Undoubtedly some of the most famous islands in the Mediterranean, the Balearic Islands are home to the famous Ibiza, the party heaven but also the no less famous Mallorca and Menorca. Thousands of tourists, young and old, come here every year to soak up the sun and fun of this yacht charter Spain destination.
Sea & Coast
In the western part of the Mediterranean
, off the Spanish coast there are a couple of islands forming the Balearic archipelago. Apart from being Spain’s best Yacht Charter touristic zone, famous throughout Europe not only for its great landscape, the Balearic Islands are also known for the nightlife that is rivaling that of the French Riviera.
The archipelago is an autonomous region in Spain
and is made up of 4 larger islands (Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera) and 11 smaller islets. The largest is Mallorca and the smallest is Formentera but the one that draws in the most Yacht Charter sailors is Ibiza. The geography of the archipelago is made up mostly of undulating hills, different types of plateaus and lowlands (especially Minorca).
The coastline is also very indented with lots of bays bordered by sandy beaches and craggy cliffs. The highest altitude can be found on Majorca and it rises 1525m above sea level. Odd formations that can’t be found on any of the other islands are the saltpans of Formentera, found on its northern side. These are now protected reserves which are visited by Yacht Charter guests.
Vegetation on the islands varies from thick pine woods (especially in Formentera) to endless plains. These species are oddly not in accord with the overall climate. Minorca usually displays drier vegetation, in Mallorca it’s Mediterranean (evergreen oak forests coupled with maquis shrubs in the lower zones). There are many natural reserves the Yacht Charter tourists can visit to get a feel of the real Balearic experience.
If it’s one thing the islands are popular among the Yacht Charter crowds, it’s the pleasant, Mediterranean weather which has lovely temperatures even during the summer highs, thanks to the proximity of the sea. If you travel here during winter you’ll find that there are mild temperatures and occasional showers.
Culture & History
Being so close to the Spanish Peninsula, the islands were at first inhabited by the Iberian tribes in search of new colonies. During antiquity, Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians and finally Romans fought over control of the islands which were an important trade stop in the Mediterranean. In the 8th century the Moors conquered the archipelago after the fall of the Roman Empire. They were driven out by James I, king of Aragon in 1229 thus becoming Spanish posesions.
An autonomous region from 1983, the Balearic Islands began drawing more and more Yacht Charter tourists with its quaint fishing viallges and quiet coastal towns with endless beaches. Some of the most visited are Eivissa
and St. Eularia in Ibiza, Palma and Puerto de Alcudia
in Mallorca and Mahon
and Ciutadella in Menorca.
Seamanship & Experience
The first thing that’s good about the islands is the relative short distance between them, which affords the Yacht Charter skipper to sail from one to the next with ease. Another good thing is the short distance in between anchorage points which are positioned in closed bays or pleasant coves. The northern islands provide easier line of sight sailing having rockier and higher shores while the southern islands have more beaches and sandy bays.
The winds around the islands in the summer season are 1 knot from the southeast, south and southwest, but are usually a bit stronger in the channels that separate the pieces land. There are also local breezes which are either from sea to land (virazon) or from land to sea (terral) but they usually die down in the evening.