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Where sandy beaches lead to the picturesque landscape, the Balearic Islands of Spain are majestic jewels that sparkle in the Mediterranean Sea. The archipelago consists of five major islands: Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca, Formentera and Cabrera.
Although the economy of the Balearic Islands thrives from the agriculture and fishing industries, the unique characteristics of each island attract a magnitude of tourists who enjoy the beautiful atmosphere, pleasant weather and fascinating sites. Whether you choose to relax on the pristine beaches, shop-till-you-drop, go sightseeing or party the night away, there are assortments of exotic treasures that are lurking throughout the immaculate islands.
Known as a vibrant island, Ibiza attracts many adventure seekers and party goers from all over the world with its intense nightlife and party scene. Not only is this island surrounded by miles of golden beaches, but it has an amazing salt field (Las Salinas Salt Flats). During the summer, deposits of crystal-like salt can be seen glistening in the sun. For visitors seeking outdoor fun, the picturesque sea is a gateway to exciting thrills like coral yachting and sailing.
Ibiza is also outlined with numerous trails that lead bikers and hikers to the natural beauty that adorn the island. Acres of picturesque olive trees, almond groves and manicured grasslands fill the undisturbed spaces, while exquisite monuments and white villages provide insight into Ibiza’s ancient civilization. The Archeological Museum houses collections of historical artifacts and findings dating back to the prehistory and Islamic Middles Ages periods.
The largest of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca is known as an easy-to-reach mecca for friends of sunny beaches, amazing landscapes, wonderful mountains and affordable Mediterranean food. The island has beautiful white sand and crystal water beaches, which serve as a major attraction during high season. The historic tram in Sóller also offers an old-fashioned ride to various locations within the city.
With a population of about 95,000 residents, Menorca is a relaxing destination. Encircled with more beaches than its neighboring Balearic Islands, it is the perfect location to get your much needed rest. Along with the beautiful beaches, Menorca offers a plethora of attractions foretelling the island’s past. The Military Museum features interesting displays of military instruments such as canons and guns that tell historic tales about the significance of war. Through the cobblestone streets of the city of Ciutadela, you will see elaborate Italian style architecture and panoramic views of Majorca’s mountains.
Known as the small island, Formentera offers a peaceful atmosphere where sites of the tranquil water can be seen from almost every corner. Hikers and cyclers can enjoy the pleasant weather by trekking the numerous trails within the gorgeous landscape. The island’s heritage can be seen on the infrastructure that is dotted with interesting buildings and monuments. The ancient design of the church of San Francisco Javier is an administrative center and preserves an old fig tree.
The island of Cabrera is ideal for swimming among the bright-colored fish, octopi and sea slugs that populate the sea. Many of the island's hiking paths lead to stunning attractions and breathtaking sceneries. Cabrera Archipelago National Park is a preservation of migratory birds and Cabrera’s natural beauty. Visitors can also enjoy views of the Cabrera Castle and nearby lighthouse that are of great importance and contribute to the island’s architecture and legacy.
Local restaurants in the Balearic Islands provide a variety of Mediterranean delicacies that will make your mouth water. Aromas from fresh seafood and other ingredients such as rice, chicken, pork and liver flavored with local Spanish ingredients and spices fill the atmosphere of the chic restaurants of the islands. Visitors can savor the exotic specialties of the Mediterranean Sea or other Spanish feasts while sipping on smooth Balearic wines and signature drinks.
The Balearic Islands experience a moderate, Mediterranean climate. Summers are typically hot and dry, while winters are also dry but cool. During the summer, the temperatures average within the 80s. In the winter, the temperature averages in the high 50s.
Most cruise ships dock at the Passeig Maritim, where passengers can take a long walk to the center of Ibiza Town.
Biking trails allow cyclers to ride peacefully and easily through the Balearic Islands’ landscapes. Boats and ferries are luxurious and convenient modes of transportation when venturing on inter-island tours. In addition, horseback riding is also an adventurous and exciting way to explore the charming sceneries. However, walking is a great way to observe the attractions, bask in the atmosphere and mingle with the friendly locals.
Documents: U.S. and Canadian citizens will need a valid passport.
Safety: Spain is a safe country, but you should take some basic precautions in public places such as being aware of pickpockets.
Have you been to Ibiza? What was your experience like? Have any tips for first-time visitors?
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“Favorite beach? Agua Blanca on Ibiza.”