The Yacht Set
Yachting in the Balearic Islands
Chartering a luxury yacht in the Spanish Balearic Islands is a truly spectacular way to experience one of the most dazzling corners of the Mediterranean Sea. This region is famous for its excellent climate – the Balearic Islands’ weather is amongst the most reliable in Europe, with 300 days of sunshine per year – glamorous clientele and buzzing nightlife, set amongst a backdrop of grand Gothic architecture and plenty of rustic charm.
The Baleares or Balearics have become one of the Mediterranean’s most popular luxury yacht charter destinations. The constant sunshine, azure waters and rugged landscape has made The Balearic Islands, Europe’s favourite cruising playground. The Balearic Islands, off Spain are steeped in a raw combination of old and new. The history is prevalent in Gothic castles, museums and ancient cobbled streets, whilst the famous Spanish nightlife, lives on in tapas bars, nightclubs and port side cafes. A Balearics private yacht charter holiday gives you to experience more than the average mainland holidaymaker, could even imagine.
The Balearic Islands have been a popular charter destination for many years – and it’s not difficult to see why. With stunning golden sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, lively nightlife and mouth-watering Spanish cuisine, the Balearics are best discovered by chartering a superyacht. These charming islands offer secluded anchorages and some of the best coastlines in the Mediterranean: Many bays and coves are only accessible by boat which is why yacht charter enthusiasts return year after year.
Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza are the three main Balearic Islands. Each has something different to offer when enjoying a luxury yacht charter vacation. It’s the perfect opportunity to see these islands in a different light, away from mass tourism and British-themed tourist hot spots.
Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands and lies approximately around 140 miles east of Valencia on the Spanish mainland. The capital, Palma, has plenty of art, luxury boutiques and history to make a meandering and fulfilling time on dry land.
Only 30 miles northeast of Mallorca is the stunning island of Menorca. Menorca has virtually no mass tourism and boasts some of the most idyllic beaches in the Balearics. In complete contrast, 50 miles south-west of Mallorca lies Ibiza. It’s a great party destination in the Western Mediterranean and a firm favourite on many yacht charter itineraries.
The Balearics as well as the smaller islands in the archipelago are wonderful places to explore on board a superyacht. With such a variety between the islands you could easily spend nine days or more sailing here. Palma is a good starting point for luxury yacht charter in the Balearics while to soak up the Spanish culture on the mainland, Barcelona is a popular choice.
Sail to pretty bays, secluded inlets and quaint harbours at leisure on you Balearic Islands luxury yacht charter. As an advantage, you will be able to visit multiple islands within a single visit and see the best of each. Take it easy and meander from bay to bay, anchor off one of the many golden beaches by day or night, then moor near a quiet village and watch the lights sparkle in the windows of houses as you dine alfresco among the stars.
The Balearics are very popular during the peak summer months of July and August, while September and October see fewer crowds while still delighting in the last of the summer warmth. If you would like to visit in June or August make sure to plan ahead for your superyacht charter voyage, as this will ensure that you enjoy the best berths and idyllic ports throughout your trip.
Whether discovering the Balearic Islands for the first time or returning as a yearly rite, the incredible contradiction between the booming modern partying lifestyle and the serene cultured settlements works wonderfully to form an exciting and diverse charter ground with something to appeal to all guests.
The type of activities you want to experience in the Balearics should help to influence the charter yacht you choose, and when it comes to the best superyachts in the West Mediterranean, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
If you’re looking to make the most out of the archipelago’s famous nightlife then why not opt for a party yacht or a superyacht with a spa and Jacuzzi to help you recover? If it’s something a little quieter in the Balearics that appeals, then pick a family-friendly luxury catamaran so you enjoy these beautiful islands with your children.
No matter which yacht you decide suits your group best, the Balearics are a great option for an action-packed, fun-filled and diverse superyacht charter.
From golden beaches, bays, rocky peaks and lively harbors, Mallorca, Ibiza and the Balearic Islands have everything on offer for the perfect yacht charter holiday. The landscapes of the islands are extreme, and unmistakably Spanish. Along the towering coastlines, you’ll find endless coves and beaches, perfect for anchoring your yacht. Stop at the picturesque port of Ciutadella and the magnificent port of Mahon . Come ashore to meander your way through the narrow cobbled streets. Take a leisurely stroll on the secluded beaches of Formentera and Cabrera.
Like most of the Mediterranean, the Spanish Balearic Islands yacht chartering season generally runs from April to the end of October. The summer season in July and August is the hottest and tends to have lighter winds. This is also the high season as far as yacht charter goes. Other good times to charter your yacht is generally on either of the shoulder seasons (April-May and September-October), each side of the main summer season, as the temperatures are still comfortable, and the onshore tourists have yet to arrive in their largest numbers.
