The Balearic Islands form an archipelago which lies in the Mediterranean Sea near the east coast of the Iberian Peninsula. Consequently, they benefit from a typical Mediterranean climate meaning that they have long, hot summers. The Balearics have been a favourite with holidaymakers and sailors since the end of the Second World War.
Palma de Mallorca is the capital. The islands are an autonomous community which is also a province of Spain. Spanish and Catalan are the official languages of the community. This means that the islands names change depending on which language is used. For example; Mallorca or Majorca and Menorca or Minorca.
Each island has its own identity
The best-known islands are Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera. Each of the islands has created its own identity over the years. Additionally, there are several minor islands and islets close to the larger islands. These include Cabrera, Dragonera, and S’Espalmador. Cabrera is home to the Cabrera Archipelago Maritime-Terrestrial National Park.
Geologically, the Balearic Promontory forms a platform upon which the island chain lies. Uplift from the seabed formed the archipelago. A network of fault lines, running northwest to southeast, dissect the islands.
Ibiza is an international party destination and many of the world’s most famous DJs made their name in its nightclubs. The island´s culture and cuisine are similar to the rest of Spain, but with distinctive features. The fashion term “Boho Chic” originated here. Ibiza is popular with fashionistas. As well as setting the trends, the island also offers sumptuous villas and superyachts for vacation rental. However, there are still areas of Ibiza where there is more affordable holiday accommodation. The marinas are well-organised for charter yachts throughout the island.
Formentera has a strong Italian influence and is renowned for its gastronomy. Many of the visitors are Italian. The preferred form of transport is by moped or “mini moke” jeep as there are few cars on the island. There are breathtaking panoramic views from the island´s cliff tops. Additionally, Formentera is home to the “Parc Natural de Ses Salines”. This is a nature reserve with exotic wildlife, salt flats and crystal clear water lapping onto the shores of the nature park’s beaches. The island was trendy in the 1960s. The Hippie Flower Power Festival is held every year in July in the square of St. Francesc.
The outstanding beauty of Mallorca features in various TV shows including “The Night Manager” and “Love Island”. As well as being top of the list of Spain´s best islands, it is also the favoured holiday destination of Spain’s royal family. Notably, TripAdvisor classes Mallorca as the second best island in Europe, and the sixth best in the world. The author, Agatha Christie, stayed on Mallorca and wrote a short story about her stay. The Spanish artist, Joan Miro, chose this island for his wedding.
The sun-bleached shores of Menorca attract thousands of tourists each year. However, it offers a slower pace of life than the other more upbeat islands. Menorca moves to its own mellow beat. The island is delightfully low-key and distinctive. Inland the land is completely rural. Lush green fields surrounded by dry-stone walls and rolling hills intermingle with tiny whitewashed villages. The north of the island has rocky beaches with spectacular snorkelling.