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A guide to holidaying in the Balearics

The Balearics are as varied as the holidaymakers who visit them and while one group might be on the lookout for family-friendly hotels, the next could be all about the watersports or nightlife. I’m a huge fan of the diversity on offer in the Balearics, so have put together my own guide for choosing the best reasons to visit the islands.

Majorca – perfect for beach lovers

Beautiful Majorca. Filled with pretty stone villages, fruit plantations and scenic art galleries, it is the island that truly has everything, yet one thing stands out from the rest: the sumptuous beaches.

The largest of the Balearic Islands, it has proved to be a holiday hotspot, as the winters are mild and the summers? Well, they will dazzle you, if you’re not careful. There are a host of fantastic things to see and do while on the island, but my top choices have to be:

  • Get lazy and take up residence on a beach. The sands are golden and soft, the water clear and blue and there really isn’t anything better than enjoying a lazy week on a Majorcan beach. Don’t worry about getting bored, as there are 262 beaches scattered around the island, ranging from buzzing and busy through to quiet and secluded.
  • Enjoy a day in Palma. As much as you might want to lounge on the beach forever, it’s definitely worth taking a trip into the capital city. The Old Town is particularly charming, but the shopping throughout is spectacular. If nothing else, you can head to Avenida Jaume III, to grab a new designer bikini for the beach.

Menorca – perfect for culture vultures

More diminutive in size than Majorca, but no less appealing, Menorca plays host to some spectacular natural sights and has more to explore than you might think.

Listed as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Menorca’s landscapes are as varied and exciting as the ways to explore it, with horseriding, hiking and even mountain biking all on offer. I think you’d be foolish not to at least try and see the following:

  • Prehistoric ruins. With a mysterious past that dates to the Bronze Age, Menorca has a plethora of fascinating ruins to behold. These megalithic structures are fascinating to behold and the most perfectly preserved one is the Neveta des Tudons, a spectacular burial chamber.
  • The lighthouses. Scattered around the island are seven lighthouses that have helped to keep weary sea dogs safe at night. Even today, they are meticulously maintained and still fully operational, standing proud on the coastline.
  • For a little variety, you could also spend time exploring the landscape, observing nature, enjoying some beach time and even – if you have adventurous youngsters with you – hitting one of the numerous waterparks. It is nice to balance out all the serious culture with a little whimsy, after all.

Ibiza & Formentera – perfect for Zen lovers and adrenaline junkies

Forget what you think you know about Ibiza, because its reputation as a party island has been long buried. Now, Ibiza has taken its rightful place among some of the most upmarket and exclusive holiday destinations in the world, offering more culture than cocktails and blissful relaxation in the place of noisy all-nighters.

While Ibiza Town and San Antonio might still offer some lively nightlife, there is so much more to enjoy in this gorgeous part of the world, including:

  • Relaxing yoga retreats. If you’re keen to tap into your inner yogi and discover yourself, one of the many yoga retreats located in Ibiza could be perfect. With most of them enclosed within stunning private gardens and drenched in restorative sunlight, you’ll soon feel your worries drifting away with every exhalation. You might want to float on down to one of the hippy markets after a morning session, too!
  • If you want to get your heart rate pumping, instead of slowing, Ibiza has you covered, thanks to the numerous watersports on offer. Everything from jet skiing to parasailing, scuba diving and surfing can be enjoyed, whatever your skill level – what a way to build up an appetite before experiencing some phenomenal cuisine.
  • A haven for foodies and lovers of the finer things in life, you simply haven’t lived until you’ve eaten at a seafront restaurant in Ibiza. Trust me!

I want to give a nod of appreciation to Formentera as well. The smallest of the Balearics, it is reached via a ferry from Ibiza. The ideal day trip, it promises a quieter pace, dreamy beaches and fabulous boat charters and at the end of the day, you can return to Ibiza. Perfection!

As I said, the Balearics cater to all needs and wants, but only you can decide which island to visit first…