The Balearic Islands of Ibiza, Formentera, Majorca and Menorca sit off the east coast of Spain, and boast rugged landscapes, set against a warm azure-blue sea. They’re a favourite of holidaymakers worldwide for their mild year-round temperatures and beautiful beaches. Ibiza in particular is known for its vibrant nightlife, with the lesser-known islands of Menorca and Formentera suiting those who prefer authentic, untouched holiday spots.
Whichever island you choose, making sure to see it through the eyes of a local can really provide a memorable holiday experience. On your travels, make sure to choose local produce and restaurants, and opt for activities that show you a road less travelled, rather than heading to a heavily commercialised area.
We take a look at three ways to get the most authentic Balearic Island experience.
Ditch the car
With temperatures remaining around 22℃ even in October, the Balearics are perfect for exploring on foot or by bike. Formentera in particular is almost flat and so is great for even casual cyclists to get out and about. There are green routes signposted all over the island, which show you the way along the trails to allow you to relax and take in the scenery around you.
All the Balearic Islands offer stunning hiking routes, ranging from an easy stroll to the Cami de Cavalls on Menorca, which has existed since 1330, and whose 185km trail takes you all along the coastline.
Wherever you go, make sure to pack plenty of water, snacks and wear suitable clothing and sunscreen. If possible, keep out of the sun during the middle of the day, especially if you’re not used to it.
Choose local dishes
As you might expect on an island, you’ll find plenty of top-quality seafood dishes in the Balearics, with lobster stew being a common favourite. Head for the restaurants that have the locals sitting at them, and don’t be afraid to ask for a recommendation. Pair your dinner with a crisp glass of one of the many local sparkling wines, such as Binifadet.
The residents of the islands also love a sweet treat. Make sure to pick up ensaimadas in Majorca, which are pastries served with icing sugar, or flaó in Ibiza, which is a cheesecake made with mint and aniseed.
Find a quiet beach
The best way to appreciate nature is to get out in it and find a quiet place to just soak it all in. Luckily, the Balearics have plenty of remote beaches that allow you to pack a picnic of fresh snacks and spend the day in your own Mediterranean paradise.
If you’re looking for an escape from the Ibiza party scene, head to Cala Llentia. This small beach is sheltered from the wind and the shallow waters are perfect for paddling. If you’re looking for a spa and beach combination, however, head to Espalmador Island. This island is privately owned, but they allow access to the beaches and the natural mud baths. It is possible to wade across at low tide, but your best option is to take the ferry across from La Savina.