I’ve been continuing the recent tradition of going to the islands of Europe as I’ve visited Malta, Iceland, United Kingdom (biggest island in Europe), Canary Islands, Azores, and now the Balearic Islands. I mean why not keep it going by going to another group of islands where I’ve never been before? Going southeast from Barcelona, there they are – the Balearic Islands with the three biggest islands of Ibiza, Mallorca, and Menorca being the most well-known.
I decided to go to Mallorca since it was the biggest island meaning that it would probably have the most options of fun available and not to mention I wanted to avoid Ibiza which has a huge reputation of being a party-central island for many Europeans. Almost like the Spring Break locations back in the western hemisphere where Cancun is often noted for its Spring Break craziness (or stupid-ness), the same applies to drinking and partying central of Ibiza which was why I decided on going east of that place, instead towards the big island of Mallorca. Another great part of Mallorca was that it used to be a part of the old Roman Empire unlike the Canaries or the Azores. Over time the islands have belonged to the Moors, Catalonia, Aragon, and eventually to the formal union between Castile and Aragon to become what it is now: Spain. The islands were a great staging spot for ships in the Mediterranean Sea since in the ancient times, ships needed to resupply more often back then. And now in modern times, the islands have become a tourist destination because of the sunny weather, beaches, and closeness to Europe itself unlike the Azores and Canaries which might be a bit far and the weather can be a bit more unpredictable.
Tip: I recommend renting a car to be more mobile in being able to go see and conduct fun activities because not all the fun stuff is located in one spot. That’s why it’s far better to have a rental car so you’re not shelling out a lot of money on taxis nor restricted to the local buses and their fixed schedules.
Tip: The people on these islands do speak English really well as they are accustomed to the waves of tourists descending upon the islands, kind of like the Portuguese are used to tourists in the Azores. However, if you can speak Spanish, you might get better service from the locals unlike the rest of the tourist entourage that speaks English back and forth. For example, a Swede will speak English to a local Spaniard instead of Swedish or Spanish. English is definitely the lingua franca but speaking the local language does wonders if you ask me.
Tip: There are a lot of Germans and British touristy folks in these islands and they tend to bring their culture and attitude with them making it a bit awkward to not just the locals but also fellow tourists who are not used to their way of life. For the Germans, they tend to hang out among themselves as if they were their own colony and for the British, a lot of them are there for the sun and lots of drinking. Ibiza, the west island of Mallorca, is a such a party destination. Unfortunately, even the island of Mallorca has its fair share of party-goers aka the participants of the stag and hen parties (aka bachelor and bachelorette parties). I think this is why the locals can speak English to yell at the rowdy tourists.