Things to Do in Balearic Islands - page 2
About three miles from Mahon Port are rock pilings that leave people awe-struck. Talatì de Dal is home to T-shaped stone monuments on Menorca – known as Taulas – which date back to 1000 BC and 300 BC and were a part of the Talayotic culture.
Not much is known about this prehistoric site, although it is considered to be one of the most fascinating on the island. Researchers aren’t sure of the significance of these rock formations. Some say it has religious implications, others suggest these were a part of science, and others hypothesize these rocks were part of ancient buildings support systems. What is not debated is the attraction of these rocks – regardless of the reasoning, people come and visit and marvel at the large formations.
A visit to this site includes exploring the Taulas of Menorca, ancient homes, and even a set of caves. For those seeking more than just this one Taula, there are a few spread out on the island.
Travel the world from Mallorca via this show of culturally diverse dance and entertainment. The over-50-year-old show has fine-tuned the art of transporting an audience via live music, comedy, acrobatics, and, of course, a medley of dance, ranging from Spanish flamenco and Irish dance, to classic Broadway numbers, and more.
It’s not all about what’s on stage, either. Prior to the show, guests can be treated to drinks and a fancy four-course meal. Depending on the show ticket purchased, you can also enjoy front-of-stage seating, upgraded drinks such as sparkling wine, or even pre-show cocktails backstage. Located not far from Palma, and often easily accessible by budget-friendly, pre-arranged coach, it’s a night of entertainment that you won’t want to miss while in Mallorca.
Arguably the most beautiful beach on the Balearic island of Mallorca – and certainly its most unspoiled – the three-km (1.75-mile) stretch of Es Trenc is found on the southwest coast near the resort of Colonia Sant Jordi. Thanks to the soft, sugar-like golden sand and the pristine, shallow water, this is a favorite beach for families; there are sunbeds and parasols to hire as well as lifeguards on duty in the summer months. Facilities also include several bars and restaurants along the beach, including the popular chiringuito (casual beach restaurant) of S’Embat in the purpose-built enclave of Ses Covettes, where several areas of the beach are given over to nudity. Despite its length, Es Trenc becomes very crowded in high summer, but a quiet spot can always be found. The beach also gets packed with wind surfers when the sea breezes start blowing. In winter it is often completely deserted apart from the migrating birds stopping over among the dunes, marshy wetlands and pine scrub backing the beach, which are protected as an Área Natural de Especial Interés (Natural Area of Special Interest).
Located on the western coast of the island, and about a 15-minute drive from Palma, Aqualand El Arenal is exactly where you’ll want to go to take your island adventure to the next level. The water park offers all sorts of hot-weather relief in the form of adrenaline-inducing slides, themed pool areas, and relaxing river cruises.
The park very much has something for everyone, too, satisfying those who seek thrills as much as those who just want to chill out. Attractions include wild slides of all types, from free-fall to twisty-turny, side-by-side races, and a tornado-style chute. Meanwhile, there are more tame activities such as the surf beach with its big waves, the Jacuzzi, and milder slides that are more suitable for little kids.
Perched on a dramatic hill, Ibiza Castle (Castell d'Eivissa in Catalan) marks the top of Ibiza’s Dalt Vila, or Upper Town. The island landmark was built over the course of more than 1,000 years and is an architectural hodgepodge of pale-colored stone that combines elements like a 12th century medieval design with 18th century barracks.
The Necropolis del Puig des Molins comprises more than 4,000 tombs from the Phoenician-Punic times, considered the world’s finest collection of Punic remains. The island’s first cemetery, dating back to the seventh century BC, features small caves containing sarcophagi and burial sites filled with jewelry, coins, and baked mud figures.
The Wild West transforms into a water playground at Mallorca’s Western Water Park. Located—appropriately—on the western side of the island, this is where you’ll find a paradise of splash-worthy activities suitable for family members of all ages.
For the adventurous water-lovers in your brood, Western Water Park offers over 10 different rides. For example, there are the Multipistas with six side-by-side slides that make for a steep slithery race to the pool finish. Then, don’t miss the Tornado, on which two people can slosh down its channel together before plunging into the water. Meanwhile, those that are height-averse can get soaked in the wave pool or go on an adventure down the Wild River.
The littlest of kids can get their fix, too, at Children’s Paradise. It is there that you’ll find a tike-sized pool and playground designed for younger folk, as well as a mini water park for the little ones, complete with smaller slides.
Once you and the family have had your fill of playing in the sun, relax in the warm Jacuzzi baths, or check out one of the diving exhibitions featuring professional divers.
Nestled deep within the orange-grove-covered Valley of Gold (Vall d’Or), Sóller is the ideal base for exploring the surrounding Serra de Tramuntana. Before taking to the trails, spend some time strolling the labyrinthine streets, admiring the art galleries, and enjoying what Sóller is best known for—oranges.
If your visit to Mallorca calls for a water experience beyond just the beach, then you’ll get your fix at Marineland Mallorca. The ocean-inspired amusement park is the place to go to slip down some water slides and to discover the creatures under the sea, including penguins to turtles, sting rays, dolphins, and sea lions.
In fact, it's those latter two—the dolphins and sea lions—that are really the stars given that admission also includes checking out these marine animals in an incredible show. The park isn't only about water life, either, as it is home to tropical rain forest animals, too, such as snakes, iguanas, monkeys, and more. And although Viator tours do not include this experience, Marineland Mallorca offers 40-minute dolphin encounters for an additional fee of €65 to be paid onsite.
