May goddess Tanit watch over you on the walking route in St Vicente
St Vicente in Ibiza is probably one area that locals love for its more inland walking routes, nature, green and remoteness. Tourists get here more seldom, besides retreat groups, maybe, who have villas around the area. Still, there is much to see when it comes to walking in Ibiza. I have had the chance to be on three different walks in the area, ranging from 19km inland Forn de saig walk, a cliff walk to the abandoned lighthouse and a walk through Punta Grossa and Tanit caves “Es Cuieram”. On my last walk I recorded the route so you can try and do it yourself. There will be a different route in the Secret Walks: Ibiza by Rob Smith. He will have much better descriptions, so it is worth getting the book when it is out.
Cala san Vicente that belongs to the municipal de San Joan de Labritja is situated in the north east of the island Ibiza and approx. 25 min. drive from Eivissa. Cala san Vicente is a quiet and child-friendly bay with a wide sandy Ibiza beach. San Vicente in Ibiza, encompassed some of the island’s oldest history, Cova d’es Cuieram. An extraordinary cave, high above the village testifies to a local population in very ancient times.
Walking route in St Vicente: Punta Grossa, secret beach and Tanit caves
Highest point 152m
Length: 2,30 h (alone, more training mode walking)
Tip: if you get to Punta Grossa, you can collect the salt there – it is supposedly purer than the salt in Ses Salines.
This walk is great for both relaxed walk with a group, taking time off at Punta Grossa or the little beach, but also, since it still is 9km and with a quite steep elevation after Punta Grossa, it can be used for a nice training walk.
What I like about this walk is the easy pathways to follow, mixed with one great ascent that is rather steep and beautiful sea-views from Punta Grossa. There you can also see the lighthouse of Portinatx on your left and another abandoned lighthouse on your right. Thanks to the variety of the terrain and pathways, the walk is not too long nor too short and I believe most people should be able to do it.
The Goddess Tanit and Es Culleram
This time I will stop a bit more on the historical sight of the walking route in St Vicente. There is an extraordinary cave, high above the village, about 150 meters in height. Called the Cova d’es Cuieram, its contents prove occupation even prior to the arrival of the Greeks, when the island’s meager population worshiped the goddess Tanit.
From an archaeological point of view, Es Culleram was discovered in 1907 by members of the Ebusitana Archaeology Society that excavated to a depth of some 200 meters. That same year the Archaeological Society of Ibiza carried out there a great excavations campaign, which entailed discovering:
- 600 terracotta figures, the most well known bell shaped figures are feminine, and have diverse symbols sketched on them; in a few cases they have their faces covered by a fine layer of gold.
- A thousand figureheads and ceramic fragments.
- As well as other materials such as bone or ivory lion.
Some of the archaeological finds discovered in the cave are now on display in the Museo Monográfico del Puig des Molins in Ibiza which I highly recommend visiting.
Tanit is associated with the Phoenicians, who are credited with the discovery of Ibiza in 650 BC. She is also linked to the City of Carthage, which was founded by a group of Phoenician separatists led by a lady named Dido, daughter of the King of Tyre, Belus.
After Carthage and Cadiz, Ibiza was the third largest center of the Carthaginian Empire. The Island was an important port of call for the sea faring row boats of the Empire. Even back over 2500 years ago, Ibiza was regarded as a liberal and cosmopolitan city, where ancient worship and rituals were practiced and protected. The pivotal Phoenician goddess Astarte, who the Greeks and Romans worshiped as Venus, is closely associated with the spirit of Tanit.
Many historians argue that Ibiza was the last refuge for Astarte worship after the rise of Christianity which banned all pagan Deity’s and Gods. Through Tanit, the Carthaginians worshiped her glory and power which included ritual acts of fertility, sex and orgy’s. That special Ibiza vibe, that many visitors to the Island claim to connect with, is said to be Tanits unique spiritual energy at play. She is still worshiped on Ibiza and along with the Islands close connection to the God of protection and dance Bez.
Read more stories about the village of St Vicente. Read more about Tanit cave. To find out about Secret beaches in Ibiza, get yourself a book by Rob Smith “Secret Beaches: Ibiza”.
So there you go. This walking route will give you an excellent walking experience, beautiful sights and a bit of history of Ibiza. I hope you enjoy it!
If you like this, you will also like Cap des Falco and Cap Nunó walk in Ibiza or read about 6 of my favorite walking routes in Ibiza.
Walking lifestyle – keeping you fit, mentally and physically
Don’t forget we all need time-off from our daily lives. Walking is the easiest and accessible thing to do that. Go out for a walk, share your thoughts and inspirations with me via e-mail. My aim is to show how easy it is to find little walks, little time-off-chunks in life to keep you mentally and physically fit. Wherever you are.
Liisi Toom is a communication executive and lifestyle coach who spent 9 months in Ibiza walking, doing walking tours and blogging about it. She has also done and blogged about walking in Estonia and Norway. She coaches people on finding their lifestyle. If you wish to find and live your lifestyle, e-mail at liisitoom (at) gmail. com or follow her Twitter @liisi.
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