If you thought Spain was all about doing endless rounds of historical buildings and monuments, it's time to do a re-think! Spain is also about fun, excitement and some great entertainment spots, namely the Balearic Islands the main ones being Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentara.
Drifting on the incredibly blue Mediterranean Sea, these islands each have unique characteristics. Majorca has stunning scenery and beaches, Menorca has places of historical interest and secluded coves, Ibiza is the hectic entertainment capital of Spain, with its restaurants, live-shows, discos, pubs and bars, fashion-malls, film-festivals and art and culture events, while Formentera is the most laid-back, with calm beaches and quiet leisure activities for the family.
Millions of visitors flock to the islands in peak season, so you need to book well in advance. Apart from home-stays, bed and breakfasts, luxury hotels and resorts, you also have villa rentals and budget accommodation.
The tourist season lasts well into October, and Ibiza has some of the most famous clubs in the world. The Hacienda Hotel is the playground of the rich and famous, with its six levels of terraced rooms and cascading pools, spas and luxury facilities. Smaller places offer budget accommodation, charming white-washed villas or home-stays for back-packers.
Mallorca was the original holiday destination for Europeans, especially the British, who came for the year-round sunshine, gorgeous white sand beaches lapped by the warm Mediterranean waters. An estimated 10 million people visit Mallorca annually and the capital city, Palma de Mallorca is famous for its lovely beaches and sunset viewing points. The Tranmuntana Mountains run in glorious counterpoint, parallel to the ocean and provide fabulous hiking and trekking opportunities. The east coast of Mallorca is most densely populated, while the southern coast is quieter.
Menorca is quiet, sunny and has been declared a UNESCO Bioreserve, with its unique wetlands and maritime archaeological sites. For marine-enthusiasts, there is plenty of diving, snorkeling, deep-sea marine life viewing and sailing. Northern Menorca is rocky and green while the south is dry and flat. The weather is cooler here than any of the other islands and it's also wetter. The mountain winds sweep down during certain seasons, making some of the coves and beaches risky for swimmers. The capital city Mao or Mahon, is a bustling port, with lively entertainment and great eateries, serving dishes made of local cheese and produce.
Formentera, spain villa the most secluded and least visited of the Balearic Islands is famous for its stunning white sand beaches and calm Mediterranean waters. The island is almost completely level, so cycling and moped-riding are great ways of getting about here. You can get to the island by ferry from Ibiza and many tourists plan day-trips to and fro. The world windsurfing championships have been held here, as the island offers great opportunities for water-sports.
All the islands are famous for fresh seafood delights, superb wines and desserts and great local fruits and vegetables.
An island stop can be the best option if you're looking for a beach-break while you're on a Spanish holiday!
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