Complete guide to island hopping in the Balearic Islands

All aboard!

Summer is on, flip-flops are on and island hopping in the Balearic Islands is a big yes for the best holidays! The Balearic group has it all! It's great for exploration, relaxation and partying.

In this guide, you can find everything you need to know about the Balearic Islands from the top itineraries to the best travel tips:

Ferry at the old town of Ibiza, Spain

Ferry approaching the port town of Ibiza

Island hopping in the Balearic islands

Let’s hop on a ferry and explore the western Mediterranean Sea together this year and go island hopping in the Balearic Islands! If you want impressive architecture and heavenly beaches (who doesn’t, right?😊), head to Mallorca, the largest island of the archipelagos’ major islands.

And of course, you can't miss out on Ibiza! Let yourself go into the party atmosphere, and stroll along with numerous bars and clubs, ideal for all-day fiestas! However, if you are a nature lover, ready to explore unspoiled, hidden spots surrounded by greenery, Formentera and Menorca are perfect to start your island-hopping adventure.

Tip: if time is not an issue for you, you can also explore the lesser-known Balearic Islands such as Dragonera, Cabrera, and S'Espalmador. The islet of S’Espalmador, for example, is a secluded uninhabited paradise with perfect beaches and impressive natural beauty. 

Sailing boats at the old port of Barcelona in Spain

Calm day at the old harbor of Barcelona

How do I get around the Balearic Islands?

The Balearic Islands are located close to each other, and it’s easy to catch a ferry and explore the archipelago. Majorca is the main transport hub of the Balearics located in the center of the group.

If you are interested in finding more details about the most popular ferry routes in the Balearics read below:

  • Ibiza to Formentera ferry: there are more than 35 daily crossings and the ferry from Ibiza to Formentera lasts around 25 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Mallorca to Menorca ferry: there is at least 1 daily ferry from Mallorca to Menorca, operated by Trasmed, Corsica Ferries, Menorca Lines and Baleària. Travel time ranges from 1.5 to 6 hours.
  • Mallorca to Ibiza ferry: you can hop on a ferry from Mallorca to Ibiza daily. There are 1-2 daily crossings operated by Baleària and Trasmed lasting about 2-4 hours.

The port of San Antonio in Ibiza, Spain

Aerial view of the quaint port of San Antonio on the island of Ibiza

Useful island-hopping tips for the Balearic Islands

  • The eastern coast of Spain is home to many beautiful cities and towns you can explore before your ferry trip to the Balearic Islands. Spend some days in Alicante, Barcelona or Benidorm before you catch the ferry.
  • Some of the islands have more than one port, where you can catch a ferry. You may want to book accommodation close to the port, to minimize traveling time.
  • Traveling by ferry from mainland Spain to the Balearic Islands means you can also bring your own vehicle. Island hopping with your car, motorcycle or caravan is a great idea!
  • Apart from taking the ferry, you can also reach some of the smaller islets of the Balearic archipelago by swimming from shore! You can try it yourself provided that you're an avid and experienced swimmer!
  • While the best time to visit the Balearic Islands is from May to September, the archipelago is a fantastic year-round holiday destination.

The islet of Dragonera off the coast of Mallorca in Spain

The green islet of Dragonera opposite Mallorca

Top island hopping itineraries for the Balearic archipelago

There’s a lot to see and do in the Balearic Islands. That’s why island hopping is the best way to really get to know the local culture and fully enjoy the nature, beaches, and lifestyle of the region. 

The Ferryhopper team suggests these 2 itineraries for island hopping in the Balearic Islands:

  • Ibiza - Formentera 
  • Menorca - Mallorca - Ibiza

Tip: don’t forget to download the Ferryhopper App to book your tickets to the Balearic Islands faster and easier.

Ibiza - Formentera island hopping

Catching the ferry from Ibiza to Formentera is one of the best island-hopping trips in the Balearic Islands. It takes only 25 minutes to 1 hour to reach the port of La Savina in Formentera and one-way tickets start at €10

Therefore, you can hop on a ferry to Formentera and return to Ibiza later that day! Before you head to Formentera, you can enjoy the vivid lifestyle of Ibiza, as well as explore the more traditional towns and villages for delicious food.

Traditional fishermen huts in Ibiza, Spain

Traditional fishermen's huts at Punta de Sa Torre de Ses Portes in Ibiza

The route from Ibiza to Formentera is operated throughout the year. During peak season, there are more than 35 daily crossings. You can catch an early ferry from Ibiza and arrive in La Savina in the morning to enjoy a coffee by the port.

It's easy to get around the island by taxi, bus, bicycle, or your own vehicle. If you're into exploring the island's trails, then rent a bike or use public transport. First stop at the capital of Formentera, Sant Francesc Xavier, where you can visit the Formentera Ethnography Museum to learn about the island’s traditions.

Then, you can head south to take a dip into some of the most amazing beaches on the island; Migjorn and Es Arena. Explore the impressive lighthouses scattered around the island and enter century-old caves

Before you hop on the last ferry back to Ibiza, don’t forget to swim in the magical waters of Playa Ses Illetes, close to the port. Watch the sunset, enjoy a cocktail, and off to the port you go!

