Welcome to Catalonia!
Since in Spain I have been only to Catalonia , I'll share the information about this region which I liked so much! It is an ideal place if you want to have a rest at the seaside combined with sightseeing. Catalonia is the richest of 17 regions of Spain. The first official language here is Catalonian, the 2nd - Spanish.
Have a look at the map to know more of the coastline - it stretches for 580 km! Starting from the BORDER WITH FRANCE and ending with the town of BLANES - the coast is called COSTA BRAVA ("wild shore"), where I had a wonderful rest! From BLANES to BARCELONA the coast is called COSTA DEL MARESME, down from BARCELONA - COSTA DAURADA ("golden beach"). HAVE A NICE REST! Besides, you have a great chance to explore the south of France - if you have a look at the map, you will see that the French province Languedoc is very close to Costa Brava.
Balearic Islands, Ibiza and Menorca.
The Balearic Islands (Islas Baleares) are situated in the Mediterranean Sea of the Spanish coast, and are made up of 3 main islands, the largest Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza, and also some smaller islands including Formentura and Carbrera.
We have not been to Mallorca so cant comment on that island, but have been to both Ibiza and Menorca twice, mainly family holidays. Though the first trip to Ibiza was before we were married (no kids) and was more of a drinking, sunbathing and have a good time on a night type of holiday, so some memories a bit hazy, or none exsistant. But we have enjoyed our visits to either place and would recommend a visit to any of the islands.
Ibiza is by far the most lively of the two islands we have been to, the first time we went we stayed in the resort of San Antonio, a very lively place back then and i dont think it has changed much since, nowadays the island is famous for its nightlife and dance clubs and is sure to provide some great holidays if thats what your after, if your after a quiet time dont go to Ibiza. Saying that there is some quiet resorts and hidden places to go, and i'm sure if you looked into it you could find a hideaway and lose yourself for a couple of weeks.
The picture below is the hotel we stayed in, San Antonio is a large bay and the hotel was across the bay from most of the lively bars and disco's. Cant guarantee it would look like this now probably built up more, but at the time it was the quiet area of San Antonio.
From our hotel, sorry cant remember the name, we could catch a small boat across to the other area's of the bay, these boats left every half an hour or so all day and were the best way of getting to and from the bars and shops, though they stopped around midnight so it was a case of walking or grabbing a taxi later in the night, probably a good idea as boucing around in a boat full of beer might not have been that good!
Just get on outside hotel
Just get off and your in the middle of San Antonio
Ibiza of course has many nice beaches, wonderful countryside and some stunning views, this picture is looking down the coast from an old castle/fort on the outskirts of Ibiza Town
This was the view from the coast back up towards Ibiza Town and the castle
The Beaches around Ibiza are lovely, clean and safe and are very good for snorkling, an abundance of fish and ocean creatures.
"AAAARRRRGGHHHH A SHARK BIT MY LEG OFF"
Bob and Ruth, 1984, getting ready for a good night on Ibiza.
Menorca is a much more laid back island, a great place for relaxing, and thats just what we did on our 2 visits there, we stayed in the small resort of Cala'n'Forcat both times that we have been to Menorca, very safe and peaceful, a great place to stay if you have kids.
Some great beaches around this area, and beautiful clear water, snorkling is brilliant in the sea here, i also tried scuba diving for the first time while on Menorca, and have to say it was fantastic, i would recommend it a fabulous experience, and i'm determined to learn this sport properly at some time.
A short walk to this beach
There is also some rugged coast line around this area, and it was good to stretch my legs along a cliff walk with some great views over the Mediterranean Sea
Some other Menorcan views
Another Beach shot
Not to many shops around (good thing for me as Ruth love's to drag me round the shops)just your typical touristy type of thing, the picture below shows a small unusual spiral shopping arcade, just start at the bottom and work your way up to the top, there is a bar at the bottom and when you get to the top there is another one,(great shopping idea) could do with one half way up as well but you cant have everything!