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Best Balearic Islands for families: where to book for your next holiday

From Mallorca to Menorca, Ibiza to Formentera, we round up the best Balearic islands to visit for your next family holiday.

By Lucy Cotterill | Last updated Oct 13, 2022

Kids looking out to sea in Mallorca

When it comes to family-friendly holiday destinations, the Balearic Islands (consisting of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and the lesser-known island of Formentera) come pretty high up on travel wishlists and it’s easy to see why.

With short flight times from the UK, sunny climates, beautiful white sandy beaches and plenty of family-friendly activities to keep children of all ages entertained, the Balearic Islands offer something for everyone.

If you’re struggling to decide which Balearic Island is best for you and your family, we’ve consulted the Mumsnet forums for tips, recommendations and guidance to help plan your next trip.

Here are the best Balearic Islands for family holidays, as recommended by Mumsnet users.

1. Mallorca


Why is Mallorca good for families?

The largest of the Balearic islands, Mallorca is an incredibly popular destination for UK holidaymakers and for good reason. With a relaxed family-friendly atmosphere, stunning coastlines, soft sandy beaches with shallow waters and a warm summer climate, it has plenty to offer for a fun-filled family holiday.

Whether you’re exploring the old town of Alcudia, strolling down Palma Nova’s busy promenade or visiting the ‘Golden bay’ and the captivating coves in Cala D’or, Mallorca is a top choice for a family holiday.

Mallorca according to Mumsnet users

"Mallorca is a great place. Easy to fly to and very family friendly. We stayed with our daughter when she was 18 months, 3 years and 5 years, visiting in both April and September. We stayed in Cala dDor - very pretty with a lovely centre, great beach, alfresco dining and a cool harbour to walk round. We’ve also stayed in Puerto Pollensa which has a great tree-lined promenade, very safe and again a fab beach" - recommended by Mumsnet user, JollyMarie79

"We've been twice with my daughter aged 3 and 4. We went to Alcudia, but the Port/Marina end of it - totally different to the busy, built-up part at the other end (it's 7 miles long the whole resort!) We also got the local bus to the market in Alcudia's old town, which was great. Overall, highly recommended" - vetted by Mumsnet user, TheHappyCamper 

What are the top family-friendly attractions in Mallorca?

There are plenty of family-friendly attractions in Mallorca but here are the ones you won’t want to miss:

Waterparks: For a fun way to cool down with the kids (while embracing your inner child), there are three popular water parks to choose from (the fourth is open to adults only).

Aqualand Arenal is Mallorca’s biggest waterpark, home to the ‘Tsunami’ (a 15-metre water slide) while Hidropark Alcudia is a smaller park with a selection of water slides suitable for all ages, as well as bouncy castles, mini-golf and trampolines.

Palma Aquarium

Get up close and personal with up to 700 marine species at the Palma Aquarium. Home to The Big Blue (the biggest shark tank in Europe), children will love The Aquadome, a 3D marine show viewing humpback whales from inside a 250-square-metre dome.

Katmandu Park 

For adrenaline junkies, Kathmandu Park features loads of fun attractions including the Katopia Splash Park, Expedition Golf, 4D virtual roller coasters and the trippy interactive world of The House. It’s open until 10pm so it’s a great choice for teens looking for evening entertainment.

Coves d'Arta 

Remember learning about stalagmites and stalactites at school? Your kids will be completely in awe discovering these mysterious underground caverns with a guided tour including a light and sound display to stimulate all their senses.

Flight time from the UK: Approximately 2.5 hours

Editor's picks: where to stay in Mallorca

Puerto Azul Suite Hotel, Port de Pollensa, Mallorca
Puerto Azul Suite Hotel

Sea and mountain views near one of Mallorca's best beaches

Book now
Eix Lagotel Hotel Mallorca
Eix Lagotel Holiday Resort

Budget-friendly lakeside resort in Alcudia

Book now
Jumeirah Port Soller
Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa

Luxury clifftop hotel in Port de Soller

Book now

2. Ibiza


Why is Ibiza good for families?

It may be better known as a party destination but the vast majority of this 21-mile-long Balearic island is very relaxed and chilled, making it a fantastic location for a holiday with kids.

Some regions like San Antonio and Playa d’en Bossa are definitely known for being a clubber’s paradise but other regions on the east coast such as Santa Eularia, Cala Tarida and Cala Llonga make a stunning and tranquil choice for families. From gentle shores with beautiful white beaches, family-friendly activities, watersports and huge areas of natural beauty, Ibiza is a stunning island for thrillseekers and sun seekers alike.

