The Balearic Islands are an archipelago located in the Mediterranean Sea to the southeast of Spain. Catalan—the native tongue—and Spanish are the official languages. The islands are an autonomous community and province of Spain, located about midway between the southeastern coastline of Spain and the northern coastline of Algeria.
This astronaut photograph from the International Space Station highlights the large island of Majorca (also known as Mallorca in Spanish), on which the provincial capital of Palma is located. Like the other Balearic Islands, Majorca is a popular holiday destination for Europeans, with tourism forming a major part of the island’s economy. The 5,400 square kilometer (2,100 square mile) island offers many recreational opportunities, with mountainous regions along the northwest coastline and eastern third. The central region of Majorca includes agricultural lands (tan, light brown, and green, image center), forested patches and corridors (dark green, image center), and urban centers (gray). Diving is a popular activity for those visiting the coastal beaches.
In addition to Majorca, the other major islands of the archipelago include Ibiza, Formentera, and Minorca. The small island of Cabrera to the southwest (image lower right) hosts the Parc Nacional de l’Arxipélag de Cabrera.