On 4 December 1999, UNESCO included the category Ibiza, Biodiversity and Culture in its World Heritage collection. Thus the Pitiusas Islands became a member of this exclusive international club, of which Spain is the member with the greatest number of assets.
Ibiza is essentially a tourist island, and this recognition was exactly what it needed to promote all of its attractions, going beyond the typical notion of sun, sea and nightlife that it has become famous for worldwide. The declaration of Ibiza as a World Heritage site has been the ideal means of promoting Ibiza’s thousand-year-old culture and rich biodiversity. In the past few years Ibiza has experienced an increase in cultural, rural and sporting tourism, one of the island’s most solid focal points for the future.
The following sites have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage list: the acropolis of Dalt Vila (the old town of Eivissa), the underwater posidonia meadows, which are the source of the rich marine biodiversity of the Pitiusas Islands, the Phoenician archaeological site in Sa Caleta and Puig des Molins punic necropolis, the latter are vestiges of the first settlements on the islands.
Dalt Vila is a veritable memorial to history. Its many strata of earth contain overlapping remnants of all the cultures that have inhabited the island, from the very first settlers in the bay of the city of Ibiza , to the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and Moors, up to the Christian conquest led by the King of Aragón in the 13th century. The architecture, great beauty and simplicity of the Old Town have significantly influenced the colonial constructions of the New World.
The meadows of posidonias –phanerogamic sea plants native to the Mediterranean– are the source of the beauty and transparency of the waters of the Pitiusan Sea. Their conservation is therefore essential, as the great biodiversity in the waters of Ibiza and Formentera directly depend on their strength and vitality. Like the coral reefs of tropical seas, the posidonia meadows in Ibiza and Formentera are an asset to world heritage, the loss of which would be a disaster for our ecosystem.
5 events, 5 venues and locations = 1 island, Ibiza
As we in the northern reaches of Europe head into the dark and cold days of winter, the thought of a nice, sunny but challenging end to 2018 is a long way off but getting closer and closer with every day.
The Spanish Triathlon Federation has been busy meeting with the local authorities to ensure that the race package on offer to the Multi-sports fans in October next year is the best you can imagine.
The event schedule is designed along the lines of the ITU Multisports Festival that was held in Canada not so long ago. Between each event there will be sufficient time for athletes to recover (and technical officials, don’t forget) and for any course changes or adjustments to be made to ensure the races run smoothly.
First up will be the ETU Duathlon Championships. This will be based at Santa Eulària des Riu, a very well-known location for many who have visited the island. Over Saturday and Sunday, 20th and 21st October the Elite, U23, Junior, Para, Age Group Sprint and Age Group Standard distance medals will be raced for.
A city centre course for the Elite, passing through transition on each lap in front of the city’s town hall. The Age Group courses will be finalised in the next few days.
A day off and then on Tuesday 23rd it all goes off road for the ETU Cross Duathlon Championships. Located at Playa de Sant Miquel, in the north. The main venue will be on the beach at Sant Miquel. Racing will be in all categories.
Another day off for recovery and then on Thursday 25th it will be a chance to go for the ETU Cross Triathlon medals. This event will be located at Cala Bassa, where soft sand and ancient trees will welcome athletes for what is certainly going to be a really tough event. The LOC have chosen to use a fresh location after the Cross Duathlon so as to enable athletes and their supporters to see and experience more of the island.
For swim/run fans the ETU Aquathlon Championships take place on Friday 26th. This event will be located at Sant Antonio and will be held in the afternoon to allow even more recovery time after the Cross Triathlon and will see the turn point just in front of the world-famous, Café Del Mar (if we can get a DJ from there for the event …. )
The final day of races will be on Sunday with a chance for you all to go long, well, half-long. The ETU Middle Distance Triathlon Championships will be held at Figueretas. The swim is located there with athletes swimming around the Isla de las ratas, with views out to Formentera. The bike course will take athletes towards the centre of the island and the run will be central, through Vara del Rey.
We will be getting regular updates from the LOC and will, in due course, provide you all with the necessary course maps. But in the meantime, sit back and plan your trip.
I will leave you with one thought – in Canada, there was only one athlete who raced all events. Can we in Europe beat that ?
Here is the summary of the schedule for you.
Saturday 20 and Sunday 21:
• Event: Duathlon
• Location: Santa Eulalia
• Key points: The duathlon has been allocated in Santa Eulalia des Riu, and will host Elite, U23, Junior, Para, Ag Sprint and Ag Standard, in 2 days of competition. The event will be hosted in the city centre, Passeig de S’Alamera, with a really and exciting elite course through the transition area for all the laps, and in front of the city town hall. Still there is work to be done in the upcoming days, to finish with all the details on the rest of the courses
• Event: Duathlon Cross
• Location: Playa de Sant Miquel
• Key points. The duathlon cross, will take place in the north part of the island, with the main venue allocated at the beach in Sant Miquel
• Event: Triathlon Cross
• Location: Cala Bassa
• Key points, The Tri Cross, will take place in one of the most touristic beaches in Ibiza, where many famous people spend their holidays, and allocated in a different place from the duathlon cross in order to give a different experience to the athletes
• Event: Aquathlon
• Location: Sant Antonio
• Key points; event in the afternoon to see one of the most amazing and famous sunset in the world; that takes place in San Antoni and with one of the turning points, in front of Café del Mar, , destination top in the world and famous because of the music http://www.cafedelmaribiza.es/
• Event: Half And Aqua
• Location: Ibiza / Figueretas
• Key points: Swim in Figueretas, around the Isla de las ratas; and facing the famous island of Formentera; Bike through the inside roads and centre of the island; to finish with the run, in the centre of Ibiza; world heritage, through Vara del Rey, Access to Dalt Vila, and the famous and well known historical buildings of Ibiza