Salt production on Ibiza began with the arrival of the Phoenicians and Carthaginians and remains active today.
Salt production on Ibiza is ages-old. The salt flats began with the arrival of the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, it continued with the Romans, and even though there is no written proof of it, it is assumed to have continued with the Vandals and Byzantines. The Arabs arrived in the 10th century, and they left the first word about the salt flats during their stay on the island. And through documents predating the Catalan conquest, we know that some Italian city-states already traded salt from Ibiza.
With the Catalan conquest in 1235, the feudal lords earned their share of the profits from the salt flats and salt sales. Yet only a few years later it was determined that the product should also benefit the community of Ibiza and its inhabitants, who could mine salt in order to freely sell it in exchange for paying a tax. Salt meant wealth for the island, and in fact it was the first source of financing for the local government, the Universitat.
In 1709, the salt flats were rented to a Genovese merchant, Joan Baptista Visconti, who exploited them until after the War of the Spanish Succession, when Philip V appropriated them “through the right of conquest”. In 1871 they were sold to a private individual, and today they are exploited by the company Salinera Española SA.