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Review: Medieval Festival

Discover why the Medieval Festival deserves to be in your diary. Free,fun (lots of!)and worthy of a weekend break in the glorious May sun.

Dalt Vila (literal translation being “Upper Town”) is both a World Heritage site and one of the most familiar landmarks of Ibiza, towering over the port and Ibiza town itself. It is the oldest part of Ibiza Town, dating back to 654BC.

Medieval Festival, Dalt Vila, 2012

Even without any special events on, it's a fabulous way to spend half a day, simply strolling through the grounds, admiring the spectacular views from almost any direction and enjoying lunch at one of the restaurants within the old cities walls.

The Medieval Festival is an annual fortnight long festival, with events taking place across the island before finally culminating with three days of markets and entertainment within Dalt Vila's grand old walls.
I had completely underestimated the size of the occasion and with just two hours to explore, I strolled around, letting my senses be absolutely saturated.

Market stall after market stall lined the old cities walls and I was impressed by the quality of the goods available. This was no cheap tat over-hyped gathering but an exquisite collection of Mediterranean and North African goods.

Incense sticks and organic soaps blended with locally made perfumed ornaments.
Stalls of meats, of cheeses, specialist breads sat beside stunning arrays of herbs, spices, teas, coffees and yes, ice cold Mojito's.
Craftsmen, dressed in traditional costume sat beneath the sun, showing off their expertise. Wood work, wool dyeing, olive pressing, basket weaving, the list just kept growing.

Medieval Festival, Dalt Vila, 2012

As you wend your way higher into the old cities grounds, you find spit roasted pigs and racks of lamb sizzling away, pizzas being made before your eyes, huge bowls of fresh fruits and salads, olives and other regional produce tempting you to pause and have lunch or just a relaxed snack. All diets are catered for in this culinary spectacular.

More than just a market this is a Festival and the streets are lined with brightly covered flags or shade creating cloths to keep you cool as you explore the cobbled passages.
The entertainment is frequent, traditional musicians, both in instrument and dress, parade through the grounds. Street performers follow shortly afterwards and capture the attention of all ages with their vibrant costumes and antics. Smiles abounded from children and adults alike. Stall holders offered out free samples to the passing crowds, cheeses, meats, breads, chocolates, a feast of curiosity.

Medieval Festival, Dalt Vila, 2012

Turning another corner it was to find a display of birds of prey, perched in a huge dark tent. An owl spun its head and winked. Twice a day there is a demonstration of these amazing creatures, high above the harbour that stretches out below, with room for the fascinated audience to watch comfortably beneath the gorgeous May sun.

As busy as it can get, there are ample places to just step aside, to stop and look around you. Ample places to sit for a while and enjoy a cooling drink.

The only sadness for me was the lack of disability access. Wheelchairs just aren't an option within the walls of the nearly three thousand year old city.

Reluctantly leaving after my two hour stroll there was a sense that I could spend the entire three days exploring the stalls, smiling at the passing entertainment or being thrilled at the live displays, beneath the warming early summer sun.

Medieval Festival, Dalt Vila, 2012

To see some of this years images please visit our Facebook Page – we've dedicated an album to this years event.

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