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WALKING IBIZA

THE LOST CITY OF CAP D’ALBARCA/ LA CIUDAD PERDIDA DE CAP D’ALBARCA

The view

from the cape... // desde el cabo

On a clear day you can see mainland Spain from Cap d’Albarca, particularly the mountains behind Denia. When you consider that these mountains are roughly 74km away, you realise that this really was an ideal location for a watchtower // En un día claro puedes ver la península desde Cap d’Albarca, especialmente las montañas situadas detrás de Denia. Cuando consideras que estas montañas están a unos 74 kilómetros, te das cuenta de que éste era un lugar para las torres de vigilancia

Toby Clarke is taking bookings for the next Around The Island walk starting on October. ESP. Toby Clarke acoge reservas para su próxima Vuelta a la Isla a Pie que empezará el 12 de octubre. walkingibiza.com

by Toby Clarke

THE PLACE On the north-west coast of Ibiza lies the remote area of Cala d’Albarca. This area of the coast is characterised by stunning and precipitous cliffs, particularly around Cala d’Albarca itself where they are roughly 200m high. Two capes stick out from the coastline here: one is more northerly, called Cap Rubio; the other is more southerly, called Cap d’Albarca. Both capes are beautiful areas in which to walk, but my favourite has to be Cap d’Albarca on account of the lost city there, which amazingly not that many people know about. Why do not many people know about it? I suppose because like many of Ibiza’s more natural and remote areas, it is often overlooked in favour of the island’s clubs and nightlife. If you look beyond the terrace at Space – which, I’ll

198 THE USHUAÏA MAGAZINE

admit, is a lot of fun! – you’ll find beautiful, quiet areas of Ibiza in addition to vast archaeological remains. These all, in different ways, testify to the island’s rich and ancient history. If you can get to Cap d’Albarca and go for a walk there, particularly with one of my groups, I promise you’ll be rewarded with an incredible experience and some enduring memories. THE WALK The starting point for this walk is Sant Mateu, and from there you need to head north-west, into the hills and towards the coast. As you walk, imagine this: in 1235, when a wave of Christian Catalans invaded Ibiza, there was a large community of Moors on the island. At that time, Ibiza was almost completely covered by thick forest, except for a few small villages

and farms. The Moors, at risk of capture by the Christian invaders, escaped and headed north to find somewhere to live in peace and safety. Cap d’Albarca provided the ideal environment, surrounded by high cliffs and in a remote location. Even today, this area is totally remote. It’s also all now a national park. One of the ways to walk to the cape is via an original pathway that starts on the circular road around the Mateu valley (look for the finca a few hundred meters from Sa Cova bodega and follow the path up around the side). This path will take you through a valley and up to the outer walls of the lost city in roughly 90 minutes. Beyond these walls you’ll find the remains of many of the city’s ancient buildings, some of which are still 2m high. The fact that these walls have remained standing and in

such good condition for over 1400 years is evidence of both the expert building methods and materials the Moors used, as well as the extremity of the threat they faced at the time from the Christian invaders. THE GREAT WALL OF IBIZA Here’s something you may not know: Ibiza has it’s own Great Wall of China! This wall used to run right across the Cap d’Albarca and entirely block off access to the peninsula. A stretch of this wall remains, roughly 100m long, and the southern side is still very visible because it’s at least 1m high and 2m thick. If you walk to the end of this section of wall, you’ll also discover the remains of a circular tower, which originally would have been roughly 4m high with soldiers on top looking out for possible attacks. It’s amazing to me that it’s still there after

The ÏU MAG N3 by Ushuaïa Ibiza  
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