The Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands consist of Mallorca, Menorca, Formentera, Ibiza and Cabrera and are situated to the southeast of mainland Spain in the Mediterranean Sea. The Balearics offer calm but varied sailing with the best in beaches, quaint fishing villages and fabulous restaurants. The Mediterranean doesn’t have the strong tidal flows and changeable weather as some other popular sailing areas and benefits from being warm and sunny for most of the year!
Mallorca and Cabrera
Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands with over 330 miles of coastline. Mallorca's landscape is very varied with mountains giving way to coastlines of tiny villages, sandy and pebbly beaches. The mountains are the source of the island's fresh water feeding the agriculture of orange, clementine and lemon trees alongside long hillside terraces of olives and sweet wine producing grapes.
Mallorca has always been a centre of nautical activity largely due to its prime spot in the Mediterranean and its close proximity to Spain, France, Italy and the other islands in the Balearic chain. Nowadays the island sports a lively yachting industry and is home many well equipped harbours along its entire coast.
Of all the Balearic Islands, Menorca is the least commercial and gimmicky and has done the best job of preserving its striking natural beauty. Life on Menorca is a stark contrast to the lively scene that dominates Ibiza and the shopping lifestyle that is prevalent on Mallorca. Though it caters well for the popular tourist industry, the ‘jewel of the Balearics’ has retained much of its historical landscape and traditional Spanish heritage; more suited to a laid back, nature-loving crowd and family groups.
Menorca’s stunning coastline has a greater number of beaches than Ibiza, Mallorca and Formentera combined and while it is justifiably known as an island of beautiful beaches, this is far from all it has to offer. There are countless archaeological sites and cultural attractions scattered throughout its towns, coastal regions and rural areas, ranging from prehistoric settlements and burial constructions to magnificent examples of medieval architecture and comprehensive, fascinating museums.
Ibiza, often called the White Island for its typical architecture ,is one of the most well known islands in the world, attracting thousands of holidaymakers each year with its beautiful beaches, azure blue waters, stunning scenery, legendary nightclubs and lively atmosphere. Despite its reputation as being a mecca for those looking for non-stop nightlife, Ibiza caters well for all types of travellers. From quiet secluded beaches to the hustle and bustle of San Antonio, Ibiza has something for everyone.
Formentera is the smallest of the Balearic Islands (just 12 miles top to tip) located just off the coast of Ibiza. Often referred to as the ‘last paradise of the Mediterranean’, urban development is minimal and the number of resorts that are allowed to be built is restricted.
The main resort on the island is Es Pujols boasting plenty of shops, bars and restaurants. Some of the most popular beaches are spread along the northern peninsula facing towards Ibiza and most are home to small beach bars just perfect for watching the sun set.