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The Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands might be a holiday favourite, but Christopher Beanland has found some exciting new ideas to inspire

 

The Balearics are a holiday hotspot that many people have visited at least once. Why do we go back? Simple: variety. Within this island chain, there are all kinds of holidays: the family-friendly resorts of Menorca, the millionaires’ enclaves of Ibiza and the huge variety of culture and landscapes on Mallorca. There are also smaller islands that offer even more serenity. The weather is perfect year round, and the islands — with their Catalan food and language — are distinct from the Spanish mainland. The calm seas are perfect for swimming, sailing and diving, and there’s so much to do: shopping for the local Camper shoes, dancing at Ibizan superclubs like DC10 or exploring the famous Caves of Drach. Every budget and taste is catered to — from bargain basement to billionaire bling.

Best for: high rollers

Puerto de Soller, Mallorca
With superyachts in the harbour and a proliferation of chic seafood eateries, Puerto de Soller is high end, a place to indulge in a holiday of pure luxury. If you’ve won the lottery, why not come and try it out for yourself? A cheaper thrill is the wonderful old train that runs down into Palma, which kids absolutely love.
Book a week with Jet2 at the Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel for £3,700 per person, B&B, in June, based on a couple sharing. jet2.com

If you like this, try: Tagomago is a private island off Ibiza that can be rented out in its entirety. You just need a yacht or helicopter to get there.

Best for: natural beauty

Portinatx, Ibiza
Ibiza’s rugged northern coast is a million miles from its southern hedonism hangouts. The stunning lunar landscape of rocky hills, cute coves, olive groves and twisting roads add an air of charm and mystery, and the sunset views are rightly prized by the people who come here to holiday. Portinatx is a good base for exploring the whole coast.
First Choice has a seven-night stay in June
for £758 per person based on two adults sharing a room at the Sandos El Greco Beach Hotel. This package includes return flights from Birmingham. firstchoice.co.uk
If you like this, try: The Formentor Peninsula of Mallorca will also be right up your street. You can drive right along to the end of this spectacular, cliff-strewn finger of land.

Best for: couples

East coast, Mallorca
Hit TV show Love Island catapulted Mallorca’s east coast into millions of living rooms, showing a fresh (and romantic) side to the island that you may not have considered before. There are plenty of villas for rent on this coast, and deserted beaches waiting
to be explored. Travel Republic offers 14 nights at Hotel JS Cape Colom for £1,400 per person based on two sharing during July. travelrepublic.co.uk

If you like this, try: The northern coast of Menorca is quiet, pretty and perfect for couples.

Best for: a bit of history

Mahon, Menorca
Menorca’s handsome capital city is a Balearic must-see. Take a harbour cruise to see naval artefacts, leper colonies, historic houses and places where Nelson could once be found.
Head to Mahon in June with Sovereign, and stay at the luxury Port Mahon hotel. Seven nights with flights from Manchester is £900 per person, B&B. sovereign.com

If you like this, try: The opposite side of the island, where characterful Ciutadella offers old buildings and authentic Spanish atmosphere.

Best for: getting away from it all

Es Pujols, Formentera
Chances are that the one Balearic island you’ve never visited is Formentera. It’s hardly surprising — it’s really off the beaten track. The small island off Ibiza has no airport (catch a ferry instead) and few hotels. It’s low, flat, sandy, chilled and a world away from the partying of Ibiza Town. Take seven nights to relax at the Voramar Hotel in June for £740 per person based on two adults sharing with TUI. Price includes B&B and return flights from London to Ibiza.

If you like this, try: Cabrera is another isolated, peaceful Balearic island treasured by hikers and divers — you can sail to this
National Park from Mallorca.

Best for: design fans

Palma, Mallorca
The Balearics’ biggest city is an interesting option for a city break. Chock full of galleries, boutique stores selling designer goods and cool bars and restaurants, it’s perfect for couples. Design hotels add a chic edge. On The Beach offers three nights at Purohotel, based on two sharing, for £276 per person in June. It includes breakfast and return flights.
onthebeach.co.uk

If you like this, try:
Mallorca’s lesser-known city, Manacor. Interesting shops and markets and a lack of tourists make it worth a visit.

Best for: young families

Los Delfines, Menorca
Los Delfines is a quiet, pleasant, family-oriented resort which fits the bill perfectly if you have young kids. The beaches are safe and there’s a large amount of pools at all the resort complexes. A few shops, cafes, mini golf and tennis courts, plus low-cost restaurants mean there’s plenty to do, and there’s some nice woodland for relaxed walks.
Thomas Cook has seven nights at Sun Connect, a self-catering resort at Los Delfines for £1,220 for a family of four travelling in May, with flights included from various regional airports. thomascook.com

If you like this, try: Alcudia in Northern Mallorca, which has a laid-back vibe.

Best for: party animals

Ibiza Town, Ibiza
With its hippy vibes and party locations, from beach bars to full-on superclubs, Ibiza Town is renowned as the nightlife capital of the Balearics. Every summer, revellers flock in from around Europe — young music lovers, as well as older visitors, attracted to the glitziness of the town’s scene. Co-Operative Travel offers a seven-night break at the El Pinar Apartments in Ibiza Town in May for £196 per person, self-catering, based on two sharing. Includes return flights from Gatwick.
cooptravel.co.uk

If you like this, try: Spruced-up Calvia in Mallorca — not far from lively Magaluf — offers increasingly highbrow bars and hotels for those who like to keep the fun going long into the night.

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