For years the Balearics have been attracting the crème de la crème of society from around the world with many returning again and again, having been charmed by the coastline, culture and world-famous nightlife. The four islands of Ibiza, Menorca, Mallorca and Formentera lie within easy cruising of each other making for a perfect luxury yacht charter vacation.
There is no denying the Balearic’s reputation as the party capital of the Mediterranean but when the party’s over and you are looking for time-out or are simply intrigued by the archipelago’s varied and enchanting environments, you’ll soon realise there is something for every visitor and every mood.
Ibiza and Formentera
Ibiza and Formentera and the perfect pair: Ibiza is the longstanding playground of the rich, famous and hedonistic, and Formentera offers the perfect antidote.
Turn the music up and get the party started IBIZA … and what a party! But there is so much more to this Spanish island than chic bars, legendary clubs and celebrity spotting. It has long been known for its hippy vibe and sense of freedom where the post-party chill-out is just as important. Watch the sunset surrounded by beautiful scenery, cruise the coastline, dip into any number of peaceful turquoise coves and explore the sleepy villages full of rural charm. The laid-back atmosphere has inspired fashion, jewellery and even interiors, with the simple and cool Ibiza ‘look’ featured on many contemporary charter yachts.
Travelling by luxury yacht affords you the flexibility and freedom to include various stops around Ibiza and if you want to join the party the three main resorts are Playa d’en Bossa, San Antonio and Ibiza Town, each offering their own unique atmosphere. Playa d’en Bossa on the east coast boasts the longest beach and nightlife including loads of restaurants and bars, smaller clubs like SWAG and the world-famous open-air venue, Ushuaïa. San Antonio on the west coast is home to the renowned sunset strip where the wide beach and lively town centre are home to a choice of daytime clubs and large all-night venues like Eden. Finally, Ibiza Town has countless restaurants, bars and chic shops which attract an international crowd to the historic Old Town where you’ll find Pacha, perhaps the best-known of all the Ibiza superclubs.
Ibiza never stops, but once you do, your charter yacht and crew will be waiting. Take it easy in the jacuzzi, sink into one of the luxurious sunbeds up on deck or simply sleep it off in your beautifully appointed suite on board. Then it’s off to Formentera … the ultimate rescue remedy and perfect for some much-needed R&R.
Formentera is the smallest of the Balearic Islands and the closest to Ibiza: a captivating corner of paradise in the Mediterranean and a haven of tranquillity. The pretty pine-backed coves, sleepy harbour towns and spectacular sunsets bring a welcome change of pace. La Savina is the port where a lovely beach and inland saltwater lagoons offer amazing views looking back towards the larger Balearic Islands. The harbourfront is a fantastic place to people-watch and see whose getting on and off the biggest and best yachts while sipping a coffee in front of a local cafe.
Mallorca and Menorca
The largest island boasts the capital city of Palma, the region’s most exciting and contrasting city which blends historical architecture and rich culture with high-end shopping and world-renowned cuisine along every cobbled street. The main port in Palma can accommodate the world’s largest superyachts, but if you are chartering something more modest this is also a great starting point. Spend a few days exploring the sights, then join your charter yacht for a well-earned rest before setting off on your Balearic adventure.
An absolute must-see is the impressive Gothic Cathedral, renovated by the renowned architect Gaudí and featuring original work by the artist Miquel Barceló. From here take in the panoramic view of the bay – a sneak preview before your cruise – and Parc de la Mar gardens. A stroll around the city should include a visit to La Almudaina Palace, Bishop’s Palace and the City Hall, finishing up at the old merchant exchange. Bellver Castle is a little farther out, but the views from this monument, which has overlooked the city since the 14th century, are worth the trip alone.
Art lovers have the chance to visit the Es Baluard Contemporary Art Museum, the March Palace and Museum, and the Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation, while shopping fans should head to the Borne Parade, Unió Street, Plaza Weyler and Jaume III Street.
Set sail from Palma to explore the many other delights Mallorca has to offer including Porto Cristi in the east which is home to the famous Caves of Drach with their stunning underground lake and the charming towns and villages to the west (Valldemossa, Deia and Soller). The south of the island is home to the most tranquil spots where unspoilt beaches and bays offer beautiful anchorages. To the north is the medieval town of Pollenca where there is a bustling port and a main square lined with bars and restaurants.
It is here that choosing a luxury yacht for your vacation really makes sense as you take time on and under the crystal-clear water. Imagine being able to SCUBA dive directly from your yacht, explore the shoreline on a jetski or at a more leisurely pace on a stand-up paddleboard. All this before sitting down to a delicious lunch prepared on board, inspired by and catering to your very own tastes. Private chefs are usually on board most charter yachts as are a full crew made up of stewards/stewardesses, a deck team and of course the captain, who will steer the boat and crew in the right direction. The on-board team will take direction from the guests’ preference sheets, a comprehensive questionnaire covering likes and dislikes, which will be completed in advance and coordinated by the charter broker. A good charter broker will be able to recommend the best yachts in your chosen location based on first-hand experience of both the vessel and the crew. They are worth the investment and will make all the arrangements, help you steer clear of ‘charter pirates’ and guarantee a hassle-free holiday.
As with any travel experience safety is paramount, so SCUBA diving, the use of watercraft and final itineraries are subject to availability, appropriate licensing and the decisions of the captain.
The Balearics, like the rest of the Mediterranean, has a summer season which lasts from May through to October with July and August being the hottest months – and likely the busiest as they coincide with school holidays across Europe. You can expect temperatures up to 30°C during the day and around 20°C overnight, but it can get cooler deck at night. Lovers of swimming and water sports can look forward to sea temperatures of about 23°C during the long summer season.
There is only one question remaining … when can you go?
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