Which is the Best Balearic Island to Live in?

8 mins read

Deciding which is the best Balearic Island to live on can be challenging, given the choices of cities, towns, and villages. The Balearic archipelago comprises four main islands: Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera, along with several smaller islets. Located off the eastern coast of Spain, these islands boast rugged mountains, fertile plains, and idyllic coves.

Mallorca, the largest of the Balearics, captivates with dramatic cliffs, lush valleys, and beautiful villages. Menorca, in contrast, offers more serene ambiences, with meandering trails and ancient stone monuments. Ibiza, renowned for nightlife scenes, also boasts hidden coves and pine-clad hills. Formentera, the smallest of the four, entices visitors with unspoiled beaches, clear waters, and laid-back atmospheres. But which one will suit your lifestyle preferences? Here is what to expect.

Which is the best Balearic Island to Live in?

balearic islands political map

What to Expect from All Balearic Islands

  • Mediterranean climate with mild winters and warm summers for year-round outdoor lifestyles.
  • Beautiful beaches with clear waters, for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying water sports like snorkelling, scuba diving, and sailing.
  • Rich cultural heritage and history, old towns, historic sites, and traditional festivals showcase unique local culture and traditions.
  • The relaxed pace of life allows residents to escape the hustle and bustle of city living and enjoy more laid-back lifestyles.
  • Diverse culinary offerings attract food lovers, from fresh seafood and local produce to world-class restaurants and beachside cafes.
  • Strong expat communities, offering support for those new to the area.
  • Well-connected by air and sea, making it easy to travel to and from other European cities and countries for work or leisure.
  • Recreational activities, including hiking, cycling, golfing, and wellness retreats, provide plenty of outdoor adventure and relaxation opportunities.
  • Excellent healthcare facilities, quality international schools, and high living standards easily attract families and retirees.
  • Breathtakingly beautiful and vibrant Mediterranean setting, with nature, culture, and modern amenities.

Living in Mallorca

Introduction: Mallorca, the largest Balearic archipelago island, covers 3,640 square kilometres and boasts around 900,000 residents, with many living in Palma de Mallorca. The 550-kilometre coastline features beaches like Cala Llombard and Palma de Mallorca, home to one of Europe’s largest and most well-preserved Gothic cathedrals, La Seu, which dates back to the 13th century.


The Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, located on the northwest coast of Mallorca, is a UNESCO World Heritage site known for natural beauty and hiking trails, and the island’s economy is heavily reliant on tourism, with millions of visitors flocking to Mallorca each year to enjoy beaches, nightlife, and cultural attractions.

Where to Live: Buyers looking at a luxury property in Majorca should head to the Port Andratx region. Popular with the yachting crew and wealthy property owners, although it commands higher prices, Port Andratx is home to a large expat community of foreign residents. Another area is Santa Ponsa. Puerto Portal and Portals Nou attract yacht owners and wealthy international residents. The old towns, Calatrava, Santa Catalina, and Portixol, are popular places to buy property. (More about towns in Majorca.)

mallorca map

Flight Connections: Palma de Mallorca Airport, Son Sant Joan Airport, is the primary airport with direct flights serving Mallorca. Palma de Mallorca Airport, approximately 8 kilometres east of the capital city, is situated in the southern part of the island, near Can Pastilla.

International Schools: For families moving to Majorca, there are 18 international schools, of which Baleares International College is among the best. School fees vary from roughly 5000 euros annually, not including school uniforms and extracurricular activities.

Majorca, the largest Island in Spain, offers unique and exciting experiences for residents. One remarkable aspect is the diverse landscapes. From sandy beaches to inland villages, dramatic mountains and picturesque countryside, this diversity allows residents to enjoy hiking, cycling, and water sports.

Moreover, Majorca boasts excellent nightlife scenes, particularly in the capital city. With countless bars, and live music venues, there are options for all preferences. Whether you prefer lively nights out or relaxed evenings in cosy bars, Palma offers it all.

