, is also extremely interesting —a natural treasure that remained hidden for 100,000 years.
Sandy beaches, drums and ‘ball pagès’
Benirràs, famous for its Sunday drum festival, is one of the most popular and liveliest coves. It is advisable to leave one’s car in the park-and-ride car park. For its part, the cove of Sant Vicent or the sands of Portinatx are ideal for families and children. But the true hidden jewel is the ‘ball pagès’, or peasant dance, an exhibition of radiant costumes, rhythms and atavistic movements. It can be observed during the village festivals and in the celebrations held in churches and beside fountains and wells, a tradition that has survived. For 50 years, the ‘Colla de Balansat’ group has performed every Thursday (from June to September) at 6:15 pm in the church of Sant Miquel.