Ten steps to paradise (which is in the Balearic Islands) on a Vespa

Top 10 beaches in the Balearic Islands. Each one has its own unique character, and they are all perfect for holidays if you’re sometimes willing to get up even earlier than you would for a day at work... And set off on a scooter...

It is extremely difficult to come up with a list of only ten, because if the Balearic Islands can boast of anything, it is of their beaches and coves. Each one has its own unique character, and they are all perfect for holidays if you’re sometimes willing to get up even earlier than you would for a day at work... And set off on a scooter...

A Vespa tour of the best beaches in the Balearic Islands

The world fell in love with it in 1953. Audrey Hepburn, still largely unknown to the public and the critics, took on the role of Princess Ann, the lead character, alongside Gregory Peck as a journalist, in the film Roman Holiday. The attractive pair, riding a Vespa, toured the Italian capital city and yielded to its charms.

Even if your destination this summer is not Italy but the Balearic Islands, you can still go exploring just like they did on a scooter, which after all is one of the best ways to get around the islands and discover their secluded coves. Because what comes to mind when you think of Menorca? Or Ibiza? And what about Majorca or Formentera? Probably a string of images occur to you: all beach paradises dominated equally by the sun and the turquoise blue sea. Although they differ from one another, they have one thing in common: they are the best of their kind. Whether the beach is quiet, with chiringuitos (refreshment stalls), or a little wild, we spread out our beach towels - or sarongs - on these enclaves of heaven on Earth. These are the best:

Start the engine.

1. Cove Mondragó (Majorca)

This stretch of Majorcan beach has been designated a Natural Park for 15 years. Its vegetation (mostly pine forest), fine sand and gentle slope make it ideal for bathing and relaxing. A favourite with locals and tourists alike, it enjoys a superb setting, being surrounded by cliffs. If you also choose to stay at the Barceló Illetas Albatros Adults Only, with all the comforts it has to offer, the experience will be unforgettable, because there you can hire a Vespa to explore the other Majorca. The hotel is only 15 minutes from the centre of Palma, and enjoys amazing views over the Mediterranean.

Set off on your tour.

2. Es Trenc (Majorca)

To be alone on this Majorcan beach is as difficult as flying to the Moon. It is however worth going there, although you know you will be rubbing elbows with tourists and locals alike. The reasons are quite obvious: this is one of the most unspoilt and best conserved corners of the island. It is 3 kilometres in length, there are no buildings nearby, the water is clear and the sand is a fine powder. If you like, you can leave your swimsuit stowed away, because nudity is nothing unusual on this sloping beach.

3. Macarella and Macaralleta (Menorca)

We are not reinventing the wheel by naming them. We know that. But it would be a mortal sin to talk about the Balearic beaches without mentioning them. Just 14 kilometres from Ciutadella, they are within the south coast of the island’s Natural Area of Special Interest, so we can only imagine their environmental value. Among the most famous beaches, thanks to their natural beauty, they are surrounded by pine forests and, as they are not particularly large, it is not advisable to arrive at midday.  They are just ten minutes apart, and as you’re on your scooter, you cannot afford to miss either of them. Nor should you miss the Barceló Hamilton Adults Only Hotel, situated at the entrance of the natural port of Mahón, and your centre of operations for riding your Vespa to the best corners of the island. From the Hotel’s 360o Sky Bar, you will have the best views of the island.

4. Cala Turqueta (Menorca)

Just a few kilometres from Macarella and Macaralleta the name of the beach announces the colour of its water: turquoise blue. Unspoilt and off the beaten track, it is surrounded by lush pine forests which lend it the endearing wildness that so typifies Menorca. Of course, it has white sand and crystal-clear water where peace and tranquility reign.

5. Cala Mitjana (Menorca)

For better or worse (although for us, it is definitely for the better), this Majorcan wonder has no chiringuito and bears no trace of humans, apart from its visitors. Once you have parked, it takes about 20 minutes to walk to the small stretch of sand and crystal-clear water, hidden between cliffs and in a stunning natural setting. It is always best to have comfortable, closed footwear to prevent injuries.

Make sure you get there early, though, as the car park only has space for 120 vehicles.  From the car park, you will have to walk around 850 metres to the cove, so for the sake of your feet, it is recommended to wear closed footwear.

6. Caló des Mort (Formentera)

Touring Formentera on a scooter is a wonderful experience. Small and accessible, the island is a veritable heaven on earth. If there is one reason we like this little beach, it is because, although it scarcely seems possible, it is almost never crowded - apart from at the height of summer of course. If you would like to see one of the most breathtaking views of the island, and you want to cast off your swimwear, this is the place for you. You will share the space with the escars- typical jetties for small boats.

7. Ses Illetes (Formentera)

Call it heaven. Call it paradise. Or call it Tahiti. Call it anything you like, but keep it very much in mind for your Vespa tour. It secured seventh place in Tripadvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards ranking of the best beaches in the world, thanks to its kilometre of white sand, and its water is as blue as it gets.

Don’t forget your sun protection, and treat yourself to a meal in the Es Ministre restaurant, frequented by the Spanish Royal Family.

8. Aigües blanques (Ibiza)

The name of this beach is a reference to the water here, although it is actually clear rather than white. A nudist beach, and so gently sloping that at 50 metres from the shore, its level has only dropped by two metres. It is quite small, though not overcrowded, and is therefore ideal for diving and relaxing, away from the Ibiza of parties, the high life, and thousands of holidaymakers drenched in champagne.

9. Cala de Benirrás (Ibiza)

On summer evenings, the drums of Benirrás sound to bid farewell to the day. Percussionists and those who love idyllic and romantic sunsets gather in this cove of coarse sand at 150 metres longitude and located in the north of the island.

Apart from its chiringuito the cove features, in the middle of the bay, a small, steep island called Cap Bernat, whose highest point is 27 metres above sea level. It is well signposted, so it won’t be difficult to find if you want to see the sun set there.

Park up and enjoy.

10. Cala Compte (Ibiza)

One of the most popular beaches, and with good reason... With more facilities than most, in spite of its rather wild appearance, it is near San Antonio and prides itself on being one of the island’s favourite beaches. Cala Compte has two stretches of beach, one screened by rocks and the other by sand dunes, as well as a small cove a little further on, where it can be quieter and where nude bathing is allowed.

The views from the shore are glorious and it is common to see yachts sailing in the bay. And those on the beach as well as those on board are equally charmed by the view of the sunset. Stay at the Barceló Occidental Ibiza, only 6 kilometres from the cove, and be a little closer to paradise. If you want to strike the perfect balance between relaxation and leisure activities, you have access to the sports area.