Visit Balearic Islands
Sun, sea and sand and loads of beautiful villages and stunning scenery. The Balearic Islands offer some of Spain's most beautiful seaside destinations and have long been a favourite destination for holiday makers. Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera each have their own unique charms to attract visitors.
THE BALEARIC ISLANDS TOURIST SIGHTS AND PLACES TO VISIT
The Balearic Islands are a group of islands in the Mediterranean Sea just off the east coast of Spain. Between them the islands of Ibiza, Formetera, Mallorca (Majorca) and Menorca have something to offer everyone:
Ibiza is well-known to clubbers everywhere and its combination of sun, sand and trendy nightspots keeps it popular with the young throughout Europe.
Mallorca, or Majorca as it is known in the UK has many beautiful beaches and a strong cultural heritage. It is a beautiful island with an incredible variety of scenery. Whilst mass tourism exists, largely on the east coast, it can be avoided. The regional capital of Palma has a wonderful historic centre.
Menorca is quieter than Ibiza and Mallorca and has Neolithic remains and the lovely old towns of Mao and Ciutadella.
Formentera is the perfect beach destination with white sand and clear waters.
Below are the highlights and favourite destinations for each island to enable you to get the most from your trip to the Balearic Islands.
Beautiful beaches, wooded hills, trendy resorts, nightclubs and clubbers. A great place if you are looking for nightlife, or come between October and May to enjoy a much quieter island.
World famous nightclubs can be found at Ibiza town, San Antonio and San Rafael. Ibiza town also has a lovely historic centre well worth a visit.
If you prefer hills to beaches head for the north of Ibiza to Els Amunts, a hilly area which is fairly unspoiled by tourism. Dotted with tiny white churches and covered with pine, olive and almond trees it is a good place to relax. Alternatively head south to Sant Josep, a pretty village near to the Sa Talaiassa mountain.
Ibiza has a number of cultural sights which together have been given UNESCO World Heritage Status. These include a Phoenician settlement at Sa Caleta.
Mallorca / Majorca
A beautiful island with scenery ranging from alpine peaks to terraced orange groves to lovely beaches. Culturally too there is a lot to offer including the beautiful city of Palma.
Mallorca is a very popular holiday destination and rightly so. It has some stunning scenery and some great beaches. Whilst areas have been spoiled by overdevelopment this is largely limited to the beaches either side of Palma itself.
Palma is a great city with some wonderful historic architecture. Soller and Pollenca are two more pretty towns worth visiting. Deia is another lovely town and the coast between Soller and Deia is superb.
Around the coast some favourites are Alcudia, El Arenal, Cala Mondrago and Cala d'Or. If you are looking for beaches and nightlife then BCM in Magaluf is one of Europe's biggest nightclubs. Andratx is one of the prettiest and most exclusive holiday resorts.
If you are looking for some peace and tranquility head for the beautiful hill town of Valldemossa with its monastery famous for its one time resident - George Sands.
The Serra de Tramuntana mountain range is beautiful and has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status for the diversity of techniques designed to farm the steep slopes over the century. These days it is a popular location with cyclists, particularly for winter training. Lluc is an important pilgrim destination in the mountains.
Other highlights include Alfabia with its lovely Moorish flavour, the megalithic remains at Capocarb Vell and the Coves del Drac, one of which has an underground lake. There is also a lovely convent at La Granja.
Menorca / Minorca
Quieter than Ibiza and Mallorca, Menorca also has lovely beaches and in addition has a lot of Neolithic remains to visit. Visit outside the hot season and there are lots of lovely coastal paths to explore.
Walkers will be tempted to walk stretches of the 'Cami de Cavalls' coastal paths which goes right around the island.
Inland, Ferreries and Es Mercadal are both delightful villages of whitewashed houses.
There are 1600 megalithic monuments on the island of Menorca. Some of the most notable ones are at Talati de Dalt near Mao. Prehistoric remains can be found at Trepuco and Naveta d'es Tudons.
Nature enthusiasts will be amazed by the wealth of wildlife on the island which has been classified a UNESCO bioshpere reserve. The S'Albufera des Grau nature reserve is particularly good for bird watching.
Formentera has lovely sandy beaches and crystal clear water and is great for water sports.
Visit Fomentera for its beaches not its nightlife. This small island has some superb beaches, a largely arid landscape and not much in the way of development (though it does get a lot of day trippers from nearby Ibiza).
To visit Formentera catch the ferry from Ibiza. The port is in the attractive town of L Savina. Just 3km away is the peaceful capital of the island - Sant Francesc. The main resort on the island is Pujols and this is a great base for water sports enthusiasts.
