A popular holiday destination, the Balearics are a chain of Spanish islands most well known for their favorable sailing conditions. Visitors typically come for 2 to 4 weeks both in high season when there are many crowds, and during the winter, when there is more available space. Being easy to get to the destination in Europe, these islands are a top choice for sailing enthusiasts worldwide. Here are our suggestions for your sailing holiday to the Balearics.
Conditions & When to Plan Sailing Trip Balearics
If you plan on visiting for cruising, the weather varies but is suitable all year round. The summer season is generally more comfortable and ranges from late May until the end of September. While summer may be the best time to visit, be aware that there are often unpredictable winds during this time and crowds from mid-July until the end of August. Lively winds can be found in Minorca, and pleasant sea breezes grace Mallorca during this time. Visits during winter tend to yield a more mild array of winds, especially around Ibiza. Despite mostly calm winds during winter, there are brief periods where the weather does pose a threat. Sometimes there are fierce winds such as Tramontana and Mistral that make sailing dangerous and cause significant swells, especially on the northwest side of Minorca.
When it comes to marinas, they tend to fill up quickly during July and August. Filling up by the afternoon, bookings are essential. Prices range from 40 Euros to 70 Euros per day based on a 10m yacht. Bookings can be made online by visiting the Ports de Les Illes Balears website after registering. Check out some of the maps and the decent deals on offer. If leaving your yacht for multiple weeks, considering a haul out could save you a considerable amount of money also.
Located in coves throughout the islands are plenty of anchorages of good quality. However, there are some rules regarding anchoring as it’s not allowed in swimming areas or in Posidonia Preservation Areas. There are sometimes buoys provided in these preservation areas, but they need to be booked in advance. These areas are heavily patrolled to ensure everyone follows the rules, which often vary, especially in Mallorca, where some coves with buoys don’t allow anchoring.
A Look at The Island:
While Ibiza is the ideal party destination for the younger crowd, Formentera is much quieter. Boasting some of the best white sand beaches in the area, both of these destinations offer some stunning landscapes. Some beaches are suitable for nudists, and many of them are ideal for anchorages. The town of Ibiza itself has plenty to see. Featuring a walled citadel and World Heritage Site, the historical looking town is quite beautiful. Visit San Antoni on the north side of Ibiza as it has marinas and options for paid moorings, but gets quite busy during high season. Other highlighted areas to visit are Cala Llonga and Porroig and Puerto El Espalmador, a stunning beach with crystal waters that allows anchoring.
The circuit around the outskirts of this island makes it a perfect destination for longer cruise times. In the southwest area around Palma, there are plenty of anchorages and marinas available, although they range at higher prices. If visiting the northwest, you will find gorgeous mountains and one port of call. However, it’s the northeast coast that is more popular with visitors as it is beautiful, has anchorages and a marina, large bays, and mountains. The most beautiful of them is probably the southeast coast, which boasts coves, river valleys, small beaches, and some small marinas. Holding here is good, but it’s necessary to pay attention to breezes in the afternoon. Some other exciting areas to visit around Palma include:
It’s full of cafes and restaurants that line the harbor and has an old city district with a stunning cathedral. There are tapas bars and tree-lined streets that wind around the ancient city.
This is the number one spot in the Balearics to bring a yacht. It is full of marina berths, can accommodate superyachts, and has plenty of repair centers. Make sure to book ahead if you plan on coming here as it’s quite popular.
This area offers a cheaper option for marinas and anchorages but is a little farther away.
It’s the only port you will find on the northwest coast and has two sheltered cove marinas.
Here you can find a marina, facilities to work on your boat, paid to moor, and a water taxi. It is quiet and inland, making it a popular choice, especially in winter.
Here you can find suitable moorings, anchorage, and a marina.
Off the southwest coast of Mallorca lies this stunning archipelago is mostly well known for its wildlife. Being secluded from the other islands, Cabrera has harbored a unique display of plants and animals and has been named a protected marine park. Visitors can come by boat and use one of the 50 moorings available. It is recommended to call ahead to see if there is space.
There are pontoons, moorings, and a sheltered space for vessels.
It often has free space, is affordable, and features a marina.
This touristy area is excellent for a visit, guided walking tours, and musical entertainment.
Developed more slowly than other islands, Minorca is much more quaint than the rest. Visit the capital of Mahon, which has a natural harbor, 2 marinas, and anchorages. The town itself features many cafes, restaurants, Spanish cuisine, a gin distillery, and stunning harbor views. Marinas here can get expensive during peak season, and anchoring is quite limited. However, during the winter season, the prices become much more affordable.
This sheltered bay on the north coast has plenty of moorings and delicious seafood restaurants. Many of these restaurants are visited by royalty, and some of the top dishes to try are lobster stew and Paella.
Its charm lies in its historic streets and aristocratic homes. Sometimes it’s challenging to find a place to berth, but the cobblestone streets and quaint cafes make it well worth the effort.
Full of lovely beaches and options for anchorage, the Calas is a popular spot along the southern coast. Stop here for swimming, tasty Spanish dishes, and fun bars.
Cala de Addaya
This location on the landlocked east coast is quiet and boasts plenty of shelters. It has a small marina and is mostly recommended to visit during summer when there is more going.
Other famous beaches you can find here!