Here’s what to know about Spain’s four Balearic Islands

The Spanish Balearic Islands are among the largest and most remarkable islands in the Western Mediterranean Sea and are made up of four main islands. Although the Greek islands are beautiful and famous for very good reasons, they are not the only perfect islands in the Mediterranean. The Balearic Islands offer more choices and each island has its own unique characteristics and attractions.

Here, one will be greeted by azure blue seas and white sandy beaches – where better to enjoy the sunny Mediterranean climate? Each of the islands has its own character and all are worth seeing. If one cannot choose which island to visit, then consider island hopping between the four main Balearic Islands and experience each of its unique attractions.


The idyllic Spanish Balearic Islands

The four main islands of the Balearic Islands are Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera – there are also numerous minor islands and islets. These beautiful islands enjoy a Mediterranean climate and all four islands are popular tourist destinations.

Four main Balearic Islands:

  • Majorca
  • Minorca
  • Ibiza
  • Formentera

The islands are an autonomous province in Spain and their capital is Palma.

Ibiza – The international party destination

Ibiza is known as an international party destination and attracts some of the world’s most popular DJs to its many nightclubs. It’s an island where the music beats all night long. Peak season for party life is during the summer.

  • Cut: 570 km2 or 220 square miles
  • Population: 150,000

Discover Ibiza’s lively atmosphere and its many beautiful beaches. Stroll through the UNESCO-listed Old Town and step back in time in the medieval walled town.

  • Famous as: A party destination

When you’re not partying, make time to explore Ibiza’s rich biodiversity and archaeological attractions. See:

  • Sa Caleta: An ancient Phoenician archaeological site
  • Puig des Molins: A necropolis
  • Eivissa: See the historic center

It is the third largest of the Balearic Islands, and the largest towns are Ibiza Town and Santa Eularia des Riu.

Related: Mallorca travel guide: what to do in a week on Spain’s largest island

Mallorca – The largest island in the Balearic Islands

Mallorca is the largest island of the group and is home to ancient villages and inspiring monasteries. It is also home to most of the population of the Balearic Islands. Naturally, it also has its share of pristine sandy shores.

As a popular tourist destination, its airport, Palma de Mallorca Airport, is one of the busiest in Spain. His journey here begins in the main city of Palma. After visiting the bustling capital, venture into the villages, seemingly lost in time.

  • Main city: Palma
  • Cut: 3,640 km2 or 1,405 square miles
  • Population: 900,000

Other Mallorca attractions include the Cabrera National Park and the Sierra de Tramontana mountains. The island also has the regional capital, Palma. Some consider Mallorca the jewel of the Balearic Islands.

The island of Menorca – The lesser known island

The island of Menorca is known to be more laid back and is a smaller island. It is a getaway for those looking for a quieter getaway by the sea. Its name comes from the Latin “Insula Minor” – literally “little island” and is the second largest island in the group (smaller than nearby Mallorca ).

The main towns are Mahon and Ciutadella.

  • Population: 94,000
  • Cut: 695 km2 or 269 square miles

It is less known and less crowded, but arguably even more attractive than its sister islands. The island’s natural beauty forms many of Menorca’s greatest attractions. One way to explore the spectacular coastlines is with the Cami de Cavalls coastal path.

You can plan your trip to the island of Menorca with Visit Menorca.

Related: A Travel Guide to Spain: Tourists Should Plan Their Trip Around These 11 Things

Formentera Island – The laid back and quiet island

The island of Formentera is a relatively unknown destination with some of the best beaches in the group and unspoilt coastlines. It is a haven of peace and by far the smallest of the four main islands.

  • Cut: 83 km2 or 32 square miles
  • Population: 12,000
  • Famous for: Be a laid back beach destination

The waters here are some of the clearest and most crystalline you can find. Some claim that its beaches are among the best in the world. Its coasts are also full of many deserted coves.