Authenticity, especially in an island such as Ibiza, is difficult to account for. And nowhere is the question of authenticity more apparent than in the hippy markets that dot the island. Most famous of them all – Las Dalias.
The market is an assault on the eyes. Bright colours aren’t just woven into the folk dresses but into the canopies of each stall. The Ibizan sun, when it can find a gap in the canopies, is refracted in the mirrors set up for shoppers to try on jewellery and headbands. Turqoises, pinks, oranges, teals and sandy yellow tones crowd the edges of each walkway.
But it was the people that interested me most. Which is why I’ve chosen to show you Las Dalias in black and white.
And while you browse the faces browsing the stalls in the photos below. Press play on this:
Las Dalias in Black and White
As I mentioned in the introduction, Las Dalias is a bustling storm of colour and conversation. But its beginnings were slightly more humble.
In 1954, a local man opened a dancehall and held the opening party on November 4th. It’s was the day of the patron saint of Sant Carles, the town in which Las Dalias is held.
Joan Mari was the local man, and he continued to throw parties at what soon became a restaurant and local facility for weddings, baptisms, and all kinds of local events. They became so legendary that even Bob Marley is said to have eaten at Mari’s table – followed of course by a spontaneous jam session.
And then, 31 years after Joan Mari began bringing the local community together under his dancehall roof, a small market was opened. It was Valentine’s Day, 1985 and there were just five stalls. Today, the markets hosts over 200 stalls and on some days receives over 20,000 visitors…
I really dislike shopping. If I need something, I’ll go specifically to where I can buy it and leave.
But the atmosphere at Las Dalias hippy market wrapped around me like the rainbow coloured chiffon scarves on sale for €10, and when you stand in the middle of the small squares you get the feeling the scarf has been ripped from you and sent you twirling like a spinning top.
My eyes were everywhere. And when the intricately embroidered carpets didn’t bring me running the music blasting from the main café/restaurant definitely kept my toes tapping.
My carry-on for that trip was already full, so in the end I walked away with just one small dress. The Canadian lady who owned the stall, and who had moved to Ibiza over 15 years ago, saw me browsing and cunningly mentioned that the dresses were just €15 each.
“Next time I come to Ibiza, I’m coming with an empty bag and spending my first day here at Las Dalias to buy clothes for the rest of the trip” I mentioned to Santi, our host from Ibiza Hurdes Hostal in San Antonio.
Tips for Visiting Las Dalias Hippy Market
๏ It can get very hot in Ibiza during the day, so make sure to carry water or stop in one of the stalls that plays reggae music while serving beer…!
๏ The market runs every Saturday the whole year round from 10am to 8pm
- On Mondays and Tuesdays during the summer (June to September) there is also a Night Market that runs from 7pm – 1am the next morning
How to get to Las Dalias Hippy Market
๏ The easiest way to get around the island of Ibiza is definitely by car, and the market has a few car parks where you can park for just a few euros
๏ There are also buses that run regularly to the town of Sant Carles de Peralta from most of the other towns on the island and tend to cost less than €5 one way
Address: Las Dalias,Crta. Sant Carles Km 12.,07840. Sant Carles de Peralta
Telephone: +34 971326825
I really can’t wait to visit Las Dalias again… with an empty backpack to fill up this time! On this trip I was hosted at Ibiza Hurdes Hostel and loved it so definitely check them out if you’re planning a trip!
And let me know if you’d also like to see these photos again in full colour…