Sant Jordi and Sant Francesc, two beautiful villages in the south of Ibiza
Strolling around the municipality of Sant Josep is the best way to discover the beauty and charm that’s hidden in this part of the island. That’s why today we will dedicate a few paragraphs to the two lovely villages that complete the tour of the municipality.
Sant Jordi de Ses Salines, is the most populated town in the municipality of Sant Josep, probably because in its surroundings there is one of the biggest tourist resorts on the island: Platja d’en Bossa, which is also part of the territory of Sant Jordi. And this amount of population translates into a different scenery unlike the other villages that we have previously shown you, here there is a larger concentration of houses near the center of the town, although the traditional pristine whitewashed walls of the houses and the special beauty of the Ibizan countryside that surround this town still prevail and are a common factor to all the villages in the municipality.
Sant Jordi is a place of busy life and you will find many restaurants and shops, especially in the road known as Can Bellotera and in the center of town, a great place to dine as there are many and varied restaurants. But clearly there are also many options in Platja d’en Bossa, where you can find a very interesting restaurant offer and where you can also enjoy the sights right next to the sea.
But the highlight of Sant Jordi lies in the beauty of its fortified church, dating from the 15th century. This church was built in response to the spiritual needs of the salt workers of the salt ponds which are situated close to the village. But at the time it was built there were continuous pirate attacks and lootings which terrorized the population. That is why church was also a refuge for the workers against a possible pirate raid.
The church of Sant Jordi is built with oblique walls and battlements that crown the top giving it a very characteristic medieval fortress look. Only four churches on the island are built with the same intention: to protect, this one being one of them. In addition, of course, pristine white is the color of its façade, complemented with some palm trees and flowers on the beautiful courtyard next to it, a perfect place to take beautiful pictures of the town. And if you want to fully enjoy the splendor of this parish come by on April 23rd, when the festivities of the town’s patron saint that gives it its name are celebrated, a time when you can enjoy many activities and events and where you can see exhibitions of ‘baile payés’, the traditional Ibizan folkloric dancing.
Another interesting place to discover more about the folklore of the island is Pou Roig, an iconic place very close to Sant Jordi, where back in the old days the end of the harvest season was celebrated and water was worshiped, a very precious treasure for the Ibizan countryside. Here you can have an authentic “xacota pagesa” (popular festival with local folkloric dancing and typical foods) on August 9th since, for some years now, the folkloric groups are trying to bring back the ancient traditions so they don’t fall into oblivion.
SANT JORDI DE SES SALINES
Continuing with our tour around the area, now it’s time to show you the neighboring parish of Sant Francesc de s’Estany, a tiny village just 2km south from Sant Jordi, towards the Natural Park of Ses Salines. If you are on your way to the beaches in this area you may pass by this little place and not notice it, because this exceptional church has no population around it unlike the other churches of the island. Here there are only a couple of places where to stop and have a drink while enjoying the beautiful sunset that hides behind the salt ponds.
The church of Sant Francesc was built in the 18th century with the intention of satisfying the religious needs of the salt workers of the salt ponds and so they wouldn’t have to travel far from their workplace. This also happens with the chapel ‘capilla de sa Revista’, built around the same time next to a small group of houses of the salt workers next to Es Cavallet beach. A visit to the church of Sant Francesc is a real treat for your eyes as it is located on the edge of the salt ponds where you can see all the different kinds of migratory birds that stop by the island and incredible views to the west. You will find a monument dedicated to the salt workers by the renowned local artist Pedro Hormigo. If you want to visit the interior of this small church it is open every Sunday to the public during the religious service and if you also want to enjoy their modest festivity day it is celebrated every year on April 2nd in honor to Sant Francesc.
So, if you really want to enjoy the best of the towns and villages of the south of the island, just come and tour this area and be inspired by the magical views of Parque Natural de Ses Salines. In both villages you will find the traditional Ibizan essence that permeates the architecture and the way of life of its people. Villages full of charm where you are more than welcome to visit.