One of Ibiza’s most attractive features is the diversity and beauty of its natural surroundings. There are a number of natural parks on Ibiza that are considered of particular interest on account of their ecological and scenic value and whose natural beauty makes them worth visiting. Though there are more than a dozen areas included in the 1991 Law of Natural Spaces (LEN), just two are considered natural parks per se, namely the Ses Salines Natural Park and the Es Vedrà and Es Vedranell nature reserves, as well as the Poniente islets.
Las Salinas Natural Park
This extensive natural area covers 1,786.52 hectares on land and 13,611.80 at sea, encompassing the area between the south of Ibiza and the north of Formentera. It was granted World Heritage status in 1999, and visiting it is a must for nature lovers. The park boasts numerous ecosystems, including salt ponds, beaches, dune ridges, centenarian juniper woodlands, rocky coast lines, small pine forests, cliffs where ospreys and peregrine falcons nest and the islets of Es Freus (in the division between Ibiza and Formentera). Additionally, numerous migratory birds arrive every year, including the striking flamingo, which may easily be spotted in the salt ponds.
Natural reserves of Es Vedrà, Es Vedranell and the Poniente islets
The natural reserves of Es Vedrà, Es Vedranell and the Poniente islets are to be found in the south west of the island, within the municipality of San José, or Sant Josep. The protected territory encompasses all these islets and their marine surroundings, and it is formed by:
- Es Vedrà
- Es Vedranell
- S’Illa d’es Bosc
- Sa Conillera
- Ses Bledes
With birds of prey such as Eleonora’s falcons, European herring gulls, European shags and Scopoli’s shearwaters, the area is considered of ornithological interest. The islets of Es Vedrà and Es Vedranell are two of the most photographed spots on Ibiza and home to endemic species of lizards. That being said, access to Es Vedrà and Es Vedranell is theoretically forbidden, although their magnificence may be admired from the sea, from the famous Torre des Savinar or from Cala d’Hort, and visitors may also book diving excursions in their vicinity.
Flora and Fauna on Ibiza
You may have heard that Ibiza and Formentera are known as the “Pitiusas”; the name is Greek in origin and means the “islands of pines”. This is because for more than 7,000 years, pine forests have been closely associated with Ibiza’s scenery. Other species that are typical of Ibiza’s flora include vines, fruit trees such as fig trees, almond trees, citrus trees and carobs and aromatic herbs such as thyme, rosemary, lavender and camomile, which grow freely alongside many others that make up this typically Mediterranean ecosystem. Also worth mentioning is the abundance of posidonia oceanica or Neptune grass, the seagrass species responsible for the transparency of the waters in the “pitiusas”. As for the fauna, there are large colonies of seabirds, cetaceans and sea turtles. Being an island, Ibiza’s terrestrial fauna is somewhat more limited, the most representative species being certain invertebrates, crustaceans, amphibians, marsh birds and lizards. Also worthy of mention is the Ibizan hound, or Ca Eivissenc, a hunting dog species thought to have been introduced in the island by the Carthaginian.