The Balearic Islands – Mallorca (or Majorca), Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera – are island paradises for sailors, superyachts and luxury yacht charters. Lying to the east of the Spanish mainland, these islands are becoming one of the Mediterranean’s most popular yacht charter destinations, thanks to the near-year-round sunshine, azure waters, varied landscapes and warm hospitality.
Luxury Charter Group cruised here to discover the Balearic Islands for ourselves, so we are best informed to plan your next charter in the Balearic Islands. Ask us, we think these unspoiled islands will bring you many delightful cruising and cultural surprises.
We noticed especially that a land based holiday in the Balearics would give you a totally different impression. Chartering a yacht is the best kept secret. To discover these islands with a knowledgeable Captain on a crewed yacht charter is an unrivalled opportunity to really savour these beguiling Spanish isles, and to discover for yourselves so many coves and private anchorages you can only ever get to by boat.
Each island has a unique character and despite its growing popularity, much of the region is unspoiled. There is something for everybody. You don’t have to sail far to encounter charming seaside villages, deep and narrow natural harbours, forests abundant with wildlife, and steep majestic cliffs broken only by small deserted beaches where no road goes. Or if it’s nightlife you prefer and sophisticated marinas, your charter Captain can advise your choices!
The largest and best-known Balearic, Mallorca (or Majorca) lies approximately 140 miles east of Valencia on the Spanish mainland and is home to the capital, Palma.
Palma de Mallorca comes as a surprise to many people – it is stylish, sophisticated, intimate, yet bursting with life. It is the island’s cultural centre, with a fascinating historic old town, excellent night life and yacht clubs, Club de Mar and the Real Club Nautico which hosts various superyacht and sailing regattas all year round.
Palma is a marvellous blend of traditional and contemporary, with something for every inclination. The Palma Aquarium is considered one of the best in Europe and will captivate all marine life lovers.
A feast for the eyes with its dazzling displays of flowers, fruit and vegetables straight from the land and a mouth-watering array of seafood, the Olivar Market is an authentic local experience where you will mingle with locals.
Although some parts of the island are densely populated with hotels and package-holiday tourists on land, if you want to anchor and explore ashore, there’s a lot more than beaches and nightlife, with scope for plenty of hiking, golf, culture and festivals, water sports, entertainment and more.
In fact, much of Mallorca retains its original, unspoiled charm. Almost 40 percent of the island is protected. There are beautiful areas such as the Sierra de Tramuntana Mountains, in the north, with peaks reaching 1400 m above sea level.
The south-east coast of Mallorca is generally considered the most scenic part for its sculptured rock formations and beautiful secluded bays, every few hundred meters along the coast between Pollensa and Colonia St Jordi. There are many marine and nature conservation areas to explore along this coast including Cala Mondrago, Ses Salines, Cala Figuera, Cuevas de Drach, Cala Santanyi, Porto Colom, Porto Cristo, Cala Ratjada, Cala Gran, Portopetro, and the island of La Dragonera. A visit to the nature reserve Island of Cabrera, just off the coast of Mallorca is a must. A permit is issued that allows you to moor for 24 hours, ample time to walk up to the lookout for breathtaking views.
On the North coast is Puerto Pollensa, a typical Mallorcan town, with its maze of narrow streets and home to one of the most beautiful harbours on the island and also one of the deepest and most protected. The sheltered horseshoe shaped bay is set against the stunning backdrop of the Tramuntana mountain range, and it is blessed with calm, shallow waters which makes it popular with families.
One of the most beautiful parts of Mallorca, this was the preferred destination for painters and artists at the beginning of the century. The landscape here is so diverse; steep mountains meet picturesque shores, the green of the pine trees contrasting with grey limestone rocks.
Around Mallorca, travel by yacht is the perfect way to get to places otherwise inaccessible and to discover an island of pine forests, mountains, rustic towns and idyllic coves.
The island measures almost 80 kilometres from one end to the other and boasts incredible diversity. It is 187 nautical miles to circumnavigate, but it has almost 300 nm of coastline counting all the inlets and bays you can explore on your yacht charter. Here you will find some of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful coves and beaches, including Es Trenc and Cala Mesquida, some of them with sophisticated restaurants, bars and boutiques and others to the north of the island, small coves set between cliffs and pine groves.
Mallorca’s clean, clear waters are ideal for swimming and water sports such as scuba diving, windsurfing, fishing, sailing, and even surfing. For the sports enthusiast, there are 24 golf courses on Mallorca and many are recognised as world-class to suit all levels of competence.
Ashore there are myriad of hiking trails, both along the coast and inland, all fully signposted, with information panels for visitors on foot or by bike.
