Spain's Balearic Islands are among the world's best loved destinations.
Barcelona is a must on any trip to Spain. The cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, Barcelona is defined by its quirky art and architecture, imaginative food and vibrant street life. Explore its architecture by Antoni Gaudí, especially the breathtaking Basílica de la Sagrada Família. Check out the street artists along La Rambla, a tree lined pedestrian mall, which stretches for 1.2 kilometres, connecting Plaça de Catalunya in the centre with the Christopher Columbus Monument at Port Vell. In Barcelona the action never stops. It's a common sight to see families with baby strollers on La Rambla until well after midnight. Restaurants don’t even begin to fill up for dinner before 21:00-22:00pm and at 02:00am, the city’s bar and club scene is barely in first gear, making Barcelona a must see stop on any island hopping itinerary.
Palma de Mallorca is a modern cosmopolitan city, known as the largest island and capital of the Balearic archipelago. Palma is an excellent base for excursions and for discovering the rest of the island. The massive Santa María Cathedral, a Gothic landmark from the 13th Century, overlooks the Bay of Palma. The adjacent Almudaina is a Moorish style Arab Fortress converted to a Royal Residence and the hilltop Bellver Castle is a Medieval Fortress with a distinctive circular shape. Wander the narrow cobbled streets of Palma’s Casco Antiguo and admire its elegant archways, grand historic Palacios, medieval Churches and charming squares. Having 563 kms of magnificent sun kissed beaches, has made Palma de Mallorca one of the world’s most loved tourist destinations. Stretching both sides of the bay with five sand beaches and crystal clear water it is where you can relax and enjoy the sun. After the sun sets, there are great restaurants and wine bars or places to dance the night away at one of Mallorca’s many nightclubs.
Ibiza has long been known for its party atmosphere and the lively nightlife of Amnesia, Pacha and Ushuaïa, however it is also home to many quiet villages, yoga retreats and beaches from Platja d'en Bossa, lined with hotels, bars and shops, to the quieter sandy coves backed by pine clad hills found dotted around the coastline. Dalt Vila, also known as Ibiza Town, is one of the most picturesque cities and a magnificent place to wander around. It is home to an old port and historic city ramparts, which were built in the 16th Century. Ibiza also has vibrant markets and cutting edge galleries to fascinating historical sites and spooky caves. There are plenty of diving spots around the island and for that extra special experience head to the Cala D’Hort Marine Nature Reserve, where if you are lucky enough you might see a school of dolphins or even a whale. Ibiza’s sunsets have long been given cult status offering an ideal chance to see the sky turn through a spectrum of red, pink and orange hues.
Formentera, this gorgeous island is the smallest of Spain’s Balearic Islands and just a quick 30 minute ferry ride from Ibiza. It has a super chilled atmosphere and a natural beauty, clear waters and long stretches of beach backed by dunes and pine trees making it a perfect place to chill out when you need a break from all that partying on the big island. Snorkelling and sailing are also popular.
Menorca (Minorca) is traditionally not as well-known as its neighbouring islands, however it has endless beaches, 200 small coves and turquoise watered bays called Calas. The capital of Mahon is situated on a bluff overlooking the harbour, with Georgian mansions and a 13th Century Church. The beautiful city of Ciutadella features a gorgeous Old Town with a mix of historical buildings, the Gothic Santa Maria Cathedral, fantastic shops and lively cafes. With its lush climate and fertile ground, Menorca is dotted with vineyards that produce some great local wines. A photographer’s dream with its quaint cobbled streets and whitewashed facades, to the verdant landscape in between brimming with wild flowers, pine forests and fruit orchards. For stunning views over the entire island visit El Toro, a 350 metre hill situated in the middle of the island. Menorca is also rapidly emerging as a centre for watersports including wind and kite surfing and sailing.
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