Stays in the Balearic Islands
Easily accessible by boat or plane, the Balearic Islands form an archipelago with five main islands divided into two groups:
- The islands of Gymesia: Majorca, Menorca and Cabrera.
- The Pityuses composed of Ibiza and Formentera.
Numerous islets with a varied surface area such as Conejera, Espalmador and the Dragonera complete these two groups of islands. These are not inhabited and generally classified as protected areas.
The Balearic islands, bathed by the sea of the same name, are located in the east south-east of the Spanish coasts, at the height of the Gulf of Valencia. Palma, the capital, is 205 km south of Barcelona. Ibiza, the closest island to the mainland, is located 90 km east of Cape La Nau.
Discover the archipelago
Majorca has two natural parks. To the north, the Serra de Tramuntana natural park has been classified as a World Heritage site since 2011, while to the south, the Cabrera archipelago is looking after a marine and terrestrial ecosystem.
If Ibiza, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its biodiversity and rich heritage, is renowned for its endless festivals, Menorca and Formentera, true paradise, are known for their tranquillity.
Beaches interspersed with creeks, varied and luxuriant vegetation, picturesque fishing villages and an exceptional climate make the archipelago one of the Mediterranean’s privileged destinations. They combine both nautical activities and discoveries of exuberant nature, alternating calm and rest, festive nights.
The local gastronomy is marked by the sea and agriculture. Hulls, pies garnished with seasonal vegetables, caldereta dellagosta, lobster soup and other cuscussó (dessert of Moorish origin) are tasted there with island crus.
Go to the Balearic Islands
Several shipping lines offer ferry crossings from Barcelona, Valencia and Denia as well as connections between the islands of the archipelago.
The airport of Palma de Mallorca (PMI), which receives flights from the major European cities, has 26 million passengers in 2016, the third largest Spanish airport in terms of air traffic.
Comunitat Autònoma de Illes Balears (Autonomous Community of Balearic Islands)
Before being under Muslim domination for most of the Middle Ages, the archipelago, whose first traces of human occupation date back to 5,000 BC, was under Carthaginian, Roman and finally Vandal domination. Governed by the Berber Sanhajian dynasty from 1126 to 1203, the archipelago will be attached in 1288 to the crown of Aragon after a long reconquest of about sixty years.
Today the Balearic Islands constitute an autonomous community defined by the Spanish Constitution of 1978. All the institutions of the archipelago are based in Palma sur Mallorca, the largest and most populated island. The city of Palma is also the capital of the archipelago.
Every year, about 10 million tourists, 20% of them Germans, visit the Balearic Islands. Many of these German tourists have second homes there and many of them are retiring.
Since the Balearic Islands are located in the Catalan linguistic area, the official languages are of course Catalan and Castilian, but they are spoken in Mallorqui, a Catalan dialect; English and German are also spoken there. The English language is also widely used in the administration for tourists who do not understand Castilian and Catalan.
Take a few minutes and discover the Balearic Islands in videos…