Balearic Islands Guide
The Balearic Islands have long been known as one of the top party destinations in Europe. Ibiza in particular is world renowned for its iconic nightclubs and for drawing top musical acts from all over the world.
This may be the extent of your knowledge of these beautiful islands – but there’s much more to this Meditarranean archipelago than meets the eye. We’re here with your whistle-stop tour of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera. Read on for our ultimate guide to the Balearics!
Sailing the Balearics
Previously a hippie haven, these four stunning islands are now better known in the nautical world for being the ultimate in Mediterranean sailing. Countless islets, hidden bays, stunning coves, not to mention the glorious sunshine. The reasons to sail here are endless.
The main draw of these islands is the diverse and stunning scenery. Your trip could take you past charming coastal villages, striking mountains, impressive marinas, rugged rock formations and golden beaches. The islands are all unique in their offerings, with rich culture and varied amenities.
The sailing conditions are excellent, and ideal for beginner sailors, or those who wish to go all-inclusive.
The Balearics offer a typical Mediterranean climate – mild and sunny year-round, with infrequent rainfall. There is little difference in weather or environment between the islands, and the sailing conditions are equally good across the area. Temperatures do drop pretty low in winter – typically between 57-61F.
The rest of the year, however, is very pleasant – with peak summer temperatures of 79-89F, and beautifully warm seas to match. July and August offer the best weather, but also the biggest crowds, so we often recommend the shoulder reasons of May-June and September-October if you’re looking for a quieter charter at a competitive good price.
In terms of winds, to the west (Ibiza and Formentera) there are South Easterly winds. Mallorca and Menorca are usually dominated by Northerly winds. The speeds vary depending on the time of year, but you can usually count on 5-15 knots in the summer, making for ideal sailing.
It’s worth factoring in the Tramontana, a wind coming in from the Pyrenees, which can quickly arrive in Menorca and Mallorca at certain times. The more experienced sailors amongst you will appreciate these… beginners may not.
Welcome to Mallorca! The biggest of the islands and a very popular destination in peak seasons. Despite this, you can still escape the crowds, especially on board your boat.
The capital – Palma – should definitely be on your itinerary. Depending on where you’re coming from, it may also be where you board your boat.
The adventurous amongst you won’t want to miss out on Sierra de Tramuntana – World Heritage Site mountains with some unparalleled views rewarding those who take one of the hiking paths.
The locals have named the eastern end of the Formentor Peninsula ‘meeting point of the winds’ – you won’t want to miss the sunsets from here.
Also worth a visit are the Cabrera National Park and the caves of Drach in Soller.
Much more than a party hotspot – Ibiza’s port is another World Heritage Site with a lot to offer to sailors. Coves, islets and uninhabited islands are ripe for exploration. This is also where your boat’s water toys will be well used, with snorkelling in the clear waters of Playa Cala Xarraca and Cala Vadella.
Whilst you’re here, you might want to stop by the famous Cafe del Mar in Sant Antoni de Portmany, or perhaps stay out a little later at one of the famous clubs. But even if this isn’t your scene, Ibiza has a great deal to offer.
If you’re looking for a quieter stop on your charter, with a little more history thrown in, Menorca could be your best option. This island isn’t usually as busy as Ibiza or Mallorca, but still has a great deal to offer.
Port Mahon is stunning and well worth a visit when you arrive. Isabel II Fortress is rich in history, as is Cami de Cavalls – an ancient route across the island. Of course, there are stunning clear waters here too, waiting to be explored.
Last, but by no means least (apart from in size) is Formentera. Known for being a sanctuary of peace and love since the late 1960s, this is definitely a place to slow down and unwind. The kilometres of white sandy beaches stretching across the coast should make this a pretty appealing task…
Whilst in Formentera, check out the view from lookout point Mirador Es Colomer Formentor.
How to Charter in The Balearics
The main airports in The Balearics are at Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza and Mahon. You can also arrive by boat from some Spanish mainland marinas.
If you wish to bareboat, you’ll need a skipper’s license. Otherwise, an all-inclusive charter is a great option, leaving you nothing to do except arrive and enjoy.
If you have any remaining questions about a Balearic Islands charter experience, our experts are on hand and will be delighted to speak with you! Contact your yacht.vacations consultant to start planning your dream vacation.