Whilst Menorca is the main island for megalithic monuments there is a monument at Ca Na Costa on Formentera.
Places to visit: towns and villages
Places to visit on the island of Ibiza
Es Canar - a great family resort with a long shallow beach
Ibiza Town - the capital of the island and the most attractive town, with medieval walls, a pleasant old quarter and a seaside location. Also of course some great clubs including Space, DC10 and Pacha.
Portinatx - an attractive small family resort on the north of Ibiza.
San Rafael - If you are looking for nightclubs the worlds biggest nightclub is here. With a capacity of 10,000 people the Privilege nightclub near San Rafael is a must for clubbers.
Sant Antoni (San Antonio) - Ibiza's second town and once notorious for its drunken tourists, now it has undergone a facelift and is trying to shake off its old image. After Ibiza town, Sant Antoni is perhaps the main destination for clubbers with Eden and Es Paradis being two of the main clubs.
Sant Josep - a pretty village and very close to Sa Talaiassa, Ibiza's highest mountain. Close by are the salt lakes of Ses Salines.
Santa Eularia - a pretty town which has retained its character.
Places to visit on the island of Mallorca (Majorca)
Alcudia - an attractive town with medieval walls. The Port de Alcudia is a thriving tourist resort.
Alfabia- a typical Mallorcan estate open to the public. The house has a Moorish atmosphere and the garden is superb.
Andratx - a pretty town clustered on a hill above the sea and now an exclusive holiday resort
Capocorb Vell (near Llucmajor) - megalithic remains
Coves del Drac - four vast caves one holding an underground lake on which you can take a boat trip.
Deià - the coast from Soller to Deià is spectacular. Deià was once the home of Robert Graves and his grave is here.
La Granja - a former Cistercian convent now open to the public
Lluc - a remote village in the mountains of the sierra Tramuntana and Mallorca's most important place of pilgrimage since a shepherd boy (lluc) found a painted statue in the woods. The Santuario de Lluc, an imposing monastery, was built on the site.
Soller - one of Mallorca's nicest towns.
Palma - A beautiful city with a Moorish past. Visit the Cathedral, the Palau de l'Aludaina, the Castell de Bellver, Joan Miro's studio, Banys Arabs a 10th century baths, the Basilica de Sant Francesc and much more.
Parc Natural de S'Albufera - a small wetlands park
Pollenca - An attractive and ancient little town
Valldemossa (near Deia) - a hill town with a monastery where George Sand and Frederic Chopin once stayed.
Places to visit on the Island of Menorca (Minorca)
Ciutadella - set on the seafront Ciutadella is very picturesque and its historic centre is very well preserved.
Ferreries - small but attractive village of whitewashed houses.
Naveta d'es Tudons - prehistoric remains near Ferreries
Es Mercadal - small whitewashed village close to El Toro which is Menorca's highest mountain. Monte Toro has been a pilgrimage site since medieval times and there is a monastery at the top.
Mao (Mahon)- an attractive town rising up the hill from the sea front.
Trepuco - prehistoric remains near Mao
Talati de Dalt - large taula (two large slabs of rock in a 'T' formation) near Mao - megalithic monument
There are around 1600 megalithic monuments on the island of Menorca.
Places to visit on the island of Formentera
Sant Francesc - tiny capital of Formentera
L Savina - port and access point for Formentera
Pujols - the main resort on the island
Ca Na Costa (near Sant Francesc) - a circle of upright stone slabs dating from 1800-1600BC
Beaches - lots of nice beaches!
Balearic Islands tourism and sightseeing
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Ibiza, biodiversity and culture
Cultural Landscape of the Serra de Tramuntana on Mallorca
Monasteries in the Balearic Islands
The Santuari de Lluc in Lluc on the island of Mallorca
The Monastery of Valldemossa in Valldemossa on the island of Mallorca
Museums in the Balearic Islands
Contemporary Art Museum - Palma
Joan Miro Foundation - Palma
Palau March Museum - Palma - contemporary sculpture
Cathedral Museum of sacred art - Palma
Museum of the National Treasure - Palma - housed in the royal palace of the Almudaina of Islamic origin
Cultural House and Museum of Soller - Soller - archeological finds and antiques
Museum of Polllentia - Alcudia - excevations of Pollentia
Gardens in the Balearic Islands
The Botanic gardens of Soller
Jardines de Alfabia - on the main road between Soller and Palma about 17km from Soller