Balearic Islands • Spain
Travel Guide

From: Spain Travel Guide

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Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of islands off the coast of Spain that are well known for their superb beaches, scenery and thriving cities.

The main islands that form the Balearics are Ibiza, Mallorca, Minorca and Formentera, with smaller islands such as Cabrera and also islets such as Dragonera. The main islands are easy to reach with each one offering its own unique charm and sense of adventure, from dramatic mountain ranges, tranquil beaches and hidden caves to the party island of Ibiza which is well known for its nightclubs and never ending dance scene.

The Balearic Islands are located off the east coast of Spain within the Mediterranean Sea.

The Balearic Islands enjoy a Mediterranean climate with typically hot and dry summers that often reach around 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and mild winters which are typically around the 50 - 60 degree Fahrenheit mark. During the spring and autumn temperatures often average around 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

October through to February are often the wettest months, with the months of July and August often reaching the highest temperatures with the least amount of rainfall.

Island Travel Guide
The Balearic Islands can be reached by plane or boat from mainland Spain as well as from international airports which regularly travel to the largest Island of Mallorca as well as to Minorca.

By boat there are plenty of services available from Barcelona, Alicante and Valencia to Ibiza and Mallorca with inter island ferries also available such as to the port of Mao, Minorca.

To reach Formentera you can travel direct to Ibiza by plane and then take the ferry from Ibiza port to Formentera, alternatively you can travel from Denia on mainland Spain direct to Formentera.

There are plenty of busses and taxis available as well as car, motorcycle and bicycle hire. Water taxis also operate from many of the popular beach resorts around Mallorca.

Island Shopping
There are no end of shopping opportunities within the Balearic Islands with the city of Palma, Mallorca being the most versatile where you can enjoy everything from small upmarket boutique shops containing all the latest fashions to jewellery stores, gifts, book and shoe shops. There are also large shopping malls, supermarkets and plenty of bustling markets where fresh produce and local handicrafts are on offer.

In Minorca the craft markets offer a wide range of products from clothing and food to crafts and gifts. There are a variety of small boutique shops also to be found on the island with handmade jewellery being one of the highlights for this island along with locally crafted sandals. The shopping pace on Minorca is far more relaxed than on its larger neighbour Mallorca but there are still plenty of shops, supermarkets and markets to keep you busy.

During the afternoon it is common for some shops to close for the afternoon siesta although many close to the large resorts often remain open all day and in some cases well into the evening too.

Cuisine Guide
Minorca offers plenty of wholesome and traditional cuisine with local meat and dairy products providing excellent flavour along with plenty of fresh fish and seafood which as you can well imagine is abundant in the area.

Mallorca has no shortage of places to eat and drink that range from light bite cafes and bars to upmarket restaurants serving outstanding cuisine at its best with many serving plenty of traditional aromatic Mediterranean dishes.

One of the most traditional drinks within the Balearic islands is Gin which has continued to thrive on the islands since its arrival by the British Navy in the 18th century. Minorca's own distinctive gin is now produced and enjoyed on the island and one of the most popular ways to drink the local gin is with one part gin to three parts lemonade which is known as pomade.

Balearic Islands Attractions
As well as the undeniably beautiful beaches and landscape that can be found within the Balearic Islands, there are also plenty of historic buildings and sites of interest from Palma's enormous Cathedral to an imposing fortress, a circular castle, distillery and underground caves being some of the most visited. The islands of Ibiza and Formentera are known as the Pitiusas islands with Ibiza being the larger of the two and Formentera located just off its coastline.

The island of Ibiza is well known for its thriving summer nightlife and dance scene which takes over Ibiza Town and Sant Antoni which during the summer months often has famous DJ's and live bands performing. Ibiza also has several areas of interest, such as the Ses Feixes Wetlands and Sa Caleta a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Can Marca Caves, Dalt Vila old town and plenty of outstanding beaches that are perfect for all manner of beach activities and watersports or for simply relaxing on... more about Ibiza

The tranquil Island of Minorca (Menorca) is far less overcrowded than its neighbour Mallorca and offers a range of striking coastline that mixes rugged cliffs with secluded beaches and coves as well as plenty of historic sites of interest such as the La Mola Fortress, Es Moli de Dalt, Museu de Minorca, Xoriguer Gin Distillery and the capital port city of Mahon also has its own charm and rich history... more about Minorca

The largest of the Balearic Islands is also known as Majorca and has plenty to offer, in amongst the many superb stretches of sandy beaches and the thriving capital Palma there are plenty of unique attractions which include the Roman ruins of Pollentia, the circular Castell de Bellver which dominates the area with its unique architecture, while the Monestir de Lluc is charming both for the views and for the informative museum. The hard to miss Palma Cathedral is definitely worth a visit for both the architecture and interior design as well as for its shear enormity. The landscape on Mallorca is also diverse offering rugged areas of dramatic coastline to hidden hard to reach coves, rolling hills, olive groves and superb stretches of golden sands... more about Mallorca

The tiny island of Formentera is one of the more secluded and unspoiled islands to be found within the Balearic's and one which contains several beautiful and pristine beaches as well as many areas of striking cliffs and tucked away hidden coves. Nature walks, swimming and snorkelling here are a must and the windmills and hills that dot the landscape add to the beauty and laid back feel of the island.