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December 30, 2012updated Feb 21, 2013

Broker Recommendations for the Perfect Trip on the Balearic Islands

By Chris Boyle

Palma, Mallorca

We have asked one of the world’s leading charter brokers to share their highlights of the Balearic Islands

 

Anne Sterringa

Isla de Cabrera

The best beach in the Balearics: Platja de Illetes, Formentera

Two miles south of Ibiza you’ll find the tiny island of Formentera, just 32 square miles in area including its two satellite islets, Espardell and Espalmador, and untouched by tourist development.

The interior is dotted with peaceful villages and farmsteads and its beaches are some of the emptiest and cleanest in Spain. The finest of these is Platja de Illetes, a long sweeping strand with white and pink sand and crystal clear water. Not a hotel in sight, the beach has only a handful of restaurants, including Es Molí de Sal which serves the best fresh lobster stew in Ibiza and Formentera.

Isla de Cabrera National Park, Mallorca

Platja de Illetes, Formentera

Spend a night at anchor away from the crowds in Cabrera, a small protected island ten miles south of Mallorca.

Only a limited number of yachts are allowed to anchor each night and Camper & Nicholsons can get you the special permit. This well-preserved nature reserve is virtually uninhabited and is home to a multitude of rare species. Among them is the Eleonora’s falcon, a bird of prey unique to Cabrera and strictly protected—at last count there were only thirty nesting pairs on the island. Look out too for the nimble Balearic lizard. Perched on Cabrera’s highest peak is a 14th century castle, used as a prison during the Napoleonic Wars.

Historic center of Palma, Mallorca

Palma, Mallorca

Wander through the ancient city center with its picture pretty narrow streets surrounding the cathedral.

Explore the medieval walls, the Almudaina Palace and gardens, and the shaded courtyards of stately homes – an Italian-influensed relic of the old Mallorcan nobility. Keen eyes will spot some charming modernista architecture reminiscent of Gaudí. There are plenty of wonderful shops too, be it a major brand or local boutique, and if you like shoes, this is your city. When King Jaume I of Aragon conquered Palma in 1229, he described it as ‘the loveliest town that I have ever seen’, and after extensive restoration in recent years, the Balearic Islands’ capital provokes similar reactions today.

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