The Balearic Islands offer you a wide variety of attractions. There is paradisiac landscape, Caribbean-like water and beaches, buzzing nightlife and great sightseeing. In addition shopping facilities are huge and the local cuisine is a real treat. Many ports of different styles and with all kinds of services leave nothing to want for the sailor. And the offer of charter boats is vast - you just need to choose from the selected fleet of motor yachts and sail boats.
What are the appealing aspects of a yacht charter vacation in the Balearic Islands?
The archipelago of the Balearics consists of four islands and eleven smaller islets. From the smallest to the largest island, they are: Formentera, Ibiza
and Mallorca. Those four form an autonomous region of Spain
. Their diversity makes them so attractive: Mallorca has not only got beautiful beaches. The island has mountains up to 1,445 m and many authentic towns and villages worth visiting. The capital Palma de Mallorca
has a stunning Old Town and is great for shopping, eating out and enjoying the nightlife. Menorca has its very own appealing towns and festivals. Ibiza is the party capital of Europe. Formentera and the mini island of Espalmador are like a replica of paradise with their dazzling white beaches and aquamarine sea.
The waters here are crystal clear, almost like in the Caribbean
. The coastline boasts wonderful views of mountains and craggy cliffs interspersed with many protected bays. Those `calas`, as they are called locally are ideally suited for anchoring and when sailing in the Balearic Islands you are never far away from the next safe anchorage or port. To get from one island to the other is fairly easy. The distance from Mallorca to Minorca is about 25 NM. Ibiza is about 80 NM from Palma, and it is another 11 NM from Ibiza's capital Eivissa
to Formentera. The climate is mild and winds in summer are very moderate, making the Balearics very well suited for family sailing holidays.
The infrastructure for yachting is brilliant. There are shipyards, repair services, nautical shops and many charter providers. In addition, you can choose from a variety of ports that all cater perfectly for the yacht charterer´s needs. In Spain there is a real zest for pleasure boating. You will find many `Club Nauticos` with sailing schools, there are numerous regattas and the nautical tradition is as popular nowadays as it ever was.
Another huge advantage if you charter a sailboat or a motor yacht in the Balearic Islands is the easy accessibility. Both Mallorca and Ibiza airport offer many flights to all the major European destinations. There are also very good ferry and speedboat connections with ports on the Spanish mainland, i.e. Barcelona
The infrastructure for tourism in the Balearics is generally well developed. Whether you are looking for a hotel, a rental car, a good restaurant or bar, are in need of medical services or a translator - here you find it all and more.
Which are the favourite charter destinations in the Balearic Islands?
Majorca boasts a variety of large bays, i.e. the Bay of Palma in the South and the Bay of Alcudia and the one of Pollença in the North. On the east coast especially you find lovely coves, beaches and charming quaint fishing towns. You can head to Cabrera, the largest islet of an uninhabited archipelago south of Mallorca. It is a nature reserve and you need to book ahead to reserve one of the 50 available buoys as anchoring is not allowed. For diving there, you need to apply for a permit as well, but then you can enjoy the stunningly clear water containing its very own special flora and fauna. There are large caves to explore by boat and if you feel energetic you may walk up to the castle, from where you have a beautiful view.
The marinas in Mallorca offer a big variety. They range between authentic small fishing ports like Puerto Andratx and Portocolom
and luxury marinas like Port Adriano and Puerto Portals. The ports of Palma and Alcudia are the most frequented.
In Ibiza some of the most visited marinas are the Marina Ibiza, Marina Botafoch, Ibiza Magna, Marina Santa Eulalia on the east coast and the Club Nautico San Antonio
on the western side. Cruise the leeward west coast with its many lovely coves and beaches as well as islets. Head to Formentera and the nature reserve Espalmador, a gem of an islet with an amazing white beach rimmed by a pink hue due to the adjacent reef.
and Ciutadella are the biggest port towns in Menorca. Mahon is one of the largest natural harbours in the world with its 5 km deep and up to 900 m wide entrance. You can circumnavigate Menorca in about 85 NM. The rugged north coast offers spectacular views of steep cliffs, picturesque bays and sandy beaches. The leeward south side has some very protected cruising grounds with many safe anchorages, like Cala Turqueta or Cala Macarella.