Ibiza according to Mumsnetters

"I adore Ibiza and we've been lots. Any of the resorts on the east side are all fabulous. Es Cana, Santa Eulària, Cala Llenya and Cala Llonga, are all lovely" - recommended by Mumsnet user, Oblomov22

"We've stayed in all places mentioned above. Loved them all. Santa Eulalia is probably our favourite, we've been a few times" - rated by Mumsnet user, implantsandaDyson

What are the top family-friendly attractions in Ibiza?

There are plenty of family-friendly attractions in Ibiza but here are the ones that you’ll want to add to your itinerary.

Cova de Can Marca: The somewhat eerie underground caves of Cova de Can Marca were originally used by smugglers and are now quite the tourist attraction. With spectacular music and light shows and a 30-foot waterfall, there are also some fantastic views of the surrounding coastline when you arrive back up to the surface. It’s a great place for the family to cool down away from the late afternoon heat.

El Cana Tourist Train: Make sure you take your camera if you head out on the El Cana Tourist Train as you’ll enjoy some amazing views across the island. A great way to explore the sights of northern Ibiza with guests who may be reluctant to head out on foot, this adorable train guides you through the hills, valleys and pinewoods with a sightseeing commentary throughout.

Flight time from the UK:  Approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes

Editor's picks: where to stay in Ibiza

Sirenis Seaview Country Club Ibiza
Sirenis Seaview Country Club

Family fun with an on-site waterpark

Book now
Casa Luis Apartments
Casa Luis, Santa Eulalia

Apartments with pools and entertainment

Book now
TUI Blue Tarida Beach Ibiza
Tui Blue Tarida Beach

Luxury beachfront spot with swim-up rooms

Book now

3. Menorca


Why is Menorca good for families?

Slightly quieter and less commercial than the neighbouring islands of Mallorca and Ibiza, Menorca is a largely unspoiled island with a beautiful rural landscape including white sandy beaches, sand dunes, caves and valleys. Perhaps better suited to families with young children, Menorca is a great place for snorkelling thanks to its clear and shallow turquoise waters, with amazing marine life to discover.

Menorca according to Mumsnetters

"Menorca is beautiful. The biggest resort is probably Cala'n Bosch; you shouldn't have any trouble finding family-friendly accommodation there. It's on the opposite side of the island to the airport though, so your transfer is likely to be at least an hour. We went to Cala'n Porter last year and loved it so much we're going back this year" - recommended by Mumsnet user, ReginaGeorgeous

"We've been twice. Love it! Hire a car so you can travel around, there's a lovely zoo in the middle of the island, a Pretty Ballerinas factory shop over at Galleries, lovely glass-bottomed boats in Ciutadella, the gorgeous beach at Binibeca, and a lovely waterpark for smaller children at Punta Prima" - rated by Mumsnet user, zurala

What are the top family-friendly attractions in Menorca?

Calmer and quieter than neighbouring islands, there are still plenty of family-friendly attractions in Menorca. Here are our favourites:

Lloc de Menorca Zoo: Get hands-on with a wide range of native and exotic animals from all over the world. With a real focus on animal welfare and conservation, guests can feed the goats, meet birds of prey and wander through the popular Lemur Forest. If you're feeling brave, you can even wrap a snake around your shoulders in the reptile centre!

Splash Sur Waterpark: Splash Sur is one of Menorca’s most popular waterparks, offering a wide variety of slides for children of all ages. For younger guests, the pirate ship pool, jet area and baby zone are ideal, while older children will adore the lazy river, ramp and hydro slide. If you’re over 1.2 metres, you can race against your family on the multi-lane slide, or even take on the gravity-defying bowl slide for the ultimate high-speed thrill!

Castillo Menorca: Great value for money and a fun day out for the whole family, Castillo Menorca is not only a great place to pick up some beautiful souvenirs, but you can also spend the entire day playing in the splash pools, playground and swimming pool, or racing around the go-kart track with your family. With open spaces to relax, soak in the sun and tuck into some lunch, you may even sneak in a bit of relaxation too.

Snorkelling at Cala’n Porter: Cala’n Porter is set in its very own cove, and as such is a great location for your child’s first snorkelling experience. While there are quite a few steps down to the shore, we promise you it’ll be worth it when you see the clear view of the marine life below the surface.

