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Diving in the Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands conjures up images of the perfect island getaway with white sand beaches, culinary delights, great nightlife, and most importantly, dramatic seascapes and shipwrecks that make for excellent scuba diving.

Diving in the Balearic Islands

Quick facts

There are some 80 different dive sites around the Balearic Islands and divers can choose to dive from Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza or Formentera. Most of the diving is land-based but there is also a liveaboard option. All around, visibility is usually very good averaging at 100ft (30m). High season for visiting the islands is during July to September when the water temperature is warmer at 66-75˚F (19-24˚C) but you could dive on a year-round basis if you don’t mind the cold.

The dive sites around the Balearic Islands are dramatic to see. There are several shipwrecks lying in crystal clear waters, beautiful caves and caverns to explore as well as great boulders and limestone cliffs. Off Majorca and Menorca, the caves are especially spectacular as they have air pockets to surface in and stalactite and stalagmite formations. Some wreck dives are quite deep and technical certifications are needed.

At Ibiza, there are also tunnels, caverns, caves and vertical walls. Dives often take place at a small island called Isla Tagomago. An absolute highlight here is the Don Pedro shipwreck which is 466ft (142m) long that starts at 82ft (25m) and extends to 151ft (46m). It is the largest shipwreck in the whole Mediterranean Sea.

When to go

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Pricing on request

What to see

There may not be a stunning coral reef to enjoy at the Balearic Islands but there is still plenty to see. Marine life is more plentiful off Menorca as the area was sanctioned a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1993.

Many dive sites are host to schools of sea bream and barracuda and sometimes large quantities of silversides. Smaller reef fish like damselfish are everywhere and there will be moray eels at most sites as well as cuttlefish and octopus. You might also find stingrays, rock cods and well camouflaged scorpionfish.

Smaller critters that are a delight to encounter include flying gunards, slipper lobsters and hermit crabs. The waters of the Mediterranean Sea are unfortunately quite overfished so there are no sharks to see but if you are lucky, you might see the Mola mola or ocean sunfish which are known to frequent these waters.


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Set upon the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the beautiful Balearic Islands are a province of Spain. The archipelago consists of four main islands which are Majorca and Menorca in the north, and Ibiza and Formentera in the south. The northern islands are sometimes known as the Gymnesian Islands, which means naked in Greek. According to old verses, the islands got their name because their inhabitants were often nude.

The Balearic Islands have a rather convoluted history which starts in the ancient times when it was ruled by the Phoenicians. For many centuries after, the islands were dominated by pirates and caught in a complicating mix of wars and was at different times occupied by the Romans, the Byzantine Empire and also the British. After changing hands to different powers a few times, the Balearic Islands ultimately became an autonomous region of Spain in 1983.

The islands cover a large area of 1,972 square miles (4,992 square km) and have a population of 1,106,049 people. Both Spanish and Catalan are widely spoken on the islands. The Balearic Islands are an extremely popular tourist destination. Majorca is the most frequently visited while Ibiza is known for its dance music and party scene. The scenic islands have a nice combination of nightlife combined with tranquil beaches and water activities like snorkeling and scuba diving.

Other attractions

After you’re done diving, party the night away on Ibiza or wine and dine while on Majorca. There are outdoor activities like hiking and biking to do as well as relaxing on beaches including nude beaches. Alternatively, take boat trips or rent a yacht with friends to enjoy the sights if not diving.

Getting there

There are local and international flights to Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza. There are also ferry services but these are overnight trips. Formentera can be access by boat as it is near Ibiza.


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Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.

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