The Balearic Islands
The Balearic Islands are a collection of Spanish islands in the western Mediterranean Sea, consisting of Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera.
The Balearic Islands are extremely popular for sun and sea holidays for British tourists and can be accessed directly by airplane, train or car.
Getting to the Balearics
Flying from London to Palma, the capital of Mallorca, will take an average time of between four or five hours, but other forms of travel will require greater journey times.
Taking the combination of train and ferry can get you to most destinations within 24 hours, while driving from London to Palma will take roughly 25 hours.
The Balearic Islands has the same time as British Summer Time and is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
If you are unsure as to how best to stick to your medication schedule then it is best to discuss a plan with your diabetes specialist.
The climate of the Balearic Islands may vary depending on which island you visit, but generally average temperatures of 25°C will greet all islands in the summer.
Considerable heat can lead to enhanced insulin absorption and it is critical for insulin takers to check blood sugar levels scrupulously.
You could consider reducing dosages, especially before periods of physical activity, if you are worried about hypoglycemia.
The currency in The Balearic Islands is the Euro, although many restaurants, hotels and shops will accept credit and debit cards for certain purchases. ATMs are also scattered frequently across all the islands.
There are no mandatory vaccinations required to enter the Balearic Islands, however rabies is present in bats in the Balearic Islands, so it is advised for those planning activities in remote areas that put them at risk for bat bites to receive a rabies vaccine.
If you believe you may require this vaccine then it is advised to consult your doctor eight weeks before travelling which should allow enough time for you to receive it.
Otherwise, the opportunity should be taken to ensure existing vaccinations such as your yearly flu jab and those against polio and tetanus are also up to date.
Have you got a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?
The Balearic Islands is amongst the European countries that allow you to receive state healthcare either at a reduced cost or sometimes for free when on a temporary stay. It will cover you for medical treatment until you return to the UK.
The Spanish health authority will determine if the treatment you require is considered necessary and which cannot wait until your return to the UK.
It is best to apply for an EHIC card directly through the NHS. Your card will usually arrive within seven days if you have applied through the NHS, but it is best to apply two weeks in advance to allow for any delays.
Pharmacies and access to medication
Medication is available in the Balearic Islands, but payment is required from a pharmacy, for which the Spanish translation is “Farmacia”.
However, possessing an EHIC card allows you to receive treatment at a lesser cost and this money can be recouped when you get back into the UK. Blood and urine testing kits are available from any pharmacy in the Balearic Islands.
The emergency services telephone number to be called in the Balearic Islands is 112.
It is important to note the diabetes associations in the country you are travelling to in case of an emergency.
There are two diabetic associations in the Balearic Islands that can be contacted for information prior to your stay. The addresses of these associations are:
Sociedad Espanola de Diabetes (a member of the International Diabetes Federation since 2000),
Eugenio Salazar 23 Entreplanta B,
The Balearic Islands
- Federación de Diabéticos Españoles (a member of IDF since 2013),
C/ de la Habara 35 posterior,
Centro Civico "La Avanzada",
ES-28945 Fuenlabrada – Madrid,
The Balearic Islands
- How is blood glucose measured in The Balearic Islands? Blood glucose levels are measured in mg/dl
- What language is spoken in The Balearic Islands? Spanish, although many locals will have a basic grasp of English, especially those that work in a customer service environment.
- Will I need an international driving license when driving in The Balearic Islands? No
- If I want to hire a vehicle during my visit, will I face any form of discrimination? No
- What sugar free drinks are available in The Balearic Islands? Most diet soft drinks, such as Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi and mineral water