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Michelin Travel Guide Spain

Michelin Green Guide Spain
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Top Ten Mallorca
  An unbeatable, pocket-sized guide to all the best of Mallorca, packed with photos and maps, insider tips, useful advice, and a laminated pullout map of the island. More information and prices from: - US dollars - Canadian dollars - British pounds - Euros - Euros

Balearic Islands

Balearic Islands

Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands consist of three large islands - Mallorca, Minorca and Ibiza; two smaller islands - Formentera and Cabrera; and a number of small islets. The population is approximately 825,000. Politically the islands are part of an autonomous province of Spain with its administrative capital in Palma, Mallorca. The language is derived from Catalan. The Michelin Green Guide Spain distinguishes between the three largest islands in the folowing way:

"The Balearic Islands are one of the country's most popular tourist destinations. Of the three main islands, Mallorca and Ibiza attract large numbers of Spanish and foreign (particularly German) visitors who come here to enjoy their magnificent landscapes and beaches and lively nightlife. Menorca tends to be quieter, finding popularity with those in search of a more relaxing holiday."

The Balearic islands are a continuation of a Spanish mountain chain known as the Balearic Cordilleras. Over millions of years, earth movements have pushed these mountains up and down, at times providing a land bridge with the Spanish mountains, at other times - the last 5 million years - isolating them as islands in the Mediterranean. They are mainly made of limestone and red sandstone with a small amount of volcanic rock.

The Michelin Green Guide also describes the landscapes:

"The lush vegetation produced by the Autumn rains is one of the sunny islands' greatest attractions. Pines shade the indented shores, junipers and evergreen oaks cover the upper hillsides, while almonds, figs and olives cloak the plains."

Tourism is concentrated on the coast whereas, inland, the islands are far more tranquil.

Unlike the other islands, Mallorca (Majorca) can offer winter tourism as well as the usual summer 'sun and sangria'. Read more about Mallorca.

Menorca, sometimes spelled Minorca, is the wettest of the three major islands, with a strong and sometimes cold and northerly wind in the winter months. As a consequence, tourism is highly geared towards May-October when it is much warmer and often hot and sunny, Most of the accommodation is on the coast in hotels, apartments and holiday villas.

Ibiza's tourism is highly concentrated in the peak summer months with almost half of the visitors being young and British - the other half being mostly young and not-British. Most of the resorts are virtually shut outside the 'season' with the inhabitants away in the Canary Islands and elsewhere finding work.

Formentera is a much drier island than the other Balearics. makes minimal use of cookies, including some placed to facilitate features such as Google Search. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to the use of cookies. Learn more here

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