Towns such as Deià, Pollença and Valldemossa have captivated artists for centuries. Culture is a vital part of the life of the island. Throughout the year there are festivals, concerts, literary events and exhibitions.
For the gourmand, even though you have your own chef aboard your charter yacht, we appreciate that you most likely want to explore the cuisine ashore. Palma will have you in epicurean rapture! Gastronomic experiences range from an authentic paella on the beach and rustic roasts in farmhouse restaurants to Michelin-starred cuisine that appear in the “Guide Rouge” each year.
The elegant Puerto Portals, a short cruise along the coast from Palma, has a hub for restaurants, bars and fine dining establishments. Along with its marina of luxury yachts, there are boutiques and some of the best restaurants on Mallorca.
Menorca attracts a more subdued style of visitor, and the modern resorts are located at a distance from the two main towns: the capital Maó, which boasts the deepest harbour in the Med, and the charming port of Ciutadella.
If you are looking for white sandy beaches to anchor for swimming or watersports then visit the southern beaches of Macarella and Son Bou. Then there are Mitjana, Turqueta, Binidalí, Son Saura and Trebalúger, and if you want somewhere with a bit more action ashore, there’s Cala Galdana or Punta Prima.
In the north, some of the beautiful beaches are only accessible for you by charter yacht. They lie under rocky outcrops of dark shale or terracotta-coloured clay, and the coarse sand has gold and russet tones. The sea can change colour from dark navy to vivid blue to palest green.
The sea bed is rocky and perfect for snorkelling with a brilliant variety of fish and cormorants. Northern beaches include Cala Morell and Arenal den Castell and for somewhere truly remote, ask your captain to take you to Cala Tortuga, Cala Pilar, Cavalleria or Pregonda.
The coastline of Menorca abounds with pretty coves with turquoise water and white sandy beaches. The landscape consists of low hills and woods and aromatic herbs and shrubs. Local villages dotted around the coastline provide restaurants with a warm and welcome Menorcan atmosphere, along with some of the finest local cuisine.
Whether it’s windsurfing, diving, jet skiing, horse riding, cycling, golf, gastronomy or bird watching that excites you, Menorca delivers.
Menorca has been, from prehistory to very recent times, a crossroad point for many different cultures because of its strategic situation in the centre of the western Mediterranean. It has been considered both a port of call and a place of refuge by these different races, all of whom left the island a rich historical legacy.
The evidence lies in the military network of forts and watchtowers: the Castle of San Antonio in Fornells, the Fortress of la Mola in Mahón, 14 watchtowers linking the coastline, 11 built by the English and three by the Spanish, Fort Marlborough or the San Felipe castle in Es Castell.
Ashore, there are various cultural trails, charting the island’s illustrious past: its forts, churches, anthropological ruins, museums and galleries. The period of British rule can be traced through monuments to Lord Nelson, the estate known as San Antoni/Golden Farm, vestiges of English architecture and the Menorca Military Museum.
The Gastronomy Product Club of Menorca exists to offer visitors authentic experiences. Member establishments along the four Routes (Cheese, Wine, Traditional Recipes and Seafaring Gastronomy) offer top quality local products prepared with patriotic care. You can find out more at www.menorca.es
World renowned for its festivals, party scene and magnificent coastline and beaches, Ibiza is wholly unique and still known to its natives as “Eivissa”.
The capital, Ibiza Town, is replete with legendary discos, bars and restaurants – a magnet for party-loving tourists from all over the world – but it has more than enough historic attractions to satisfy visitors seeking cultural insight. The north of the island still retains the distinctly bohemian character for which Ibiza was first famous.
Visitors to Ibiza will be dazzled by choice when it comes to cuisine, from casual beachside cafes and bars, to fine dining that rivals Paris or London, all with exquisite Ibiza ambience.
Bambuddha near Santa Gertrudis is an Asian-inspired haven for parties, events and special occasions. Nikki Beach is magnificently located in a stunning beachfront venue in Santa Eulalia. On Cala Jondal beach, Tropicana restaurant is sophisticated and relaxed, with a kids’ play area and sun lounges, as well as dinghy service for yachts. Sa Capella is an old converted church, located in San Antonio, which offers superb Spanish and international cuisine. Find out more at www.ibiza.travel/en
Away from the crowds, visitors should try the local fish and seafood dishes. Of particular note are dishes such as “bullit de peix”, fish hotpot, Ibizan paella or “la burrida de ratjada”, a typical local fish dish. Inland, restaurants serve typical dishes which are primarily meat-based, such as “arrós de matances” a rice dish with meat and frita de porc”, a pork dish. Desserts too are well worth sampling and include a delicious tart made with goat and sheep cheeses and mint, known as “flaó”; a pudding made of ensaimadas, milk and eggs called “greixonera” and on important social occasions, small ear-shaped cakes known as “orelletes”.
