archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea
Europe > Iberia > Spain > Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands (Catalan: Illes Balears, Spanish: Islas Baleares) are an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Spain.


Map of Balearic Islands
The largest of the Balearic Islands, and a classic among European travel destinations, with beaches, nightlife and spectacular mountains.
The second largest island is the least overrun and most tranquil of the Balearics, with an unspoilt beauty, it allows the more adventurous the opportunity to discover new charms and experiences.
It is world-famous for its intense nightlife and huge clubs, and attracts top DJs from all over the planet.
The smallest island is flat and sandy with magnificent, unspoilt beaches. It is perfect for cycling, walking, snorkelling and sailing.



Palma de Mallorca, the capital of the Balearic Islands, offers its visitors not only sunshine, numerous bars, restaurants and shops but also a beautiful harbour and a historical centre.

Other destinations




Get in


By plane


The Balearic Islands have the airports of Palma de Majorca, Ibiza and Mahón, making any journey extremely easy.

By air, the flight from Barcelona, Valencia, and Madrid takes less than an hour, while from París and London, it takes under two.

By ship


It is also possible to reach them by ship, since Barcelona is only a night-crossing away aboard the most modern vessels. The journey takes just eight hours. It is also possible to take vehicles to the islands aboard ferries specially designed for the purpose. Both air and sea services have extra flights and crossing during the "high season" (July 1st-September 30th),

By boat


No check-in needed when arriving from Spain or another Schengen country - otherwise Palma, Ibiza and Mahon can be used as ports of entry. See also #Get around.

Get around


If you are visiting the centre of Palma your best bet is to go on foot.

You can also hire scooters and bicycles if you prefer. If you decide to drive into the city from another part of the island, leave your car in one of the municipal car parks. You will be offered a bicycle (free of charge) to use to explore the city until you return to pick up your car.

There is one railway line in Majorca, departing from Palma which will take the traveller to a number of villages on the island. A quaint and antique wooden electric train departing from the main station in the Plaza de España will take you on a beautiful journey through the mountain range to the quaint village of Soller. If you prefer, you can hire a car.

Schedules for buses, trains and ferries for all islands can be found on website.

When travelling by boat, be aware that marinas are quite expensive in the Balearic. It's generally many nice anchorages, but those that offers protection from any wind direction is mostly filled up by bouys (either private or for rent). Be aware that one may get a bad fine for anchoring on sea grass (in the daylight it's often possible to see if the sea bottom is sandy or weedy, and it's also possible to see it on satellite photos. There are also some resources on the web and even a "posidonia app", but as of 2023 those didn't work very well. There may be a three day time limit for staying by anchor in the same spot, and in some places this is actively enforced. Unlike at some places on the mainland Spain, it's trivial to land and park a dhingy in the Balearics.

The local cooking of the islands is exotic, exquisite and at the same time imaginatively presented.

The official Majorcan foodstuff should be a type of red pork pate called sobrasada in Majorcan, sobrasada in Spanish. Highly popular in parts of the mainland too. The red colour comes from hefty amounts of sweet paprika. It is good. There is also an official Majorcan cake, called ensaimada. It contains pumpkin jam and lard (obviously the Majorcans do keep some pigs) and it is delicious. The locals are very proud of their centuries-old olive trees, so while visiting the island it would be worth trying Majorcan extra virgin olive oil, which is otherwise hard to find.



Palo and Hierbas are two of the most popular local liquors among local residents. Palo is made from the fruit of the carob tree. It is often drunk mixed with soda water and sometimes even taken for medicinal purposes. Sweet, mixed and dry "Hierbas" are available. The ingredients include assorted herbs.

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