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An extensive collection of art, books, and sculpture that spans multiple centuries and mediums, the Palau March Museum is a cultural highlight of Palma. Of particular note are its courtyards of exquisite sculpture and statues from the likes of Rodin, Moore, Cardenas, and Chillida, the massive Book Hall with rare manuscripts, and the unique collection of nautical charts from the 15th-17th centuries. There are other rare finds here, such as an extensive Nativity crib exhibit and other painted wooden sculptures (many of them religious in nature.)
The museum’s exterior is worth a visit alone, with influences from Baroque palaces. It was once the residence of the richest man in Mallorca. A variety of shapes, textures, and colors on display in the outdoor gallery is a sight to behold. The courtyard is quite scenic, with a highly decorate facade and a great view of Palma.
Travelers looking for a way to cool off on Menorca without heading to the beach will enjoy Splash Waterpark (Splash Sur Menorca), an attraction-packed destination. This family-friendly park has slides for the kids and lounge areas and Jacuzzis for the adults, plus food, drinks, and sunbeds to guarantee a comfortable visit.
The intimately sized Katmandu Park will make other theme parks seem ordinary, as it offers a combination of adventure- and adrenalin-filled interaction. Located just a five-minute walk from the Magaluf beach, and a 20-minute drive from Palma, it’s a great place to both escape and savor the heat given Katmandu’s indoor and outdoor activities (such as a water park).
Park highlights include its upside down house filled with illusions, mazes and more. Then there’s the 4D theater and its rotating shows, 5D experiences suitable for older kids and adults, and even an obstacle-laced K3 climb. Smaller children will especially enjoy the splash park and five-level underwater-themed play area, whereas the whole family can hit the links on the miniature golf course. Food is available within the park, and more options can be found just beyond the entrance gates.
The largest aquarium in Mallorca with over 55 tanks and more than 700 different marine species, Palma Aquarium is a sight to behold. Ocean habitats and ecosystems from around the world have been recreated from the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans as well as the local Mediterranean Sea. Promoting eco-friendly practices and respect for marine life, the aquarium was built as a tribute to nature and remains unparalleled in many respects.
Visitors have the chance to see the largest shark tank in Europe (at 28 feet deep) as well as the largest live coral collection on the continent. The jellyfish and black-tip reef shark exhibits are remarkable. Some of the aquariums most magnificent marine species include octopuses, sea horses, grouper fish, wrasses, crabs, rays, and eels. Other exhibits include an interactive touch pool, an outside play area for children, a Mediterranean garden, and a tropical jungle, the largest of its kind in Spain.
Puig de Galatzo Nature Reserve (La Reserva Puig de Galatzo) is a prime destination for visitors who want to experience Mallorca's natural beauty—and take part in a few thrilling outdoor activities. Enjoy hikes, a plethora of flora and fauna, and fantastic mountain views, as well as adventures like ziplining and rock climbing.
Aqua Center Water Park is a prime destination for visitors in Menorca who want a place to cool off and careen down towering water slides. With pools, jacuzzis, and a bar area—plus a kid-friendly water castle and bouncy play zone—the Aqua Center offers lots of family-friendly fun.
The Na Burguesa Viewpoint (Mirador de Na Burguesa) sits at the top of the Serra de Na Burguesa, a mountain range that is easily accessible from Palma de Mallorca. Enjoy spectacular panoramic views over the city from the 1,443-foot (440-meter) peak, then hike through the surrounding woods on one of the area’s many walking trails.
See a diverse collection of wildlife at the Menorca Zoo (Lloc De Menorca), a park that is home to a variety of rescue animals, from goats to macaque monkeys. Highlights include the kid-friendly displays and an area where you can interact with lemurs, plus the on-site Bronze Age monument.
The only waterpark located in the north of Mallorca, Hidropark has a variety of water activities and rides spread out over 40,000 square meters. For the actively inclined, SNUBA and mini golf are offered in addition to speedy water slides, while gentler options are available for small kids or those who prefer to relax.
The kids' water playground is themed with sea life and is known for its large octopus slide. There’s also a slide race for groups of kids. One of its most unique offerings is the floating water ball pool, which allows participants to step into a large plastic ball and propel themselves across the water’s surface.
More adventurous options include the Kamikaze slide, which drops from 15 meters high, and the soft slide which twists and turns rapidly. For those who prefer to stay dry, the fun park also has paintball, bouncy houses, and trampolines.
Port of Palma (Puerto de Palma) in Palma de Mallorca is one of the busiest in the Mediterranean, welcoming more than 1.7 million cruise ship passengers each year. As the gateway to the island of Mallorca and Spain's Balearic Islands, it’s a popular stop on Mediterranean cruises, with easy access to both Valencia and Barcelona.
One of the most popular day walks in Mallorca, the challenging Torrent de Pareis hike slices through the Sa Calobra Canyon and offers spectacular views of the Tramuntana Mountains. After completing the hike, enjoy access to remote and pebbly beaches, as well as the charming town of Sa Calobra.
One of Mallorca’s biggest outdoor weekly markets, Inca Market takes over the island’s leather-making town of Inca every Thursday. Offering more than 100 stalls, the market is a great place for snapping up traditional local leatherware, handicrafts, delicacies, and fresh produce.
The sleepiest and smallest of Spain’s Balearic Islands, Formentera is the ultimate Mediterranean coastal idyll. Free from the all-night clubs and persistent touts of neighboring Ibiza, Formentera has a mellow, leisurely vibe. The island’s biggest lure is its natural beauty—escape to its white sands, clear waters, and scenic walking paths.
Descend 36 meters underground for a guided subterranean exploration at the Genova Caves (Cuevas de Genova). The caves, which are hidden under a restaurant, offer beautiful rock formations as well as pools of water, corridors, and columns and are enhanced with a variety of colorful lights in an audiovisual show.
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