Best of the Balearic Islands

Visitors guide to the Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands is a small and idyllic group of islands off the coast of Spain. The four main islands Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera are some of the most visited tourist destinations in Spain and certainly some of the best Islands to stay in Europe. Each Island has a distinct character that may be best for beach-lovers, party-goers, city dwellers or families with young kids, with places where you can find peace and tranquility, beautiful surroundings or unspoilt beaches bathed in the warm Mediterranean sun.

Balearic Island Map
Balearic Island Map showing Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera

1. Ibiza, Balearic Islands

Cala d'Hort beach Ibiza
Cala d’Hort beach on Ibiza with view of small island

Ibiza is a magical island renowned for its nightclubs, parties, hot weather, breathtaking beaches, clear water and sunshine that keep visitors returning year after year. The port city of Ibiza Town is the cosmopolitan capital of Ibiza and a great base to experience the sights and sounds of the Island. San Antonio is also one of the most popular places for nightlife with many clubs, DJ’s and bars. San Antonio, a once a small fishing village is now a bustling holiday magnet for tourists.

Accommodation in and around Ibiza towns ranges from cool guesthouses, a few resorts, some elegant or boutique hotels to luxury holiday homes and villas direct from owners where you can experience what it is like to live in or own a dream holiday home in Ibiza with private infinity pool where you can chill in relative peace with family and friends and even prepare a few gourmet dinners with fresh ingredients.

During the day there are many events to enjoy, carnival style markets offering fresh food and handicrafts, fishing villages to explore and some beautiful scenery, beaches and watersports to enjoy. There are many self catering holiday homes and villas in Ibiza that cater for almost any budget so we recommend you check availability on Holiday Home Lets if you are looking for holiday homes or villas in Ibiza

2. Mallorca (Majorca), Balearic Islands

Palma de Mallorca beach
Palma de Mallorca beach with view of Cathedral and hills in background

Mallorca in the Balearic Islands is the largest of the Spanish islands.
It is a well developed destination for beach tourism with many fabulous sandy beaches, clear azure blue sea and water sports. It also has some magnificent scenery, mountain trails and golf courses. Magaluf Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Mallorca with attractive promenades, restaurants, diverse cuisine, souvenir shops and the type of summer holiday nightlife popular with youngsters that is parodied in the Inbetweeners movie. The resort now has many high rise hotels and holiday apartments but there are more secluded areas to enjoy away from crowds in the holiday season such as Cala Figuera Beach nestled in a quiet cove between the mountains. The Port d’Alcudia area has beach resorts more suitable for families, it has picturesque marina, boutiques and restaurants with scenic trails along the cliffs and mountain paths.

The capital city Palma de Mallorca with the Moorish Almudaina royal palace and 13th-century Santa María Cathedral seen in picture is a more sophisticated town with elegant boulevards, chic shopping and pavement cafes sitting beside the bay of Palma. On the east coast there are some smaller beaches, golf courses and an Annual Jazz festival. You may also discover a number of monasteries hidden in the northern Tramuntana Mountains surrounded by beautiful scenery and views.

There are many popular areas to stay in Mallorca such as Palma de Mallorca, Playa de Palma and Arenal, Magaluf, Palma Nova, Santa Ponsa, Puerta Portals, Colonia Sant Jordi, Cala Ratjada but there is nothing quite like relaxing in a self catering holiday holiday home away from home or a spacious villa rental with private pool in Mallorca.

3. Formentera, Balearic Islands

Cala Saona beach and beautiful cove on the island of Formentera

Formentera is a small island south of Ibiza that is well known for its pristine, white sand beaches and crystalline waters. It can be reached by ferry from Ibiza or passenger service from mainland Spain. Formentera is now a top holiday destination and increasingly popular for daytime excursions from Ibiza. It is a great place for families and nature lovers and is easy to get around by scooter or bike and has many coastal trails, beaches and villages to explore. Being half way between Africa and mainland Spain it offers a migratory point for birds attracted by the island’s diverse and protected eco-system, lagoons and wetlands around Ses Salines d’Eivissa i Formentera Natural Park which stretches from the the north of Formentera to south of Ibiza.

Formentera’s beaches draw large numbers of tourists in the peak season and it often voted as having Europe’s best Beach that also rank in the top ten in the world. Formentera is a wonderful place to stay and offers visitors a wide choice of accommodation and holiday home rentals.

4. Menorca, Balearic Islands

Cala Galdana Beach
Cala Galdana Beach in Menorca with white sand and shallow turquoise water.

The beautiful island of Menorca is a beach lover’s paradise. It may be less popular or crowded than the neighbouring Majorca, Ibiza and Formentera but the more relaxed atmosphere of the island is part of it’s appeal. Much of the islands coastline has been preserved with it’s natural characteristics thanks to UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status so coastline has not been as built up as other islands and retains more of it’s natural beauty and charm with dream beaches, secluded coves and crystal clear waters. As well as unspoiled scenery visitors may see remnants of Talayotic settlements and prehistoric monuments dating from 1300 BC.

The capital Mahón is a bustling port with cobbled streets, full of boutique shops, restaurants, bars and offers many scenic views. Beach lovers will enjoy heading out to beaches like Cala Macarelleta, Son Bou and Punta Prima or Cala Galdana Beach with it’s soft white sand and shallow turquoise water or the picturesque and unspoilt coves of Cala Es Talaier, Cala en Porter and Cala Binidalí. If you are travelling with children you may also want to head for water parks such as Los Delfines Aqua Center or the largest one at Splash Sur Menorca water park for a memorable day of fun.

Menorca is just 42 km long and 10 km wide so it is quite easy to explore or find a beach. The resorts in the south of the island are not too big and there are many villages where you can get a taste of local life and cuisine. Booking a holiday home in Menorca allows you to live like a local and acts as a base to enjoy the natural tranquility and main attractions of the island.