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Es Canar True Hippie Market: Ibiza's original hippy market is a handicrafts' heaven

A great day out for the entire family with fascinating wares, many food options, music and entertainment galore!

From the pervasive sweet scent of sandalwood incense in the air and the bewigged 70s-style performers to the highly realistic vision of an Indian holy man sitting cross-legged, nowhere better sums up Ibiza’s flower power past than Es Canar True Hippie Market.

Dating all the way back to 1973, the market formerly known as Punta Arabí Hippy Market is the oldest handicrafts market on the island and the inspiration for all those that have followed. Last week, Ibiza Spotlight’s team paid a visit to explore this bustling bazaar and catch up on its recent evolution.


A sprawling, maze-like affair, Es Canar True Hippie Market extends amid winding pathways and white-washed buildings over the grounds of the Hotel Cala Martina - formerly Club Punta Arabí - in the resort of Es Caná (Es Canar in Catalan). Boasting over 450 stalls, it can see up to 10,000 visitors in a day.

Tip: As the mornings are extremely busy, if possible, delay your visit until later in the day.


The wares

What makes the market a special experience for the visitor is the unique mix of older artisans – some of whom have been here since the start – and a younger generation of cutting-edge designers bringing a fresh approach and the use of the latest materials.

One of the delights of the market is watching and engaging with the craftspeople at work, who are concentrated in Calle de los Artesanos, or artisans’ street, the first path on the right after you enter. It’s a joy to look on as they produce their exclusive creations, and they are perfectly content to chat with you and answer any questions.

Among the handicrafts, you can find shells, fossils, bags, candles, leather work and silverware, home décor, all kinds of clothes and complements and much, much more. If the stallholder possesses an “original de Ibiza” badge, then you know they belong to the local association of craftspeople on Ibiza, a guarantee of authentic artisanry.


Eating

Walking the winding paths and scouring the market for souvenirs can be hungry work, so it’s good to know there are lots of great places to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a sit-down meal. For a full meal, you can’t beat The Grill, a large, well-ventilated, covered area devoted to Spanish cuisine such as paella. It opens from 12:30 onwards.

Behind it lies Bar Petit, which specialises in fresh juices while, a little further up, the cake shop – with its homemade pastries and cakes, coffee and artisanal ice cream - is the ideal spot for a mid-morning snack. Keep going uphill and you come to Capriccio, which sells pizza, other Italian specialities and salads.

Nearby, you’ll hear the distinctive sounds of the local musicians known as Benidrums – a popular fixture for decades now. As you browse the market, you encounter other jam sessions in progress, many of them impromptu. From its earliest days up until today, live music has been synonymous with the hippy market.


Still on the food trail, we encounter the shaded food truck zone, offering visitors a range of different flavours from around the world. There are French crepes, pizza, Dutch fries, American-style burgers, hot dogs and pulled pork, Asian bao buns, and vegan pad Thai. And that’s in addition to bars serving drinks. At midday the food truck zone stages musical entertainment and shows.

Located on the right, at the end of Calle de los Artesanos, is the large marquee known as the carpa, which opens at 11:00. In the carpa, you can find snacks such as sandwiches and pastries, drinks – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic – along with other dishes that regularly change such as salads and hummus.

With its huge, shaded interior, it’s great for the entire family to get a bite to eat while they listen to the performances of live world music from 14:00 to 16:00. Musicians and bands from the island along with international artists play a wide range of sounds including Afro-Reggae, Spanish Rock and Flamenco, 70s and 80s hits, electronic and ethnic.  


One of the great things about this market is that it caters to everyone. You can pick up a little souvenir for as little as €5 or spend hundreds on original handmade creations, designer fashion or artwork: its huge variety makes it accessible for all. It was encouraging to see stalls selling recycled products in response to growing public demand.

Naturally, being such a family-oriented market, it has its own kids’ area, the “Hippie Kids” hut, located at the top of the market beside the stone tower. It hosts workshops on recycling, designing your own T-shirt, face painting or making flower crowns. Parents can take part in mini-workshops with their children, creating something original on the way.

Es Canar True Hippie Market is a true bonanza for souvenir seekers and one of the quintessential Ibiza experiences: make sure it’s high on your list of must-do activities when you visit the White Island.


Hours

Every Wednesday
April, May and October: 10:00 to 18:00
June, July and September: 10:00 to 19:00
August: 10:00 to 20:00


Find more information about all markets on Ibiza or browse our events calendar.

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