The Balearic Islands, with an estimated 300 days of sunshine a year, is an ideal place to cruise on a yacht, catamaran or small pleasure boat with four major islands all within easy reach of each other and over 1,238 km of coastline to discover.
With the largest of the islands, Mallorca, being one of the major sailing hubs in Europe, there is everything that a Captain or owner needs to get the boat ship-shape and ready to sail in port and, once ready to hit the waves and get started with a bit of cruising in the Balearic Islands, there are plenty of things to keep guests and owners happy during their time onboard.
The Balearic Islands offer everything that one could want from a sailing holiday: a mild climate, picturesque towns, stunning coves and enviable sailing conditions year-round. Each island has its own distinct identity meaning there is always something that will suit each guest’s individual requirements.
Starting with the biggest island of Mallorca with its beautiful coves or “calas” dotted around the coastline and the vibrant city of Palma (the Capital of the Balearics) with stunning architecture and a diverse gastronomic scene, this island has been a firm favourite with holiday-makers and sailors for decades. The city itself boasts two of Europe’s leading refit centers: STP Shipyard Palma and Astilleros de Mallorca, which have a multitude of marine services that offer everything from provisioning to refit and repair.
Highlights of Mallorca include sailing around the uninhabited island of Sa Dragonera or the impressive Cabrera National Park, marvelling at the sunset in Cap de Formentor, or anchoring off one of the 262 pristine beaches and bathe in the azure waters.
Neighbouring Menorca, the smaller but no less impressive sibling of Mallorca, is a beautiful, tranquil island with the famous port of Mahon the first sight for many as they pull up in this Mediterranean oasis. For those seeking a peaceful, relaxing holiday at sea, Menorca boasts tiny fishing villages peppered with local restaurants and some of the most breathtaking bays in the Balearic Islands.
Highlights of Menorca include basking in the sun at the gorgeous Cala Macaralleta, visiting the historic city of Ciutadella or hiking the ancient path of Cami de Cavalls. Make sure to partake in some of the islands famous cheeses and wash it all down with the world-renowned Mahon Gin on board as the sun goes down.
Ibiza, the party capital of the Balearic Islands, is often overlooked as the hedonistic capital of the Mediterranean but there is more to this little island than meets the eye. Firstly, what many people do not realise is that the port itself is actually a World Heritage Site with an array of facilities on offer for boats that choose to anchor or dock on the island. Of course, the vibrant nightlife is still very much a part of life on the island so check out the plethora of beach clubs, night clubs and bars around the main ports of Ibiza Town and San Antonio.
Highlights of Ibiza include exploring the tiny, cobbled streets of Ibiza Town with its shops, boutiques and restaurants or perhaps swimming in the crystal-clear waters of Playa Cala Xarraca or Las Salinas – or of course dancing the night away to world-famous DJs and artists.
The least-known and smallest of the four major islands, Formentera, is an escape from the hustle and bustle of the other islands and should most definitely be visited when cruising in the Balearic Islands. Formentera is most famous for its long Caribbean-like beaches with white powder sand beaches and some of the clearest waters in the Mediterranean. Here the main attraction is the tranquillity and relaxed vibe as well as the unspoilt coves with just a small beach shack or “chiringuito” available at many of them to while away an afternoon.
Highlights of Formentera include the unbeatable kilometres of pristine beaches, the fresh seafood at the island’s restaurants and the beautiful view from Mirador Es Colomer Formentor.
Cruising in the Balearics offers something for the most seasoned or discerning of sailors and has become world-renowned for its sailing conditions and what each island has to offer for good reason.