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Situated off the coast of Spain, the Balearic Islands are an archipelago spread across the western Mediterranean Sea. The three largest islands are Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza. Here, the winters are mild and the heat of summer is eased with fresh ocean breezes.
Downtime on Majorca can be spent lazing on the beaches, strolling around the harbour and relaxing in cafés while enjoying an intriguing array of tapas and a wide variety of seafood. No one would blame you if your holiday in Majorca consisted solely of downtime.
Not to be missed is Palma's city cathedral in Majorca. The sheer size of the building is astonishing, but it's the unique blend of architectures that makes this truly a sight to behold. Construction began in the 13th century but post-earthquake repairs in 1851 caused the structure to be a hybrid of gothic and Renaissance design with 19th century and contemporary interior features.
If natural beauty is more what you're after, Menorca offers many ways to take in its scenery. Whether you choose to explore from Monte Toro, the highest point at 358 metres above sea level with panoramic views of the area, or set your sights a little lower with a sea-level tour of Maó Harbour on a glass bottom boat.
If that doesn't appeal you can take a lazy horseback tour of the countryside or get the blood pumping and explore the coast of Menorca by kayak. There are beaches that are only accessible from the sea and kayaking is the perfect way to find one of these secluded treasures, hidden all along the 216km of coastline.
While Menorca offers gorgeous weather all year round, planning your visit during June or September can mean experiencing a fiesta full of colour and music. Whatever the time of year, you can't leave without trying a Promada (a delicious blend of gin and lemon juice) or a traditional coca amb xocolati (a baked cake accompanied by a sweet chocolatey drink).
Ibiza has a reputation for being a party destination with nightclubs hosting world famous bands and DJs playing sets to fun-loving visitors. While this notoriety is well earned, Ibiza has a lot more to offer than legendary nightlife. The temperature rarely strays outside of the 20s and, while small in size, the island offers a range of beaches. From grainy, rocky sand and aqua sea, to powdery golden shores or secluded naturist areas, there's a beach to suit everybody. There's also water sports, nature reserves and small seaside towns to explore.
Despite being part of an archipelago, each of the Balearic islands has a unique character and charm that needs to be explored to be appreciated. The only real challenge is figuring out in which order to visit them.