Warm and sunny through spring and summer and mild throughout the winter, the islands of Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza & Formenta make up the popular holiday destinations of the Balearic archipelago in Spain.
It is believed that Phoenicians took possession of the islands around the time they were first discovered. During the war on the Roman Empire, the Vandals under Genseric conquered the island at some point between 461 and 468. In late 533, troops of Belisarius re-established control of the islands for the Byzantine Empire.
The year 902 saw the islands being heavily used as a pirate base, because of their location in the Western Mediterranean Sea. This provoked the Emirate of Córdoba to invade and incorporate the islands into their state.
Ibiza is a consistently popular tourist destination frequently visited for its bustling nightlife host to some of the world's biggest nightclubs. The Teatro Pereyra is in complete opposition to this once acted as the foyer to a now abandoned theatre back in 1893.
The surrounding Mediterranean Sea to all the islands is a popular draw for those holidaying in the area. Turquoise waters and white sand beaches populate the coastline of the islands. Formentera has become known for its pristine white beaches with people soaking up the rays all day long. Cap de Formentor on Majorca's coast is populated with scenic cliffs and rock faces with endless ocean views.
Since the 1950s, Majorca has been a major tourist destination, with over 80% of the GDP coming from tourism alone. Much of the coast has been built up with resorts, cafes and restaurants to cater to the millions of tourists that the island attracts every year.
The island of Minorca hosts annual summer fiestas, including the Festes de Sant Joan in Ciutadella over three days at the end of June. Several traditions are carried out over the fiesta, including a firework finale.
A must visit if in the area is the Palma Cathedral, with the interior designed by Antoni Gaudí and contemporary artist Miquel Barceló. The exterior is an eye-catching façade of columns and towers, leading up to intricate spires.
Last updated: 2 February 2014