FIVE THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING THE BALEARICS
It is no secret that the Balearic Islands are a hugely popular destination for UK tourists, but here the tourist board highlights five things which visitors might not already know about travelling to Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera.
- Puesta de Sol, Port de Pollença, Mallorca © Manuela Munoz & Balearic Ministry for Economic Model, Tourism and Labour - AETIB
- Puerto de Maó, Menorca © Lluis Real & Balearic Ministry for Economic Model, Tourism and Labour - AETIB
- Formentera © Manfred & Balearic Ministry for Economic Model, Tourism and Labour - AETIB
- Passeig des Born, Palma de Mallorca © Pedro Coll & Balearic Ministry for Economic Model, Tourism and Labour - AETIB
- Trekking trail in Formentera © Manfred & Balearic Ministry for Economic Model, Tourism and Labour - AETIB
1. Each visit contributes to sustainable projects across the archipelago
Thanks to the pioneering Sustainable Tourism Tax which was implemented across the Balearic Islands in 2016 and charges visitors between 25 cents and 4 euros a night, a huge variety of regenerative projects have been completed. Tourists can also benefit from many of the projects themselves, including restored coastal paths, birdwatching observatories in natural parks and new hiking huts on former farming estates.
2. Zero-tolerance against misbehaving tourists on Balearic Islands
Tourists can throw away any preconceptions they might have of Magaluf and Sant Antoni de Portmany. The Balearic Islands government has cracked down on unsafe, antisocial behaviour in these tourist hotspots in recent years, with the implementation of a ‘tourism excesses’ law in specific areas of Playa de Palma and Magaluf in Mallorca and San Antoni de Portmany's West End in Ibiza. In these areas, tour operators and bars will no longer be allowed to offer or promote pub crawls, happy hours, party boats or give away free drinks. Fines are handed out in these zones for offences such as the objectification of women and the promotion of excessive drinking.
3. It’s best to visit outside of high season
By visiting the archipelago between November and April, that is, outside of high season, travellers will avoid the crowds and have the chance to experience the islands at their most authentic. The milder temperatures are perfect for hiking or cycling along Menorca’s coastal Cami de Cavalls or Formentera’s green routes, as well as for exploring cultural heritage sites such as Mallorca’s talaiotic monuments and Ibiza’s ancient Dalt Vila. By helping to spread tourism throughout the year, visitors will also be promoting a better quality of life for residents.
4. A holiday in the Balearics will soon be free from single-use plastic
The Balearic Islands are on the road to becoming a single-use-plastic free destination in a bid to protect their greatest asset, the natural environment. Plastic bags are already banned in Formentera and the Balearic Waste Law has pushed hospitality businesses to move away from single use plates, cutlery, cups and bottles in favour of reusable, local products. As of February 2022, all hotels must also have a circularity plan encompassing aspects like water use and clean energies, in a bid to make the Balearic Islands the first circular destination in the world.
5. There are many ways to discover the islands
There is no need to hire a car when there is plenty of inexpensive public transport to get visitors around the islands. In fact, Formentera limits vehicles during high season to reduce congestion, pollution and maintain the balance between tourism and daily life for residents. The capital of the Balearics, Palma de Mallorca, has introduced sustainable e-buses as well as tripling the number of Bicipalma bicycles available across the city, and there is an extensive network of cycling paths to take visitors as far as the fishing village of Portixol. Ferries offering inter-island services also make it easy for visitors to extend their stay by island hopping.