Balearic Islands

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The Balearic Islands (Catalan and official:[1] Illes Balears IPA: [ˈiʎəz βəɫəˈa(ɾ)s]; Spanish: Islas Baleares IPA: [ˈizlaz βaleˈaɾes]) are an archipelago in the western Mediterranean Sea, near the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.

The four largest islands are (from largest to smallest): Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza, and Formentera. The archipelago forms an autonomous community and a province of Spain, of which the capital city is Palma. The co-official languages in the Balearic Islands are Spanish and Catalan (i.e. Mallorquí, Menorquí and Eivissenc, as Catalan is known by its speakers in this territory).

Contents

Geography, politics and culture

The main islands of the autonomous community are Majorca (Mallorca), Menorca (Menorca), Ibiza (Eivissa) and Formentera, all of which are popular tourist destinations. Among the minor islands is Cabrera, which is the location of the Parc Nacional de l'Arxipèlag de Cabrera. The islands can be further grouped, with Majorca, Menorca, and Cabrera as the Gymnesian Islands, and Ibiza and Formentera as the Pine Islands.

Etymology

The Balearic islands have two names in different languages: Catalan: Illes Balears, pronounced [ˈiʎəz bəɫəˈa(ɾ)s]; Spanish: Islas Baleares, [ˈizlaz βaleˈaɾes]; Greek: Gymnesiae Γυμνησίαι and Balliareis Βαλλιαρεῖς;[2] Latin: Baleares.

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