The island's capital, Ciudad de Ibiza, was founded by the Carthaginians 2,500 years ago. Today the town consists of a lively marina district around the harbor and an old town, D'Alt Vila, with narrow cobblestone streets and flat-roofed, whitewashed houses. The yacht-clogged marina and the district's main street, Vara de Rey, are constant spectacles -- from old fishermen to the local Ibizan women swathed in black to the ubiquitous, scantily clad tourists. The marina district is fun to wander through with its art galleries, dance clubs, boutiques, bars, and restaurants.
Much of the Old Town's medieval character has been preserved, in spite of massive development elsewhere. Many houses have Gothic styling and open onto spacious courtyards. These houses, some of which are 500 years old, are often festooned with geraniums and bougainvillea. The old Town is entered through the Puerta de las Tablas, flanked by Roman statues.
Plaça Desamparadors, crowded with open-air restaurants and market stalls, lies at the top of the town. Traffic leaves town through the Portal Nou.