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Spain - Balearic Islands Planning Tips and Fast Facts

Stomp With Flamenco Dancers, Disco Til Dawn, or Party With Mother Nature in a Secluded Cove… the Choice is Yours.

Our Expert Opinion

Glitzy and pulsating or serene and placid – the measure of each is up to you. Although know for its 24/7 ebullient tempo, it’s easy to escape to unhurried villages where dawn arrives with a hush and morning begins with a splash into crystal waters. Spain ,having recently changed its charter laws, is the new crown jewel of the Western Med with an infinite array of ultra-luxe superyachts.

What is Destination Known For?

Cosmopolitan lifestyle, sunny climate, beautiful beaches, stunning architecture, sleepy coves, vibrant discos and midnight to dawn nightlife.

Location and Size

Located in the western part of the Mediterranean Sea, the Balearic islands are an archipelago belonging to Spain. The islands, having an area of 1,927 square miles (4,992 square km), are situated near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera are among the larger islands.

History

The first settlers on the Balearic islands are believed to be the Tayalotic people who arrived here around 4000 BC. These people, comprising mostly of hunters and shepherds, were succeeded by the Phoenicians in about 1000 BC. The Phoenicians were a more advanced race of people and established civilized settlements while developing the Islands. Over the centuries, as trade escalated across the Mediterranean, the strategic location of these islands was identified by traders, especially by Greeks, who soon utilized them as a halting point. But Greek attempts to colonize the Balearic Islands failed. In fact, the name of the islands is derived from the Greek word 'Ballein', meaning 'to throw a sling' – understandably, the weapon the hostile natives used to keep them away.

But the islands were too precious to be forsaken, consequently witnessing a wave of invasions by the Carthaginians, followed by the Vandals and the Romans. The Romans brought about great developments in this region, but with the fall of the Roman Empire, the Moors took over and ruled the Balearic Islands for the next 300 years, before James of Aragon displaced them.

Thus began the Spanish lineage of the Balearics, which after a brief period of British occupancy, was established as a province of Spain in 1833.

Getting There

By Air: Ibiza Airport (IBZ), Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI) and Menorca Airport (MAH) link the islands to the world. Direct flights are available from the UK while connecting flights can be accessed from the US, New Zealand and Australia.

By Sea: Boats and ferries operate between the islands and mainland Spain. region.

Local Customs to Observe

Men shake hands over a meeting, while women kiss each other on the cheek. Punctuality isn't really prevalent and nights out usually begin after 10 pm. Afternoons are idle, as the Spaniards love their siesta. Chrysanthemum and Dahlia have a negative connotation, and are not given as gifts.

Helpful Fast Facts

Currency: Euro.

Time Zone: Central European Time Zone (UTC+01:00).

Local language: Catalan and Spanish are the official languages of the Balearic Islands. You would also find English, German and Italian speaking people at the tourist places of the islands.

Population: 1.1 million (2014)

Airport: Ibiza Airport (IBZ), Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI) and Menorca Airport (MAH).

Entry Requirements: Visa is exempted for citizens of the European Union, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Norway, Iceland and Japan for stays up to 90 days on the Balearic Islands. A valid passport is required for all nationals .

Departure tax: None.

Legal Drinking Age: 18 years.

Smoking Regulations: Smoking is banned in government offices, schools, bars, restaurants, factories and all enclosed public places.

Staying in touch: Mobile phone network in the territory is up to the mark, and various service providers offer good internet connectivity as well. International roaming facilities are also available across the Balearic Islands.

Medical Information: Hospital de Manacor, Hospital Universitario Son Espases and

Clínica Juaneda are some of the major hospitals on the islands, offering specialized services. Ambulance service can be availed at 061 (toll free).

Public Holidays: New Year (Jan 1), Epiphany (Jan 6), Balearic Islands (Mar 1), Fathers Day (Mar 19), Maundy Thursday (Mar), Good Friday (Mar), Easter Monday (Mar), Labour Day (May 1), Mothers Day (May), Assumption Day (Aug 15), Hispanic Day (Oct. 12), All Saints Day (Nov 1), Constitution Day (Dec 6), Immaculate Conception Day (Dec 8), Christmas (Dec 25) and Christmas Holiday (Dec 26).

Tourist Office: Complete information on tourism in the Balearic Islands can be found at http://www.spain.info/.

Shopping Information: If you are on the Balearic Islands, you must explore the islands' trademark handcrafted range of shoes and glassware. Several other local products such as clothes, leather products, Majorca pearls, etc. are a must buy for every visitor touring the mesmerizing islands. You can also purchase duty-free goods at the airport outlets.

Top Ten "Must Do's"

  • Indulge in retail therapy at Palma's designer boutiques. It is the major highlight of any Majorca things to do list
  • Discover Majorca's deserted beaches and pristine coves. Our list of Majorca places to visit is considerably long
  • Delve into the lush interior overflowing with olive groves and vineyards
  • Work up a sweat ascending the verdant hills of the Serra de Tramuntana
  • Visit the unspoilt villages revered by solitude-seekers
  • Explore the far reaches of the 5.5 million years old Dragon Caves
  • Tour the largest collection of pre-historic sites of the UNESCO-protected Menorca
  • Cast your eyes on Ibiza's dazzling coastline and glamorous nightlife
  • Swim, snorkel or scuba-dive in the sparkling waters of Formentera
  • Experience the astonishing underwater world of Carbrera q

Major Local and Regional Events

  • Sant Joan Festival (June 24) – Celebrated in Ciutadella with firework displays and processions
  • Medieval Fair (May) – Conducted in Ibiza's Dalt Vila, it witnesses falconry contests amidst streets crowded with performers and hundreds of stalls
  • Menorcan Jazz Fest (From April to May) – This six-week fest is held in Ciutadella and Mahon, and attracts a number of jazz and blues artists

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