Beaches and the coastline of the Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands, a privileged place in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea...
Mallorca is one of the most popular tourist resorts in Europe, and this is not by chance. The secret lies in the fact that besides varied cultural attractions the island features some of the most beautiful beaches and coves of the Mediterranean Sea. The whole of the Majorcan coastline has landscapes of inimitable beauty thanks to its varied relief, transparent waters, and multiple small, intimate coves which offer an alternative to the main and popular large sandy beaches. Variety is the spice of life -or so they say-. Perhaps this is why Majorca receives more and more tourists every year, coming from all over the world.
Beaches and the coastline of Mallorca
The coastline combines some areas of spectacular cliffs (north coast along the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range) reaching a height of 300 metres above sea level in some parts, with other areas of low-lying coastline offering both sand and pebble beaches which are easier for tourists to visit.
The roughest coves may be found on the north coast, many of them having rocks or pebbles instead of sand. The best example is Sa Calobra. Nevertheless, as the coastline progresses towards the northeast, beaches become sandier and more accessible till they turn into large extensions of fine sandy dunes. Examples of this are Sa Canova, Cala Mesquida and Cala Agulla. Large areas of each one of these places remain almost virgin, have characteristic dune vegetation and attractive landscape. Towards the east the highlights are the two very large sandy beaches of Pollença and Alcudia, even though these areas are more heavily developed.
When speaking of sandy beaches, the most representative in Majorca is doubtless Es Trenc, situated on the southeast coast as it is one of the most extensive, best preserved and most beautiful beaches on the island.
Closer to Palma city we can also find beaches meriting our attention. Such is the case of S'Arenal, which is a long and wide sandy area belonging partly to the municipality of Palma and partly to that of Llucmajor. There are further multiple coves along the coast going from Palma to Andratx, and many of them have an outstanding value in terms of ecology and landscape.
Beaches and the coastline of Menorca
Minorca is the least touristic of the Balearic islands. This does not mean that it is in any way lacking tourist attractions, only that it is the least exploited. Minorca is full of charming spots and singular beauty which make it a natural paradise to discover.
Logically, an island's waterfront constitutes its most seductive attraction, and Minorca 's coastline is irresistible. On both the north and south of the island we find some areas of abrupt coast falling sharply into the sea, allowing for no coves. Only in the south can we find a few small coves situated at the mouth of seasonally dry river beds. These are small pebbly coves which have a special and genuine charm.
But Minorca offers a wide range of possibilities, going from long sandy areas such as the beach of Son Bou, to more isolated and intimate places such as cala Mitjaneta.
It is worth mentioning other areas of the Minorcan coastline such as es Grau which has been declared a National Park and is situated at the mouth of some seasonally dry river beds, surrounded by extensive wetlands of great ecological value. The wetlands of Tirant and Lluriac are also of interest due to their rich and varied native flora and fauna.
Near the city of Ciutadella lies Sa Vall, a countryside area of great beauty and diversity as it includes various different types of habitats. Outstanding among these are the wetlands and also the dune area. On the other hand, in the stretch going from Els Alocs to Fornells (Mercadal) there is a further remarkable area which features rich underwater vegetation.
Round about the area of sa Nitja, this underwater vegetation (posidonia oceánica) forms a special type of low-lying reef which according to experts is unique in the Balearics.
Beaches and the coastline of Ibiza
Ibiza's nightlife and beaches constitute the two hypnotic attractions which have turned this island into practically a household name evoking summer holidays, thereby pushing cultural tourism into the background. This is, in fact, easy to understand when you visit the wonderful coves of the island. Crystalline waters and tiny cosy coves of either fine white sand or pebbles invite one to swim in communion with nature: reasons enough to consider Ibiza's coastline as a kind of branch office of Paradise.
Nevertheless you will find more than tiny coves round Ibiza as there are also long beaches of fine sand and quite large areas of dunes which are visited by many tourists each season and are characteristic of some areas such as the d'en Bossa beach, right next to the capital of Ibiza.
Between the islands of Ibiza and Formentera there are a multitude of small isles rich in local flora and fauna. These constitute an isolated but perfectly preserved ecosystem.
Mentioning the Natural Reserve of Ses Salines is a must. It is a very special area comprising (on the Formentera side), coastal lagoons such as Estanque des Peix, Estanque Pudent and La Bassa d'Espalmador, and (on the Ibizan side), the sand beaches of Ses Salines, Cavallet and es Codolar.
The islet of es Vedrá, situated southwest of Ibiza reaches a height of 381 metres above sea level and is the most spectacular promontory of the Pitiusas ( Ibiza and Formentera). It is located just in front of the cala D'Hort cove, a small pebble beach where you can enjoy a marvellous view, particularly at sunset.
Further north, in the municipality of Sant Josep , there are quite a few coves worth mentioning for their beauty and crystalline waters: Cala Conta, Cala Tarida, and Cala Bassa, are the most frequented by tourists visiting the island every summer.
Beaches and the coastline of Formentera
Formentera island is a paradise of white welcoming sand and crystalline waters. A true collection of landscape postcards among which we can highlight the dune system at Espalmador (the largest islet off the coast of Formentera), considered to be one of the best-preserved dune areas in the Mediterranean Sea .
This islet offers tourists one of the most beautiful beaches of the Balearic Islands. An extensive area of white warm sand which is a delight to see and a genuine luxury for those privileged to visit and enjoy it. Anchoring off this beach is an unforgettable experience that cannot be described—it must be experienced.
The islet is separated from Formentera by an extensión of shallow water called el Paso. Sa Guardiola, the defense tower, is the only building on the islet of Espalmador and together they make up an image so fairy-tale perfect that it seems unreal.
The Natural Reserve of ses Salines embraces the lagoons of estanque des Peix, estanque Pudent, bassa d'espalmador, all of them with native flora and fauna of great biological and landscape value.
Between Formentera and neighbouring Ibiza there are many small islets preserving great environmental biodiversity and many endemic species of the Pitiusas.