San Carlos (Sant Carles in Catalan) is an attractive and very traditional village in the North East of Ibiza. The village is in the municipality of Santa Eulària del Rio and grew around what is now one of the busiest junctions in Ibiza. San Carlos is famous for being the meeting point for hippies, artists, Bohemians and the international expat community since the 60s. However, its history goes back maybe 3000 years when the Phoenicians traded at the port of Pou des Leo, which is just next door. At that time, the village was probably significantly larger than Santa Eulalia. Nowadays, the village is home to a mixture of Ibicencan locals and expats from around the world and is a very desirable place to live.
The village has several appealing and varied bars and restaurants, including a sushi restaurant, five typical Spanish restaurants and a very popular homemade pizza takeaway. The most famous restaurant is Bar Anita where you will find a great tapas selection plus well cooked traditional Spanish cuisine at good prices. On leaving, pick up a bottle of Hierbas from the bar as it is said to be the best you can get.
Compared to homogeneous high streets in a growing number of countries around the world, San Carlos offers a delightful range of independent and unique little boutiques that chould keep you enthralled for a whole day. For antique and vintage fanatics, Lottie Bogotti is a must: packed out with a vast mix of pre-owned and new bohemian clothing for all the family at great prices, plus jewellery and small housewares. For typical easy-to-wear summer dresses, there is Sahel, Papillon and Aguas Blancas. For highly decorative oriental homewares and clothing from a real Ibiza character, visit Belinda. Shopping in almost crime-free San Carlos is made easy due to the plentiful parking areas, the wheelchair access, the spacious walkways and the very friendly sales assistants. The nearby cafes and bars can home moody husbands, and the large village green and children's playground can keep the kids safe and happy as you browse. The shopping centre is easily overlooked as it lies behind a row of shops. Park up and walk about and you will find a pedestrianised street, which is the village centre.
The one thing you cannot miss in San Carlos is the huge whitewashed church, which dates back to 1785. Also of historical interest is the museum Ca n'Andreu, which provides an insight into rural life in the 17th century.
The surrounding countryside, or campo in the local lingo, consists of several small hills and farmland with very few houses, or casas payesas, to interrupt the natural scenery. You will find almond, carob, orange, lemon and fig trees in flower or fruit at various times throughout the year. Orange blossom flowers in the spring, of course, as do the many flower varieties. Spring is a particularly pleasant time to walk along the many country lanes, or caminos, and through the woods to enjoy the views from the hills and glimpse the animal inhabitants. Be sure to take five minutes to walk along to the village fish pond with some bread.
Close to the village are two great markets to visit, one being Las Dalias on a Saturday and the other being a flea market at Cala Llenya on Sundays. These markets are on throughout the year and make an exciting day out. Both also offer entertainment, the latter offering live music and Las Dalias offering a variety of events throughout the week in the summer.
San Carlos is also the gateway to some of the best beaches in Ibiza. At Bar Anita, turn right for Cala Llenya, Cala Nova, Cala Mastella and Cala Boix....and turn left for Pou Des Leo, Playa des Figueral, Agua Blancas and Cala San Vicent. For more information on the beaches, please see the list on this site.
Other than a few small rural hotels in the nearby countryside, San Carlos itself does not have a hotel. If you wish to stay anywhere near the village the best solution is to look for a privately owned apartment or villa. There are some lovely villas in San Carlos and the surrounding countryside.
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