The 3 Balearic Islands, located east of Spain in the Med, are a popular tourist destination amongst northern Europeans and others. The 3 islands – Mallorca, Majorca and Ibiza – look to Palma de Majorca as their capital, and have a unique culture which blends Spanish and local traditions. Its wonderful landscape, great weather and long white sands mean it’s the perfect place to spend a holiday.
A well developed infrastructure exists, catering to tourists seeking all the modern amenities required for a great holiday. There is a wide choice of self catering apartments or hotels, and a range of activities for all the family and all tastes. The main island of Mallorca boasts a rugged landscape and quiet inlets with beautiful sands. The smaller sister island of Menorca is more peaceful and less explored, but equally impressive. And of course Ibiza boasts the nightlife and entertainment for which it is famous.
Mallorca has seen a wave of different populations land on its shores. These include among others the Romans and of course the Moors, who greatly influenced local architecture and development. It was eventually regained by the Christians in the early 13th century. Menorca boasts ancient remains and evidence of early populations and great excavation sites yielding interesting artefacts. The island has seen its control passed from Arabs to the English and French before finally resting with Spanish in the early 19th century. Ibiza has also seen similar waves of people which can be evidenced in the artefacts found on the island.
Culture and souvenirs
Like many towns and cities on mainland Spain, the Balearics have a range of local ferias and celebrations which happen through the year in the main towns. There are different celebrations for each island, so you should check for the main summer ones with the local tourist office. Some interesting souvenirs to buy during your stay include regional handicrafts, woodwork and jewellery.
The well developed tourist infrastructure on the islands ensures there is a good range of choice in hotels and villas, as well as all the necessary facilities needed for a holiday. Each island is serviced by their local airport, and it is easy to access mainland Spain by boat. There is also a decent bus network on the island, however many visitors prefer a car for greater independence.
Typical to the islands are soups made from fish, Porcella which is a pork dish with a fruity taste. The islands rely heavily on local fish dishes, and the seafood served there are second to none.