Balearic Islands

Information and Tourism

Balearic Islands flagLying off the east coast of Spain, the four Balearic Islands are a world apart from the rest of the mainland. Step off the plane and you can expect sun, sea and sunset party time. And that is pretty much what you get, unless of course, you choose to delve closer into the islands' inner natural beauty.

The first plane load of tourists touched down on the island of Mallorca in the early 1950s and the rest, as they say, is history. The best known of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca is also the largest in this group of Mediterranean islands. The south and east coasts of the island are best for beaches, whilst the north and west regions tend to be quieter, with a rugged coastline and pine-covered forests inland. For a taste of city life, and to check out some of the island's architectural history, head south to the capital of Palma da Mallorca.

Ibiza's beaches became popular with bikini-clad hippies in the 1960s. Nowadays, by day, there is barely a bare patch on the sand of some of the island's most frequented beaches. By night, the island's rave clubs are packed out, too. However, it is quite possible to escape the mass tourism on Ibiza. All you have to do is head along a coastal path or take a ride down one of the back roads in the northern part of the island, where you will discover woods, olive groves and a rocky landscape that is a far cry from the sun-seeking mayhem you've left behind in the south. A ferry ride away from Ibiza is the island of Formentera, with its beaches, crystal clear waters and lively apres-beach atmosphere.

In contrast with Mallorca and Ibiza, Menorca is a breath of fresh air in the Balearics. Rich in wild flowers and butterflies, and boasting beaches that are still relatively untouched by tourism, it is possible to enjoy a solitary swim here, and then go for a relaxing walk to admire the orchids or visit the island's Biosphere Reserve. Sunseekers should note that Menorca's climate tends to be a few degrees cooler. It also has a reputation for being a windier isle than its more sheltered and sun-drenched neighbours. Menorca's Port Mahon is home to the second-deepest natural harbour in the world and today serves as the administrative centre for the island.

Balearic Islands Information and Fast Facts

World Guide to Ibiza, Spain
Ibiza has a reputation as a party island, but there is much more to Ibiza that its excellent nightclubs. The island is the closest of all the Balearic islands to mainland Spain and has a 200 km / 125 mile coastline, with over 50 stunning beaches.
World Guide to Mallorca, Spain
The beautiful island of Mallorca boasts an average of 300 days of sunshine each year. This, combined with many excellent beaches, with fine, golden sand and clear, blue seas, means that Mallorca is a
popular destination for tourists.
World Guide to Menorca, Spain
Menorca is the second largest of the Balearic islands and is smaller and quieter than its neighbour Mallorca. The island of Menorca has many peaceful, family resorts and almost as many beaches as Mallorca and Ibiza combined.
World Guide to Palma Nova, Spain
Often considered to be a beach suburb of Palma, the capital of Balearic island Mallorca, Palma Nova features beaches, seaside hotels, restaurants, family theme parks and good access to the animated holiday resort of Magaluf.

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