The Formentera Guide
Quality Guide Book To The Spanish Island Of Formentera.
Of the 500,000 tourists that visit every year, the majority are Spanish,
Italian and German. In fact just 5% are from the United Kingdom, and one of
the main reasons is that information about the island in English is so
scarce. Now, with
The Formentera Guide in hand, you can forget about the
massive resort hotels of Mallorca, and see what the only unspoiled Balearic
Island has to offer. You won’t be disappointed.
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Why go on holiday to the Balearic Islands?
The Balearic Islands comprise Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera and are in the Mediterranean Sea off the east coast of Spain.
Most people choose to visit for the brilliant weather, fine beaches, Spanish culture and of course, the nightlife.
But despite their reputation, tourism hasn't completely taken over the islands; you'll still find reminders of the past - Gothic cathedrals, Stone Age ruins, olive and orange groves and unspoilt fishing villages.
How much does it cost?
All-inclusive deals can be really good value - a week in Majorca costs from £500 in summer. A week's self-catering is from £250 in low season. A top of the range hotel can cost £900 for a week's bed and breakfast in August.
Flights only are from £100 with budget airlines and it is relatively easy to find accommodation in hostels on arrival off-season (average price £30 per night for a basic double room).
It pays to shop around but advance booking is always advised in the height of summer as accommodation will be in short supply.
When should I go?
Summer is silly season when crowds of Europeans descend on the islands to enjoy the beaches, bars and clubs. At this time of year temperatures can reach 86F (30C).
So if you don't mind crowds or if you're there for the nightlife, then July and August are the times to go.
However if you arrive in May-June and September-October you'll find the weather is still good and you won't have to deal with crowds of drunken holidaymakers.
Most hotels and other tourist-oriented businesses close down from November to April, but if you can find somewhere to stay, winter is a good time for relaxing and exploring the countryside, although the weather won't be fine enough for the beach.
* Feeling inspired? Book a break to Majorca.
*Feeling inspired? Book a break to Spain.
|Dance until dawn
|What should I do when I'm there?
Go clubbing. Ibiza is renowned for its nightlife and is the home of outrageous "superclubs" which stay open until dawn and where punters can dance naked, romp around in foam and witness bizarre stage acts.
Of course, there are also lots of other more run-of-the-mill clubs and bars and, thanks to the diversity of the venues on offer, this island attracts a huge mix of hippies, gays, straights, fashion victims, nudists and package tourists.
What are the beaches like?
Beaches on the islands are beautiful, but many are spoilt by high-rise hotel developments. Of course, it is possible to find off-the-beaten-track beaches, especially off-season, but in the height of summer you won't be doing much solo swimming.
What if I want to soak up a bit of culture?
The cathedral in Palma De Majorca is worth a visit for the museum in its Gaudi-designed interior, as is the Museu d'Art Contemporani in Ibiza Town which houses an ever-changing exhibition of contemporary art.
Minorca has many archaeological sites including Son Catlar, a Bronze Age settlement.
And if I want to get active?
Majorca is the best island for those who like their holidays to be action-packed.
It has some excellent trekking destinations, organised cycling tours and most of the beaches have watersports facilities including kayaks, paddle boats and catamarans for hire. There are also several scuba diving schools.
|Where's good for nightlife?
During the summer, Ibiza is a continuous party and the Sa Penya district (the port) is teaming with bars which stay open until the early hours.
When these close you can go on to one of the clubs which are open to dawn and beyond - good ones to check out are Pacha in Ibiza city's port, Amnesia, Kiss and Space. The old quarter of Majorca's capital Palma is also good for a night on the tiles.
What's the food like?
Full English breakfasts and fish and chips are hard to avoid in the more touristy areas, but if you venture further afield you'll find delicious local food such as seafood, paella and tapas on offer.
What should I buy?
Sa Penya in Ibiza is crammed with dozens of funky clothes shops, and is also home to the hippie market where you can pick up anything from cheapo T-shirts to local arts and crafts.
The Old Quarter of Mao in Minorca plays host to a craft and clothing market every Saturday and Deia in Majorca is great if you're looking for classy boutiques and artists' workshops.
What is there for children to do?
Spanish culture is child-oriented, so there is no problem taking children into bars, restaurants, etc (as long as they behave themselves!).
Some tour operators provide Children's Clubs in the bigger hotels where parents can deposit the kids and head off out for the day. Otherwise, there is an endless supply of beaches, parks and festivals in most towns where children can amuse themselves.
Spanish National Tourist Office, 22-23 Manchester Square, London W1M 5AP. Tel. 020 7486 8077 b. Brochure line: 09063 640630 (60p per minute).
The Balaeric Islands Menorca