Each of these four islands (Islas Baleares, Illes Balears in Catalan), floating serenely in the glittering Mediterranean, could be said to have a theme. Mallorca is the senior island, combining a little of everything, from spectacular mountain scenery and hiking through to the standard sea ‘n’ sun seaside tourism. Ibiza is synonymous with clubbing, the island that gave Europe the rave. Menorca is a haven of tranquillity – splendid isolated beaches and coves, and prehistoric monuments standing as taciturn reminders of how small we are in the grand scheme of things. And tiny Formentera, a chill-out island, where some people lose themselves for the entire summer, needing little more to keep them happy than white beaches and sunset parties.
Each year a massive multinational force invades the islands in search of a piece of this multifaceted paradise. The total population of the isles does not amount to a million, but many times that number are involved in a round-the-clock airlift and disembarkation of sun- and fun-seekers from Easter to October.
Surprisingly, the islands have managed to maintain much of their intrinsic beauty. Beyond the high-rise resort hotels, bars and more popular beaches are Gothic cathedrals, Stone Age ruins, fishing villages, spectacular walks, secluded coves, endless olive and almond groves and citrus orchards. And a growing range of elegant, rural retreats and A-list eateries are attracting a range of visitors beyond the party package crowd.
Best places to stay in Mallorca, Menorca & Ibiza
Top 10 places to go skinny dipping
Loosen your buttons and shake off your inhibitions with our rundown of the world's best nude bathing, taken from Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Experiences. 1...
Mallorca, Menorca & Ibiza destination guides
Sun-seeker’s delight with ochre villages, rugged coastline and brilliant sunsets.
Ibiza Countryside Day Trip with Lunch by Scooter
Explore the stunning countryside of Ibiza in an exciting and unforgettable way – on a scooter! Leave Playa d’en Bossa beach and ride inland along Ibiza’s countryside roads, surrounded by fields of olive trees. Explore the lush valley of Broll de Buscastell and see the remains of a 12th-century Muslim village, in the region known as Puertas del Cielo.
Ibiza Independent Scooter Tour with Rental
Discover the beauty of Ibiza town and surroundings in an exhilarating way – on a scooter! With this scooter rental, set your own itinerary, drive along Ibiza's Mediterranean coast and see famous landmarks of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city of Ibiza. Visit Ibiza’s old town, Dalt Vila and more.