Majorca, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera make up the Balearic Islands. Their beautiful landscapes, magnificent white sand beaches, gastronomy, history, cultural offer, great tourist opportunities and much more make them one of the favorite Spanish destinations for tourists from all over Europe. If you dream living in the Balearic Islands, you should also know the advantages and disadvantages.
Living in the Balearic Islands
There is a multicultural environment in the Balearic Islands, which is due to the many expats who have settled here. Not only Spaniards live there, but also many foreigners, especially English and Germans who have settled there.
The international mix of people who live, work and visit the islands has made it a cosmopolitan place, with international schools and businesses, and where different languages are spoken.
The islands have good infrastructure (hospitals and roads), and Palma is well connected to the main European capitals thanks to its airport. However, public transportation is generally quite poor.
One of the main problems of the islands is overpopulation. Keep in mind that these are islands full of tourists. The feeling of overcrowding on the streets, especially in Mallorca, is not a subjective perception, but a fact. The lack of public transportation has led to a significant increase in the number of private vehicles, to which are added the rental cars, causing traffic jams, longer travel times and parking problems.
Living in the Balearic Islands means a high cost of rent. The cost of housing has increased significantly in recent years. The houses would be there, but they are not available for long-term rentals because their owners prefer to rent them to tourists for short periods of time.
This makes it very difficult for people who want to live and work on the island to find housing. Therefore, I recommend that you only accept a job on these islands if housing is provided or at least the employer agrees to find housing.
It is unlikely that you will find a cheap flat on the Balearic Islands, even in winter. The desperate search for an flat affects thousands of residents who until a few years ago did not have this problem, but now the tourist rentals have absorbed a large part of the housing supply and demand has skyrocketed. As a result, prices have also risen sharply.
Last year, rental prices in the Balearic Islands increased by 24.0%.
Another problem of life in the Balearic Islands is that the inhabitants find it difficult to open up to others, especially if they are strangers. This is not the case in the rest of Spain, where people are more open and friendly with immigrants.
These islands have a privileged climate with average temperatures between 18°C and 21°C. You have the opportunity to enjoy almost 300 days of sunshine a year. The climate is typically Mediterranean, with mild winters, dry summers that are not too hot, and changeable autumns and winters, both in terms of temperature and precipitation, although it can also be quite cold and windy.
Working in the Balearic Islands
Speaking of work, the tourist industry is the most important sector of the economy of the Balearic Islands, the hotel offer is one of the first in the world.
It is not difficult to find a job, and especially from March it is very easy to find work in different fields. From March/April there are many job searches in areas such as:
- Health services
To gain access to these positions, it is not enough to have a good CV, but it is also necessary to know foreign languages (primarily English and German) and to have experience and be able to prove it.
Employment agencies, newspapers and the Internet are the usual sources for finding a job in the Balearic Islands. The newspapers have only a limited number of job offers. Internet searches, on the other hand, can begin while you are still abroad. For foreigners, it is easiest to find a job in the tourism sector: in hotels, restaurants or as an employee of a tour operator.
Most jobs in tourism are, of course, seasonal. The summer season lasts from May 1 to October 31. The 6-month contract is sufficient if you want to apply for unemployment benefits in the winter.
Unfortunately, the cost of living has risen dramatically in recent years, so that seasonal work in tourism and unemployment benefits can hardly guarantee a decent standard of living, so that more and more seasonal workers have to leave the islands in winter to work elsewhere.
On the other hand, those seeking office jobs must have excellent Spanish and sometimes even Catalan language skills, in addition to specific skills.
Once you find a job, be prepared for a renewable three-month contract. Very few companies will initially offer you a contract longer than 3 months, especially if they don’t know you. Spanish law is strongly pro-employee, so longer contracts are too risky for employers.
No matter what industry you work in the opportunities for advancement are limited, and that’s true for any profession, from waiter to software developer. In other cities like London, Paris or New York, there are many more opportunities to move up if you have the ability and talent.
Finally, keep in mind that insularity is always a problem. You will always have to rely on planes and ferries to get out of the islands, and although they are well connected, many people find it difficult to adapt to island life and find it restrictive.
If you want to have all the information about how to work in Spain, I recommend you to read the article: Working in Spain
If you want to have all the information about living in Spain, you can read the article: Moving to Spain