Throw open the gates and raise the curtain! Come all ye noblemen and gracious maidens to the Festival of Festivals!
From 8th-10th May Ibiza‘s Old Town will once again be the showplace for a world between myths and fairytales, the alleyways and streets will be filled with colours, scents and life. The Medieval Festival enchants both young and old alike. Come and get lost in the fun, forget your everyday cares for a moment and let your inner child gape in astonishment and enjoy!
It is one of the most closely guarded secrets on Ibiza. No one, except those involved, know what’s in store for us at the opening spectacle of the Medieval Festival. The organisers simply smile mysteriously and say nothing. Even at the necessary dress rehearsal the day before the event, curious onlookers can only really guess how the revellers in lavish costumes will be enchanting thousands of viewers.
One thing is certain: it will be breathtaking. In years past each new opening celebration has outshone the previous year’s event. We have printed a few pictures from last year’s spectacle. We hope they whet your appetite, as the festival this year will surely be a fireworks display of imagination once again.
We’re not just talking about a few street artists. Acrobats fly through the air. Birds of prey from the falconers swoop and dive in the background. Geese waddle along the alleyways. Even donkeys and camels are part of the everyday scenes in the transformed fortified city of Dalt Vila.
Countless numbers of stands offer you the opportunity to watch craftspeople at work, children can get dressed up or made up or listen to colourful tales from bards – and grown-ups will be seduced by the aromas of fresh classic specialities. Hearty meats from the BBQ, bread from a wood-burning stove, fruits from the Orient and all mixed with the fragrances of noble flower oils and the glitter of colourful glass.
You will run into spontaneous theatre scenes in the crowds. Here rival knights meet, musicians make their way up to the cathedral plaza, a fairy floats by or a witch is being led away in a cage on a cart. It is worth taking the time to explore the hubbub around you. Take a gander at the traditional craftworks of the island that show the centuries-old traditions of how they created the essential goods of those days. Some are still made this way today. There are hand-braided baskets, fine needlework and classic sandals – the heritage of Ibiza still plays an important role for the people here.
Take a break on the plaza in front of the city hall, which is about halfway up to the cathedral. The widest variety of specialities are on sale here. The majority of the action occurs on the first bulwark beneath city hall. With a view of the harbour all you have to do is wait for the next highlight to pass by.
The plaza in front of the cathedral is another great place to be, as they normally set up a small theatre there. Short pieces are played on the stage, as well as dance and music. Be sure to check out the many alleyways too. Suddenly around the next corner you might find a magic guild, come upon crossbowmen testing their abilities with their heavy equipment or you’ll find a fairy-tale forest opening up in front of you. If you need some help getting through the event pick up a festival map and programme near the palace guards at the main gate.
For the opening ceremony, which you definitely should not miss, be sure to get there early in order to find a good spot to watch the event. The pageant and spectacle is absolutely fantastic. However, you will miss the best of it if you end up too far back in the crowd. The opening celebration of the Medieval Festival happens on May 8th at 10:30 am on the ramp to the main gate of the fortified city.
From Friday to Sunday medieval life begins at 10:30am in Dalt Vila. The majority of stands close on Friday evening around 11pm. On Saturday they don’t close until about midnight. Then on Sunday visitors to this historic event will have until 11pm to experience it all. Then normality and quiet will return to the streets of Dalt Vila.
Speaking of quiet, even during the Medieval Festival it is a bit quieter during the midday hours. The siesta was already popular back then. It’s best to visit during the pleasant morning hours or once the sun starts setting and the lights go on everywhere.
A free shuttle bus runs into Dalt Vila every 20 minutes. It starts at the GESA car park and makes stops at the Multicines, the Consell and on the Paseo Vara de Rey.
Have fun at this truly fantastic experience.
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