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Sink your toes into pristine white sands and gaze out across the azure ocean

The Balearic Islands are dazzlingly beautiful and, thanks to their Mediterranean setting, enjoy a balmy climate year-round. Ibiza is perhaps the most famous island of the archipelago, but if flashing the cash in the clubs of San Antonio isn't really your bag, then visit out of season to enjoy the island in its peaceful repose. Alternatively, you could head to Formentera - often referred to as Ibiza's little sister, this diminutive island makes a point of taking everything just that little bit easier. Majorca, known as the ‘Queen of the Mediterranean’ beckons with its sheltered coves and abundant countryside, while Minorca turns down the tempo even further with its tranquil coast and sleepy, white-washed villages.

Things to do

Breakfast on the terrace? Don't mind if I do. On all of our stay and relax holidays to the Balearics we've chosen the very best hotels in standout destinations. Explore the islands from home base, or drop in and visit on one of our Mediterranean cruises. Discover Majorca’s impressive Drachs cave system, stop for a spot of al fresco dining in the island's capital of Palma, or wander the elegant streets of Mahon in Minorca before whiling away the hours on the perfect Cala Blanca Beach. For active types a guided walking holiday through the picturesque hilltops and olive groves of Majorca might be just the thing.

See All Holidays to Balearics

Culture and history

The main religion in Spain is Roman Catholic, which accounts for around two-thirds of the country, along with a small minority of Muslims.

When meeting new people, a handshake is the common greeting among men, and a kiss on the cheek between women - the number of kisses can vary, so prepare yourself for two or even three!

You'll also find that the Spanish eat much later than we do in the UK, with lunch between 2-3.30pm and dinner between 9-11pm, so don't be alarmed if you find yourself in a relatively quiet restaurant. Oh, and the Spanish love to party - depending on when you visit you might find yourself embroiled in one of their many annual celebrations, including one that involves a battle with tomatoes!

Pablo Picasso is among Spain's most celebrated sons, along with Antoni Gaudi, whose eccentric architecture enlivens the Barcelona cityscape. More recent times saw Spanish cinema come into its own with directors like Pedro Almodovar breaking into the English-speaking world. And films like Guillermo del Toro's darkly fantastic masterpiece, Pan's Labyrinth, a Spanish-Mexican venture, solidified Spain as a big player in the film industry.

History-wise there has been a lot going on, from its dominating position when the Spanish Empire set out to discover the New World in the 16th and 17th centuries, to its catastrophic civil war in the 1930s and radical change following the death of dictator Franco in 1975. For an insight into the country's most recent history and the Spanish psyche, Giles Tremlett's Ghosts of Spain is well worth a read.


Euro - The currency is the euro, divided into 100 cents.

Passports and visas

You’ll need a current passport valid for the duration of your stay. British citizens don’t require a visa.


A few basic words of Spanish to get you started…

Hola – hello

Adios – goodbye

Por favor – please

Gracias – thank you

Si – yes

No – no

Perdon – excuse me

No hablo espanol – I don’t speak Spanish


Spain is one hour ahead of GMT, two in British summertime.


Mains voltage is 220-240 volts AC (50 cycles) and all sockets take small round two-pin plugs. You’ll need an adaptor for your British appliances, so remember to bring one with you as you probably won’t be able to find one in Spain.


Spanish; Castilian -

Castillian Spanish is the official language, with other Spanish languages and dialects varying in different regions.

English isn’t widely used outside of the main coastal resorts, so you may find it very handy to learn a few words before you travel.


Tipping is similar to the UK: the typical amount in restaurants is 10% (most establishments don’t add a service charge to the bill). Taxi drivers and porters expect a small tip too.


The climate varies depending on the region, but generally the further south you go, the warmer it will be. The weather on the south and east coast is fairly reliable all year round, enjoying a balmy Mediterranean climate, while the interior tends to stay hot and dry as it’s located on a plateau.


As health information can change at any time, we’d advise you to consult your GP at least 12 weeks before departure.

Country-specific information and advice on possible health risks is also published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre – see, and The British Foreign and Commonwealth Travel Advice Unit provides important health and safety information for British nationals travelling abroad at


Smoking is banned in enclosed public areas and is not allowed on public transport, in bars or restaurants, except in designated areas. Be sure to remember this or you may be stuck with a hefty fine.

Places in the Balearics


A bohemian playground that uncovers its true character out of season


Step ashore the Queen of the Balearics, the island that thinks it's a continent


Soak up in the relaxed atmosphere of this charming island, which basks in sunshine 330 days each year