When you anchor your yacht in a rocky cove in the Balearics, the turquoise water is so clear that you can see the yacht’s deep shadow cast on the sea floor far below. Each morning on a Spanish yacht charter you wake up to dive from the swim platform into the blue depths, perhaps swimming ashore to walk along powder-white beaches or snorkelling along the rocky limestone cliffs. The Spanish sun shines high overhead, and the sparkling sea gives way to towering mountains, medieval monasteries high on their peaks.
The Balearic Islands are a yachting heaven, where your busy schedule and stresses are instantly surrendered to the heat and languor of Mediterranean life. The smell of pine forest and citrus groves is rich in the air, the skins of oranges releasing their scent in the midday heat. Wild herbs grow in the hills and wildflowers line coastal dune paths, and all you hear is the sound of water lapping at the hull and the cry of birds as they wheel above your yacht under clear blue skies. Time here is measured by leisurely swims and exquisite meals; as soon as you step aboard you are on yacht time, and the rest of the world just drops away.
Yet it’s not all quiet beauty- the diversity of the Balearic Islands is part of what makes them such an ideal charter destination- and all are an easy sail from each other. On Majorca, the cosmopolitan city of Palma just begs to be explored, with its immense Gothic cathedral famous throughout Europe, its narrow cobbled streets and glamorous boutiques. Palma is an all-night city, with late night tapas bars spilling out into the squares, and super-clubs filled with people dancing under the tall palms that line the Paseo Maritimo.
Away from the city you can descend into immense caves, where stalactites and stalagmites have grown into fantastical shapes over the centuries. Perhaps you want to golf the day away on a green golf course with spectacular views across the Mediterranean, or eat fresh caught seafood in a village taverna, colourful fishing boats bobbing outside in the port. For rustic Spanish food, head high into the mountains to the monastery, where the restaurant serves local lamb cooked to juicy perfection at bustling communal tables with sweeping views across the coast. If fine dining is more your style, the innovative Spanish cuisine is sure to impress, although most nights you’ll find it hard to drag yourself away from the sophisticated food being served on your yacht, as you dine on the sundeck by candle light in the soft night air.
If nightlife is what you’re looking for, then Ibiza calls your name, and calls it loudly. With glamorous beach clubs and global DJ’s, this is a global partying mecca. But if dance music until dawn is not your thing, Ibiza also has a hidden side, with blinding white sand beaches and medieval villages, with their jumble of terracotta roofs looking over the glittering sea. Ibiza is rebranding in an attempt to attract more of the jetset, so expect good marinas and excellent restaurants. Eat late, drink late, sleep late- that’s the Spanish way- and you can always cure a fuzzy head with a morning swim around the hull!
On the island of Formentara, walk on soft white sand beaches by the sapphire sea, and enjoy a luxury beach picnic at white linen tables set up by your crew on soft sands. Dive and snorkel your days away, and visit the nearby nature reserve on Cabrera, walking through the island’s low forested hills and visiting the 14th century castle. Menorca is another quiet gem where time appears to have stood still, and where olive groves climb up the gentle terraces behind sleepy towns.
The Balearics are a stunning yacht charter destination where the mountains rise majestic from the deep blue sea, and the old world and new blend together under the Mediterranean sun. If you’re in the mood for restaurants and glamour, the Balearics have it. If you want solitude and staggering natural beauty, the Balearics have that too. Most of us, of course, tend to like a bit of both, and that’s where the Balearics truly come into their own as a luxury yacht destination.