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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Balearic Islands


Balearic Islands Holidays 2016/2017

The Balearic Islands are a small archipelago off the coast of Spain, bringing all the flavours of a Spanish holiday to a gorgeous island setting. Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca are a power-packed trio, diverse in activities but well-matched in beauty.

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A trio of top destinations

All sharing the same Mediterranean climate – that's code for sunny and warm – the three islands house dozens of resorts with their own individual vibes. You can cycle along the scenic coastline of laid-back Menorca, window shop down busy avenues in Majorca or party until sunrise in Ibiza.

Just make sure you leave plenty of time for sunbathing beside the sea. If it's relaxation you're after, the Balearics are a no-brainer, particularly chilled-out Menorca. But the real question is - which island is for you?

Where to stay in Balearic Islands

IbizaView on Map

This island may be tiny in size, but Ibiza reigns supreme in the ways of nightlife and culture. It satisfies the party-goer in all of us, with incredible nightclubs sought out by all of Europe and beaches buzzing with activity. It also caters to the relaxation-seeker, with private coves and a cultural capital city with winding cobbled streets in the shadow of a historic castle.

For families, Ibiza has sleepier towns away from the raucious nightlife whose quiet beaches and calm seas are perfect for building sandcastles and splashing around. There's a waterpark, play parks and boat trips, plus much more, to keep everyone entertained.

MajorcaView on Map

Sink your toes into the sand one second and hike up modest snowy peaks the next. Majorca has a vast terrain that ranges from gorgeous beaches to rugged mountains, with quiet villages dotted between vibrant towns. No two resorts are the same here, and as Majorca is the biggest island in the Balearics, that means you'll have a lot of choice.

Many of Majorca's beaches are packed with water sports, while others are more laid-back, private spots. The nightlife doesn't fail to excite, with club-centric resort towns like Magaluf and Arenal, plus cocktail bars and lounges scattered behind scenic beach promenades.

MenorcaView on Map

The soft-spoken little sister island, Menorca, offers an air of tranquillity when compared to the other Balearic Islands. Visitors seek out its shores for safe, child-friendly beaches and a peaceful atmosphere for sunbathing amid a rugged, natural landscape.

Outdoor types find solace here, with hiking trails and a coastal footpath that extends 184 metres around the coast. In the centre of Menorca, the rural countryside is dotted with sleepy villages, lined with olive groves and quaint town squares whose locals enjoy a slower pace of life. Of course, you'll also find the usual smattering of waterparks, karting centres and play parks in the larger resorts.


Quick Tips

  • Roman Catholic
  • Euro
  • Catalan
  • 1.119 million
  • GMT +1

Beaches of a lifetime

From tourist-packed to secluded coves, the beach options in the Balearics are limitless. Coastal vibes range from the lively shores of Majorca and Ibiza to Menorca's laid-back, rugged coastline.

The beaches here are anything but average. The livelier shores are decked with bars and restaurants, beach clubs with DJ sets and late nights right on the sand, plus cocktail joints hidden in caves. The sunset views are infamous from Ibiza's western beach resorts, such as San Antonio Town, where they signal the start to a good night out.

Out to sea, you can partake in a number of water sports, bouncing atop the waves on a jet ski or coasting on a leisurely pedalo ride. A number of beaches are also home to diving centres that'll get you trained for underwater exploration and swimming down to nearby reefs.

If it's quiet relaxation you're after, there are plenty of beaches where it'll be just you, a plush sun lounger and a good book. There are tonnes of private coves carved into the islands' coastlines, whose only company is an offshore beach bar and a few boats bobbing in the surf.

Treasure islands

The islands' capital cities brim with culture and activity. Majorca's capital of Palma is stacked with castles, cathedrals and fashion boutiques, while Menorca's Mahon is lined with 17th-century Italian-style architecture. Meanwhile in Ibiza, the capital Ibiza Town is home to the iconic Dalt Vila old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses ancient Roman structures and a hill-top castle.

Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca each feature waterparks and golf courses that are easily enjoyed in the beautiful Balearic sunshine. There's also no shortage of opportunities to get out and explore the natural landscape, hiking through Majorca's mountains or biking along Menorca's coastal Cami de Cavalls trails that encircle the island.

Endless nights

The Balearics encompass not one but two nightlife centres – Majorca's Magaluf and Ibiza's big three - San Antonio Town, Ibiza Town and {:Playa d'en Bossa}. These areas pulse with a 24-hour party atmosphere, and are home to awe-inspiring clubs, beach-side bars and world-renowned DJs that keep the dance floor lively until the sun comes up.

There are also plenty of resorts that cater to the more laid-back holiday-goer. Quiet beach bars in more secluded areas will have you watching the sunset over a cocktail, while British pubs are great for catching a home football match.

Spanish bites

Being part of Spain, the cuisine in the Balearics is distinctly Spanish, but still presents unique hints of its own flavour. The islands have grown accustomed to being self-sufficient, so the ingredients used in most restaurants are local, using fresh fruits and vegetables from the mountains and seafood from the Mediterranean.

Step into eateries here and you'll be treated to fresh Spanish dishes, tapas-style or a la carte. Plates of paella and fideua packed with seafood delights are top choices, as are fisherman's stews, Mahon cheese – which gets its name from the Menorcan capital – and, of course, sangria. You'll find a wealth of places to enjoy them in, from waterfront restaurants to rustic, countryside squares.