This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2019 issue of Spring/Summer 2019 issue of International Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed.
The Balearic Islands are often considered a summer holiday destination, but the team at Port de Balears are proving otherwise. Between October and May, the islands are quieter, giving visiting cruise guests the chance to explore the region at a more leisurely pace.
During the mild winter season, cruise lines are able to arrange shore excursions to attractions such as the Serra de Tramuntana mountains in Mallorca, the Cami de Cavalls, Cala Tortuga beach in Menorca, the port town of Ciutadella de Menorca, or the white churches of Ibiza. Cruise guests can also opt to hike or cycle along various trails in the region, which are particularly enjoyable at this time of year due to the cooler weather.
The cruise industry is increasingly attracting millennials and cruisers in general are choosing to invest in deeper cultural experiences, rather than fitting multiple iconic sights into one trip. Cruise guests in the Balearic Islands can enjoy more relaxed excursions, such as island tours, allowing them to experience the islands as the locals would. Guests can mingle with the locals, discover their traditions, visit their weekly markets and of course, indulge in some of the traditional Balearic dishes at the numerous restaurants on the islands.
However, the most special part of these Mediterranean islands is their culture. Throughout the year there is a range of music events, themed fairs and traditional festivals available for perusing. For example, the Nit de l’Art, which will take place on 21 September 2019, transforms Palma into a huge open-air gallery and promotes the local art galleries.
One of the islands’ most famous festivals is that of Sant Antoni Abat. Taking place each January in Mallorca, locals come together to bless the patron saint of animals and agriculture. Fires are lit for the two-day event and locals dance around them, taking part in the ancient ritual of purification and the triumph of good over evil.
Another local fair, Fira de Sant Francesc began in the 18th century. The annual agricultural fair takes place in April and showcases local livestock, craft stalls, music, dancing and activities for all ages.
With so much on offer and a calendar full of attractions, the Balearic Islands are an ideal destination for cruise itineraries year-round.
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