Best for: Beach-lovers, city-dwellers, fancy wines, cyclists.
Movie-star Majorca always draws a crowd, and it’s not hard to see why. The biggest of the Balearics, it boasts 2,500 restaurants, 41 marinas, 400 kilometres of cycling trails and 25 tonnes of sand. If you’re after a city break, Palma is packed with trendy promenades and buzzing boutiques. Then there are Alcudia and Pollensa, which are both perfect for adventure-seeking families. They’re wrapped up with ribbons of sand, pretty fishing villages and underground caves. The island is also a favourite among cyclists like Bradley Wiggins. Budding bikers can try their nerve on Sa Calobra, a 10-kilometre-long trail that hangs down the side of a mountain. Or, if you’re partial to a tipple, take a pit stop at one of the island’s local vineyards. We’d recommend filling up your glass in Alaro, a Medieval village brimming with character.
Check out: TUI FAMILY LIFE Mallorca Mar, it’s right on the waterfront.
Best for: Peace and quiet, authenticity, snorkelers, families with young kids.
It’s a little-known fact that Menorca translates to ‘an island smaller than its neighbour’. So, if you’re seeking a quiet family escape, this slow-mover is perfect. The island’s decorated with fairy-lit marinas and shallow turquoise beaches, and there’s more than enough to explore — just with fewer crowds than its bigger Balearic sisters. Uncover bottle-green coves in Son Bou and Cala’n Forcat, spot angelfish in a glass-bottom boat around Mahon Harbour, or head to Ciutadella’s Aqua Center and hit the slides. For when you get peckish, there are plenty of restaurants that have been run by local families for generations. It’s no surprise, then, that Spaniards have proclaimed Menorca to be the most authentic of the Balearic brigade.
Check out: 18th-century mansion, Hotel Del Almirante.
Sunset-hunters, party-goers, hippy markets
World-famous dance spots like Pacha have made Ibiza a clubber’s haven. A-list DJs and open-air bars make up San Antonio’s rhythm. But, for a quieter beat, there’s plenty on offer down the coast. Head to the island’s UNESCO-listed Old Town, feel like a Game of Thrones extra in Dalt Vita Fortress, or take in the sunset at Café del Mar. The renowned hippy market in Es Cana is a great place to hunt for take-me-homes, and you can add anything to your basket from silver rings to joss sticks. Despite Ibiza being nicknamed the White Isle, there’s lots of greenery to admire, too. Head to Portinatx for sandy coves blanketed with wild flowers, or follow a path through Puerto San Miguel’s thick pine trees. Just don’t forget your hiking boots.
Check out: The stylish wellbeing platform, designed by Jade Jagger, at TUI SENSATORI Resort Ibiza.
Best for: Untouched beaches, nature, diving.
Crowds flock to the Caribbean for turquoise waters and cotton-soft beaches. But they’re missing a trick, because Formentera offers all of this, without the long flight. The smallest of the Balearics, it’s known as the ‘last paradise’, which has led to a ban on beachfront buildings. It’s noticeably calmer than neighbouring Ibiza, too, with go-slow as its default setting. So, what’s on offer? Beyond the Blue Flag sands, you can search for treasures in the lantern-lit market of El Pilar de la Mola, duck under water in UNESCO-listed diving sites, or spot flamingos on the island’s saltpans. And, when, (or if) you do want to pick up the pace, the island’s a stone’s throw from Ibiza – a trip on the aqua bus will get you there in just over an hour.
Check out: Riu La Mola. It’s right on the beach and is well-located for exploring the island.
The is right on Platja de Migjorn. It’s contemporary and stylish, and perfectly placed for exploring the rest of the island.
The TUI FAMILY LIFE Mallorca Mar is just a five-minute drive from Cala Millor and is right on the waterfront.
With a beachfront setting, stunning views and six pools, TUI SENSATORI Resort Ibiza is the cream of the crop. Treat yourself to a relaxing spa session, and sip fruity cocktails in the Sunset Lounge.
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