The quiet island
Culture: Ibiza the hippie island
Untill the sixties Ibiza had been a quiet island, the inhabitants had a reserved character and jealously guarded their traditions. They were beginning to get used to the fact that the tourists that were arriving little by little, attracted to the paradise, made them change their ways and as well the infrastructure of the island. They accepted these changes that in its turn brought them economical benefits which were until then unknown for the island.
The arrival of the hippies, the “peluts” (long haired) that contented themselves with a little, dressed funny and were living wherever, founding comunes where everybody shared their life and belongings and attached little importance to material things, was something totally different the Ibicencans watched more or less from a distance, repecting their way of thinking. At the same time, and unintentionally, the arrival of the hippies produced big changes in their habits and in their economy and the tourists, most curious about the hippies, started to come more and more and turned the places where they were living into a necessary spot to visit. The majority of the comunes of the “peluts” were concentrated in the surroundings of the small village of San Carlos de Peralta and the village square, at the door of the church, became their meeting place where they gathered on Saturdays to exchange the craft work they made, becoming self-sufficient for some of the things they needed to live. Quickly these meetings drew the attention of the residents and tourists who went to visit them and soon their bartering became the hippy market. At nearly every hour of the day you could see the hippies in the Bar Can Anita (before Bar Can Benet) where Anita at times treated them as though she was their mother and then again as their friend.
Because of the increase of the number of craftsmen and visitors in 1973 they had to change the site of the hippy market and from that moment on it has been held in Punta Arabí.
Aguas Blancas was their favourite beach, it became a nudist beach where they played their music and danced, and on the nights of the full moon they went to see the moonrise. Over the years they switched this beach for the one in Benirrás and swapped the moonrises for the sunsets at the sound of tambourines and drums. But the hippies were not only in San Carlos, you could find them in many other places of the island. They loved the area of San Miguel, in the village was the bar Can S’Hort where they organised exhibitions, cultural meetings and you could try the macrobiotic food.
Another place they frequented was Atlantis, near the beach of Cala D’Hort, where the natural swimming pools as much as the natural cave in the rocks gave their imagination free play. They turned the area into a place of worship for Buddha, painting images on the walls. Their pilgrimage continued till the Torre del Pirata (Torre des Savinar) with its stunning views at the magical Es Vedrá. The hippy movement was becoming diluted with time as the Vietnam War was slowly forgotten, being this war the origen of the coming and going of people from all the countries considered developed. Today there is still a trend, a way of dressing and a way of living outside the conventional requirements, there are many craftsmen who make unique products but not all of them make their own material for the market. Apart from the market in Punta Arabí which is the largest one, there are several more and the most eye catching is the one at Las Dalias, in the gardens of a restaurant in San Carlos. Every Saturday of the year some craftsmen meet there and sell their products together with other market traders that travel to far away countries to bring back jewelry, textiles, clothes, decoration objects etc.