This is what tourism has done to Ibiza

Photo: Narcis Puget

If you ever had any doubts about how tourism and commercialisation could change an idyllic landscape forever, here’s the concrete proof.

The picture above was taken in 1907 by Narcis Puget. Shot from the top of the hill in Old Ibiza Town, where you can make out some of the structure of castle on the right, you can see beautiful tall trading ships in the port, while the bay sweeps away to the left and then around the top of the photograph.

Beautiful, unspoilt fields and landscape.


Step forward to the 21st century and look at the same scene now. Decades of tourism have transformed the view from Ibiza Town. Where once there were empty beaches and fields, now there are buildings, hotels and leisure facilities. For as far as the eye can see.

Gone are the old tall ships, replaced by multi-million-pound pleasure yachts and cruisers. Playthings for millionaires.


The approach to the once quiet town of Santa Eularia is almost unrecognisable, ravaged by modern roads and buildings.

Photo: Margaret D’Este

Compare that quaint scene to the same spot now. A busy roundabout, on the road from Ibiza Town into Santa Eularia, dominates the shot, while buildings have replaced the tree-topped slopes around the little hill with the Parròquia de Santa Eulàlia on top.

While an estimated 3.2 million visitors flock to Ibiza each year, not many will stop to think how the little island was before the tourism dollar dominated.