The Balearic Islands are an archipelago in the western Mediterranean. These include 146 uninhabited, and four large inhabited islands: Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera and the smaller island of Cabrera, which contains the natural park of the same name and several islets. The Balearic Islands belong to Spain.
Features of the Balearic Islands
Where are the Balearic Islands located? They are located in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula, about 80–300 km from the Spanish mainland.
The eastern and larger group includes the main islands: Mallorca and Menorca and the small island of Cabrera. The western group is known as the Pitiusas and includes the islands of Ibiza (Eivissa) and Formentera.
The relief of the Balearic Islands is diverse: with hills, plateaus and lowlands. On these islands, olive, fig, grape and almond trees are grown in parallel with the production of cereals. Even though the islands are very close, they are very different from each other, and this is mainly due to their different historical heritage. Various civilizations have left their mark on the islands. Each island has its own personality and is suitable for different types of holidays.
- Mallorca is the largest island, ideal for those who want to alternate days on the beach with visits to cultural attractions.
- Menorca is an island for nature lovers.
- Ibiza is suitable for those who love the most fashionable nightlife.
- Formentera is the perfect place for those who want privacy.
Called the islands of “eternal spring” for their mild climate throughout the year, they are one of the most popular destinations in Spain and beyond.
- Note! The beaches are famous all over the world, and despite this, one can still find unspoilt ones. Holidays in the Balearic Islands are suitable for families, and for those who love nightlife, sports, the beauty of nature.
The sights of the five inhabited islands are quite enough for active travelers. Festivals, water parks, cave-discovery trails, and a host of sports bring the islands to life all year round.
The largest island in the western Mediterranean, one of the Balearic Islands, characterized by a variety of landscapes: pine forests, olive groves, steep ravines, terraced slopes and fertile valleys. The island has sea caves, mountains and other small coastal islands.
It consists of two mountainous regions, occupying the western and eastern thirds of the island. The regions are separated by a lowland that ends with the Bay of Palma in the south, and the bays of Alcudia and Pollensa in the north. Steep cliffs are characteristic of most of the northern coast. The much less steep hills in the southeast are known for their extensive limestone caves and underground lakes. The central lowland, sheltered by mountains in the northwest, is a rich agricultural zone. Mallorca’s coastline is made up of white sandy beaches in the north, while the south is indented with rocky coves and natural harbours. Almost all the most beautiful beaches of the island are located on the northern coast.
Palma de Mallorca is the capital of the island. The lively port city is the seat of the government of the Balearic Islands and at the same time the cultural center of the island.
Palma de Mallorca
The Royal Palace of Almudaina was the seat of the independent Kingdom of Mallorca, and today it is the venue for the official receptions of the royal family.
In the heart of Palma de Mallorca is La Seu, a magnificent 14th-century cathedral made of golden sandstone. The city’s cathedral, 120 meters high, is one of the most unusual monuments in Spain. In the old part of the city, it is also worth visiting the Arab Baths, an example of Moorish architecture.
Natural parks: the Albufera reserve, the Cabrera archipelago and the Mondrago reserve are beautiful and fascinating. On Cape Formentor there is a lighthouse from which you can admire the entire Mediterranean Sea.
Palma de Mallorca offers entertainment at night in all parts of the city.
There are 5 beaches in Palma de Mallorca. The largest is Saint-Arenal, almost 4 kilometers long. Other beaches: Cala Mayor, Cala Estancia, Can Pastilla and Es Trench. White sand, crystal clear water and numerous services offered allow tourists to fully enjoy their vacation.
The best beaches in Mallorca
The beaches around Cala Ratjada are prettier and quieter than those of Palma and are popular due to their excellent choice of sports. The Cala Agulla beach is the most beautiful around the Cala Ratjada resort. Crystal clear water, fine sand and pine landscape.
Cala Varques is a secluded beach located between Porto Cristo and Cales de Mallorca on Mallorca’s east coast. A gently sloping beach 70 meters long and 50 meters wide with fine sand where children have fun. Behind the beach is a large pine forest.
The second largest of the Balearic Islands, located in the western Mediterranean. This island is different from the troubled Mallorca: less touristy and the most peaceful.
Menorca especially captivates nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts with its natural beauty, with numerous reserves. In 1993, due to the richness of its flora and fauna, it was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in order to protect areas of ecological importance.
Additional information! A picturesque island with untouched nature, secluded white beaches and crystal clear waters, nature trails for cyclists and hikers, is the most peaceful holiday destination in the Balearic Islands.
