The Balearic Islands is an archipelago of Spain located in the western Mediterranean Sea, off the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. The island region is composed of four major islands namely Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza, and Formentera, along with several small islets. The major islands are further divided into two groups namely the Gymnesian Islands (composed of Majorca, Minorca, and a minor island called Cabrera), and the Pityusic Islands (composed of Ibiza and Formentera). Other minor islands or islets in the region further include Es Conills, Es Vedra, Sa Conillera, Dragonera, S'Espalmador, S'Espardell, Ses Bledes, Santa Eularia, Plana Foradada, Tagomago, Na Redona, Colom, Cabrera, and many more.
The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain, similar to the regions of Aragon, Castile and Leon, Galicia, Asturias, and Catalonia, among others. Although located off the coast of mainland Spain, the Balearic Islands is very much a contributor to the growth of the country due to its major tourism destinations; beaches, architecture, exotic cuisine, and historically-important structures are all found here. The capital of the Balearic Islands is Palma de Mallorca, located on the south coast of the island of Majorca and off the Bay of Palma.
What to see & do
Much of the Mediterranean territories and its locals have been investing on tilling lands and producing the best wines to ever touch the lips of the peoples of the world. The Balearic Islands are of no exception – as the main islands have been producers for the longest time. Cutting-edge techniques are combined with ancestral traditions to produce top-quality and tasteful wines that boast a number of protected denominations of origin and have been acclaimed and distinguished with the highest honours during international fairs and competitions. However, the wine is just one part of these islands.
Fortress of Isabel II – This fortress was built between 1848 and 1875 after the British threatened to retake the island and use it as a base in their skirmishes against the French control of the Mediterranean, protecting the local Spanish community against being involved and actually preserving the place. Recently, the Fortress of Isabel II was rehabilitated at the hand of Cordial Hoteles, where guided visits allow the fortress' incomparable setting at the mouth of the harbour to be enjoyed all year round. Further, the fortress is now being endorsed as an events space.
Mallorca – Due to its breath-taking beaches, remote mountains, and soulful and cute hill towns, Mallorca has been one of the more popular stars of the Mediterranean. It ravishes its visitors and leaves them in awe, whether through its beautiful coasts and resorts, its culture, its cuisine, its architecture, and its people – who are downright hospitable and warm.
Palma de Mallorca – Located in the crook of the Badia de Palma, Balearic Islands’ capital is the most agreeable if not prettiest of all Mediterranean towns. Within the city are open horizons and often blue skies, complemented by the locals’ festive nature and pulsing energy. The history and the Gothic structures such as the Catedral and the Palau de l'Almudaina give character to this lovely capital city.
Ibiza – This island almost bursts with people when peak party season come in. This island right here is the baby for European DJs David Guetta, Luciano, Sven Vath, and many others, and here is where an all-night party sounds like heaven. Don't mind the hangover the next morning – Sant Antoni de Portmany's strip of cafes will brew fresh cures for that pounding head.
How to get around within Balearic Islands
Most islands in the Balearic Islands (especially within the city centres) can be covered by foot. However, for those who seek more fun types of transport, they may leave their cars (rentals are available in Palma de Mallorca) in the municipal centre and borrow bikes free of charge. Scooters, as well as other mopeds, are available here. Further, there is also a single line of railway crossing Majorca and departing from Palma which will take its boarders to a number of villages on the island. There is also a quaint and antique wooden electric train departing from the main station in the Plaza de España, and will take travellers on a beautiful journey through the mountain range and to cute Soller. Buses and ferries, while quite unpopular here, are also available, depending on the place.
How to get there
Almost all of the major islands are gifted with airports, but the major ones lie on Mahon, Ibiza, and Palma de Mallorca. Airlines that travel to the islands include Vueling, Air Berlin, Iberia, and KLM.