The Balearic Islands are now considered one of the best boating destinations in the world. This is due to many factors including the colour and quality of its waters, its nautical infrastructure, its light, its Mediterranean climate, its innumerable wonderful coves and beaches, the diversity of its landscapes and Its coastline, as well as by the great variety of beautiful anchorages and ports, from small and charismatic fishing ports to the most vibrant and cosmopolitan marinas. This popularity has gained momentum in recent years, especially with the uneasy political situations in many eastern Mediterranean regions, making a trip in that region more of a risk. Many charter businesses have moved yachts away from these areas to the Balearics, including Sunsail, probably the largest charter fleet in the world. They have tripled their presence in Palma alone this year.
With easy access from any of the major cities in Europe the islands, particularly to Palma de Mallorca, it makes it simple to get here during most months of the year. Almost all of the low-cost airlines operate here, making it economical from just about anywhere in Europe.
The climate is of course another major draw, with largely ideal sailing conditions throughout most parts of the year. With more than 300 days of sunshine per year, the mild Mediterranean climate we enjoy in the Balearic Islands allows us to sail practically all year round, even in winter when we enjoy temperatures reaching 20ºC during the day and winds Ideal for sailing . Another big factor in the popularity is the safety and ease of sailing around the islands. There are no sandbanks, tides or strong currents and the average water temperature is 22ºC.
The diversity of the four main islands in the group also provide the variety but without having to make long passages, making it ideal for family sailing. The Balearics are composed of four main islands: Mallorca, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera and numerous small islands that form an archipelago with an endless number of options when planning your itinerary. You can find from small and beautiful hidden coves to the most cosmopolitan and vibrant ports like Palma, Ibiza … the perfect combination for a perfect vacation.
The Marine Reserves and the National Park of the Island of Cabrera offer nature lovers a rich natural setting . The Cabrera archipelago, one of the twelve National Parks of Spain, offers the opportunity to reserve one of the mooring buoys and experience some amazing night skies, with zero light pollution. This really is an experience you will never forget. Cabrera is just over an hour from the coast of Mallorca and is the best example of unspoilt island ecosystems in the Spanish Mediterranean. You will witness important colonies of seabirds, many species of local fish, and one of the best preserved seabeds of Posidonia grass anywhere in the Med. It is possible to visit the Park and spend the night anchored on one of the mooring buoys available under prior reservation.
Mallorca being the largest of the Balearic Islands has everything to offer its visitors, from beautiful beaches and coves of white sand and turquoise waters, to the most remote rocky coves of transparent waters of the Sierra de la Tramontana. From small and charismatic fishing ports, to modern and sophisticated marinas. The diversity of this wonderful Island is unique. The cultural, gastronomic and leisure offer is also endless, and has been winning umpteen awards over the past few years for its quality of restaurants and cultural offerings. With a multitude of museums, art galleries, monuments, concerts, there is an endless choice of how to spend your time ashore. Palma was voted last year in the Sunday Times as the best place in the world to live…. Quite a statement!
Ibiza is the westernmost of the Balearic Islands, it is only 50 miles from the Spanish coast and 48 miles from Andratx in the SW of Mallorca, making it possible to cross in a few hours of sailing.The Island of Ibiza is just 26 miles from north to south and 16 miles from east to west. The island has three main ports, Ibiza, San Antonio and Santa Eulalia and a multitude of small coves, beaches and beautiful anchorages along its entire coast. In recent years, Ibiza has become synonymous with the rich and famous, anchoring their superyachts off the coast before going by tender to the cool nightspots which abound in this party capital. The island also offers at the other extreme some beautiful quiet coves, where you can moor in peace.
Ibiza is world-renowned for its festivals, Beach Clubs and Nightclubs, and its nightlife in general, but it also offers us its lesser-known face, the hidden coves, its high-quality gastronomic offer, the glamour of its fashion and the friendly character of the local people. It’s certainly an Island worth visiting and exploring by land or sea !
Menorca is an authentic open-air museum, due to its great concentration of archaeological sites, buildings of historical interest, defensive fortifications and various museums. From the water, it resembles parts of Cornwall or Wales, with lush green fields with drystone walls leading down to the water much in evidence.
Its varied coastline is divided in two: the steep and steep North with beautiful rocky coves and wonderful clear waters. Similar to Mallorca’s north coast has few bolt holes in the event of bad weather, so careful attention should be paid to the weather forecasts. The South is filled with paradise like coves of fine white sand and turquoise waters, surrounded by rocks, which make exceptional moorings! The main attraction for many visiting yachtsmen is the peace and tranquillity compared to many other Med destinations. Being the most northerly of the islands, it attracts a large French contingent of sailing yachts.
It has one of the largest natural harbours in the world in Mahon, which is also a port for many cruise ships and ferries from the mainland as well as Palma. Ciutedella at the western end of the island is a wonderful old small city and should be included in any visit to Menorca. Its long narrow harbour houses plenty of moorings for all but the busiest times of the year, and is surrounded by great seafood restaurants. The market in the old town is well worth a visit and dates back to the 1700’s .
Formentera is the smallest of the four main islands, but certainly should be one of the places to visit on your route. Just a few miles from the south coast of Ibiza and its city, this island is a natural paradise of salt and sand, clear waters and intense blues that you will not forget. It is like being in the South Pacific.
The island only has one Port, Savona with all the services, but you will find many good anchorages off some of the idyllic white sand beaches .This is definitely the quietest island generally but in summer is wall to wall boats anchored off its wonderful coastline, and gets invaded with Italians, being their favourite holiday destination.