Flight time from the UK: Approx 2 hours 22 minutes

Editor's picks: where to stay in Menorca

Zafiro Menorca family hotel
Zafiro Menorca

Pools, a pirate ship and a kids' club in Cala'n Bosch

Book now
Hamilton Court Menorca
Hamilton Court Apartments

Affordable base by the beach in Santo Tomas

Book now
Barcelo Nura luxury hotel Menorca
Barceló Nura

Luxury retreat with a rooftop bar

Book now

4. Formentera


Why is Formentera good for families?

If you’re after some peace and quiet, it doesn’t come much more tranquil than Formentera. Just a 35-minute boat ride from Ibiza, this small island is heaven for nature lovers, with miles of rugged coastline and cycling routes to explore. Thanks to its shallow waters, it’s also the ideal place to snorkel and scuba dive to your heart’s content.

Formentera according to Mumsnetters

"Formentera is stunning (looks even better than the pictures show - Google it!)" - recommended by Mumsnet user, countdowntoanap

"I really loved Formentera, which is the island off Ibiza. You have to get a ferry across (which was easy and fun actually!) but then there's a good infrastructure of bars/restaurants/taxis etc to cater for lots of tourists. Actually, forget all that, I want to keep it a secret from everybody so it's just MINE!" - loved by Mumsnet user, BASTARDdryer

What are the top family-friendly attractions in Formentera?

It may be small but families will absolutely love exploring the natural beauty of Formentera. Here are some experiences you won’t want to miss.

La Mola Craft markets: Formentera is home to some amazing craft markets and the largest and most well-known is La Mola, running from May through to mid-October. This bustling market is a great place to pick up authentic Balearic ​​jewellery, ceramics, clothing and artwork to take home, made exclusively by artists on the island.

Scuba diving: Some of the most fascinating sights in Formentera are located under the sea. If you're ready to move on from snorkelling, the shallow turquoise waters offer the perfect conditions for beginners to have their first scuba diving experience, with lessons suitable for children aged 10 and above. With the chance to spot a wide range of marine wildlife including Posidonia meadows, starfish, octopus, sargos and sea sponges, you’re definitely going to want to bring an underwater camera!

Hire bikes: If you want to take in the stunning scenery Formentera has to offer, the best way to do so is to cycle. With over 60+ miles to explore, there are 32 greenways on the island, ranging from easy and gentle routes to more challenging and rugged terrain. You can easily hire bikes for both kids and adults, even opting for an electric bike if you want to exert a little less effort. You’re on holiday after all.

Flight time from the UK: 2 hours 20 minutes flight to Ibiza, (plus 35-minute ferry to Formentera)

Editor's picks: where to stay in Formentera

Hotel Tahiti Formentera
Hotel Tahiti

Beachfront spot with a pool and family rooms

Book now
Talaya Formentera
Talaya Formentera

Studios and apartments set in lush gardens

Book now
Vrbo villas Formentera
Formentera villas

Search for top family-friendly properties

Book now

Are the Balearic Islands good for family holidays?

Absolutely. Due to their convenient location just a short flight away from the UK, excellent weather conditions and wide range of child-friendly activities and family-friendly hotels, the Balearic Islands are an extremely popular holiday destination for families.

Is Mallorca or Menorca better for families?

It depends on what you're after from your holiday. For families with older children, Mallorca is bigger and has more to offer in terms of tourist attractions and days out. Menorca is well suited to beach lovers and those seeking a slightly slower pace. That said if you’re after sun, sea and high-quality beaches and hotels, you can’t really go wrong with either island.

Which is the biggest Balearic Island?

Mallorca is the biggest of the Balearic islands, by quite a fair amount. Measuring 2262 square miles, it’s also home to the capital of the Balearics, Palma de Mallorca.

What’s the best Balearic Island for a family holiday?

A great all-rounder, with something to appeal to everyone, Mallorca gets our vote as the best Balearic island for a family holiday. Whether you like to soak up the sun and relax, keep active or chase those adrenaline thrills, you’re sure to find something to entertain kids of all ages on this beautiful sun-soaked island.

How we chose our recommendations

We spent several hours sifting through Mumsnet's forums for recommendations from users on their favourite islands in the Balearics, including the locations they’ve visited personally and would rate most highly for a family holiday.

We then consulted recommendations from travel experts and made sure we included attractions that regularly appeared in ‘best’ lists or were the most highly rated by guests on TripAdvisor and review sites, ensuring that previous visitors were satisfied with their stay.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.