Mike Posner famously popped a pill here. The Vengaboys “like to party” here. Heck, even David Bowie made mention of this island in “Life On Mars”.
If there’s one place in Spain’s Balearic Islands that we’re all pretty familiar with by now, even if only in name, it’s Ibiza. The island that has earned its reputation for being a party hangout is also littered with beautiful beaches, sleepy villages and pine clad hills.
But I’m here to delve into the other three main Balearic Islands, which often get overlooked. Let’s uncover the secrets of Majorca, Menorca and Formentera.
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Mention the word Majorca (also sometimes spelled Mallorca) to most British people and they’ll be able to tell you when their last vacation to the island was. It is as synonymous with European summer holidays as almost anywhere else on the continent, and there’s a reason that so many people flock to the island year after year.
First, it’s the largest of the Balearic Islands, meaning that it’s overflowing with resorts, bars, restaurants and beaches.
Pair that with the almost year-round beautiful weather and the vast the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range—which runs down the middle of the island and provides a dominating backdrop while offering a paradise for hikers and cyclists—and you’ve got a winner.
Stay at the Cala d’Or for the popular high-rise aparthotels and bustling port, Puerto de Pollensa, for a family-friendly retreat Deia for the laidback yoga-loving crowd or Puerto Andratx for a sophisticated fishing village vibe.
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Menorca is slightly more low-key than both Majorca and Ibiza, but no less alluring. It features stunning turquoise waters and scenic coastal paths.
History lovers flock to the island’s megalithic rock sites, (some of which are thought to date back to 2,000 BC), but most just choose to flop on the sands of the idyllic golden coves. After all, Menorca boasts more beaches than both Majorca and Ibiza combined.
Nightlife mainly revolves around the island’s delectable restaurants and bars, although there are a handful of clubs for those who want to impersonate Ibiza.
Stay along the cobbled streets of Ciutadella for a fusion of both modern and traditional, or Punta Prima for silky soft sands and resorts that cater perfectly for families. Santo Tomas offers a small village feel with a rugged coastline and Cala’n Bosch to be in the heart of the shopping and dining action.
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Formentera is small but perfectly formed and easily reached by ferry from Ibiza. Many consider it to be the most laidback and, dare I say “hippy-ish”, island of the group. Its standout features are definitely its clear waters lined with sand dunes and pine trees.
This tiny island is a favorite among celebrities due to its gorgeous beaches and family-loving resorts being more private and less crowded than those of its neighbors. Cycling, walking and yoga are usually the order of the day for the island’s visitors, before dining at harborside seafood restaurants and heading back to their stylish accommodation.
Stay at La Savina for a busy harbor front, inland lagoons and delicious cafes, Platja de Migjorn for sleepy beaches, quiet nightlife and maybe even some celeb-spotting along with Es Pujol for low-key resorts and shopping.