About the Balearic Islands
There are many faces to the Balearic Islands, from the peaceful coves of Menorca and historic towns of Majorca to the buzzing nightclubs of Ibiza. Miles of sandy beaches ring all of the Balearic Islands, making this a haven for anyone who wants to laze on a lounger, dip a toe in the water, or just do that beach holiday thing with a chilled-out vibe. Pretty whitewashed villages hide in mountainous interiors, just waiting to be explored, making Balearic Islands holidays an unbeatable mix of relaxation and revelry, with plenty of family-friendly fun thrown in.
Best time to visit: Late spring or early autumn when the air is warm and the resorts are less crowded. However, if you want almost guaranteed beach weather, the best time to take your holidays to the Balearic Islands is from around mid June to mid September, when daytime temperatures hover in the upper 20s °C and it’s dry and sunny most of the time.
Fly to: The Balearic Islands have three airports: one each on Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca, all of which are served by various UK airports.
A popular Balearic Island holiday destination is Majorca, which is the largest of the islands, combining family-friendly resorts like Alcudia and Palma Nova with party capital Magaluf. Celebrity-spotters head to Camp de Mar and other stylish resorts near the capital, Palma de Mallorca. Clubbers can’t resist the lure of Ibiza’s energetic nightlife in resorts like San Antonio Town, but families have lots of choice too. They return year after year to child-friendly resorts like Es Cana and Playa d’en Bossa. Head to Menorca if you want to slow the pace down on holiday, with laid-back resorts like Punta Prima and the historic towns of Mahon and Ciutadella.
Head to Ibiza's fantastic beaches like pine forest-clad Cala Salada or sunset hotspot Cala Benirrás, or relax on Majorca's equally glorious coves like Cala Macarella, the emerald waters of which often feature on postcards of the Balearics.
Majorca is also renowned for its huge Playa de Alcúdia beach, which has 7km of gorgeous sands overlooked by lively bars. Or if you're eager to visit some of the island's most secluded beaches, go to the gorgeous cove of Banyalbufar, which is known for its deep emerald water and is only accessible via a steep stairway.
However, while these island have endless coves for you to explore, many argue that the best beach in the entire Balearic Islands is actually on the tiny island of Formentera , reachable via a short ferry journey from Ibiza just to the north. Platja de Ses Illets is famous for its very fine, powdery sand and crystal-clear water, and looks like something you'd expect in the Caribbean rather than Europe.
From dramatic cliffs like Cap de Formentor in northern Majorca to inviting lagoons and coastal walks, there are plenty of natural sights to enjoy on your holidays to the Balearic Islands. Majorca, with its impressive mountains and more extensive coastline, is the best island for hiking. The coast around all of the islands is great for snorkelling and scuba diving, too, and you can also see some spectacular caves on Menorca's northern coast and Majorca's Campanet cave system.
Food and Drink
Visit the Balearic Islands' excellent markets for local produce ranging from fresh seafood to herbs and Mediterranean fruits and vegetables. Majorca is also revered for its wines, while Menorca is famed for its excellent gin, which is still produced at the Menorca Gin Distillery in Mahón. Because of the cosmopolitan atmosphere, you'll find every major cuisine represented here, from classic Mediterranean food to Italian, British, Chinese, Indian, Mexican and more.
In Majorca, explore the historic city of Palma, which is noted for its impressive Royal Palace of La Almudaina, Gothic Cathedral and medieval Bellver Castle. Visit the beautiful walled town of Alcúdia, or head inland to the scenic hilltop villages of Deià or Valldemossa. In the northwest of the island, you can also visit the Santuari de Lluc, a large monastery and place of pilgrimage with wonderful mountain views.
Ibiza has long been renowned for its super clubs like Dc10 and Amnesia, where the atmosphere is more euphoric than anywhere in Europe. However, while many people come here to party, Ibiza also has a lot to offer in terms of history and art, too. Visit the enchanting Ibiza Old Town with its photogenic whitewashed buildings and medieval cathedral, or find yourself a secret cove and simply chill out on the beach.
In Menorca, you can visit the buzzing markets of Mahón, explore the attractive old quarter of Ciutadella, or book a horse-riding excursion for a fun alternative to the beach. Go to the Museo de Menorca to learn about the island's ancient roots, or head to Fort Marlborough, an 18th century fort built by the British.
Balearic Island Holiday Resorts
HOLIDAYS IN BALEARIC ISLANDS
Safety and Security
For up to date advice on travelling to the Balearic Islands, please visit Safety and security - Spain travel advice
Balearic islands is best for...
Scenery Lovers: Watch the sun set on the Mediterranean on a boat trip around Majorca’s northern coast, or any of the other islands with west-facing views.
Sun Worshippers: Unwind on the quiet coves of Menorca and the soft sandy beaches of Formentera during your Balearics holidays.
Night Owls: You’re spoilt for choice among the mega-clubs of Ibiza and Magaluf.
Language: The language spoken in the Balearics is Spanish and a dialect of Catalan called Menorquín. However, because of the Balearic Islands' popularity with British holidaymakers, you'll have little trouble getting around, as many tourist venues employ English-speaking staff. However, feel free to practice your Spanish by downloading our handy language app or taking a phrasebook with you.
Currency: The currency used here is Euro (€).
Local time: The Balearic Islands are 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Palma Airport for Majorca, Ibiza Airport for Ibiza and Menorca Airport for Menorca. Transfer times are between 15 minutes (Mahon) and 1 hour and 45 minutes (Cala Bona) but average around 1 hour (Magaluf).
Flight time from UK: The flight time to the Balearic Islands is 2.5 hours.
Tourist Information: Tourist information can be found by clicking here http://www.balearicislandstourist.com.
Balearics Sustainable Tourism Tax: You’ll need to pay a Sustainable Tourism Tax which has been introduced by the Balearic Government to help with environmental and tourism improvements. The charge is between €1-4 per person per night, plus 10% VAT, subject to change, and varies based on the official star rating of your accommodation. Children under 16 won’t have to pay and guests staying for more than nine nights will receive a reduction.
Weather and climate
Temperatures:high 20s to 30s (°C)
Best time to visit: Late spring or early autumn when the air is warm and the resorts are less crowded.
The weather in the Balearic Islands is typical of the Mediterranean, with hot and dry summers and mild winters. Temperatures can reach over 30°C in July and August, which is perfect for sun-seekers. Sea temperatures peak in the mid 20s °C at this time, too, and often remain above 20°C even until late October or early November.
By bus: Each island has a bus network connecting resorts with the major towns.
By hire car: Hiring a car is a practical way of seeing the best places on your Balearics holidays, especially if you're a family with small children.
By taxi: Taxi ranks are easy to find in the main towns. Just remember to always agree the price before you set off.
Semana Santa: The season gets into full swing in May, but some hotels here will reopen in time for the Easter celebrations during “Semana Santa”.
Clubbing season: The big clubs in Ibiza and Majorca start to reopen during May and June before winding down after the summer with raucous closing parties in October.
Local Fiestas: Get into the festival spirit from 23-25 June when the fiesta of St John the Baptist takes place all over the Balearic Islands. And that’s just the start of a sizzling summer as fiesta fever grips this destination with a different celebration every week.