Comprising four main islands - Menorca, Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera - the Balearic Islands are a dream destination in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. Whether you're planning to party the night away, explore the natural beauty of the islands, spend days soaking up the sun or sample the delicious local flavours of Spain, the Balearic Islands have it all.
Before you leave, check out our selection of the must-sees of the Balearics!
The port of Mahon is without doubt one of the must-see places in the Balearic Islands. It' s a charming port with colourful architecture and little streets lined with artisan shops. Be sure to visit the market in the old convent. If you decide to stay for the evening, you can choose to attend a performance at the Teatro Principal de Mahón, one of the oldest opera houses in Spain.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999, Dalt Vila, which means "high city", is the historic quarter that dominates Eivissa, the island's capital. To enter the walled city, head for the majestic San Taules gate, the main crossing point, built in the 16th century. The ancient city is home to a major historical and architectural heritage, as well as a breathtaking view from the top of the citadel.
Places of interest:
- the Gothic cathedral of the Virgin of the Snows (13th century)
- the Dominican convent and its cloister (16th/17th century))
Ciutadella was the capital of Menorca until 1714, when the British Empire, which occupied the island, decided to transfer the administrative centre to Mahón. The city still has some distinctive, stately buildings from the time as a capital, as well as a unique medieval charm.
Before it became a global summer clubbing destination and a hot spot for the Mediterranean jet set, Ibiza was the promised land of hippies who arrived on the island from all over the world in the 1960s. There are several flower power markets on the island where you can find colourful fringed dresses, natural cosmetics, all kinds of handicrafts and get some henna tattoos. The Las Dalias market in Sant Carles, which began as a bar in 1954, is the most famous in Ibiza. In addition to its many stalls, you can catch concerts, DJ sets and events such as "Namaste", a summer meeting with a 100% hippie spirit, which is held every Wednesday.
Mercat de Forada in Sant Antoni de Portmany (Saturdays, 10am to 4pm)
Punta Arabi in Es Canar (Wednesdays, from 10am to 6/7pm)
If you're looking for sun, crystal clear waters and pure white sand, the beaches of Formentera are for you. The smallest of the Balearic Islands is blessed with almost Caribbean waters and endless stretches of sand, ideal for lazy days in the sun. Accessible only by boat, the island is ideal for a day trip and travellers can choose from a range of beaches from the famous Ses Illetes to the more secluded Caló des Mort.
A wonderful adventure awaits you just south-west of Ibiza, on the small, rocky island of Es Vedrà, which has a wealth of extraordinary myths and tales to tell. In addition to its beauty, and the legend that it is the gateway to the lost city of Atlantis, the island is also known as the third most magnetic place in the world!
Home to some of the world's largest superclubs, San Antonio is known as the party capital of the island, offering a truly incredible night out for passionate clubbers. Party all night to the sounds of world-class DJs before heading to the beach to watch the glorious sunrise.
The Cathedral of Santa Maria de Palma is an impressive Roman Catholic Gothic cathedral located on the Paseo Maritimo. Set on the waterfront, the cathedral boasts stunning architecture and magnificent stained glass windows. As it is a place of worship, you will be expected to follow a fairly rigid dress code... so make sure you are dressed appropriately!
The ancient Camí de Cavalls path stretches along the coast of Menorca for 185 kilometres and offers some of the best walks and outings on the island. Along the way you will encounter unspoilt beaches, spectacular cliffs and breathtaking views.
Take a catamaran cruise and admire the beautiful coastline of Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands, before diving into the pristine waters of the Mediterranean for a crystal-clear snorkelling session.
The Ses Salines Natural Park is one of Ibiza's great natural wonders, with its rose-coloured salt marshes. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this 15,000-hectare natural reserve on land and sea is home to an incredibly rich ecosystem. More than 200 species of birds have made this area their home, including the white stilt, the redshank and the pink flamingo. You can observe them from the main road, or by heading to the park's observation platforms.
Note: don't forget to bring a pair of binoculars