20 DISCOVER A DIFFERENT SIDE TO SPAIN
THE BALEARIC ISLANDS: HOME TO WHITE BEACHES, PARTY HOT SPOTS AND WORLD HERITAGE SITES!?
The Balearic Islands are one of the most popular destinations for Britons to travel to, especially throughout the summer months. With the Covid-19 pandemic, many have had to postpone trips abroad to the much loved Spanish Islands, until now! Travellers from Britian must present either a Negetive Covid-19 test or a Covid-19 Vaccination Certiicate before visting the Baleric Islands, along with a Spainsh Passenger Locator Form. When arriving back into Britian, arrivals must show thier Negitive Covid-19 test along with Covid-19 Vaccination Certificates (to avoid quarantine) and a UK Passenger Locator Form. The UK Passenger Form will also require the Booking Reference for the Home Testing Covid-19 Kit which must be taken on Day 2 (for everyone) and Day 8 (Non-Vaccinated arrivasl)
BIZA is the well-known party capital of Spain, but did you know it is home to another UNESCO World Heritage Site?
Bordered with Forementera, Ibiza’s southern
borders are filled with salt pans and maritime marshes, along with meadows which in winter blooms white flowers from the thousands of almond trees scattered throughout the countryside.Th
e ports of Eivissa, Sant Antoni de Portmany and Santa Eulària des Riu are said to be some of the quietest spots to unwind in the Spanish sun.
Many sailing expeditions can be found along the shores of Ibiza to take you to these hidden coves along the waters edge where relaxation and calm are the only known acts upon these beaches. Fresh seafood eateries are only a stones throw from these white beaches, amalgamating tradition with tranquility on the island
By SARAH PICKERING
best known for partying. Of course if partying is more your cup of tea, then Ses Variades on the west of the Island is the place to visit. A bustling nightlife that includes a European flare can be found at Cala Benirrás which showcases drum parties every Sunday; the hippie-style event brings locals and tourists together in a night of celebration and dance. The islands very own Stonehenge can be found at Cala Llentía where standing stones sit on cliffs towering above the Balearic Sea.
Despite the party reputation, Ibiza’s natural home ground is a whirlwind of interesting and unique dives and valleys ,filled with olive trees and vineyards which have helped to gain the world heritage site award. Not only are salt pans and marshes founs along winding roads throughout the vast countryside, but as are sites such as the preserved Dalt Vila fortress of Eivissa and the Phoenician settlement in Sa Caleta and the necropolis within Puig des Molins. All 4 sites and areas have helped gain Ibiza the multiple UNESCO World Heritage awards the island boasts.
The walled city of Ibiza (or Eivissa) is the capital of the island and is a must visit when exploring this hidden cultural delight of an island. The fortress that stands tall is lifted by the labyrinth of streets filled with restaurants, statues and galleries. The historical city co-exists with its sparkling white shorelines with crystal clear waters and the exciting nightlife that follows shortly after dark. The Dalt Vila is best greeted through the Portal de ses Taules, said to be the most beautiful gateway entrance to the castle. Alongside the Dalt vila is the Almudaina, the historic Cathedral seated next to the fortress and makes for the ideal location to witness breathtaking views of the sea and lower city below. Along side Formentera, the town of Sant Antoni de Portmany helps make up the Archipelago of Pitiusas:
The historic Greek name was formed for the Pityusic Islands, Pityuses, or Pine Islands which is collective for Ibiza, Formentera, S’Espalmador and smaller islands within the Mediterranean Sea which are all members of the Balearic Islands. In 2000 BCE, the Pine Islands were used to base Cilician pirates.
The infamous town known mainly for its wild
nightlife contains deep historic roots which make for an interesting find for tourists. Artefacts discovered in the area such as cave paintings and bronze axes indicate the seconded most populated city within Ibiza dates back to prehistoric times. Tourists are greeted with roman and Arab influences such a monuments and towers which surround the city and can be viewed from different points. Portus (Roman) or Portumany (Arab) stood on this ground first after it was created into an urban centre by King Jaume I. Within the 14th Century, the church of Sant Antoni was then built, thus further populating the town and gaining its current name. The large towers mentioned previously were built within the 17th Century as a way of keeping a secure hold on the town which at that time was facing threat from pirates and privateers. The religious architecture and influence does not stop there as Sant Antoni de Portmany holds the parishes of Santa Agnès de Corona, Sant Mateu d´Albarca and San Rafael de Forca; Santa Agnès hosts an impressive preserved chapel built underground which is also within a cave, Sant Mateu is home to an abundance of different ascetically pleasing chapel builds and Sant Rafael showcases both Ibiza and Formentera through spectacular views of both islands.
Formentera is the smallest of the Islands, hosting an abundance of white beaches with picture perfect clear waters. Not only does this small, but mighty, Island showcase everything and more holiday goers wish for in a relaxing holiday ,but also displays the rich Spanish his- tory well with three historic villages: Sant Francesc Xa- vier, Sant Ferran de ses Roque and El Pilar de la Mola. San Francesc is the capital of Formentera, with the island’s town hall located here.
The village boasts of its rich history with buildings and architecture displaying heart ache and history of the Island. A parish church oversees the village which once was a fortress in the 18th Century; The fortress was used to guard the island against the many pirate invasions that brought suffering to the island and its people. Step into the traditional Spanish culture as you ex- plore the villages ‘hippy’ stalls and craft market- delve into the interesting handmade jewellery and clothes made by locals to fully take in the precious culture felt by these people. To expand on the impressive history of the islands, take a trip to the Ethnological Museum where customs and traditions meet food and folklore- be trans- ported to past times as you make your way through the impressive museum.