Most of the island is a dry plateau with steep hills. The north coast has many headlands and is deeply indented with bays such as the bays of La Albufera, Addaya and Fornells. The south coast has more long stretches of cliffs.
The capital of Menorca is Mahona, one of the most beautiful ports in the Mediterranean in a natural harbor 6 km long. At the entrance to the port are the ruins of forts San Felipe and Marlborough. Other important sights include the 17th-century town hall (Ayuntamiento) and the Casa de la Cultura, which houses an important archaeological museum and library. The whole island is dotted with archaeological sites: Bronze Age stone structures.
With a 216 km coastline of stunning beaches, bays and cliffs, Menorca boasts over 80 beaches and coves, each with turquoise waters. They are distinguished by a variety: from white sandy beaches, beaches with shallow water and rocky coves.
Many of Menorca’s best beaches are virtually unspoiled and you can get in touch with nature here.
The third largest of the Balearic Islands is an arid and rocky region. Ibiza is the most fashionable of all the Balearic Islands and is for those who want to spend their summer holidays with fun in the largest and most beautiful clubs in the Mediterranean. A favorite place for young people from all over the world, where the nightlife is concentrated in the capital and the San Antonio de Portmany area on the west coast of the island, where the most popular nightclubs are located. Out of season, the island becomes an oasis of peace and tranquility where you can discover countless natural beauties. Secluded beaches tempt to have a romantic picnic under the starry sky.
Along the coast there are many hiking trails and there are several semi-desert beaches. It is worth visiting the city of Ibiza with its magnificent old town surrounded by walls.
Most of the architectural and historical sights are concentrated in the capital of the island. The upper town (Dalt Vila) has many things to visit. In the Old Town there are the Archaeological Museum, the Cathedral, the Museum of Modern Art.
The island is located south of Ibiza. The small but extremely glamorous island is a popular destination due to the beautiful beaches and the uniqueness of the area. Almost completely flat, the island is characterized by typical Mediterranean vegetation. The two most popular destinations at any time of the year are beach holidays and excursions. The many sights and places to visit make Formentera an ideal destination for those who want to combine sea and sightseeing. Clear sea, long white sandy beaches, small secluded coves, dunes with pine forests, romantic spectacular sunsets make Formentera an ideal holiday destination at any time of the year.
There is no shortage of entertainment in Formentera. The island has some of the best clubs in the world. All the main roads of Formentera are bordered by cycle paths: there are about twenty routes. The island can be explored on foot or by bike due to its relatively small size. At various points on the island, you can rent a sailboat to discover all the hard-to-reach beaches and coves.
There are only three cities on the island. San Francis is the administrative center of the island. where there are several churches, a cathedral and the Punic necropolis of Puig de Molin with more than two thousand tombs.
Formentera is renowned for its beautiful white sand beaches, some of the best in Europe. The longest natural beach, Playa de Mithorn, will allow families to spend a pleasant time with all the comforts.
The beaches within the natural reserves are also charming, where you can walk along the paths and trails to discover exotic landscapes. On the salt marshes of Formentera, in the right season, you can admire pink flamingos.
An island where you can admire an impressive variety of animals and plants. The National Marine and Coastal Park is under protection. The Castle on Cabrera Island is one of the main attractions. The height of the building is about 72 meters. With coves, cliffs and small beaches, the island has an almost untouched natural wealth.
When to go to the Balearic Islands
The climate of the Balearic Islands is typically Mediterranean: temperate and pleasant. The Balearic Islands in Spain are called “the islands of eternal spring” because they have a mild and sunny climate almost all year round. In summer the temperature does not exceed 28-30°C, in spring and autumn it rarely drops below 20°C.
Note! The high season is in July and August, when the inconvenience of crowded beaches, skyrocketing prices and difficulty finding accommodation cannot be avoided. The most suitable months are May, June, September and October, when the climate is still mild and housing is more affordable. You can’t swim in winter, but there are beautiful sunny days.
The annual amount of precipitation is low, and falls mainly in autumn and spring. In winter, it is humid here, so there are relatively few tourists on the island. Stays during this time can be trips to the city of Palma de Mallorca or Eivissa, which can be enjoyed regardless of the weather. To go hiking or exploring the island on a bike, you can choose a cooler spring or autumn.
How to get to the Balearic Islands
Easily accessible by plane. Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza have an airport. The islands are connected by air to all major European cities. Ferry service is active to Formentera (an hour from the port of Ibiza).
The world famous tourist destination, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, surrounded by crystal clear waters, with a mild climate and magnificent beaches, are the largest and most developed tourist islands,