The old town beckons with narrow cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and quaint cafes. Meanwhile, Mallorca’s bustling cities, and picturesque villages sit aside the luxury lifestyle with upscale marinas, boutique hotels, and Michelin-starred restaurants. Mallorca has thriving expat communities, making the island famous for property buyers looking to relocate.

The Cosmopolitan Community of Menorca

Introduction: Menorca is the second-largest island in the Balearic archipelago, covering 701 square kilometres. The island has around 95,000 inhabitants, with the majority residing in Mahon (called Mao) and Ciutadella. Menorca’s coastline spans approximately 216 kilometres, featuring numerous white-sand beaches, secluded coves, and rugged cliffs.


Prominent Places: Ciutadella, on Menorca’s western coast, earns fame for the old town, historic architecture, and traditional festivals, including the Fiesta de Sant Joan. Mahon, the capital of Menorca, exudes more tranquil vibes with the picturesque harbour, and British colonial architecture. The city’s lively market, Mercat des Claustre, offers an array of local produce, crafts, and delicacies.

Places to Buy Property: Cala Llonga is the most exclusive area in which to buy property, and many celebrities own homes. Ciutadella earns admiration for traditional houses, whereas Mahon features many new developments. Binibeca breaks down into three separate areas, each worth getting to know. Meanwhile, if you are a golfing fan, head to Son Parc, Menorca’s only golf course. When the sun sets, the vibrant nightlife in Ciutadella comes alive. With lively bars, clubs, and restaurants, there is always something to suit every taste.

menorca political map

Flight Connections: Menorca Airport, called Mahon Airport, is 4.5 kilometres southwest of Mahon and connects Menorca with domestic and international destinations. The airport features a single terminal with essential amenities, including shops, cafes, and car rental services.

The island easily attracts nature lovers, offering hiking, birdwatching, and water sports opportunities, as well as protected natural areas like S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park.  Menorca is committed to preserving beautiful landscapes and delicate ecosystems as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and attracts bird enthusiasts, boasting over 200 species of birds. From rare migrants to local residents, countless avian wonders exist to admire. The island’s diverse habitats, ranging from wetlands to cliffs, provide ideal conditions for these magnificent creatures.

Menorca is the quieter and more laid-back Island, and is perfect for relaxed lifestyles. The many beaches, rolling countryside, and traditional fishing villages, as well as strong sense of community makes the island, a great place to raise a family or retire.

The Real Estate Market of Ibiza

Introduction: The island covers 572 square kilometres, making it the third largest of the Balearics, with 150,000 inhabitants. The island’s 210-kilometre coastline features various beaches, rocky coves, and clear waters. Tourism drives the island’s economy with millions of visitors each year flocking to enjoy beaches, nightlife, and cultural attractions.

Flight Connections: Ibiza Airport is the primary air gateway, nestled just 7 kilometres southwest of Ibiza Town. Despite the relatively compact size, the airport handles substantial influxes of tourists, particularly during the vibrant summer season.

eivissa ibiza town with church under blue sky

Places to Buy Property: For budget-friendly areas, head to San Antonio, Santa Eulalia, or Portinatx. If you have a higher budget, look at Ibiza Town (Eivissa), Sant Josep de sa Talaia and Santa Eulària des Riu. Meanwhile, San Juan boasts many new developments, while San Mateo is famous for being in the natural environment.

Ibiza Town is famous for Dalt Vila (Old Town), a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring ancient walls, cobblestone streets, and panoramic views. Despite the party reputation in San Antonio, Ibiza offers tranquil retreats, with blissful beaches, yoga retreats, and wellness centres scattered across the island.