Cala Saona beach in Formentera, Spain

Crystal-clear waters and small boats at Cala Saona beach in Formentera

Menorca - Mallorca - Ibiza island hopping

Visiting Menorca, Mallorca and Ibiza is a great multi-day island hopping in the Balearic Islands. You can see much of the local culture and top sites in 7 days, having the trip of a lifetime! Before you start your journey, pay a visit to the cathedral of Menorca in Ciutadella and swim on the secluded Cala Escorxada beach.

The cathedral of Ciutadella in Menorca, Spain

The impressive medieval cathedral of Menorca in the town of Ciutadella

There are daily crossings from Menorca to Mallorca taking around 1.5-6 hours, depending on the vessel and operator. The ferry companies connecting the two islands are Baleària, Menorca Lines, Corsica Ferries, Trasmapi, and Trasmed, and tickets cost around €33.

On the island of Mallorca, you can visit the beautiful towns of La Palma and Alcúdia to walk around the old alleys, enjoy cocktails at the chiringuitos (beach bars) by the sea, go hiking or mountain biking at the Tramuntana mountain, and swim in the inviting waters of Cala Pi and Es Trenc.

After a few days in Mallorca, you can hop on the ferry from Palma de Mallorca to Ibiza in 3 hours on average. The route is in operation daily with more than 20 weekly crossings. Baleària, Grandi Navi Veloci and Trasmed operate between the two islands, and tickets start at approximately €49.

The island of Ibiza is the destination for partying and a bohemian lifestyle. Explore the dance beaches of the island, visit local artisanal markets, and relax to chill-out music at the original Café del Mar. Walk around the old town of Ibiza and try local delicacies at one of the quaint cafes and taperías.

Tip: if you don't have the time to see them all, you can also check our travel guide to help you choose between Mallorca and Menorca and find useful tips and information about the Balearic Islands.

The old town of Ibiza in Spain

Boats at the port of Ibiza

Travel tips

The Balearic Islands are in the Mediterranean Sea and are part of Spain. Many travelers visit the 4 major islands of the Balearic group every year. The archipelago is popular for its: 

  • exquisite gastronomy
  • exotic beaches
  • hippie vibes
  • distinctive lifestyle

There are different experiences and attractions for every taste, whether you want to party or lie back and enjoy the peace.

How many days to stay in the Balearic Islands?

Would you like to go island hopping and explore the whole island group? If yes, then we suggest that you stay for an average of 10 days in the Balearic Islands. 

There are frequent ferry routes connecting the islands so you have flexibility when it comes to organizing your trip. Continue reading for information on how to get to the Balearic Islands, how to plan your island hopping, and what to do during your holidays.

Panoramic view of Formentera in Spain

Turquoise waters surrounding the mesmerizing coasts of Formentera

Top 10 things to do in the Balearic Islands

The island group is rich in experiences, activities and sites. When going island hopping in the Balearic Islands, you can try water sports, spend your whole day on the beach, party all night, or visit historical monuments and local markets.

Here are the top 10 activities in the Balearic Islands according to Ferryhoppers:

  1. Go cycling in Formentera to explore secluded beaches in an eco-friendly and fun way.
  2. Party all night at one of the bars and beach clubs of Playa de Las Salinas in Ibiza.
  3. Walk around the cathedral of Santa Maria de la Palma in Mallorca at night and enjoy the impressive fountain lights.
  4. Visit age-old watchtowers on the island of Dragonera, accessible from the port of Sant Elm in Mallorca.
  5. Try the delicious flaó cheesecake at a cute cafe in Sant Francesc of Formentera.
  6. Visit the cave network Cuevas de Artà in Mallorca and get to see impressive stalactites and stalagmites.
  7. Go cliff-diving at Cala Tarida in Ibiza.
  8. Hike and swim among tall pine trees at the Cala Mitjana beach in Menorca.
  9. Stroll around the old town of Ibiza, to witness the signs of medieval history on the island.
  10. Visit the clothing-optional beach of Cala Varques on the island of Mallorca.

The beach of Es Caló in Formentera, Spain

Crystal-clear waters at Es Caló beach in Formentera

How do I get to the Balearic Islands?

There are more than 7 major ports in the Balearic Islands. You can catch a ferry from Barcelona, Dénia and Valencia in mainland Spain to the 4 major islands of the Balearic archipelago throughout the year. You can also fly to the islands of Menorca, Mallorca and Ibiza from many European cities.

Ferry routes are more frequent during the summer months, and there are also sailings between the islands, as well as to the smaller islets of the archipelago, including Dragonera, Es Vedra and Cabrera.

See how to get to the Balearic Islands this year:

Houses in Alcúdia in Mallorca, Spain

Colorful alley in the town of Alcúdia in Mallorca

Book island hopping tickets for the Balearic Islands

On Ferryhopper you can easily book island hopping tickets for the Balearic Islands without any hidden fees. Find all the available ferry routes on Ferryhopper’s Map of ferries, compare ferry companies and itineraries, and plan your trip in the Balearic Sea.