29 Mar Spain’s Islands
I’m sure you have heard of Capri, Malta and Cyprus. They are gorgeous islands located in different parts of Europe, and highly visited by tourists. They are the perfect spot for a sunny and warm vacation (although they are a bit crowded in the summer). Wouldn’t it be great to have some here in Spain?
For those of you who know the country, I’m pretty sure you have heard of the different islands that surround it. However, for those of you who are less familiar with it, I’m sure you will enjoy an overview of the most aphrodisiac destinies within Spain. There are numerous amazing islands where you can go to spend your vacation time and sunbathe next to clear waters. Interested? Let’s take a look.
Let’s start by taking a look at the closer ones: the Balearic islands. They are not far from the peninsula, right in front of the area of Valencia. This archipelago is composed of 5 islands: Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera and Cabrera. They are all incredibly beautiful. Mallorca is the biggest one, and maybe the “go to” destination for those with some extra cash on the summer.
The island has a lot to offer, both in terms of architectural tourism and seaside spots. Let’s start with the capital: Palma de Mallorca. Besides the beautiful cathedral, the Almudaina palace, the Bellver castle, and other incredible monuments, you should spend almost a day walking around the old part of the city.
The biggest attraction of this Islands is obviously, the beach. However, there are numerous villages that are really worth visiting. Among them we can find Sóller, Valldemosa, Pollensa and Alcudia. Make sure you plan your trip in advance, and look at the different spots around the island, to visit those which you like better. One thing is for sure. No matter where you go, you are going to fall in love with Mallorca!
Next, we have Menorca. In terms of beaches, be sure to take a swim in any of the following: cala Turqueta, cala Macarella, cala Galdana, cala Pregonda and cala Mitjana. You will be astonished by the clear blue water and the amazing nature that surrounds them. However, there’s more to Menorca than it’s beautiful beaches. Among the most beautiful villages, you can find Mahón, Ciudadela, Binibeca and Fornells. Try to rent a car and explore them all, they will take your breath away.
Ibiza, on the other hand, is the most expensive island. Celebrities and millionaires get together on this island every summer. Great parties, big boats and amazing weather. The fun, however, is not all there is to this island. It’s incredibly beautiful, surrounded by paradisiac beaches, such as cala Salada, cala Conta and cala Vadella. If your budget is not too tight, this can be a great destination for you.
Besides these two main islands, the archipelago also includes Formentera and Cabrera. These also count with beautiful beaches and a big historical background. If you have the time, you will really enjoy paying them a visit.
If you are living in the peninsula, whether for Erasmus or for work, this is one of the alternative destinations if you are here in the summer. Although the prices can get pretty high, if you fly in from one of the major airports, flights are not that expensive. Just make sure you book in advance. Although it might not be within your itinerary to visit Spain, if you have enough time, you will discover a completely different part of Spain.
The canary islands are even further away, and are the other big set of islands that belong to Spain. They are in the Atlantic, next to Africa. Due to the distance, travelling here might be a bit more expensive. But again, if you book in advance, you can get great deals for your trip.
Here we have seven different islands: Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera y El Hierro.
Within Gran Canaria, you can find architectural marvels such as the church of Juan Bautista de Arucas. Besides beautiful villages, you can also find amazing natural rock constructions in many parts of the island. It is very typical to climb a couple of them in order to enjoy the view. Among them, one of the most typical ones is el Roque Nublo. Another key spot are the Maspalomas Dunes: a desert with a view of the Atlantic.
As you can see, Gran Canaria offers a big variety of entertainment options, and the rest of islands in this location are not less impressive. Tenerife, for example, is quite famous for it huge volcano: Teide. This volcano marks the highest elevation point in the country. It’s surrounded by a national park, and is one of the main attractions of the island. It also has beautiful beaches, such as “Playa Chica” and “Playa de Abama”.
The other islands in this location are also incredibly beautiful, although a bit less touristy. Sadly, there is too much to say about all seven of them, therefore, I suggest you do some research and try to explore the islands as best as you can. Flying is the best option, and the flights normally last around 2 hours and 50 minutes. The prices can be a bit high, so make sure you book in advance.
Another relevant factor about this islands is the change in time zone. In the canary islands, there is always one hour less that in the spanish peninsula. This change in time zone is also accompanied by a change in weather. It is always a bit warmer than in the mainland, and as a result, surfing is the most practiced sport around the year.
Although there are other islands around Spain, these two archipelagos are the most noticeable ones, and definitely the most touristy. If you are staying in Spain for some time in the summer (or even spring) and have a spare week, make sure you visit some of them. The Balearic islands or “Islas Baleares” are far closer, which enables you to travel cheaper. Nevertheless, it all depends on your budget, and on how well you organize your trip. I hope this article has given you a rough idea of what you can discover outside the peninsula, and that you explore everything these spots have to offer.