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The Balearics are big believers that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. From bustling bays to lesser-known hideaways reserved just for you – there's more than enough sand to go around. Golden stretches sprawl out in all their glory, while startling blue seas lap playfully against the shore. A tried and tested recipe for relaxation, it's no wonder scientists say the beach is good for your brain. So calm one, calm all, and dive into the best of the bunch with our handy guide.
When a healthy dose of vitamin D is just what the doctor ordered, finding your very own slice of sandy paradise comes first on the holiday agenda. Whether it's all about family-fun, couples' quiet time or simply topping up your tan, seas the day with these bucket list beauties…
Leading the way with chilled out, Caribbean-style coves is Menorca's Cala Macarelleta. Blessed with silky sands and waters so turquoise your eyes will hardly believe what they're seeing, this unspoilt utopia will please even the pickiest of beach fanatics. Flanked by pine-carpeted cliffs and left as nature intended, it's easy to see how Cala Macarelleta has become the poster child for the entire island.
Peace and tranquillity go hand in hand here, so don't expect a wave of facilities. Instead, pack a picnic, grab your favourite book and roll out your towel. Sinking your toes into soft sands is a sensation that'll never get old – now you're on holiday! With barefoot bliss at an all-time high, let the sea breeze soothe you into a serene state.
If your coastal needs change more than the tides, neighbouring Cala Macarella has a few more creature comforts on offer. Reachable with a short stroll across the cliffs, it's well worth disrupting towel time just to admire the jaw-dropping views. For that extra special finishing touch, forgot the car park and arrive by boat – we guarantee it'll be the icing on your beach day cake!
Proudly flying its Blue Flag, Playa de Alcúdia is a 'something for everyone' holiday institution. Fantastic on-site facilities and a welcoming, low-key atmosphere tick a lot of boxes for parents keen to keep the kids entertained. From a special play area for little ones, to adrenaline-pumping watersports for the bigger members of your brood, families are in for a full on day of fun.
Measuring almost 3.5km in length, this bay is a big playa in Mallorca's beach scene. Trademark Balearic golden sands are met by shallow, calm waters, and all that space means it rarely feels overcrowded – even in the busy summer months. You won't need to worry about bringing a picnic here either, as a whole host of shops, restaurants, cafés and bars are ready to feed hungry tummies and treat parents to a taste of the local tipples.
The white isle is the unsung hero of the Balearics when it comes to blissful beaches. Typecast as a party-goer's paradise, idyllic Ibiza has a lot more to offer than world-famous clubs and celebrity hotspots. The breathtakingly picturesque scenes at Punta Galera, although technically not a beach, are a must-see assortment of flat rocks sticking out over the sea. Nature's creative craftsmanship gives visitors a unique hideaway to catch those sought after-rays, with countless multi-layered sun bathing platforms to choose from. Dazzlingly dramatic, the azure waters of the Mediterranean glitter below – beckoning you to cool off when the temperatures get a little too toasty. Popular with locals and a select few 'in the know' holidaymakers, this isolated spot is one of the island's best kept secrets!
The gift that keeps on giving, this west coast wonder really ups the ante as the day draws to an end. Natural shelves transform from tanning platforms into front row seats for nature's showstopping finale. Completely untouched by human hands, there's no loud music to hinder the tranquillity here – just the sweet sound of waves caressing the shore as the sky lights up in strokes of peach, orange and yellow. Sunset swooning takes on a whole new meaning as the rocks glow red and the sea sparkles in shades of gold. Slip into a state of holiday bliss and be thankful you didn't give this one a miss.
Nestled at the island's northernmost tip, Mallorca's Cap de Formentor is a prestigious peninsula with a wild side. Abounding in dramatic scenery and spellbinding beauty, the area calls to nature lovers like churros call to chocolate! Cliffs soar well over 400 metres above sea level, featuring rugged rock formations that jut out across the landscape. Turquoise waters gently lap against the shores of hideaway coves, while the elements toy with wind-buckled peaks. Carpeted in a blanket of lush green pines as far as the eye can see, a coastal road winds its way to an impressive 19th century lighthouse. This is the spot that'll truly make your jaw drop, and that's before you've even set foot on the beaches…
Cala Formentor is one of the island's most beloved shorelines. Boasting second-to-none settings, views overlooking picturesque Pollensa and a crescent of soft sand, ticking a lot of those beach boxes! As well as plenty of places to top up your tan, there are also ample shady spots courtesy of a lush tree canopy. If you're staying in the south of Mallorca and don't want to miss out on an authentic slice of unspoilt paradise, opt for a boat tour and arrive in style. Not only will you get to see the breathtaking beauty from the water, you'll also be treated to views of the idyllic island from a whole new vantage point…
Pssst – If you prefer a little more peace and quiet, tiny coves huddle nearby in the form of Cala Bóquer, Cala Murta and Cala Figuera.
Step into serenity with the stunning beach at Es Grau. Backed by sweeping sand dunes from the neighbouring nature reserve, this breathtaking area is undoubtedly the reason for Menorca's UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Welcome to a world of pure relaxation, with a shell-shaped bay that's practically closed to the sea – offering visitors a natural swimming pool, with shallow waters extending for over 100 feet! Perfect for families with young children, little paddlers are free to splash around safely, while teens who struggle to sit still can try their hand at snorkelling, stand up paddle boarding and even a spot of sea kayaking.
Dust off your walking boots and explore the three coastal paths that weave and wind across the S'Albufera des Grau nature reserve. Part of the famous Camí de Cavalls that wraps itself around the entire island (extending a whopping 116 miles), many come to conquer the entire coastline! If that sounds a little on the exhausting side, make a beeline for the little section leading away from Es Grau beach. A small, sandy pathway takes visitors on a jolly jaunt across wonderful wetlands and captivating countryside. Once your legs are sufficiently stretched, lay out your towel and enjoy the blissful sound of rolling waves, nature's white noise is hard to beat.
Quieter than the aforementioned Playa de Alcúdia, Puerto Pollensa is a beach that does exactly what it says on the tin. Flying its Blue Flag with pride, the horseshoe shaped bay stretches for 1.5km. Swathes of sand are backed by pines and mountains in true Balearic style, with shallow waters and plenty of watersports to boot. Kitted out with all the trademark facilities, an abundance of sunloungers, restaurants and shops have transformed the once sleepy fishing port into a hub of happy holidaymakers! Relaxed and family-friendly, this tried and tested seaside sweet spot is fun for all ages.
With so many beautiful beaches spread across the Balearics, choosing your island paradise is no mean feat! If you're wondering how you'll ever narrow it down, take a look at our handy holiday guide…
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