Sabtang Island is one of the major islands among the ten islands in Batanes. It is situated in the southernmost part of Batanes and is the smallest among the three inhabited islands.
Spanish influences first reached the island in 1786. This led to the baptism of almost 200 native children and the study of catechism among the adults. But the Catholic influence was not entirely implemented because of the poor health conditions of the Spanish missionaries.
In 1845, the evangelization of the island continued under Fr. Antonio Vicente, the island’s first vicar. He initiated the building of San Vicente Ferrer Church, along with a school, a convent, and a courthouse.
The most iconic attraction in Sabtang is the San Vicente Ferrer Church. It is one of the oldest church in the province that was built by Dominicans in 1785. This church was also named as a national historical landmark.
On the eastern part of Sabtang is Savidug Village, one of the most visited sites as it showcases houses with cogon roofs and walls made of stones. Another old village visited in Sabtang is the Chavayan located in the southern end of the island. This small village houses Sabtang Weavers Association, a group of native women who are responsible for weaving their traditional headdress called vakul.
Another attraction on the island is the Chamantad Cove and Tinyan Viewpoint. This spot is surrounded by grassy hills and rocky cliffs and offers a complete view of the seascape. Sabtang Island is also widely famous for its white sand Morong Beach where the Mahayao Arch, Sabtang’s most iconic landmark, can be found.
Other attractions in the area include San Jose de Ivana church, Sta. Rosa de Lima Chapel, Sabtang Lighthouse, and others.
Sabtang Island is just a short boat ride away from two ports (most notably Ivana Port) in Basco on the island of Batan. Depending on the wave conditions, travel time on the boat is about 30 minutes.
Summer is the perfect time to visit Sabtang Island, which runs from March to June. It is a time of low rainfall and sunny days in Batanes.