A guide on how to island hopping in the beautiful Balearic Islands

Choosing just one of the four main Balearic Islands is hard enough, so why not visit them all?

The Balearic Islands are a unique archipelago located just off the coast of Valencia, Spain. It is made up of four main islands, each offering totally different things for travelers from one rocky coast to the next. The biggest problem travelers will face is not being able to decide who island to visit, which is why the Balearic Islands are a great option for a trip.

There are several ways to do this and luckily the ferries to the local Spanish islands make it incredibly easy to do. For the best trip, travelers should plan to spend a little over a week exploring these incredible islands – here’s how.

Choose an island to start

The Balearic Islands offer four very different destinations, each known for something unique. From virtually untouched beaches to a reputation as the world’s largest party destination, travelers will find that this small collection of offshore islands truly has something for everyone.


The most famous island in the Balearic Islands is Ibiza. This destination is known for its party scene and live music festivals, all of which attract travelers from all over the world. Clubbing is the most popular pastime in Ibiza and it generally attracts a younger crowd, perfect for mature travelers looking to relax and enjoy being social.


On the other hand, there is Menorca which is known for just the opposite. This island has a laid back, small town vibe that differs greatly from that of Ibiza. It is by far the quietest island of the four and is known for its calm beaches, verdant landscapes and storybook-worthy countryside. This is where travelers will find charming and sleepy Mediterranean towns.


For those looking for the best of both worlds, Mallorca is a great place to start. It is home to several resort towns, as well as enough history to satisfy any history buff. It is also home to some great beaches and although it is not as peaceful as Menorca, visitors can still find time for peaceful contemplation. And when it’s over, go to the clubs!


For island purists, there is Formentera. This island is quite unique compared to others as it is quite undeveloped and visitors will not find much here other than the beaches. The journey to get there can take a little over an hour (depending on the island of departure) and usually involves rough waters. That being said, it’s a great place to spend the day for any traveler looking to get away from it all and explore the true unspoiled beauty of the Balearic Islands.

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Move between the islands

It is quite easy to travel between the Balearic Islands thanks to all the ferries which constantly run from one to the other. The islands aren’t so extensive that travelers will spend half a day on the ferry, and the boats run so often that visitors won’t wait all day until the next day. The hub that most travelers will want to leave from is Mallorca, which is located on the island of Mallorca – it’s a good place to start. From there, travelers can take a ferry from one of the seven ferry ports dotted around the islands.

Some popular trips include:

  • Ibiza to Formentera: 35 ferries per day, 25 minute journey
  • Mallorca to Ibiza: 20 ferries per week, three hour journey
  • Mallorca to Menorca: One ferry per day, 1.5 hour trip

Therefore, it makes sense to plan a trip around the nearest islands. For example, if the first destination is Menorca, then it makes sense to take the ferry to Mallorca, then to Ibiza, and end up in Formentera (and then come back to Ibiza, as there is not much to do in Formentera ). Travelers can plan their trip in several ways, and ferry schedules are pretty easy to find here.

From the mainland

Take a ferry To one of these islands in mainland Spain is as easy as figuring out the ferry times when traveling between them. Visitors have the option of departing from three major cities in Spain:

These ports provide ferries that travel between the four main Balearic Islands, making any island-hopping trip incredibly easy and versatile. Those who prefer to avoid the ferry until they are on the islands can take flights from another part of Europe to Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca.

The best time to visit the Balearic Islands is during the high season, which is summer. While visitors will see many more faces, this is the most popular time of year for ferry routes, meaning there will be more options to choose from when traveling between the islands.

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