Living in Ibiza offers diverse experiences, combining vibrant and bustling tourist hotspots with the quieter side of the island. This quieter side of Ibiza boasts natural beauty, gorgeous beaches, and peaceful countryside. Santa Eulalia is known for being incredibly family-friendly.

ibiza villaesibiv716 3

Ibiza is home to beautiful beaches, crystal waters, and bohemian vibes that attract artists, musicians, and free spirits worldwide. While summer months get crowded with tourists, the island is more relaxed during off-peak seasons. Ibiza Town offers vibrant and thriving art scenes for those who love art. The town is home to numerous galleries showcasing the works of local and international artists.

Ibiza boasts lovely countryside and hidden gems, which can only be explored by vehicle. A car allows residents to explore all Ibiza offers, whether discovering secluded beaches off the beaten path or exploring picturesque hillside villages. Living on this holiday island is a unique experience that contrasts the tourist regions, beach scenes, famous buildings, and peaceful serenity.

Exclusive Living and Ideal Locations in Formentera

Introduction: Formentera is the smallest Balearic Island, covering 83 square kilometres with 12,000 inhabitants, with many living in Sant Francesc Xavier town, the capital of Formentera. The island’s 69-kilometre coastline boasts pristine white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and coves.

Ferry Connections: Despite the lack of flight connections, reaching Formentera is relatively straightforward, albeit dependent on catching a ferry from the neighbouring island of Ibiza. Regular ferry services connect the two islands, with multiple daily departures. The short and scenic journey provides breathtaking Mediterranean Sea views.

beatiful sunny beach day in formentera spain.

The Property Market: Formentera is actually an exclusive European destination for owning property. The limited supply and strict construction rules have raised the property market to superstardom. This, twinned with the remote location, often sees private villas with swimming pools selling for millions of pounds. Formentera is not a place to look for budget property, but if you want luxury living, check it out.

The beautiful island, a popular destination for eco-tourism, carries out initiatives to protect fragile ecosystems, including marine reserves and conservation projects. Still, Formentera’s primary industries include tourism, fishing, and agriculture, focusing on sustainable practices to preserve the pristine environments.

Formentera offers several outdoor activities, including cycling, hiking, snorkelling, and paddleboarding, allowing foreign communities to explore beautiful landscapes and crystal waters. The island’s charming villages, exclusive property, traditional cuisine, and relaxed pace of life make it a hidden Mediterranean gem for escapes and blue water.

Living in Formentera is a dream for many expats seeking an idyllic lifestyle full of outdoor pools and relaxed atmospheres. One appeal of living in Formentera is awe-inspiring beachfront locations. These beaches are some of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful, with crystal-clear turquoise waters and powdery white sand. Whether you prefer sunbathing, swimming, or engaging in water sports, the beaches of Formentera provide the perfect backdrop for pure relaxation and enjoyment.

Moreover, Formentera boasts laid-back and welcoming atmospheres to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. The island’s small population ensures a tight-knit community where expats are readily embraced and integrated. The locals’ warm hospitality and commitment to preserving the island’s natural beauty further contribute to the island’s charm.

Living in Formentera offers international buyers the opportunity to escape to a paradise-like environment with pristine beaches and relaxed atmospheres. The island’s beauty and tranquillity and warm and welcoming communities make Formentera appealing for fulfilling expat experiences.

Discover Your Dream Home in the Balearic Islands

For more information on which is the best Balearic island to live in,, chat with an agent today. Alternatively, please browse our curated selection of properties for sale in the Balearic Islands and embark on a journey to find your perfect slice of paradise.

Whether you’re seeking a luxurious villa near bustling beaches, a quaint countryside retreat selling for an average price or a stylish apartment in the most significant towns, there’s something on the property market for every foreign buyer. From Palma de Mallorca’s cosmopolitan streets to Menorca’s fishing ports, the bohemian vibes of Ibiza and the idyllic villages of Formentera, the Balearic Islands offer endless possibilities for the international community looking to invest in paradise.

About Natalie

Natalie is a dedicated real estate professional currently working at Spot Blue International Property. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has acquired a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding global properties.

Properties For Sale in Balearic Islands