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Ibiza

Pronounced Ee-bee-thah, this island was once a virtually unknown and unvisited island; Majorca, its bigger neighbor, got all the business. In the 1950s, Ibiza's art colony began taking hold, and in the 1960s it became the European resort popular with the flower children. Tourists here are mainly from England, France, Germany, and Scandinavia, and it has become a major mecca for gay travelers, making it a wild combination of chic and middle-class.

At 585 square km (225 sq. miles), it is the third largest of the Balearic Islands. Physically, Ibiza has a jagged coastline, some fine beaches, whitewashed houses, secluded bays, cliffs, and a hilly terrain dotted with fig and olive trees. Warmer than Majorca, it's a better choice for a winter vacation, but it can be sweltering in July and August. Tourists descend on the island in summer.
Ciudad de Ibiza´s favorite beaches, Playa Talamanca in the north and Ses Figueretes and Playa d'en Bossa in the south, two outstanding white sandy beaches. Las Salinas, in the south, near the old salt flats, offers excellent sands. Playa Cavallet and Aigües Blanques attract the nude sunbathers. Other good beaches include Cala Bassa, Port des Torrent, Cala Tarida, and Cala Conta--all within a short bus or boat ride from San Antonio de Portmany. The long sandy cove of Cala Llonga, south of Santa Eulalia del Río, and the white sandy beach of El Cana to the north, are sacred to Ibiza's sun worshipers. In Formentera, Playa de Mitjorn stretches 5km (3 miles) and is relatively uncrowded. Set against a backdrop of pines and dunes, the pure white sand of Es Pujols is the most popular of Ibiza's beaches and deservedly so.

You can take a ferry to the tiny island of Formentera, 40 minutes away (just 5km/3 miles) Formentera is the most southern of the Balearic Islands, and because of limited accommodations, restaurants, and nightlife, it is most often visited on a day trip from Ibiza.

Eivissa is the local (Catalán) name for Ibiza. Catalán is the most common language of the island, but it is a dialectal variation--called Eivissenc or Ibicenco. The same language is spoken on Formentera.

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