The Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands, east of the Spanish coast, consist of four main inhabited islands and several smaller islands. Together the islands form one of the seventeen autonomous regions of Spain.
The capital, Palma de Mallorca, is located on the island of Majorca (Spanish: Mallorca), the largest island in the region. Together with neighbouring island Minorca (Spanish: Menorca), it is counted among the eastern Balearic Islands (the Gymnesiae). The main islands of Ibiza and Formentera belong to the western Balearic Islands (the Pitiusen).
The islands have a Mediterranean climate, which is characterized by warm summers with little rainfall. Nature is rugged and green, with cliffs, caves, beautiful bays and white beaches. The Mediterranean Sea has a pleasant temperature in the summer and is azure blue around the islands. All this makes the islands very popular among tourists.
Ibiza and Mallorca
However, there are significant differences between the islands. Ibiza is known for its vibrant nightlife and many nightclubs and mainly attracts a young audience. People who want to combine nature with an active holiday are increasingly finding this island.
Mallorca also has a large entertainment scene but is also known as one of the most child-friendly islands in Spain. Beautiful sandy beaches can be found in the east and south. To the northwest is the unspoilt Sierra de Tramuntana nature park, with no fewer than 34 peaks higher than 1,000 meters. Hikers can indulge themselves here. Boats also go from Mallorca to surrounding uninhabited islands, such as the famous “dragon island” Dragonera, which is a natural park in its entirety.
Menorca and Formentera
Menorca, which has been declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, is also called the Isla Verde I Azul (the green-blue island). It is the greenest island in the Balearic Islands and contains several nature reserves. In the spring and autumn, many bird species come here to rest from their long migration. This makes the island popular among bird watchers. Turtles and eels are found in the lagoon in Parque Natural de S’Albufera des Grau.
Formentera is the smallest of the four main islands and consists of two islands connected by a headland. This island is the most pristine of the island group and has not yet been discovered by mass tourism. You can relax in one of the many white beaches. If you want to enjoy the beautiful nature of the Balearic Islands, but don’t like crowds, Formentera is probably the best choice for you. It is just a stone’s throw away from Ibiza, so a combination can also be done!
For centuries, the inhabitants of the Balearic Islands were the poorest in the region. The original sheep and goat herders were occupied by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Moors, Catalans, English and French. Since the 19th century, the area belongs to Spain again. The islands were discovered by the hippies in the 1960s, after which mass tourism began to take off. Today the inhabitants are the richest in all of Spain.