What are the prevailing weather systems relevant for Balearic yacht charter?
The Balearics enjoy an average of 300 sunny days per year. Sailing season here goes from the end of March till the end of October, during which time there is hardly any rain (below 3.7 mm per month on average). For a bareboat or crewed boat charter the conditions are ideal, especially since there are very moderate winds. Due to its favourable geographical position the archipelago escapes the bad weather fronts during the summer months. Mainly in winter there are some northerly winds, so the southern coastlines are much more protected. In summer thermal winds are great for sailing and the warm, subtropical climate with a long, hot and dry summer and guaranteed sun contributes to a wonderful charter experience.
How much does a yacht charter cost in the Balearic Islands and what types of charter are there?
The Balearic Islands are the largest charter base in the western Mediterranean
, with the hub mainly concentrated in Palma. The average price is around 3,100 € a week for a medium sized bareboat charter yacht. You can also get a small boat in the off-season from around 1,000 € per week. The prices here rank a bit higher than in other regions in the Med due to the mooring fees which are the most expensive in the whole Mediterranean. A berth in the Balearics is about 10,000 € a year on average. You can charter sailboats, powerboats or rent catamarans with or without skipper up to 20 meter length. Weekly packages are available as well as day charters. If you need something more exclusive, you can opt for luxury charters on yachts bigger than 20 m with crew.
What other activities worth doing are there in the Balearic Islands apart from sailing yacht charter?
If you like sightseeing, visit the Old Town of Palma with its famous cathedral. Mallorca´s impressive mountain range, the Serra de Tramuntana, hosts a lot of charming old villages like Banyalbufar, Estellencs, Fornalutx, Bunyola, Orient, Deia and Valldemossa. The port towns Port de Soller and Port d'Alcudia are equally attractive and there is a lovely old train that connects Palma with Puerto Soller. Very recommendable are the Playa de Muro, Es Trenc beach, the caves of Drach in Porto Cristo, the old town of Pollença with weekly market and last not least Cap Formentor with its sheer cliffs and towering lighthouse.
Explore Ibiza Old Town and the castle inside some massive fortifications. Spend the afternoon on Formentera´s and Espalmador´s stunning white sandy beaches. It´s like being in a natural paradise.
Check out Mahon port in Menorca and the Old Town. Go watch the St. Joan festival in La Ciutadella that goes over two days starting in late June. Some special locally bred horses are being displayed here and the riders train all year up to that point to demonstrate their skills. And for some relaxation head to the scenic beach Cala Macarella to enjoy the breathtaking views.
The shopping facilities especially in Palma and Ibiza Town are truly excellent and there is a myriad of restaurants to try the brilliant local and international cuisine.
The Balearics are a true Mecca for water sports. Try kitesurfing, diving, snorkeling, water ski, wakeboarding, stand up paddling or kayaking. For some family fun go to the Jungle Parc in Santa Ponsa, to the Katmandu Amusement Park in Magaluf, the Western Water Park or to the Palma Aquarium.
Don't miss out on the amazing nightlife and visit some of the most famous clubs in Ibiza like Ushuaia, Space, Amnesia and Pacha. Go to Cafe del Mar or hang out in beautiful stylish beach clubs like Nassau Beach or the Blue Marlin. In Mallorca you can party in BCM Planet Dance or Nikki Beach in Magaluf and in Tito´s or Pacha in Palma. There are many modern, sometimes very upmarket beach clubs but you still find the typical small Chiringuitos on almost every beach in the Balearics. They are simple straw huts with a bar where you get straightforward, good food while you have your feet directly in the sand. This is pure Balearic lifestyle at its best!
What are the possibilities to charter or rent a sailboat or powerboat in the Balearics?
For bareboat charter you need a skipper´s licence or proof that you have sufficient sailing experience. Alternatively, you can hire a yacht including a captain. There are about 200 boats available locally in the range from 6 - 20 m. Also a lot of bigger luxury yachts are based here all year round and on offer for chartering. The main base for boat hire is Palma as it has the best infrastructure and the most charter companies. There are about three dozen yacht charter providers in the Balearics. In addition, there are hundreds of recent reviews of charter guests to help you choose the right charter yacht for you. You can compare daily updated charter offers in YachtFinder directly online.