Travel guide to the Spanish Balearic Islands

For those who are not in the know, the Spanish Balearic Islands are an archipelago near the eastern coast, made up of over 150 islands, the majority are small and uninhabited, but you have certainly heard of the 4 largest: Mallorca, Menora , Ibiza and Formentera.

These popular tourist destinations attract visitors from all over the world all year round for different reasons, not just the mild Mediterranean climate. Ibiza is of course well known as an international party destination, but the 4 islands have much more than wild nightlife to offer.

From cultural and culinary delights to excellent beaches, natural wonders and outdoor activities, the Balearic Islands have something for everyone. Below, we’ll break down some of the highlights of the larger islands.

Note: If you plan to visit the islands from Canada, just be sure to check if you need to submit an ETIAS application first.

Majorca

If you don’t know the difference between Majorca and Majorca, rest assured that they are all one and the same place: the former is simply the Spanish spelling! Whatever you call it, the largest island in the Balearics is also probably the most touristy, and much of its east coast is filled with large resorts.

But Mallorca is more than just a cheap sunny getaway to dance and drink. The main city, Palma, is filled with breathtakingly beautiful architecture, such as the 13th-century Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Palma, the Moorish-style Arab fortress Almudaina and the hilltop Bellver Castle.

If you’re looking more for an outdoor holiday than a city break, then Mallorca is also for you. The island is full of incredible hiking and mountain biking opportunities, especially in the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range on the west coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

While on the west side of the island you should also take a vintage tram from the historic town of Soller to the coast. And if you’re a Spanish wine lover, you’ll also be pleased to know that there are a variety of wine tasting experiences and lush wine tours.

Minorca

The easternmost of the Balearic Islands, Menorca was declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1993, thus limiting tourist development. This means it remains much more rural and unspoilt than its sister island of Mallorca, offering visitors a plethora of natural environments and less crowded beaches to explore.

And there’s no shortage of gorgeous beaches: much of Menorca’s 216km coastline is lined with endless stretches of white and golden sand and rocky bays. The tourist resorts that are found on the island are also much further away from the main towns, allowing for smoother urban experiences.

The capital of Menorca, known as Maó or Mahón, is located on the east coast and is full of beautiful British-style Georgian architecture. The second largest town, Citudella, is on the western side of the island and also has a wonderful old town to explore.

If you decide to head inland, you’ll be treated to a landscape full of hills and whitewashed villages, as well as a variety of intriguing stone monuments that date back to the island’s ancient past. .

Ibiza

Ibiza

A popular hippie retreat in the 60s and 70s, Ibiza has since become an international party destination and boasts some of the best nightclubs in the world frequented by some of the most famous DJs on the planet.

If you want to experience the club scene, the best time to visit Ibiza is during the summer season. And you’ll definitely want to head to Ibiza Town, Sant Antoni Town or the beach clubs of Playa de Las Salinas.

However, Ibiza enjoys a pleasant climate all year round and if you want to experience the quieter side of the island, consider visiting between October and May. Some of the smaller bars and clubs, and the largest, Pacha, remain open during the winter months.

You’ll also have fewer crowds to compete with if you decide to explore the island’s many hidden beaches and coves.

Formentera

The smallest and southernmost of the 4 largest Balearic Islands, Formentera is the least touristy of them all and has rightfully earned a reputation for having some of the best beaches in all of Spain. The wide stretches of sand that fringe the island and the crystal clear waters make it an ideal destination for snorkeling and sailing.

Easily accessible by ferry from Ibiza, the island can be enjoyed on a day trip or for a longer stay. The fact that the island is practically flat and has over 100 kilometers of cycle paths also makes it a popular destination for cyclists.

If you plan to visit the 4 main Balearic Islands in one trip, we recommend that you book at least 10 days for your vacation. Less would be a disservice, as there is so much to see and do!

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