Gentle on beginner and expert sailors alike, Spain is a great yacht charter destination. Although mainland Spain has its own regions where sailing can be fun, it is the Spanish archipelagos of the Mediterranean like the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands that are real sailor magnets.
Spain’s appeal is a mixture of the charm of the rolling hills covered in sparse vegetation and the beauty of the deep blue of the Mediterranean that turns into lovely azure as soon as it meets the shore. That’s why most of the real touristic potential is focused along the shoreline, be it in cities such as Barcelona and Valencia or in large areas such as the Costa del Sol.
A developed country from a touristic point of view with a great climate that extends the visiting period well into October when the sailing season is finished in other places, Spain is also a fascinating culture. It retains much of its Moorish heritage which can still be seen everywhere in the country today from architecture to gastronomy.
The Balearic Islands are, in fact, the beating heart of yacht charter holidays in Spain. The islands of Mallorca, Ibiza and the smaller Formentera manage to attract ever larger number of tourists, many of whom actually choose to stay. It’s no wonder that Mallorca hosts large German and British communities in its coastal towns that developed from sleepy fishing villages.
The Canary Islands are also important destinations for boat rental since their remote position far out to the West of the African continent makes them the starting point for many Atlantic crossings.
When you’ve finished exploring the beautiful shores of the Spanish peninsula from aboard a chartered yacht, you can always indulge in their interesting local cuisine which is a mixture of European and African recipes, hailing back from the Moorish occupation. You won’t want to leave until sampling a tasty paella made with fresh sea food or experiment with the endless variety of tapas, the locals’ version of the sandwich. This should all be washed down with some local wine or with the ubiquitous “cerveza”, or beer as it’s more commonly known.
Law & Order
The Balearic Islands are definitely the place to start your Spanish yacht charter experience. Mallorca in particular enjoys an increasing notoriety thanks to its climate, infrastructure and natural potential.
For those of you that are considering a sailing holiday in Spain, there are a few legal issues to remember. In Spain, all people wishing to skipper a boat with an engine power over 10Kw need a sailing license.
If you have a sailing license, you’ll need to present it to the local Maritime Authority along with proof of your sailing expertise that will allow you to charter a yacht in Spain. For those skippers that sail their own boats, an additional document is required in the form of proof of insurance. For yacht charters, this insurance is made on the spot when you rent the boat.