The world’s most discerning luxury travellers make a beeline for the magnificent Balearic islands during their annual Mediterranean yacht charter. This glittering hot spot in the western Mediterranean enthralls visitors with its beautiful coastlines, hidden coves, crystal waters and snow-white beaches. Each of the Spanish islands is subject to the same inviting climate and stunning vistas but they are also alive with their own traditions and unique characters, so cruising between them on an Balearic Islands yacht charter is an unforgettable experience.
Mallorca is the largest Balearic island and is home to the one truly cosmopolitan city, Palma. This city is recognised for its ancient Gothic cathedral which majestically towers over the masts of sailing yachts – some of them belonging to famous names – filling the marina. Arriving by sea, the mesmerising outline of the cathedral and surrounding skyline provides an impressive introduction to the lively island.
Palma is full of cultural sights and the nightlife is varied and exciting with lots of amazing dining options. Both traditional underground taverns and upscale restaurants throng the maze of alleyways and seaside promenades. Zaranda, Fernando P Arellano’s restaurant at the Castell Son Claret hotel has recently earned a second Michelin star and is a fantastic place to sample the flavours and textures of traditional Balearic recipes.
Despite Mallorca’s popularity as a tourist destination, it is very easy to escape the crowds, particularly aboard your own Balearic yacht charter. Cala Formentor is the most beautiful of the beach resorts that are located on the island. There are numerous hikes on the mountainous west coast. Almost half of Mallorca’s countryside is protected and the landscape is dotted with caves, pine trees, olive groves and the rugged ridges of the Sierra de Tramuntana Mountains in the north. A yacht charter in Mallorca wouldn’t be complete without a short voyage to Cabrera National Park, a group of islets less than an hour from the coast.
Ibiza is probably the most famous Balearic island due to its reputation as a hedonistic paradise. However, the picturesque island has been undergoing a cultural shift over the last decade and is now the perfect destination for a relaxing Mediterranean charter. Of course, discerning yachters have always known that it’s home to an incredibly diverse collection of rustic villages, trendy restaurants, unspoilt sandy beaches and secluded coves.
Ibiza is an island that has it all, and most importantly, it has beauty in abundance. The rocky coasts and sandy beaches form the perfect backdrop to a sailing holiday and the sunsets can be watched from relaxing luxury beach lounges and terrace bars on San Antonio’s Sunset Strip if not from the sun deck of your yacht charter. It still hosts the Balearics hippest nightlife, but the island’s nightclubs have become more upmarket and attract a more refined clientele these days. There are plenty of traditional fiestas inland for those who crave local culture.
Formentera makes a relaxing diversion and offers a complete contrast to the vibrant resorts of Ibiza. The tiny island is just three nautical miles south of its neighbour but a world away in terms of tranquility. The best beaches are the uncrowded five-kilometre stretch of Platja Migjorn and Platja Illetes, defined by its beautiful white sands and azure blue waters which are more reminiscent of the Caribbean than Europe.
Menorca is known as ‘the windy island’, but don’t let that put you off since it means there are some great sailing and windsurfing opportunities. Beautiful, shady coves punctuate the southern coast and invite exploration of the surrounding crystal waters. In fact, Menorca is probably the closest you can get to the Caribbean experience while still in Europe and Cala Macarelleta has some of the clearest water in the Balearics. This unassuming island also hides the most surprises in the Balearic archipelago.
Cala Pregonda is in a marine reserve and offers magnificent snorkelling between strange islets sculpted by the wind. One of the quietest beaches, Cala Trebaluger, hides a gorge which harbours a river with terrapins and kingfishers and proves how the island is a peaceful and unique natural oasis. Platges Son Saura is perfect for families because its two sand crescents are shallow and sheltered. Kids will also enjoy the numerous land-bound activities from horse riding to quad biking, not to mention the endless water sports on offer.
To begin your Balearic yachting adventure in 2017, contact a member of the Silver Star Yachting team.