The Balearic Islands – Ibiza and Majorca

The Balearics, a group of islands off the coast of Spain have become a popular charter destination. Guaranteed sunshine in the summer months, beautiful clear waters, ideal sailing conditions, stunning scenery and a rich cultural heritage with Phoenician, Greek, Roman and Moor civilizations reflected in its beautiful architecture.

The principal attraction is probably Ibiza which draws clubbers and party lovers. Famous for nightclubs, bars and restaurants, Ibiza in the high summer is packed with celebrities and people from the international jet set. If you come here, spend the day on your yacht in a quiet bay, but at night party hard until dawn in the best clubs of the island. There is more to the island however with quiet villages, yoga retreats, beautiful beaches and quieter sandy coves with the backdrop of pine-clad hillsides. Ibiza is also home to numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Benirràs Bay’s “God’s Finger” rock outcrop.

Mallorca (Majorca), the largest island, is known for its beaches, scenic coastline and the Serra de Tramuntana mountains to the north, popular for hiking. Palma, the capital, is a major centre for the yachting industry in the Mediterranean and the base for many superyachts. As a city Palma has beautiful architecture – a Gothic cathedral for example with an altar canopy by architect Antoni Gaudi and the Royal Palace of Almudaina originally an Arabian fort. Palma’s narrow cobbled streets have a vibrant Spanish nightlife. But Mallorca also has a number of big tourist resorts which most charterers will probably want to stay clear of.

Minorca is much more low-key than its neighbours. It’s known for its endless beaches, from long sandy crescents to rocky, turquoise bays. Pine trees fringe the coast. The capital, Mahon, with Georgian mansions and its ancient church is on a bluff overlooking the harbour.

Formentera is quieter but it also offers golden beaches, rugged mountains and lively ports. And to get away from the crowds visit the remote island of Cabrera and the Dragonera nature reserve.