Balearic Islands – Maps, History, and Culture

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Interactive Map of Balearic Islands, Spain

Balearic Islands Map Links:

The smallest region of Spain is the Balearic Islands. The Balearic Islands only cover a total area of 1,900 square miles; however, it has three times the amount of population as the next largest region in Spain.

The Balearic Islands are located off the Mediterranean coast of Spain, giving the archipelago the typical Mediterranean climate. The four large islands that make up the Balearic Islands are Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera.

City List:

  • Palma
  • Calvia
  • Ibiza Town (Eivissa)
  • Manacor
  • Santa Eularia des Riu
  • Marratxi
  • Llucmajor
  • Inca
  • Ciutadella de Menorca
  • Mao-Mahon

Quick Facts:

  • Population: 1.1 million
  • Languages: Spanish (primary), Catalan dialect, English, French, Italian, and German
  • Ethnicities: Spanish, Latin, European, African
  • Capital: Palma de Mallorca

The History of the Balearic Islands

The city of Ibiza, which is still one of the largest cities in the Balearic Islands today, was founded in 654 BC by the Carthaginians. The Carthaginians were a western ancient Carthage culture that settled in many areas throughout the Mediterranean. They civilized the Balearic Islands until their fall in 146 BC. After their fall in 146 BC, the Romans entered the islands and civilized different areas of the archipelago.

The Romans ruled the islands until the 460s AD when Germanic tribes invaded the islands and took control over the Romans. Shortly thereafter, around 533 AD, the Romans were able to take the islands back and maintain control until the Muslim invaded in 707. This time period was known as the Muslim Invasion.

During the Muslim Invasion, Muslims from the middle east moved westward, conquering any and every area along the way. The Muslims controlled the Balearic Islands until 1229 when the Christians reconquered Palma de Mallorca.

During the 1500s, the Balearic Islands were constantly a target of attacks from Ottoman pirates from North Africa. During these raids, the towns were destroyed, and around 4,000 civilians were taken as prisoners.

The easternmost island, Menorca, became part of Britain after the Treaty of Utrecht was signed in 1713. The Treaty of Utrecht was a peace offering to end the War of the Spanish Succession.

The signing of this treaty meant that the Spanish island of Menorca, as well as the Spanish city of Gibraltar, were given to the Kingdom of Great Britain in return for peace in the area. Great Britain maintained control of Menorca until 1756 when French forces moved in and occupied the region during the Seven Years War from 1756 to 1763.

After the Kingdom of Great Britain regained control of Menorca, they quickly turned their focus on helping America during the American War of Independence. This caused Menorca to be vulnerable to falling under French rule.

Menorca would be ruled by the French after the French Revolutionary War that lasted from 1792 to 1802. After the Treaty of Amiens was signed into place, Menorca was returned once again to Spain.

In 1833, the Balearic Islands were officially established as a province of Spain.


Spanish is the primary language spoken on the Balearic Islands, but don’t be surprised to hear French, Italian, English, and German spoken as well. Because of the location of the Balearic Islands, there have been many settlers come to the area throughout history. This has caused a variety of languages to be spoken in the area, with Spanish being the prominent language spoken.


The primary religion of the Balearic Islands is Roman Catholicism. Not only is Roman Catholicism a primary religion throughout the entire country of Spain, but it is also the primary religion of the countries that have played a part in the history of the Balearic Islands, which is another reason that Roman Catholicism is the primary religion of the region.


The Balearic Islands are coastal, wooded, and mountainous. The island of Mallorca has the most diverse mountainous terrains and rocky coves. The forests that are found throughout the Balearic Islands contain almond trees, olive trees, and many fruit orchards.

The climate of the Balearic Islands is a typical Mediterranean climate with warm tropical conditions and frequent precipitation. The climate and geography are what make the islands economically strong to provide the inhabitants with a stable standard of living.


The most prominent cultural representation is through the many Roman Catholic festivals. The Balearic Islands are strong in their Roman Catholic faith, which is shown in the architecture and the festivals that are present throughout the islands.

Immigration & Migration Patterns

The Balearic Islands did not record much migration from the islands throughout history. Much of the migration patterns regarding the islands include migration to the island rather than from.

Spanish is the primary language of the Balearic Islands, as Spain has been the country to infiltrate the area the most; however, other neighboring countries, including France, Italy, and Great Britain, also have a strong presence in the islands.

Recently, northern African countries have begun to migrate to the Balearic Islands, as they are nearby and accommodating. Because of this, African has become an ethnicity that can be found in the Balearic Islands.


The genealogy that is traced back to the Balearic Islands can have Spanish, Italian, French, and British lineage. This is because the islands were taken over by these countries throughout history. Some residents of these countries stayed in the area while others retreated to their native homelands.

Those who have genes traced back to the Balearic Islands can have any hair, skin, and eye color combination, like Spanish, French, Italian, and British genes are all different from one another.

It would not be uncommon for those who have genes of the Balearic Islands to have any combination of dark skin, light skin, dark hair, light hair, or dark eyes and light eyes.

These are all traits of Spanish, French, Italian, and British genes that can be found among the genealogy of the Balearic Islands.

Caleb Pike
About the author

Caleb Pike is an avid hiker and nature lover, with a passion for exploring the great outdoors. He's a writer, photographer, and adventurer, always seeking new trails to blaze and peaks to conquer.