Head Off For Some Balearic Bliss
Just off the east coast of the Spanish mainland are the Balearic Islands. In short, these islands have been a popular retreat for holidaymakers for decades and even though many of us are opting for more exotic destinations in far-flung corners of the globe, these charming islands are seeing a surge in popularity again. I mean, who wasn’t photographed there recently? Celebrities are still flocking there in their droves and even the British Prime Minister and his family have been seen lapping up the sunshine.
There really is something for everyone and activities cater for every age group from young children to the young at heart! The islands are served by a variety of airlines flying from just about every UK airport and pretty much year round too so you won’t be limited to the high season of summer when the islands are a magnet for families. There are four main Balearic Islands: Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, each with its own distinct character.
We’ve taken an in-depth look at Majorca, the largest in the island chain and welcomes thousands of people from all over the world on their holidays. Here you will find some of the best beaches in Europe. There are some picture perfect resorts around the island that will offer you a holiday to remember. Here are our favourites…
A delightful purpose built resort on Majorca’s east coast with a family friendly, traffic free promenade. The pretty, sun-kissed beach sweeps along the crescent bay and the water is quite shallow – perfect for swimming and paddling. Sa Coma is really geared up for relaxed family holidays with plenty on offer for younger sun seekers.
Camp de Mar
Sitting on the southwest of the island of Majorca, Camp de Mar is a much quieter option than some its neighbouring resorts. Impressive villas can be seen dotted around the area and the resort has seen its fair share of celebrity visitors. A tranquil resort for those seeking a more peaceful Balearic experience.
A pleasant town on the island of Majorca with a very glamorous marina. It lies just 10km west of Palma. Visitors can soak up the sun on its pretty beach or take walks in the lush hillside. This resort is an upmarket enclave featuring high-end tennis clubs and the famous Bendinat Gold Course.
Port d’Alcúdia is the north of Majorca’s biggest resort. Platja d’Alcúdia offers a sandy shoreline and safe family fun on the beach. Alcúdia Old Town, a mere 20-minute walk from port and beach offers quaint streets and many bars and cafes to stop off and enjoy the pretty surroundings.
The city of Palma
Palma de Majorca comes as a surprise to many people – it is stylish, sophisticated, intimate, yet bursting with life. Located on the southern shores of Majorca, the island’s capital city looks out over the sparkling blue seas of the Mediterranean. Enjoy the island’s best restaurants, shops and nightlife as well as a thriving arts scene and a lively cafe society.
A trip to Palma wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the capital’s Gothic cathedral. Santa Maria Cathedral is a majestic place of worship that keeps watch over the bay of Palma. Better known as Le Seu, Santa Maria cathedral is the proud symbol of the city and it’s an unmissable sight. Along with the usual saintly relics (one is said to be a piece of the True Cross) it is also the home of the Royal Chapel, which contains the tombs of Kings James II and James III of Majorca.
If you want a little more culture then visit nearby Castell De Belver too. A Gothic masterpiece, it was built for King James II of Majorca back in the 14th century. You’ll find it standing guard on a hill 3km to the north west of the capital, Palma. History buffs will enjoy the museum. Kids will enjoy playing king of the castle as ascending to the top offers excellent views of the city below.
Speaking of kids, if you have little ones in tow then you won’t want to miss Aqualand Arenal. This Fun-packed water park is located in beautiful gardens near Arenal resort. Plenty of buses go to here from the centre of Palma and from Arenal itself. The park has a great selection of slides – about 12 in total, including Black Hole, Kamikaze and race slides – perfect for all the family.
Looking for more family friendly? Perhaps Menorca will hit the spot. The neighbouring island of Menorca offers up a low-key vibe, picturesque harbours and pretty villages and is a real safe haven for families with young children. Its sun-kissed beaches are sublime and just waiting to be played on! Menorca has more stretches of sand than Majorca and Ibiza put together. This beautiful island is definitely the quieter of the Balearics and perfect for those seeking a more laid back, tranquil option.
On the other end of the scale, we have Ibiza with its hedonistic reputation. It’s not known as the party island for nothing but there are still peaceful resorts and pretty little towns and coves to be found. Here at talkholiday, we recommend these resorts if you don’t want full on party party.
Situated on the island of Ibiza, Portinatx offers crystal clear waters and picturesque scenery along with beautiful beaches. Accommodation is plentiful and pretty child friendly. The town offers decent nightlife but less full on than some of the island’s busier resorts.
Lying on Ibiza’s east coast is the laid back town of Es Cana. The town hosts a weekly ‘hippie’ market that features street performers along the stalls of trinkets and knick-knacks. Es Cana’s crescent shaped beach is a family friendly spot for some fun in the sun.
A beautiful town on the east coast of Ibiza, perfect for families or those seeking a quitter holiday away from the island’s livelier resorts. The town boasts a pretty palm-lined promenade along the sandy beach and also offers some great shopping and dining amid its chilled vibe.
If you fancy a short boat trip for a day, it’s worth the effort to see some really unspoilt beaches and discover absolute seclusion. Formentera is a popular excursion from all of the islands. And for many years it was known as the forgotten Balearic. At just 30 square miles it is the smallest of the islands and the least developed. Most people visit the island for the day simply to sunbathe on the long white beaches and swim in its crystal clear waters.
Out of season is a nice time to visit any of the islands as they won’t be as packed as the summer months when they really do tend to get rather busy. March through to June can be lovely and sometimes October can still bring some fine weather. July and August are safe bets for glorious sunshine and it will be hot hot hot!