Why the Balearics in winter? Superyacht refit and repair, paint services, rigging and hydraulic services, haul-outs, berths – whatever is needed for yachts and superyachts, you will find it in our cluster of islands -Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera-.
Many yachts taking advantage of the winter months to have major works carried out come to the Balearics, primarily Palma de Mallorca. And rather than be apart from their families for a considerable length of time, many captains like to bring them with them.
So, while the captain is working with yacht management companies or superyacht suppliers, what about the rest of the family? And indeed, the crew?
For families, one of the main points will be Education, with a choice of public or private schools -schooling starting at 3 in nurseries and going on to finish either at 16 or at 18, much as it does in other countries.
The Health service is excellent, again a mixture of private and public. Hospitals are second to none, and there are many private clinics, specialising in different aspects of medicine.
Communication – motorways connect most points on the islands, only Mallorca has a train/metro service. Commuting between the islands is also easy with daily ferries and flights between Mallorca, Ibiza, Formentera and Menorca.
In winter things are quieter – but beautiful landscapes, historical cultures, picturesque villages and fantastic beaches are there to explore without the maddening crowds. Biking, hiking, diving, history, culture, gastronomy – it might be quieter, but there is still so much to experience.
However, Palma de Mallorca remains vibrant, buzzing and cosmopolitan, with bijou boutique hotels, Michelin star restaurants, history, art and culture, cinemas, theatres, clubs. Great networking support – for work, families (ie Mums!) and crew. Facebook’s “I have a question” can supply the answers to nearly everything, while meetup.com is good for groups and events. There are two (free) English language newspapers which will keep you up-to-date with what’s going on.
Eating out – one is spoilt for choice – from tapas and Spanish dishes to International cuisine – from fusion to vegan and vegetarian – all the tastes of the world in one small corner! Spanish culture is very much “outside” – so luxuriate in sitting on a terrace in the sun – enjoying churros with café a la tazza, or a warming carajillo, or a good bottle of Spanish wine if that is your preference.
Sport – you name it and you can find it in the Balearics – from charity golf tournaments to classic cars, to all things connected with the sea (especially club regattas and Mediterranean sailing cups), and everything in between.
And finally, fiestas, festivals and fairs – fancy dancing with the demonios (devils), doing the samba at carnival, taking your pets to be blessed by St Antonio, watch the Three Kings Parade, be amazed at fireworks at almost every turn, visit weekly markets, monthly markets, Medieval markets – the choice is stupendous. Each island has its own Patron Saint – another excuse for a fiesta! – but only one is celebrated in winter – that of Saint Sebastian of Palma, on January 20.