There are few island groups quite as diverse as the Balearics. Four main isles make up this Mediterranean family – Ibiza, Formentera, Majorca and Menorca – each with its own character, each offering distinctive Balearic Islands holidays. The throbbing heart of the Mediterranean clubbing scene, Ibiza hardly needs an introduction. But its reputation for super-charged nightlife has often overshadowed its gentler, more bohemian side that first drew artistic souls and alternative types to the island.
More secluded, and increasingly exclusive, Formentera has remained truer to its hippie-tinged origins. There’s no airport – it’s just over half an hour from Ibiza by fast ferry – but Formentera’s natural beauty and laid-back vibe combine for the perfect unplugged island escape. Bigger than all its Balearic relations combined, Majorca boasts an astonishingly diverse landscape that includes mountainous terrain, expansive fertile plains and a dramatically varied coastline. It has remained one of the top European holiday destinations for decades, attracting millions of sun-seekers annually to its well-established holiday resorts, offering everything from the restful to the raucous.
With its languid rolling landscape, unhurried pace and bucolic charm, little brother Menorca offers a chance to disconnect from the stresses of modern life, largely thanks to its abundant white sand beaches and hidden coves. One thing is certain about holidays to the Balearic Islands – whichever one you choose, their world-class beaches are all soaked in Mediterranean sunshine.
La Seu Cathedral
If there is one must-see monument in the Balearics, it’s Palma’s medieval cathedral. It took more than four centuries to complete, so take your time when admiring its soaring splendour.
Shrouded in legend, there is something undeniably magical about this 400-metre limestone rock just off the coast of Ibiza. Take a boat for some spectacular snorkelling.
Ciutadella old town
Formerly the island’s capital, Ciutadella sits on the westerly tip of Menorca. Built from honey-hued local stone, its medieval old town is an enchanting maze of narrow lanes and historic buildings.