A Different Side to the Balearics

Andy Montgomery, 26 June, 2022
As visitors return to the sunshine islands of Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca, with a greater emphasis on sustainability than there’s ever been before, it’s an opportunity to hit the ‘reset’ button and find a different side to the Balearics.
The Magic of Mallorca
In the north-west of the island, just 32km from the capital of La Palma yet a thousand miles away from its coastal megaresorts, lies the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Serra de Tramuntana.

How is Serra de Tramuntana different?
Here, limestone peaks reach over 1,000 metres into the sky and soften through fertile foothills of olive and citrus groves before plunging steeply to the sea. Villages of uniform white houses grip the slopes above wave-lapped coves, and mule tracks wind through olive groves braided by ancient dry-stone walls and lined with orchids and ferns.

What is there to do?
The long-distance Ruta de Pedra en Sec (drystone route) follows old, cobbled paths alongside reservoirs and through spectacular, stepped gorges, taking in quaint villages and ancient monasteries as it goes. The traditional, hillside villages here are amongst the most appealing in all of Spain, and one, Fornalutx, is considered the prettiest of all. Stroll its cobbled streets alongside stone buildings with red-tiled roofs, and savour a coffee and freshly baked pastry in the main Plaça de España.

Welcome to a different side to the Balearics.

Intoxicating Ibiza
If you partied in the flower-power sixties or the rave eighties, the ‘intoxicating Ibiza’ title may conjure memories of hedonism in Ibiza’s sun. But head to the north-east of the island and you’ll find a very different sort of intoxication… in the herb-scented air.

How is the north-east of Ibiza different?
Ibiza’s pine-clad forests and mountains, clear waters, and blindingly white houses and churches feature right across the island. But when night falls, and resorts thrum to the sound of House and Techno, in the north-east, tranquillity and the warm scent of the Mediterranean are the default setting.

What is there to do?
Follow forest tracks and cobbled paths through scrubland infused with aromatic rosemary, thyme, lavender and broom, to secluded beaches and rocky coves. Visit the market town of Santa Eulalia with its waterfront bars and restaurants, and take a ferry to the island of Formentera whose laid-back ambience makes even the north-east of Ibiza feel hurried. Stroll its lagoon, browse its artisan markets, or simply soak up the sun on its white-sand beaches.
Modest Menorca
This unassuming island, least developed of the Balearics, is a rural idyll peppered with white villages, carpeted in flowering shrubs and fragrant plants, and fringed by more beaches than the rest of the archipelago put together.

How is Menorca different?
Menorca receives far fewer visitors than Mallorca and Ibiza, and is the least developed by some margin, making the whole island a different side to the Balearics. Rolling hills criss-crossed by drystone walls, pine and oak woodlands, and white-stone villages, fill the interior between its capital town of Maó on the east coast, and former capital, Ciutadella, on the west.

What is there to do?
Circumnavigating the island, is the 186km Cavi de Cavalls, an ancient coastal path that borders pine-fringed coves and crumbling watchtowers. Inland, flower-strewn meadows and dramatic gorges provide plentiful rewards for photographers, botanists and bird watchers. Explore the elegant port of Ciutadella with its fortress walls, labyrinthine streets, and ancient fishermen’s houses; and Maó, with its restaurant-lined waterfront and yacht-filled marina.

Experience a different side to the Balearics for yourself

We offer numerous holidays in the Balearics, including hotel-to-hotel walking holidays, centre-based walking holidays, and cycling holidays.

View our self-guided holidays in the Balearics >
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