Europe

Balearic Islands Geography

The islands of the Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands, the autonomous community of Spain that is so important for tourism, are made up of the Gimnesias in the north, which include Mallorca, Menorca and Cabrera, and the Pitiusas in the southwest, of which Ibiza and Formentera are the two largest and named after them the Greek Nissoi Pitzussa goes back, which means something like “islands rich in pine trees”. In addition to the four main islands Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera as well as Cabrera, the smallest inhabited island of the Balearic Islands, 146 smaller and uninhabited (rock) islands belong to the archipelago. The Balearic Islands were created more or less 100 million years ago as part of the Alpidic mountain formation.

Mallorca
By far the largest island in the Balearic Islands is Mallorca. Palma, the capital of the Balearic Islands
, is located on the island, which has a very varied landscape and is determined by the mountainous Sierra del Norte on the north coast. The approximately 3,604 km² island (including the smaller offshore islands: approx. 3,620 km²) has a maximum east-west extension of 98 km and a maximum north-south extension of 78 km. The island has a considerable coastline of 550 km and in its administrative area includes the main island as well as the 18.36 km² Cabrera archipelago and the 2.88 km² island of Sa Dragonera.

Menorca
Menorca is the second largest (and most easterly and northerly) Balearic island. It has an east-west extension of 50 km and measures just 16 km at the longest point between north and south. The capital of the 694 km² island is Mahón (or Menorcan: Maó). Menorca also offers a coastline of 117.3 km in length.

Ibiza
The third largest of the Balearic Islands (and the largest of the Pityuses) is Ibiza (catal. Eivissa) with an area of ​​572 km², the main town of which is Ibiza Town (catal. Ciutat d’Eivissa). The island stretches 90 km from the Spanish mainland, the highest point of which is the 476 m high Atalaya. The island, which was recorded on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999 because of its biological and cultural diversity, is separated from Formentera, the second smallest inhabited Balearic island, by the four kilometers narrow Es Freus canal. Together with Ibiza, which is about 20 km to the north, and several smaller (uninhabited) islands, it forms the archipelago of the Pityuses. The 19 km long island, its main townSant Francesc Xavier (Spanish: San Francisco Javier) is, it has a total size of about 82 km².

Cabrera
Cabrera with its 17 km² is by far the smallest inhabited island in the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands.

Dragonera and Pantaleu
Apart from the five inhabited islands, another 146 uninhabited islands belong to the Balearic Islands. They also include the (protected) rock islands of Dragonera and Pantaleu.

Area, boundaries, length of coast

The Balearic Islands are an archipelago belonging to Spain in the western Mediterranean and cover a total area of ​​4,992 km².
As an archipelago, the Balearic Islands naturally have no borders with other states or the mainland. An approximately 1,500 m deep sea trench extends between the islands and the Spanish mainland and separates both parts from each other. The shortest distance to mainland Spain is 90 km and the longest about 200 km. About 170 kilometers south of the main island Mallorca is the much-sung about Barcelona on the Spanish east coast.
The coast of the Balearic Islands to the Mediterranean Sea is around 1,200 km long. From this coast around 550 km fall on Mallorca.

Tidal range

The tidal range in the Balearic Islands, i.e. the height difference between high and low water, is only a few decimeters.

Longitude and latitude

The Balearic Islands extend over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from around 38 ° 37 ‘to 40 ° 03’ north
Δλ = from around 001 ° 14 ‘to 004 ° 19’ east

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.

Time in the Balearic Islands

The time in the Balearic Islands is the same as for example in Germany.

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

The highest point of the sun in Palma

Palma lies at a northern latitude of around φ = 40 ° (exactly 39 ° 34 ‘). If the sun is at the tropic, i.e. at Δ = 23.5 °, summer will start in Palma, June 21st. Then, for the highest position of the sun at noon, according to Eq. 1 (see position of the sun):

40 ° = (90 ° – h) + 23.5 °

so:

H = 73.5 °

At 73.5 °, the sun in Palma has the highest level of the entire year above the horizon (more precisely: above the horizon).

mountains

Puig Major
The highest mountain in the Balearic Islands is the 1,445 meter high Puig Major. It rises in the Serra de Tramuntana on the main island of Mallorca.

Atalaya, Monte Toro
Other higher elevations of the archipelago are the 476 meter high Atalaya – the highest mountain in Ibiza – and the 357 meter high Monte Toro, the highest mountain in Menorca.

Rivers

There are no permanent water-bearing rivers in the Balearic Islands. Until a certain time ago there was a river in Santa Eulalia, the “Villa del Rio”, in Ibizan. In the meantime, this river in the Balearic Islands has dried up due to the lowering of the water table.

Torrent de Pareis
In Mallorca there is still the Torrent de Pareis; it is a stream that does not have permanent water. The torrent is considered a popular attraction on the northwest coast of Mallorca.

Lakes

Estany des Peix, Estany Pudent on Formentera
There are no lakes worth mentioning in the Balearic Islands, apart from the two inland lakes, Estany des Peix and Estany Pudent on Formentera.

Reservoirs Cúber and Gorg Blau
Furthermore, because of their picturesque location, one can refer to the two Mallorcan reservoirs Cúber and Gorg Blau, which are located in the middle of the Tramuntana Mountains and supply the capital Palma with water.

Dragon caves
Also very worth seeing are the dragon caves (“Coves del Drac”) of Porto Christo, which also include an underground lake with a size of around 175 mx 30 m – at a depth of 14 m.

The Mediterranean

The Balearic Islands are located in the Iberian Sea, part of the (western) Mediterranean Sea that stretches from the Balearic Islands to Spain and south to Gibraltar.

Dragon caves of Porto Christo