Powdery white sand, crystal-clear azure seas, swaying palms for shade and a chilled cocktail in hand - to us, this is as perfect a vision of a relaxing vacation as we could possibly imagine. Luckily for us, and for you (if you're as much of a sun-worshipper as we are) the Balearics are overflowing with those kinds of picture-perfect beaches. But where to go? Which idyllic beach to visit?
Are you looking to zone out with the latest bestseller and only the sweet sound of lapping waves for company or are you an adrenalin-junkie wanting to surf three-metre waves or party animal looking for a buzzy vibe and lively chiringuito? From kid-friendly Platja de Muro to snorkellers' paradise Cala Saona, here is our list of the best Balearic beaches for every type of sun-worshipper.
For Underwater Enthusiasts: Formentera's Cala Saona is a must for divers and snorkelers as they can enjoy close encounters with colourful fish and experience the bay's otherworldly undersea 'light show' - an enchanting combination of stone-reds, sea-blues and a soft, golden glow.
For Teens and Tiny Tots: Platja de Muro's long stretch of soft sand lies 5km sou Balearics th of Mallorca's Port d'Alcudia and is perfect for the smallest water babies. Its waters are exceptionally shallow and so conducive for little feet to splash around in. The beach's easy access, restaurants, onsite facilities and dedicated play areas make it a firm family-fave.
For Dare Devils: Cala Varques is considered one of Mallorca's best cliff-jumping beaches. Although this east coast beach is tricky to find, dare-devils consider the hair-raising jump from this unspoilt beach' craggy cliffs more than worth the effort it took to venture out here.
For Gourmands: The sparkling, jewel-toned view that greets you as you descend the steps to Amante Restaurant has to be one of the most awe-inspiring on Ibiza. However, Amante's modern Mediterranean menu is just as dreamy and features crowd- pleasers alongside more adventurous dishes, not to mention bottles of the palest rose'.
For Cocktail Lovers: Roxy's Beach Bar in Portals Nous, Mallorca, sits on a rocky promontory on the beach's Eastern end. Locals and visitors come to soak up the bar's Ibizaesque vibe, tap their sandy toes to chilled tunes and drink glasses of cava with strawberries or fresh sangría.
For Gnarled Surfers: Cala Mesquida, on Mallorca's north-eastern shore, boasts a beautiful sweep of sand nearly 300m long and is the Balearics best spot for surfers in search of a decent wave. It's especially surf-worthy in autumn and winter as waves, at this time, tower up to three metres high.
For City Dwellers: Playa de Palma is a hop, skip and a jump from the capital's iconic cathedral and old town's serpentine streets. Towel-to-towel busy with sun worshippers in summer but dang easy to get to and with plenty of chic bars to offer respite from the crowds in the form of a chilled drink.
For Crowdophobs: Cala Llentrisca doesn't attract a lot of visitors, mostly due to the short but somewhat confusing path through dense pine forests. If you manage to find your way here, however, you'll feel like you've struck gold. Framed by verdant green and blissfully quiet bar for the chirruping of cicadas, this Ibiza beach couldn't be further from its heaving counterparts.