Boating holidays in the Balearic islands. Explore Spain's magical Mediterranean archipelago by sailboat or catamaran.
The Balearics are a group of islands off the coast of Eastern Spain, known by some as a major party capital of the world - known by others as one of the most stunningly beautiful and tranquil sailing destinations of the world.
The archipelago is made up of four main islands Mallorca, Menorca (or Minorca), Ibiza, and Formentera. Palma de Mallorca, the archipelago's capital city is home to a number of extremely special architectural relics - this includes, but is not limited to - the gothic Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca, which Catalonian architect Antoni Gaudí lead the restoration of, and the Royal Palace of La Almudaina alcázar - a site dating back to Roman times.
However - it is only by boat that the area's true beauty is unlocked. Travelling by sailboat or catamaran allows for unparalleled access to the smallest of islands, and most secluded of coves, thanks to their shallow hulls. Add a gentle climate, some striking landscapes, and the local Mediterranean cuisine - and you have the Balearics, an idyllic sailing haven.
The archipelago is made of two groups of islands - the Gymnesian Islands of Menorca, Mallorca - and the Pityusic Islands of Ibiza, Formentera - as well as a host of smaller islands including Cabrera, S'Espalmador, and Dragonera.
Natural treasures of the Balearic Islands:
Menorca - otherwise known as the Green Island - has managed to cultivate an oasis of wildlife, using natural resources sparingly to promote the ecosystems of the endemic species. Since 1993, the entire island of Menorca has been recognised by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve.
Cabrera - another precious natural jewel of the Balearics - has also been recognised for its different marine and coastal wildlife. In 1991, it was classified as a National Park, and is home to rare falcons, Caspian gulls, dolphins, and indigenous flora and fauna.
When and how much?
Best time to travel: Generally weather conditions in the Balearics are ideal for sailing from March through to November - however, in May, June, September, and October you will find both warm conditions, and be able to travel around the islands with a little more privacy and freedom by avoiding the peak-season crowds.
Costs: A sailing weekend from €250 per person, and a weeklong sailing adventure from €450 per person.
Sailing in the Balearics
Sailing in Mallorca:
The largest island of the archipelago can not be missed. There you will find a host of popular sailing destination, in particular, Sa Forada - a stunning bay, which sits on the Tramuntana coast - that can only be reached by hiking expedition, or by sailboat. A beautiful trip can also be had from Mallorca and the aforementioned natural reserve of Cabrera.
Where to go:
~ Cala Blava
~ Porto Preto
~ Punta de L’Avanzada
~ Sa Dragonera
~ Cala D’Or
Sailing in Menorca:
The Green Island is home to some 200 beaches, and a plethora of secret coves and bays. The capital city of Menorca, Mahón, is both the birthplace of mayonnaise, and boasts the second deepest natural port in the world!
Where to go:
~ Cala Fornells
~ Illa den Colom
~ Sa Nitja
Sailing in Ibiza:
Seeing Ibiza by sailboat certainly offers a different perspective to the island. Although world famous for its strong festive culture, local skippers of the area are keen to celebrate the more secluded beaches and calas (coves) that Ibiza has to offer.
Where to go:
~ Ses Salines
Sailing in Formentera:
Formentera is the smallest of the major islands in the Balearics. It is described by some as the perfect destination for a sailboat and catamaran travel. Formentera has become well-known for its air of calm and relaxation, and its more romantic coastal areas.
Where to go:
~ Calo de S’Oli