Balearics on the green list: Your must-do guide to the islands

·6-min read
Stunning scenery at Playa de Formentor, Mallorca. (Gettty Images)
Stunning scenery at Playa de Formentor, Mallorca. (Getty Images)

For those dreaming of jetting off to sunnier climes this summer, news that the beautiful Balearic Islands have been added to the government's green list will have come as a happy surprise. 

With their boho vibes, breathtaking beaches and balmy temperatures, the Balearics, incorporating Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera, are a holiday favourite. 

And now that the government has announced the next batch of green list destinations, featuring the Balearics, wannabe holidaymakers will be able to head to the Spanish isles from 30 June without the need to quarantine on return.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed the islands were added to the green watch list, adding that they were at risk of moving from green to amber.

But that hasn't stopped sun-starved Brits scrambling to book their spot on a Balearic sunlounger. Flight prices to popular holiday destinations tripled within hours of the government announcing its updated green list, with the cost of heading to Ibiza, Majorca, and Menorca surging by up to 200% following their addition to quarantine-free areas.

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"For families that have been eager to see a bit of sun this summer, the Balearic Islands being added to the green list was huge news, it being one of the most popular areas for British tourists," explains Tom Bourlet, travel blogger at www.spaghettitraveller.com.

"But each of the four main Spanish islands offers something very different, so it is important to do some research before picking the right one for you."

Moll des Cales Fonts harbour in Mahon. (Getty Images)
Moll des Cales Fonts harbour in Mahon. (Getty Images)

Best for families: Menorca

Often considered to be the quietest of the Balearics, Menorca is arguably the best for family holidays with some beautiful beaches, offering the perfect spot to build sandcastles and jump over waves. 

"The island is also accustomed to family holidays, meaning the resorts very much cater for this target market," explains Bourlet. 

"The Melia Cala Galdana hotel often proves popular, with great reviews and beautiful views of the beach. Another great option is the Prinsotel La Caleta, providing a huge swimming pool in case you don’t fancy strolling down to the beach."

Watch: Malta, Madeira and Balearics among additions to travel green list. 

But don't dismiss Ibiza as another family-friendly option. 

"My biggest learning curve over the past five years around the Balearic Islands is how family friendly Ibiza is," Bourlet adds. 

"The stereotype of this party island is largely restricted to certain sections, whereas if you opt for somewhere such as Santa Eularia, you’ll find a family-friendly, stunning area that will cater to all your needs."

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Beautiful Cala Galdana in Menorca. (Getty Images)
Beautiful Cala Galdana in Menorca. (Getty Images)

In terms of Menorcan must-sees, travel counsellor, Nicola Foley suggests taking in the sites at Ciutadella Old Town. "Explore the boutiques in the cobbled streets and stop for tapas near the port," she adds. 

The port in Mahon is also a must for a relaxed stroll and chilled out lunch. 

If you fancy taking in a hike, Foley recommends heading to the S'Albufera des Grau Nature Reserve which is a protected UNESCO biosphere reserve.

The lively Ibiza Town is a must-do. (Getty Images)
The lively Ibiza Town is a must-do. (Getty Images)

Best for friends: Ibiza

If you are looking for a bit more of a party vibe, Bourlet says San Antonio and Ibiza Town will be the perfect spots for you, with world famous DJ’s and clubs staying open till the crack of dawn.

Although nightclubs won’t be permitted to fully open this year, Nicky Kelvin, head of The Points Guy UK says some seated concerts and outdoor parties with limited capacities will go ahead as planned in a socially distanced manner. 

"However, visitors can still take advantage of Ibiza’s beaches and restaurant scene – making it great for those after a more luxurious trip," he adds. 

And there's more to Ibiza than just super clubs. 

Foley suggests a stay at the 7Pines Kempinski Resort, which is great for multi generational holidays with an adults-only pool and a new Kids club.

"Watch the sunset with a cocktail at 7 Pines Resort; on the beach at Cala Comte or with cocktails at Café del Mar," she adds. 

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We wish we were here in Ibiza. (Getty Images)
We wish we were here in Ibiza. (Getty Images)

Other friends' must-do's while on the island include hiring a boat or taking the ferry and visit Formentera island

And no trip to Ibiza would be complete without a trip to Ibiza Old Town and the Dalt Vila historic quarter, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Illetas paradise beach in Formentera. (Getty Images)
Illetas paradise beach in Formentera. (Getty Images)

Best for couples: Formentera

If you’re a couple looking for somewhere romantic, Bourlet says there are a number of great options in Formentera. 

"The prices of hotels can be a little higher than other Balearic Islands, but that can be a positive if you’re going as a couple, as cheaper prices tend to attract loud groups which could spoil the romantic vibe," he says. 

The perfect spot for sundowners in Formentera. (Getty Images)
The perfect spot for sundowners in Formentera. (Getty Images)

While Ibiza is known to attract plenty of A-list stars, Formentera is also up there as a key spot for Hollywood i-Spy.

"The picturesque island has some great rooftop bars where you can watch sunset in the evening with a cocktail, before heading off to a restaurant for some exquisite seafood, something the island is known for," he adds. 

Kelvin says Formentera is home to some of the best beaches in the world, including the famed Ses Illetes and the rocky sand mix at Calo Des Mort, where travellers can enjoy some of the clearest waters in Europe. 

"Formentera definitely attracts more laid-back holidaymakers so if you’re after a more chilled-out vibe, this could be the destination for you," he adds. 

The beautiful city of Palma is a must-see in Mallorca. (Getty Images)
The beautiful city of Palma is a must-see in Mallorca. (Getty Images)

Best for everyone: Mallorca

According to Bourlet while Mallorca has the same pull that the other islands have - tranquil, turquoise waters and beautiful beaches - Mallorca will stand out more for those wanting to explore the island, who don’t mind a good trek up a hill and are excited to learn about the history and culture of the island. 

"There are also some spectacular caves in Mallorca which make for a great day trip, including Coves D’Arta and Coves Dels Hams," he adds. 

But the island can also serve as the perfect spot for either a romantic break or a girls' shopping weekend. 

Foley suggests a stay at the Sant Francesc Hotel Singular in Palma, which is great for couples or a shopping weekend, while Can Ferrereta, offers holidaymakers the option of staying in a beautifully restored 17th Century house.

Take the tram to Port de Soller, in Mallorca. (Getty Images)
Take the tram to Port de Soller, in Mallorca. (Getty Images)

In terms of must sees, she also recommends a trip to Deia village or taking a stroll round the incredible scenery of Cap de Formentor before stopping for a drink at the wonderful Hotel Formentor.

Other must-dos include taking the quaint little tram from inland Soller to the beach at Port de Soller, stopping for tapas in Pollenca old town and taking in the sea view over a relaxed lunch at Restaurant La Terraza near Alcudia.

Watch: Countries added to travel green list part of government cautious approach. 

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