The Balearic Islands is a Spanish archipelago located in the Mediterranean Sea. It is an autonomous community of Spain. It has four major islands and several minor ones. The archipelago experiences a Mediterranean climate and attracts millions of tourists each year, especially from Europe. Ibiza, one of the largest islands in the archipelago, is a well-known international party destination.
Majorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands and its capital, Palma, also serves as the capital of the Balearic Islands autonomous region. Majorca is a popular holiday destination with UK and Germany being the top source countries for tourists visiting the island. The international airport of Palma de Mallorca, located on the island, is one Spain’s busiest airports. The island features sea caves, mountains, and other smaller offshore islands. The 4,741 ft tall Puig Major is the highest peak on Majorca. The Serra de Tramuntana culture landscape on the Majorca Islands was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2011. The economy of the island is largely dependent on tourism. The inviting beaches, pleasant weather, and top-class tourist facilities on the island act as major tourist magnets. In 2013, the island received about 9.5 million visitors.
Covering an area of 572.56 square km, Ibiza, the 3rd biggest Balearic Island is a famous tourist destination in the Mediterranean region. Electronic music traces its origin to Ibiza. The island is also famous for its lively nightlife and summer club scene. Due to its historical significance, the port of Ibiza has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Minorca is another one of the major islands of the Balearic Islands archipelago that is located in the middle of the western Mediterranean. The island houses a population of 94,383, as of 2010. The highest point on the island is located at 1,175 ft above sea-level. The island is famous for its megalithic stone monuments which point towards the existence of humans on the island in the prehistoric period. The cities and towns of the island feature a mix of local and colonial architecture. Several festivals, some with origins dating back to the 14th century, are held here. The summer fiestas celebrated on the island are greatly popular among tourists. The island is known for its locally produced wines, Mahón cheese, and sweets known as flaons. The island has rich and diverse flora with over 900 flowering plant species growing here including several endemics. 17 species of dragonfly and 30 species of butterflies have been recorded on the island. Three species of amphibians, two species of gecko, four species of snakes, tortoises, and terrapins are some of the reptiles inhabiting the island. Minorca is also famous for its birdlife including several migrant species. No large native mammals live on the island and those that live here have been introduced by humans.
The island of Formentera is one of the smaller Pityusic Islands that encompasses an area of 83.24 and is located in the Mediterranean Sea at a distance of about 19 km from Ibiza. As of 2010, the island hosts a population of 9,962 individuals. A tombolo named Espalmador is connected to Formentera by a shallow sandbar. The island is especially popular among the hippies. It has pristine, white sandy beaches and offers spectacular natural scenery to the visitors. Most of the beaches of this island also allow nude sunbathing. Although one can hire a car at the port to tour the island, mopeds and bicycles are also quite popular as the relatively flat terrain of Formentera allows exploration of the island on the two-wheelers.