Sitting pretty in the Mediterranean just off the eastern coast of Spain, the Balearic archipelago of Mallorca, Minorca, Ibiza, and Formentera sports spectacular beaches, warm seas, and picturesque countryside coupled with a delightful fusion of Spanish, Catalan, and international culture. But you’ll soon discover that each island has a unique character, very much all of its own.

As the king of Europe’s club scene, Ibiza is the most famous of the group. But while the island’s main resort San Antonio may be home to world-famous dance institutions like Pacha, the rest of the island is surprisingly laid-back. You’ll find hidden caves and pine forest walking trails in the countryside of Puerto San Miguel, fantastically secluded coves at Portinatx and boutiques and classy restaurants at Santa Eulalia. Mallorca is the largest of the islands and astonishingly beautiful. It’s celebrated for its fabulous stretches of golden-sand beaches, tucked away coves, calm waters, and the glamorous nightlife of towns such as Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the Balearic group and its only real city. Away from the coast, there’s the jagged, limestone mountain peaks of the Serra de Tramuntana to explore on breathtaking hikes and cliff-hanging drives.

For an island that moves to a much slower rhythm, Menorca is where you should plant your flag. Its quiet but sensational beaches are perfect for families and those with an interest in history will get a thrill from prehistoric relics like the 3,000 year old village of Torre d’en Gaumes. And if you really want to make an island escape, rustic Formentera with its 20-kilometre Caribbean-like coastline of secluded white sand is the island for you.

What to do

  • Ramble through Menorca’s sleepy fishing villages
  • Try out Ibiza's famous club scene
  • Pillage the boutiques and tapas bars of Palma of Mallorca
  • Hike in Mallorca's Serra de Tramuntana