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Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands are an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, east of Spain. They form an autonomous region. The capital is Palma de Mallorca. The Balearic Islands consist of six islands, four large ones: Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, and two smaller islands Cabrera and Dragonera. Ibiza and Formentera are the western Balearic Islands and are also called the Pytusen or Pine Islands. The island group has a population of 1,106,000 inhabitants.

The islands have many proofs of ancient civilizations. Mahon in Menorca was founded by the Phoenicians and Palma and Pollentia in Mallorca by the Romans. The islands were very fruitful and produced a lot of wine and olive oil.

For centuries, the Balearic Islands have been a base of pirates but in the 12th century the Archbishop of the Republic of Pisa put an end to it. From the 13th century, King James I of Aragon ruled the islands.

The Balearic Islands have a Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers. Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera get less rain than the other islands.

The Balearic Islands attract millions of visitors who come to enjoy the sun, the beaches, the warm clear sea, untouched nature, clean air and balmy nights. Beautiful beaches envelop the islands, from large urban family beaches to intimate coves. There is something for everyone.

However, the islands offer more. For lovers of history and culture, there are plenty of interesting sites. The Archaeological Museum in Ibiza city shows the history of the Pitusen from antiquity to the Christian period. Visit the Puig des Molins, a cemetery containing more than 3,500 tombs.

At the hill, Es Puig de Missa, stands the 16th century church. The church was a medieval fortress with semicircular towers. Palma de Mallorca has spectacular beaches, the famous Le Seu Cathedral dates back to the 13th century. The huge round fortress Bellever from the 14th century and the Palma Aquarium are other attractions.

Mahon in Menorca has a lively port with lots to see and do. You can have a boat tour along the coast of the island. The most beautiful building in the city is the Santa Maria church. The Menorca Museum has an extensive collection of artifacts from the Roman era. The old center of the city of Ciutadella simply demands a visit. Here palaces from the 17th century compete for a beauty award.

Formentera is the smallest island and is relatively flat, making it ideally suited for hiking and biking. Sant Francesc is the capital and the place offers a colorful hippy market. The 18th century fortress is a place of interest here.

Whatever you are looking for on the islands, it is there for you to explore. A stay on one of the islands is a pleasant pastime one will not easily forget.

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