Relaxing beach life is not for everyone: If sport and adventure is your thing then Forementera is the place for it. Es Pujols, a member of the Sant Francesc de Forementera municipality, is home to the largest tourist centre on the island. The main beach in the town is host to an array of water sport opportunities and the prom- enade in the centre of town makes for a perfect end to an exhilarating day due to the long list of eateries, cafes and nightclubs.
Menorca or Minorca is a packed cove full of natural anomalies and unique locations thanks to the islands di- verse natural state which is perfect for animals and wet- lands to thrive- completely different to any of the other islands within the Balearic Islands. UNESCO have also handed out multiple status’ for the island which range from Biosphere Reserves to Special Bird Protection Ar- eas which in itself speaks for the major role nature has played in producing this colourful island. Heading south on the island, you will be greeted by around 40 different ravines all of which are home to a collective 200 species of animal, with 26 being native to Minorca.Avid bird watchers will feel at home on this island where species such as the cormorant and the Cory’s shearwater ven- ture due to the impressive shrubs and greenery on show throughout the coastline. S’Albufera des Grau Nature
Sept/Oct 2021 Travel News
Park, which is a Special Bird Protection Area within Menorca, is lined with blue lagoons, pools and caves due to the effects of marine erosion beneath the waters surface. The natural occurring event has created a maze of pockets throughout the 216 kilometres of coastline gracing Menorca thriving with sea daffodils, junipers and trees making it a hot spot of wildlife, hence the UNESCO status.th
e crystal clears waters also make the island a hub for scuba diving, fishing and wind surfing which can be found at any large port across the island.
Mahón is the capital of this small island and stands at 141 metres above sea-level making it the highest town in Menorca. The South-eastern city also boasts of a lavish historical background with many prehistoric sites still preserved and accessible to the public. Highly recommended, the Santa Maria Church and city hall are marvels to be wonder at; once, of course, you have made your way around the Georgian-style houses and the Menorca museum.
Found peacefully in the middle of this island is Fer- reries, an historic treasure blended with a mix of mod- ern and traditional wealth. A tale as old as time is told s you wander through this city where Spanish, Arab and roman design meld together. On top o mount Santa Agueda, the ruins of an old Arab castle is located next to almost hidden roman road. Deeper into the city is the church of Sant Bartomeu, ensuring there is some- thing for everyone throughout the city.
Away from the busy streets is a number of coves, beaches and pine woods to indulge in the quiet life as you explore the natural phenomenons of Menorca.
Majorca is the biggest island in the Balearics and is home to Palma, arguably the most well-known city on the Balearic Islands. The island is home to a wealth of mountains , coves and picturesque beaches and known inspiration for many writers and musicians, just like its counterparts in Ibiza.
Many sights and attractions can be found within the heart of Palma; Tourists are treated to a mix of modern and past-time delights as they wander the streets of this exuberant city. Much like many Spanish locations, the city of Palma is split into the old and new, with the old town sitting on the waters edge. A glorious Cathedral stands on the city walls of Palma with three naves. The biggest of the three is the impressive Trinidad chapel where the remains of King Jaime II and Jaime III lay; the Cathedral was constructed during the reign of King Jaime II, hence the importance and burial place. The Cathedral of Palma de Mallorca rings loud throughout the city due to the nine bells situated at the top of the tower, the largest being “N’Eloi” which weighs 4,517 kilos. The spectacular building is a won- der for the eyes, right down to the last detail. The main and south door (or Mirador) are a highlight due to the unique decoration which features sculptures by Guillermo Sagrera. The Mirador door is record- ed with cravings which feature plant and geometrical movements, with the front door displaying four stand out columns. Other notable artist features include ear- ly 20th Century pieces created by Antonio Gaudí and within the Santísimo Chapel, the workings of Miquel Barceló which includes a large ceramic mural, impres- sive stained glass windows and impressive furnishings. Again, just like Ibiza, this party destination has more than what meets the eye when it comes to Spanish ar- chitecture with large boisterous buildings landmarking the coast. The Chopin residence is hard to miss when visiting the large Spanish island as the residence is host to a pharmacy, garden and chapel to name but a few. Built in 1309 ,the Chopin residence was a once great palace until 1399 when the ownership was then hand- ed over to the Carthusian monks. After a long period, in 1835 the buildings became private property under the ownership of Mendizábal. With such impressive history, it would be a shame to pass up on this visiting attraction that takes tours of the spectacular building. The large collection of personal objects, manuscripts, and musical scores which belonged to Frédéric Cho- pin and the writer George Sand are on display for all to marvel at; along with the library, audience chamber and dormitory.
Food isnt to be missed on the island of Majorca.Th
is Baleric Island is host to multiple michelin starred res- turants, famous for the “slow food’ trend on the island; Cafes and cake shops are also the perfect resting area to stop and try the ensaimada pastry. The golden floured pastry orginated here in Majorca and is well known throughout the region of Spain and southwestern Eu- rope. The sweet bread is best served cold with an iced coffee to help beat the Spainsh sun, all whilst enjoying a bit of history and tradition.
The La Almudaina Royal Palace stands tall in Pal- ma and plays a vital role into the history of he Island, This Palace is the current summer residency to His Majesty the King of Spain where he resides for offical ceremonies during this time, La Almudaina was once within an independent kingdom rulled by Jaime I, San- cho I and Jaime II; It then moved to become aprt of the Aragon kingdom, rulled by Pedro IV. The beautiful Castle can be found along the shoreline at Palma where visabe modications can be seen from the once Muslim Fortress bilt in 1281. Inside vistors will find tapestries and furniture dating back all throughout history, with the outer building comprising of a tower, the King’s Palace, Queen’s Palace, the Royal Chapel, The Tinell hall and then the remaining courtyards. Located near the Parc de la Mar, this standout building can be visted to wander at the historical pieces.bo
th inside, and out- side, of the impressive building.
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