Crime in Spain is generally low and although the Balearics’ average crime rate is higher than the mainland, most of this is opportunism and being extra careful can reduce any risk.
The islands are generally safe but beware of pickpockets and bag thieves in the larger towns, mainly on Mallorca and Ibiza, and on beaches. Keep valuables secure, close or zip bags and avoid carrying valuables by hand or in easily accessed pockets. Try not to keep them all in the same place. Be careful what you display in public and only take out what you need. Be aware of current distraction scams. Store valuables in a room safe where possible.
In the livelier resorts, crime in the evenings centres around taking advantage of those with impaired decision making after a few drinks. Make sure you’re aware of where you are in relation to your accommodation. Avoid quiet and badly lit areas at night. Be vigilant for anyone trying to add anything to your drink.
If taking part in water sports or other higher risk activities take all available precautions. Check if these activities will be covered on your travel insurance policy – they may not.
Always be careful on balconies, especially when alcohol has been consumed.
Take precautions while out in the sun and keep hydrated. The tap water is safe to drink but may taste different to the UK. Bottled water is readily available at a reasonable price.
Where terrorist threats do occur in Spain and its territories, they usually relate to areas of the mainland, particularly Barcelona and the Catalonia region. Advice can change at any time, though, and you can check the current threat level before you travel.
You’ll find more on the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice page for Spain.
Travelling around or between the Balearic Islands is simple. Public buses are available for travelling within the main islands. Check timetables before travelling as they vary at weekends and seasonally.
Taxis are readily available in larger towns and cities. Rates are set to government levels to avoid scams so look for registered taxis.
You can travel between resorts on Mallorca and Ibiza from the bigger ports or to other islands by ferries, which operate daily services.
To drive in Spain, you must be at least 18 years old (16 for motorcycles up to 125cc) and hold a full UK driving licence. If you’re using UK insurance, make sure it covers you to drive abroad and for the length of your stay. Trips of three months or more may need additional cover.
Balearic locals drive on the right and the speed limit is in km/h. Seat belts are compulsory in the front and back of the vehicle for anyone aged 12 and over or children over 1.35m tall. If you’re travelling with children under 12, please check what safety measures/seating aids are required. Riders of motorcycles and mopeds must wear a crash helmet.
There are strict drink driving laws. The blood alcohol limit is 49mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood or 29mg if you’ve held your licence for less than two years. Police carry out regular roadside checks, so it’s best not to consume any alcohol before driving. If you’re involved in an accident and have consumed alcohol it may invalidate your insurance.
Mobile use while driving is illegal unless using a hands-free kit (but not an earpiece). You must be away from the road before using a phone. Simply pulling over isn’t acceptable, even if the engine’s switched off.
You’re required to carry two red warning triangles for use at the front and rear of the vehicle in the event of a breakdown. And a spare wheel and the tools to change it. If you need to leave the vehicle, a reflective vest must be worn.
On-the-spot fines can be issued for offences. If paid within 20 days, they’ll be reduced by 50%.
Hiring a car can be a good way to see the larger islands. The minimum age is usually 21 for car hire but can be higher depending on provider. Check you’re insured to drive and, now Britain has left the EU, if you’ll need an additional permit.