For history buffs, Ibiza boasts some of the most well-preserved Renaissance ramparts in the Mediterranean, hence a poetic reference to the city as “the ship of stone”. The Dalt Vila, a walled city, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. You can walk the entire perimeter of these impressive Renaissance-era walls, designed to withstand heavy artillery, and enjoy some of the best views of Ibiza from the top. The old quarter is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage site. Nestled inside the ramparts, small palaces, art galleries, museums, restaurants with creative and traditional cuisine, little bars, and trendy shops line the route leading to the cathedral and the castle. Cultural sites include the Puig des Molins necropolis and the Phoenician settlement of Sa Caleta.
At the close of the 7th century BC, the Phoenicians established themselves at Puig de Vila and founded a settlement on the bay of Ibiza which constituted the original core of the city. It was in this period that the Puig des Molins was used as a necropolis. At the Monographic Puig des Molins Museum the history of the area is explained in great detail.
At the southern end of Ibiza, Ses Salines Nature Reserve is blessed with healthy fields of seagrass. Here, the sea is so pristine, it’s a natural habitat for endangered species such as the Mediterranean monk seal and there are flocks of diverse species of birds. Las Salinas Nature Park offers incredible walking trails through the dunes and pine woods, and past the salt flats to end in the beaches of Es Cavallet, Ses Salines, d’en Bossa and Es Codolar you will find beach bars. Another option is to go to Ses Portes, where soldiers defended the island from pirate attack. Es Cavallet beach is known as the island’s “gay coast”, with an array of beach restaurant-bars and clubs.
In addition to some tranquil anchorages away from the crowds, there are several marinas on Ibiza that offer 5-star service and a pleasant base from which to explore: Marina Botafoch, Puerto Ibiza la Nueva, Puerto San Antonio-Abad, Puerto Santa Eulalia.
Beyond Ses Salines, there are hidden beaches and historic monuments many accessible only by boat on your yacht charter.
The undeveloped islands of Formentera and Espalmador lie two miles south of Ibiza. Espalmador, the smallest of the two, is virtually deserted.
Tiny Formentera has even better beaches than its neighbours and what it may lack in cultural interest, it more than makes up for in rustic charm.
Formentera can only be reached by boat, and this inaccessibility makes it very peaceful. The secret of its crystalline sea is the ‘posidonea prairie’ that surrounds the island, aquatic plants that clean the water, earning it a place in the region’s World Heritage listing.
Formentera has attracted artists and artisans since the 70s, inspired by its natural wonders, freedom and stark light. Their designs in clothing, accessories, jewellery and works of art are one of the island’s major points of interest.
Formentera is 10 miles long and 8 miles wide and considered the last wilderness in the Mediterranean. By charter yacht guests can just relax and savour the scenery, or take on the myriad of options for active tourism. Formentera provides awesome conditions for water sports, especially diving, thanks to the clean, crystal clear waters and warm temperatures. The unusual shape of the island is ideal for windsurfing all year round. If you’re in to walking and cycling, the island has properly signed green circuits.
Illetes Beach is the best, but the anchorage is most crowded during the summer. The advantages of a yacht charter are that you can escape the crowds and cruise further along the coastline to find perfect lagoons for snorkelling away from the crowds.
Heading south, you will come to Ca Na Costa where archaeological ruins have been identified as a tomb dating from 2,000 BC.
If you hire a car or a scooter, along the main road towards La Mola is the longest stretch of beach known as Platja Migjorn. Es Calo boasts a picturesque cluster of restaurants, cafes and water of the most incredible turquoise. La Mola is atop a steep hill, with its lighthouse known as Faro de la Mola built in 1861. There is a Jules Verne monument here, a tribute to the author who made his base here while he penned his 1877 novel ‘Journey Round the Solar System’. Near here is the cave known as Cova des Fum where it is said that in 1108 Norman invaders tortured and burned to death Arab inhabitants.
Playa Migjorn is a short jaunt from there, popular with those who prefer to sunbake and bathe nude! The most important port is Sa Savina, 3kms from the capital, Sant Francesc, surrounded by the sea on one side and two large lakes on the other, which makes it quite spectacular.
Of interest in the city is the fortified church: built in 1729. And located in the ‘plaza principal’. Then there’s the Ethnological Museum which offers a glimpse into the history of the island and its people.
The upgraded Marina de Formentera is a well-equipped marina accustomed to giving yachts impeccable service with modern technology and environmental considerations.
Cala Illetes is a great choice for fine dining, Head to Cabo Barberia, near the lighthouse for beautiful views and for moorings, Cala Saona is a popular, yet serene harbour for marvelling at the sunset and crystalline waters.
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