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Balearic Islands at a glance

B is for beautiful, breathtaking and balmy. And B is for the Balearic Islands where all those lovely adjectives, and many more, ring true.

The many beaches really are beautiful. The scenery, from rugged mountains to verdant valleys is breathtaking. And the wonderfully warm Mediterranean climate provides balmy days that are just perfect for enjoying the crystal-clear sea.

This cluster of delightful islands is in the Mediterranean Sea off the eastern coast of Spain. Allow us to introduce you to the three most popular - and very different - ones.

Majorca, the largest, has some of Europe’s finest sandy beaches, mountains so spectacular they have world heritage status and a capital city that has been judged as the best place in the world to live.  No wonder Majorca has been a refuge for celebrities for generations, from royalty to Hollywood actors.

Menorca is the beautiful little sister that has a charmingly tranquil air. The island has been honoured for the way it has avoided being spoilt by tourism. Picturesque, historic old towns face each other from either end of this short island. Between them, more than 80 beaches are packed into a spectacular coastline.

And then there’s Ibiza!  It’s known for having the most spectacular music clubs in the world. Yet the maze of cobblestoned lanes in its capital city is a world heritage site. Road trains take visitors to explore the lovely villages and peaceful coves of “the real Ibiza”-  and laid-back hippy markets are held every week.  

Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza - three popular members of the same island family with a huge amount of charm in common. But each one has developed its own remarkable and distinctly different character. One of them is likely to be the one for you!

Where to stay in Balearic Islands

Ibiza old town

Ibiza

Yes, it’s the island that showed the world how to party to the pulsing rhythm of electronic dance music. But it has a lot more to offer. Countryside so lush it was once called pine tree island. Mountains, forests, olive groves, almond orchards and long beache…

Majorca, Ibiza, Balearic Islands

Majorca

Why is Majorca rated as one of the best holiday islands in the world? And why do so many people go back there, time after time, after time? Here are some of the reasons. It’s a gorgeous package of things that people love to see and do when they’re on holiday…

Menorca Beach

Menorca

Menorca may be known as the smaller of the Balearics Islands, but if you’re seeking a delightful combination of beauty and tranquillity then size doesn’t matter. The gorgeous dot in the Mediterranean has earned global appreciation and you discover why when yo…

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the Balearic Islands in the EU?

After many tempestuous centuries, when the islands were invaded numerous times, the Balearics were repossessed by the Spanish in 1802 and have been part of Spain, a European Union member, ever since. Spanish is one of the official languages, the euro is the currency – and tapas is available everywhere.

Were any of the Balearic Islands ever under British control?

Menorca was occupied by the British Navy in 1713 and remained under British control for most of that century. The capital, Mahon, still has many buildings from that era, including a gin distillery that makes the drink to a secret recipe dating back to the British occupancy.

Do the Balearic Islands have their own traditional foods?

The fabulous menus are still influenced by some of the many cultures that have occupied the islands. For instance, the white, soft Mahon cheese dates back to the British. Look out for coca de trampo, a thin and crispy vegetarian pizza. Ensaimada is a sweet spiral-shaped pastry often full of cream or fruit. There are many more tasty treats to discover.  

Best Time To Visit the Balearics

This depends, to some extent, on what you want to do. The Mediterranean climate that the Balearic Islands enjoy means sunny summers and mild winters. Want to indulge yourself with a beach holiday? The hottest, sunniest, driest months are July and August. All three islands get an average of 10 or more hours of sunshine every day. And it will still be hot enough in the evenings to eat outside wearing T-shirts and shorts.  

If you want sunshine and slightly cooler temperatures that are still hot enough for enjoyable swimming, then June and September could be best.  An extra layer of clothing may be useful in the evenings.  There are fewer tourists then, too.

Hikers and bikers may find that these months on either side of the peak season meet their needs, although they may prefer May and October when the average temperature is in the low 20s. There are likely to be a few more showers then, but most of the rain falls in the autumn and early winter months.

Majorca and Menorca are considered, by some, to be all-year round holiday destinations. If clubbing is your scene, most Ibiza clubs open in late May or early June and the music and partying carries on until the end of September or early October. A few keep open all year.

Balearics Travel Advice

Catch a bus, flag down a taxi, hire a car or 4x4, rent a boat, motor bike, moped, scooter or bike - or take your pick of a huge number of excursions. All those options are available on the three Balearic Islands used by Olympic.

On Ibiza you can ride into the countryside on a road train or catch a “discobus” to the all-night clubs. Majorca has an amazing mountain railway line. Menorca has a hiking or riding path that runs all around the coastline and lays on special bus services for its lively summer fiestas.

However, if you choose to rent then your preferred mode of transport will enable you to unlock doors to those secluded and beautiful spots that abound on these lovely islands.

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