Once a mecca for hippies, Ibiza quickly became a meeting point of the international jet-set. Today, Ibiza is still considered to be the dominant party island. After the all-night clubbing, you can sail by your charter yacht towards Isla Espalmador north of Formentera. Here, in the caribbeanlike blue water and on snow-white sand beaches, you can recharge your batteries or maybe deepen your new acquaintanceship.
Sea & Coast
- the ancients called them Illes Pitiüses, or Pine Islands (from the Greek pytya – pine tree), the Spanish call them Islas Pitiusas and the regular visitors call them a wonderful place to spend a vacation. Regardless of what you call them, Ibiza, the island, belongs to the Balearic Islands
autonomous community and are located 100 km southwest of Majorca
and 80km east of the Cap de la Nau on the Spanish mainland.
Though Ibiza is the secondlargest Island of the Balearics
, it is obviously the more famous (if you live in the USA, chances are you’ve never heard of Mallorca
but you’ve surely heard of Ibiza). The adjacent island Formentera, that is separated from Ibiza only by a small channel, is equally attractive, though a little more rural and offers less party ambience. Ibiza is also with a higher relief than Formentera, having 572.6sq km surface area, 210.1km of coastline and a maximum altitude of 474m (Sa Talaiassa) above sea level to Formentera’s 83.2sq km surface area, 69km of coastline and a maximum altitude of just 192m (La Mola).
From the landscape point of view, all the Balearic Islands look pretty similar to the eye of the visitor: Rolling hills covered in pine tufts and tufts ending either in steep cliffs that border the sea or gently sloping into secluded coves. In Ibiza, you’ll also see the saltpans of Sant Llorenç in the southern side of the island, while in the north you’ll find Es Amunts, a large conservation area left outside modern development.
The weather here is Mediterranean
by definition, though you’ll find milder winters and somewhat cooler summers than in Majorca. Winter temperatures here reach 15 °C during the day and 8°C during the night. The best time to visit is in July, which incidentally is also the hottest time of the year with afternoon temperatures being around the 30 °C value.
Culture & History
With such mild climate and a welcoming landscape, Ibiza was inhabited as early as the Bronze Age (there are still a couple of sites remaining on the islands to attest to this – the megalithic burial site at Ca Na Costa). Ibiza Town, so popular today among yacht charter crews and hotel tourists was founded by the Phoenicians. Then, due to their strategic position, Ibiza became a haven for pirates. Other important cities on Ibiza include Eivissa
, San Antonio
and St. Eularia.
Several peoples fought over the islands at one point or another in time. Among the most important are the Romans, the Carthaginians, the Visigoths, the Byzantines, the Vandals, the Arabs and the Catalan (which is why Catalan is still being spoken on the islands).
Though hounded by countless crowds of tourists each year, Ibiza manage to retain somehow that rural charm and that old settlement atmosphere that used to draw in artists from all over Europe to seek inspiration. If you will leave behind the crowded cities you will have the wonderful surprise to discover the old pueblos with the old church in their center, the nucleus of any settlement.
Seamanship & Experience
The islands are very popular for boat rentals not only for their strategic position, great landscape and by-now legendary nightlife, but also for the relative ease with which one can sail in the region. Winds here are in general breezy, 1 to 6 knots during the summer months and as strong as 15 knots in wintertime. It’s also during these cold months that most storms occur here, bringing strong winds, up to 30 knots in intensity.
Rain is very rare in summer months and it’s almost always welcomed by locals and yacht sailors as a refreshing cooling down. This, coupled with the relative calm tides of the Mediterranean make the islands a haven even for inexperienced skippers. The upside is that there are also large yachting communities which will make you feel right at home.