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In ancient times, the Balearic Islands were a transit area for ships heading to Africa or back to Europe. The port of Palma de Mallorca in particular was very important in this respect, and grew to become one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean.

Formentera's only port, La Savina, is much smaller and therefore less important as a transit port. However, the port currently plays a major role in transport between the islands, especially for tourists. As Formentera has no airport, all visitors arrive at La Savina harbour. The island's only port has been enlarged in recent years and a marina has been built, which now houses numerous pleasure boats.

Agriculture and cattle breeding are of minor importance to the economy and are really only aimed at the domestic market. There are some dairy farms and some farmers who keep goats, sheep, poultry and pigs. Approximately 40% of the surface area of Ibiza is used for agriculture. The products are mostly sold to restaurants and hotels. Characteristic of Ibiza are the 'paredes', stone walls that prevent the earth from being washed away during heavy rainfall in winter.

The yield of carob trees has increased in recent years; the cores of the fruit are a raw material for the chemical industry. Other agricultural products include potatoes, apricots, figs and almonds.

Although completely surrounded by the waters of the Mediterranean, fishing is also of little economic importance. It used to be a very rich fishing area, but due to overfishing there is hardly anything left of it.

While the salt flats on Ibiza are still used intensively, those on Formentera have largely been returned to nature. The salt pans of Estany des Peix and Estany Pudent are under the supervision of Nature Protection.


Mallorca & Ibiza, Menorca & Formentera
APA Publications

Mischke, R. / Ibiza, Formentera
Het Spectrum

Rokebrand, R. / Reishandboek Ibiza en Formentera

Sale, R. / Ibiza & Formentera
Kosmos-Z&K, 2000

Schmid, N. / Ibiza, Formentera

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated April 2024
Copyright: Team The World of Info